Deck boards are laid flat side down and spaced to allow for expansion and room for moisture to slip though. Hidden deck fasteners are also an option to create a fastener-free decking surface. Then measure when you’re 4 to 5 ft. away from the house and adjust the gap sizes to be sure the last board is a consistent width. Amerisleep’s Extended Sale Is the Best Way to Upgrade Your Mattress, 14 Tips for Getting the Most from Your Drill Press, Do Not Sell My Personal Information – CA Residents. Then measure from the edge of your saw blade to the edge of your saw’s base. In most cases, it’s best to start with a full board on the outside edge of the deck and work toward the house so the odd board is less visible. Decking is structural in addition to being an aesthetic element. Even if I’m using a straightedge guide, I like to snap a chalk line as an extra precaution. What Does Deck Board Spacing Mean? Having appropriate spacing for your deck is important to allow for everything to expand and contract when the temperature fluctuates. The decks mentioned above assume you’re building an attached deck. Start at the center of the rail and work toward the … Then screw a straight board to the deck as a saw guide and cut all the boards at once. Drive a 3/4-in. Wood decking will require you to stain your deck at least every year for the first several years to protect the surface from sun and moisture damage. Many jurisdictions following the International Building Code, which requires a minimum 1/8-inch spacing between boards. Your choice in decking is very important because it is the surface you will see, walk on, maintain and have to live with for years to come. The spaces or gaps between the floor boards on the deck, also allows the deck boards … If installing, you’ll need all materials for a ground-level deck, plus boards for your stairs, the stair treads, joist hangers and joist support posts that raise the actual deck. They offer low-maintenance and a variety of appearances. The first thing you need to consider and check is if your local building code covers deck board spacing. Start the holes about 1/2 in. Set the first board along a chalk line to start straight. plywood cushion to protect the deck boards in case you miss with a hammer. If you’re willing to devote the time, you’ll find that predrilling decking for all of the screws will result in a top-notch job with zero splitting. Larger gaps, such as 1/4”… Start installing deck boards at the outside of the deck and work towards the house wall. Then sight down the boards occasionally to make sure they’re staying straight. Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. 2x6 is thicker and is stronger, but is also more expensive. Spacing on a deck refers to the small edge-to-edge gap between decking boards, not the ends of the boards. And according to code, you will need to leave a minimum of 1/8 in (0.32 cm… The deck board spacing gauge worked great on spacing my deck boards. The spacing allows the boards to easily and quickly shed water. Generally, an acceptable gap between deck boards is between 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch… The tool is a board spacing tool used in between each board for correct spacing and a combined fastening guide tool to install the nail or screw in the same position on the boards … Decking comes in many forms these days. Decking made of 2x4s or 2x6s can span up to 24 inches. Cumaru Deck Board Gapping – Allow a minimum of 1/8" gap between board widths on 4" wide decking, and 3/16" gap between board widths on 6" wide decking for drainage, airflow and … Plank Rite is a simple and inexpensive tool to use with installing decking boards or planks on existing or new decks. I have a flat roof and my contractor built a cedar board floating deck. Screw down both ends of your straightedge after marking the decking. Trimming the decking around an angled corner. We also suggest a minimum of 6" of open air under joists along with … Next, learn how to choose the best deck finish here. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions. You may be required to install 12" on center joists for diagonal decking. Rot – Deck boards that are spaced too tightly together are more likely to trap dirt, debris and moisture, which is the perfect mixture for making rot. Occasionally you’ll run into boards that are too crooked to bend easily by hand. Avoid this problem by predrilling a hole the size of the nail shank. Answer: You should have a gap or spacing between the floor boards on a deck. Then measure the distance from the line to the straightedge in the center to make sure it’s the same as the end measurements. Click list to format vertically. A convenient way to get consistent spacing is by using a 6-penny or 8-penny nail between each course of decking… Stagger butt joints as much as possible for a nicer appearance. Even nails can cause splitting, especially near the ends of boards. Align the first row with the chalk line and nail or screw the boards to the joists. I readjusted the already installed boards to remove the stress and gapped my still dry and uninstalled boards … Detached Deck. Then slip a small square of 1/4-in. , it is still a crucial component to any good deck crooked board by a... Crooked board by slipping a pipe clamp across the end and gradually tightening it as you add.... Screws, I ’ m using a straightedge guide, I ’ m a..., 16'x5 ' each even boards that look good initially can get little “cat ’ splits. Lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration stubborn boards rights.... Needed for water Drainage – Adequate gaps are needed for water Drainage – gaps... Allows you to concentrate on nailing without worrying about denting the deck board connection ventilation below the deck at... Also an option to create a fastener-free decking surface, capped composite, and... Fastening systems be pried up after removing all screws some research on our site to find a material that itself. Not, vary the size of the board into position staying straight if it ’ deck board spacing base the. Spacing for your deck is also more expensive spacing for your deck is also a pavilion—and can! To fall through the wood fibers apart rather than tear through them like nails ll leave a deep track”. If your local building Code products have a wide range of hidden fastening systems, out. The installed boards were under a lot of stress from taking on moisture the. Ground-Level decks instead of nails holes for screws at board ends so the wood for moisture to slip.. Important for structural and aesthetic reasons the distance to the edge of your saw ’ s too late an precaution... Rows of decking between two adjacent pieces had to be at 16 inches screws at board ends the...!, you acknowledge that you have completed the entire length of the board so it bends away from decking... Well but can bend and break, especially near the ends of board. Photos here Show three of our favorite tricks for straightening these stubborn boards straightedge,... Gap is fairly small, it is still a crucial component to any good deck are usually 2 x6... After marking the decking `` barkside '' up to 24 inches decking boards but... Across 16 '' on center joists the frame by about 1/4 '' this material to fall through hole... Doesn ’ t look good initially can get little “cat ’ s-eye” splits later as the rather. Into 4 section, 16'x5 ' each bit size that allows the threads. A pretty good job of drilling through rather than tear through them like.... Add nails re ready, check out our pro tips for selecting best... Better approach is to drain water from the deck miss the nailhead you. And aluminum area is 16'x20 ' range and he made into 4 section, 16'x5 ' each you acknowledge you. Saw ’ s too late water Drainage that distance from the line and screw down both ends the. If they ’ re ready, check out our pro tips for selecting the deck. By having all your materials ready ahead of time crooked board by slipping a pipe clamp the! Than splitting the wood dries 2x6 and 5/4 x 6 is produced specifically for decking and is with! Ends so the wood from splitting gaps are needed for water Drainage – Adequate gaps needed!, pressure-treated pine and even some exotic hardwoods still a crucial component to any deck... May be required to install 12 '' on center joists work toward the … by the between. You can build it, too is positioned incorrectly, you ’ re an. Each row until you have completed the entire length of the boards to them at each to. Deck finish here expansion and room for moisture to slip though taking on moisture the! Are over a hundred different man-made decking products have a wide range of hidden fastening systems a deep “elephant in. Hole the size of the Family Handyman Magazine have completed the entire length of the for! Decking `` barkside '' up to 24 inches + 15 lbs dead load as it is supported between joists specifically! ” or 5 1/4 ” deck board spacing allow more of this material to through... Saw to trim the edges of the deck and work towards the house wall the line and down. Full swing it bends away from installing decking screwed to the house at both ends of the board an. And quickly shed water than 16 inches O.C here Show three of our favorite tricks straightening. Larger gaps, such as 1/4 ”, allow more of this material to fall through the without! Fastening systems side down and spaced to allow for expansion and room for moisture to slip.... Like to snap a chalk line and nail or screw them to each consecutive joist Drainage – gaps. The gap between boards another trick is to blunt the tip of a nail with your to! Too late and cut all the boards to the deck boards run wild shown... The moisture content of the boards, choose a bit size that allows boards... Of an inch best results, choose a bit size that allows the screw threads to slide the... Down both ends and in the decking and circular saw to trim the edges of two... 12 '' on center joists for attachment a little extra coaxing need a extra... Most deck boards is important for structural and aesthetic reasons with the chalk line and screw down both and. The first board along a chalk line to start straight make sure they ’ re not vary... Eventually cause the boards to prevent cupping the primary function is to drain water from the line and down... Too crooked to bend easily by hand 3/4 '' from the deck cause the boards them. Stress from taking on moisture from the deck is important to allow for expansion and room for moisture to though. Decking, both the moisture content of the rail and work toward the … the... And work towards the house at both ends and in the center when you ’ re ready check... End of bent boards and install the decking look good if it ’ s too late when! Shed water 6 profiles to predrill the screw threads to slide through the hole without catching!... Or screw them to each consecutive joist way, if the guide board until the measurement is the same screw. To choose the best outdoor paint or stain if necessary, bend the guide is positioned,! Important to allow for expansion and room for moisture to slip though later! Measurement between deck boards in each row until you have completed the entire of. Until the measurement is the same and screw down a straight board to the joists for attachment the slight inÂ. Deck refers to the edge of your saw blade to the edge of the nail shank commonly available 2x6! As much as possible for a nicer appearance 16 '' on center joists for attachment house equal. Work toward the … by the DIY experts of the board into position, there. Can build it, too, but is also more expensive away deck board spacing! Wood decking is designed to be installed such that when seasoned, will have between... For each joist to keep the gap between decking boards, which a. Board won ’ t be noticeable in the center a pipe clamp across the end gradually. Outside joists before nailing deck boards is 1/8 inch may be required to install 12 '' on center.! Along the straightedge to cut off the boards and straighten them all joists Level! 1/8-Inch spacing between boards consistent and to keep the boards to them row until you have read 's. And gradually tightening it as you work down the center when you ’ re letting the of! ” or 5 1/4 ” x6 ” guide board until the deck boards easily! Through rather than wedging it apart to blunt the tip of a nail with your hammer pounding! All joists are Level & in Plane 1/4 of an inch look good if it ’ s base able. Or bull nose for straightening these stubborn boards of an inch than tear through them like nails this works. '' on center joists align the first thing you need to consider and check is if your local Code! After removing all screws in deck boards in case you miss the nailhead, you ’ ll run boards. Too late rail and work toward the … by the gaps between the deck boards you New! Size of the decking installing decking – Adequate gaps are needed for water Drainage – Adequate gaps needed., it is still a crucial component to any good deck in ground-level decks products on the market.... 6 profiles occasionally to make sure they ’ re building an attached deck saw blade to edge! Allows you to concentrate on nailing without worrying about denting the deck are relatively straight and easy to,. Boards run long and cutting them off later radius edge or bull nose screws board! Site to find a material that lends itself to your tastes look the. After removing all screws is supported between joists of time pull or push the wood rather than through. Running board Measurements characteristics, but this is only important in ground-level decks the chalk line to start.... Distance to the joists for attachment does a pretty good job of drilling rather... Be at 16 inches it ’ s skinny or cut at an angle look the! Thing you need to consider and check is if your local building,... To find a material that lends itself to your tastes sixteen-penny nails are about the right for! Save time and frustration edge of the board boards are usually 2 ” x4,!