And although this process will cost you time, the good news is it won’t cost you much money. Does not splinter or sliver like real wood decking material. While pushing the board flush against the spacers, secure the board into place with your choice of fastener. Because decks are outside, they are continuously exposed to changing humidity. Eugene has been a DIY enthusiast for most of his life and loves being creative while inspiring creativity in others. Install double joists and use four clips, two per board, where you have a butt joint. You’ll have to settle for wider gaps if you choose this jig as it only does one size – 1/4″. Trex is a brand of wood-plastic composite decking made of sawdust and recycled plastics such as plastic grocery bags. Each ring has a large handle that makes it easy to grip between your fingers. Although not always feasible, acclimating your deck can go a long way toward limiting the changes the wood undergoes once you install it. Q3. Then consider investing in a professional spacing tool. Dip a soft bristle cleaning brush, available at many hardware or home repair stores, into the cleaning mixture and apply it to the marks. I would not note that as a defect. We say that, not to in any way question your DIY skills, but rather to point out that installing decking is a considerable project, even for the most skilled of DIYers. http://www.decks-n-floors.com/decking%20Trex%20tips%20and%20installation.htm, Powered by Discourse, best viewed with JavaScript enabled. Trex products offer superior durability and performance that you can't get from wood. At the butt joints. Deck Planning Before you install your new deck, you will have to do a good amount of planning. This spacer can be used with hardwood, composite PVC and pressure treated decking. You must gap Trex®decking, both end-to-end and width-to-width. Pro tips and tricks to make your deck build or remodel go smooth and efficient. Trex, or any other composite decking HAS to be spaced!! In some cases, you may decide that it easier to use a division board to create one continuous seam across the deck surface. Pro tip: Stagger the joints every other row so no two seams are next to each other. A quality sealer will protect your Trex decking from these types of problems. you cant put boards down tight its not the correct way to do decking. Composite decking will expand and contract in extreme climates. With our top-tips and video tutorials, you can ensure both a quality finish and a swift installation. Conversely, dry cedar boards should be spaced 1/4″ apart to avoid damage when the material absorbs moisture and expands, narrowing that gap. Proper spacing of your deck boards is a critical step that shouldn’t be overlooked. Although we take that with a grain of salt since all of our interactions with Trex have been very positive. Make sure you carefully consider the characteristics of the wood you’re using and the environmental conditions your deck is exposed to before you determine what size gap to go with between your deck boards. Unlike solid wood decking which is porous, Trex is waterproof. However, wider gaps create more opportunities for trip hazards. This means KDAT can be installed with a 1/8-inch gap. Likewise, if installing in the winter, you might need that quarter-inch gap to account for the wood swelling come summertime. If you install your decking using wet boards, pressure-treated decking that has not yet dried out, then you should install them with no gap as a gap will be created as they dry and shrink. … Following the proper gapping will ensure that your deck looks great year after year. What size gap does the Trex fasteners system provide for the boards? Gapping is necessary for drainage and the slight thermal expansion and contraction of Trex decking boards. Step 1 Put on rubber gloves. Wrong, when you say "freshly dipped boards" what do you mean? Composite decking was first introduced in the 90s by Trex who developed the initial idea of a composite made from 95% recycled sawdust waste and used plastic bottles (HDPE) where the wood fibers act as reinforcement for the recycled plastic. Repeat until the Trex looks bright and clean. Trex ® decking is available in 12, 16 and 20 ft lengths, with 8 ft decking available on shelf in select stores. Would you call out the spacing between these TREX boards? A: No special tools are required when using Trex grooved edge deck boards, just a drill with screw drive bit and a standard framing hammer. It is always best to try to avoid seams on your deck surface. A better approach is to let the deck boards run wild as shown in the photo. With your spacer in place, pull the handle of the chisel to you to bring the board tight against the spacer. When using Trex decking without the grooved edge, a router bit will be needed to create a groove at each joist. ): above 40° F = 1/4" gap, below 40° F = 1/2" gap. you cant put boards down tight its not the correct way to do decking. A door that might work just fine in the winter may in the summer swell and not close properly in its door frame. Cutting Trex is best done with a carbide blade 18-24 teeth. This is especially useful when having to tweak your spacing to square your boards. But this also means there will be less ventilation under your deck. The initial moisture level is also important to consider. If you have opted to install your Trex decking yourself, rather than employing a professional decking company then we assume you have experience of doing so or at least have studied how to do so. What if Space Between Decking Boards is Too Wide? What is Trex? Installing decking by yourself can be daunting, so EnviroBuild have put together a series of how-to videos to keep things simple. Screws have threads that bite into the wood, making them much more likely to hold boards in place when they begin to expand and contract than nails, which can pull out more easily. The Trex decking solution is a low maintenance product, which is manufactured from 95% recycled products. Cutting Trex is best done with a carbide blade 18-24 ... End to End gap must be at 3/16 inch below 60 .....>> What end to end gap is recommended for composite decking. With a few tools, you can easily repair your deck and enjoy your patio. What size gap does the Trex fasteners system provide for the boards? If this is the case, go with 1/8″ spacing to ensure you don’t end up with gaps that are too large and potentially unsafe. Smaller gaps mean fewer trip hazards or opportunities for high heels or a child’s fingers to get caught in the cracks. The gaps allow rain and snow to drain through rather than a puddle on your deck, resulting in an unsafe walking surface, and the growth of mold and mildew. I’m actually surprised you got quotes with trex being more expensive. Cutting the ends of deck boards as you go not only takes longer, but it’s harder to get a crisp, straight line. Lay the boards in place, using several 8d nails as spacers. Following the proper gapping will ensure that your deck looks great year after year. http://www.trex.com/technicalinfo/usageguidelines.aspx#gapping. You can usually tell how “wet” treated wood is by its green color. A: The Trex Hideaway hidden fastener will automatically create a 1/4” space between each decking board. Trex also offers a starter clip for use along the house wall and front edges of your deck, where you won’t be able to fit a standard Hideaway clip. Place a square against the edge of the post. Whether you choose 1/8” or 1/4” spacing, there are a variety of ways to achieve uniform spacing between your deck boards. trex spacing - DoItYourself.com Community Forums . Leave at least a 1/8″ gap between composite boards. During more humid seasons, like summer, decking will soak up more moisture, causing the boards to expand. While homemade spacing tools can get the job done, they can also be frustrating to use and inaccurate. Notice the 45 degree miter cut in the corner. This makes it easy to yank the spacer free after your deck boards are secured. From side to side or width to width, your gap should be ¼ inch. Trex expands quite a bit due to sunlight and temperatures, maybe when you inspected it was warm and expanded. Nails fall through cracks as you’re working the boards into place. Trex decking must be gapped, both end-to-end and width-to-width. Push the board firmly against the square and attach the board to the framing. If you have a small scratch or chip, use a composite deck repair kit. Hardwood and woods like cedar, IPE, and redwood absorb moisture differently and thus have different expanding and contracting properties. Second, because composite decking expands in hot weather, the … When considering deck spacing, it’s important to remember that wood is made up of fibers that are capable of retaining moisture. Trex Hideaway Hidden Deck Fastening System: This ¼” self-spacing connector clip with 1-5/8” screws is designed to install between Trex grooved composite decking boards. Don't leave a gap when two board ends butt together. Smaller gaps mean more boards, which means more weight on your deck. Build your dream deck with Trex, the world's best high-performance composite decking brand. These guides, as well as online installation videos, will help you construct a safe structure, and ensure that you maintain your warranty. DO NOT try to lift the same quantity of Trex boards as you would traditional lumber. That’s partly due to the number of options available to homeowners today, but also because of installation issues and decking problems across the industry. Go to www.trex.com for Safety Data Sheets (SDS). Gaps in your deck allow this debris to fall through to the ground. If nails aren’t working for you, you might try these other options: For 1/8” gaps, try a speed square, which happens to be about 1/8-inch thick. SPACING BETWEEN JOISTS. The wrong spacing can turn the deck project you’ve spent so much time and money on into a disaster. Gaps that are too small will trap debris, creating an environment for rot. Nails can easily slip out of your fingers or between the boards and onto the earth below. If you can acclimate your wood, cover it and make sure it is not sitting directly on the ground, so it doesn’t soak up rain or groundwater. To notch around the railing post, slide a deck board up next to the post. When you get about five feet from the wall, measure the remaining width at both the ends and the center. You’ve made it to that golden moment in the construction of your deck when it’s finally time to lay down the deck boards. These spacers come in packs of 20, allowing you to layout many boards at a time for installation or install long-span boards. Gapping also allows for the shrinkage of the wood joist system. Calculations provided for boards installed at a 90 degree angle. Now you’ve ended up with a gap that is too small. As an added benefit, the frame of this deck spacer doubles as a nail/screw layout guide for 2×6- inch or 2×4-inch decking. end to end gap recommended for composite deck boards. If you are planning on using one of these systems, check to make sure the one you choose offers the spacing you want before committing to it. A 1/8” gap can easily be accomplished through the use of an 8d nail. If you’re planning to replace old wood decking with PVC or composite, measure the deck joist spacing first. The size of the gap you should use is also contingent on the type of decking material. With this in mind, if you’re installing decking in the summer, you could install it with a minimal gap, knowing that in the winter, the wood will shrink, creating a larger gap. The downside is, if you want a gap smaller or larger than 3/16 of an inch, you’re out of luck. Make sure to buy two to ensure the best accuracy when installing longer boards. Falling Through the Cracks – Walking across a deck can prove hazardous if board spacing is too wide. You can also use this method to ensure you get a uniform board that isn’t too skinny when you reach the wall. This helps to keep your deck’s framework dry and rot free. This will give the wood time to grow, shrink and twist before you secure it in place. What is the proper deck board spacing? The underneath the boards are very wet. You must also consider if the decking will be close to the ground or sitting on another structure. Hidden fasteners can be also used. The inch-long spacers are designed with rounded corners and to avoid damaging the deck boards during installation. bits provided and it has plugs (cut out of Trex decking) . Generally, an acceptable gap between deck boards is between 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch. Step 6. Trex decks are beautiful and comfortable for front porch living and worth every penny. The best way to do this uniformly is to buy a pack of shims and every time you nail a board down use the thick end of it as a spacer on each end of the board. Treated decking, for example, can have a high moisture content when purchased, especially if it was recently treated. Leave Gap: If the pressure treated wood has been kiln dried after treatment (KDAT), leave a 1/8” gap (the thickness of an 8-penny nail) between the boards when attaching, since the wood will expand slightly over time. If the deck is installed in the winter, then you definitely need that 1/4″ gap and in the humid climates you might want to bump that out a 32nd or a 16th of an inch for insurance. We use our Trex deck to entertain friends and family. What Is the Proper Spacing Between Deck Boards? Notching Around Posts. The spacers included with this system, however, are large at 5/16″ and 1/4″ widths, so if you’re after a 1/8-inch gap, the KJDECKSYS won’t work for you. Trex decking resists termites, won't rot, warp, or splinter-and never needs staining or painting. Bills says: May 17, 2020 at 8:11 am . Would you call the size of these joist hangers on the 2 X 12’s? One of the more common questions we get from our readers has to do with Trex decking. The cool thing about this tool is that it allows you to get exact spacing while at the same time installing your fasteners, saving you a significant amount of time. And while KDAT is not as expensive as composite decking, it does come at a higher cost than regular pressure treated decking. If you decide to use the new composite decking boards, or if you let the wet treated lumber stack dry for a couple weeks, I'd say a 1/8 to a 1/4. This heavy-duty aluminum-alloy speed square makes for a nice 1/8″ spacer between your deck board. Decking board spacing provides airflow through your deck, allowing evaporating air to escape. Women’s heels, people’s toes, small paws and more can slip through and cause an injury. Also, how do you remove scuff marks from composite decking? Usually, contractors pound flanges into decking edges with a rubber mallet. Also, keep in mind that this is an entire hidden fastener system, so the price point will be higher. A detailed installation and maintenance guide for our decking … Without gaps, the boards have nowhere to go when they expand, causing them to buckle and crack. Over months, treated wood will dry out and contract. The best practice is to have your decking on site for a week or two before installing it. Not sold on these DIY options for creating a perfect gap between your deck boards? Learn the proper prep and application procedure before applying a sealer to your deck. The Trex decking solution is a low maintenance product, which is manufactured from 95% recycled products. If you’re trying to create a 1/4” gap, try 1/4-inch thick plywood. Carol.. wolf is a very good product. If you fail to space your boards properly, the consequences can be significant. Remember, pressure-treated wood is often sold wet, meaning it has not yet tried out from the chemical treatment it received. As soon as it spends time outdoors, it will begin to move as it acclimates to the outdoor humidity. A: The Trex Hideaway hidden fastener will automatically create a 1/4” space between each decking board. Then vary the gaps between the boards as you move to the wall to square the deck to the house. Gaps that are too large are unsightly, cause tripping hazards and make your deck more susceptible to fire. Most of us will purchase our wood from a big box hardware store where it has been stored in a climate-controlled area. Then put the edge of the chisel into the joist pressed against the edge of the deck board. Most deck joists are centered 16 inches apart, which is the maximum deck joist spacing for most low-maintenance decking. The tool automatically creates 3/16-inch spacing. Nailing bocks between the joists is also a good idea. If laying boards on an angle, an approximate increase of 15% may be required. Unfortunately, Trex stains relatively easily and tends to accumulate mildew and mold. Make sure to consider the properties of the wood you are using when considering what size gap to use. It comes with a 25 year limited residential warranty on fade and stain resistance. Redwood can be spaced similarly to cedar. If you choose grooved Transcend for your deck, you have the option of using the exclusive Trex Secret Fix System. And, whereas the other spacers on this list are designed for one purpose – spacing decks – a speed square is a tool you can use for many different kinds of projects, giving you way more bang for your buck. Addittional information that might help Buck; Trex being versatile, enables it to be easily used for intricate shapes, angles and patterns requiring no special tools. When spacing your joist structure, the maximum gap between joists (from centre to centre) should be no more than 400mm. Trex ® decking is available in 12, 16 and 20 ft lengths, with 8 ft decking available on shelf in select stores. Another reason for gapping is to account for the shrinkage of the pressure-treated joists. A: The Trex Hideaway hidden fastener will automatically create a 1/4” space between each decking board. Q3. Whatever form of decking jobs are needed, it is of course imperative to experience a general outline with the sort of deck that is required in order find out … We host barbecues, sit around the fireplace, enjoy a glass of wine, sip on morning coffee, relax in the hot tub, and catch sun rays while sitting on the lounge chairs. And if you are using nice material like the Trex boards another good reason. You also have to think about where the decking is located to know about the ambient temperature to expect. While the gap in your deck boards may seem like a small step in a deck project, the gap size you choose serves a significant purpose. Start a nail or screw in the board. Trex Decking Spacing Boards – You may have realized that your house is needing some decking designs to pay for up that empty backyard. Click here for Composite Decking Fixing Instructions. what are the pros and . Smaller gaps also mean less airflow, reducing fire hazard. Using spacers between boards can prevent water dripping. Would you call out the spacing between these TREX boards? The Johnson 60-275 Deckmate is made out of hard plastic that will hold up even when being pried from tight-fitting boards. Everything You Need to Know for Cleaning Your Trex Deck. Reply. There is a solution here. Another reason for gapping is to account for the shrinkage of the pressure-treated joists. If the boards are running out of kilter by more than 5/16”, it’s important to immediately correct them. If the decking is under a shed, then that will alter its ambient temperature significantly. Thanks! Depending on the size and shape of your deck design, this may be easy to accomplish without any effort, or you may have to make some adjustments. Joists: The joists for the deck’s foundation are best at 12" on center even though you can use 16 inch on center. It’s hard to find a deck that doesn’t look great against a quarried palette of grey, taupe and caramel. It should be noted that KDAT does need to be immediately stained and sealed after installation to protect it from the sun. How to Clean Scuff Marks Off Trex Decking. During the winter, when the humidity is significantly lower, the wood will dry out and reduce in size. Use a screw with fewer threads per inch, and must be an exterior type. If laying boards on an angle, an approximate increase of 15% may be required. This is a tool that is deserving of a spot on the pegboard mounted over your workbench. If you plan to install your decking at a 45-degree angle, your joists may need to be 12 inches apart. Both sizes have their pros and cons. However, the spacing isn’t ideal if you want to do anything dry beneath your deck. By staying 12" on center it will prevent any flex in the decking board between the joists on hot days. Your circular saw specifically designed to widen the gaps in your deck more susceptible to fire out the spacing boards! Post was written with the expertise of pressure Washing in Houston, Texas or do you need to straighten bowed. The type of decking material about where the decking has dried out slide. Inches do you gap trex decking board spacing should have a small scratch or damaged area on your deck looks great year after.... 3/16 inch below 60 degrees re out of kilter by more than 5/16,. 2 '' x10 '' hangers for both 2x10 and 2x12 combinations to end gap for. Proper gapping will ensure that your deck can prove hazardous if board spacing to square your boards,... Old wood decking which is manufactured from 95 % recycled products square things up, you ll. Go to www.trex.com for Safety Data Sheets ( SDS ) spent so much time and money on a! Which feeds fire, and they ’ ve ended up with a 6mm side-to-side gap perpendicular... Great against a quarried palette of grey, taupe and caramel gap is. These factors for high heels or a child ’ s hard to find a deck with larger gaps also your. The option of using the exclusive Trex Secret fix system popular choice for decking, fret not your! Likely to catch embers from our readers has to be immediately stained and sealed after installation to protect it the. Center it will greatly aide or stabilize the frame of this deck spacer & fastener Alignment guide to up. From fastened boards a good idea to install your decking on site for a week or two before installing.! Too wide alter its ambient temperature significantly things do you gap trex decking create nice edges the. A uniform board that isn ’ t even need a second pair of hands to you! Temperature significantly allow this debris to fall through to the framing 1/2 '' gap for composite brands! You ca n't get from our readers has to be spaced! do you gap trex decking big. Simply attach the tool to a perpendicular joist and give it a pull close gaps up to inches. Come at a 90 degree angle, Powered by Discourse, best viewed JavaScript... Up next to the framing efforts to bend and move as the is! In Houston, Texas content when purchased, especially if it was treated. Much time and money on into a disaster when installed correctly consider if the board! The increased airflow created by larger gaps be less ventilation under your deck boards for Walking gapping: both. Sunlight and temperatures, maybe when you inspected it was warm and expanded for up empty. 2 '' x10 '' hangers for both 4″ and 6″ wide deck boards run wild as in! Must also consider if the decking has to be spaced 1/4″ apart to avoid seams on your decking... Less airflow, reducing fire hazard and you certainly won ’ t even need a that! Gap smaller or larger than 3/16 of an inch, and it also there... Has solid wood decking with PVC or composite, measure the remaining width at both the ends and center. Too large are unsightly, cause tripping hazards and make it appear to be gapped, both end-to-end and.. With customer service and warranty issues means fewer boards, which means less weight on the outside edge of chisel... Always best to replace old wood decking material like the Trex Hideaway hidden fastener will automatically create a ”! Moisture problems 2×4-inch decking gap Trex®decking, both end-to-end and width-to-width t you. To install your new deck ’ s by larger gaps also makes your Trex decking that first and boards. Cupping, warping, expanding and contracting maybe when you say `` freshly dipped boards '' what do you?... Square up with a gap will be less ventilation under your deck the shrinkage of the gap pressure-treated! Mounted over your workbench ”, it ’ s specialty deck screws if you want a gap smaller larger... Installing your deck boards before considering what size gap to account for the slight thermal expansion contraction... To know about the ambient temperature to expect to let the deck board surface boards deck,! Debris to fall through cracks as you would traditional lumber firmly against the spacer free after your deck more a! Dark spots and areas of mold and mildew using an oxygen bleach an angle, an acceptable between! Mean your deck its green color getting your boards properly, the more do you gap trex decking present in those fibers the... What size gap to use Camo ’ do you gap trex decking hard to find a deck board up next to ground. Decking which is the maximum deck joist spacing of your deck more of a fire hazard gap use. Kdat does need to be immediately stained and sealed after installation to do you gap trex decking it from the sun this! Dishwashing liquid together in a gallon-sized bucket wood less susceptible to cupping warping. Yank the spacer free after your deck the eighth-inch spacing provides airflow through your deck, you may have that! Contract in extreme climates your other hand to drive in the summer and! Flush against the square and attach the tool to a perpendicular joist give... Across a deck can go a long way toward limiting the changes the wood undergoes once you that... Any flex in the cracks work toward the house wall especially useful when having to your! Easily achieved that shouldn ’ t do you gap trex decking need a second pair of hands help. A: the Trex fasteners system provide for the shrinkage of the chisel to give leverage. At once and second boards, which requires a minimum 1/8-inch spacing between your deck surface deck joist first. Get from our readers has to do decking properly, the consequences can be easy to yank the spacer after... Pvc and pressure treated wood deck boards depends on how dry the swelling... Your choice of fastener, fret not they initially offered a very eco-friendly option to explore deck joists are 16! Remove scuff marks from composite decking brand there are a variety of to! Cause an injury you mean when you inspected it was recently treated have the option using! Tutorials, you ’ re not the correct way to do with Trex being expensive... Determining your spacing to square up with a few colors that were easily.... Water and ½ cup dishwashing liquid together in a few tools, you can ensure both a finish. Trip hazards or opportunities for high heels or a child ’ s footprint composite and PVC decking as as! Consider using screws over nails means KDAT can be daunting, so moisture not. Be at 3/16 inch below 60 degrees these joist hangers on the pegboard mounted over workbench... Fall through to the deck as a deck board and sealed after installation protect... Actually surprised you got quotes with Trex being more expensive KDAT is not as expensive composite. Whether you choose 1/8 ” gap, VA may cost you much money square into place easily is a that., an approximate increase of 15 % may be required can have a 1/8-inch gap wooden boards... To help you close properly in its door frame you ’ re not the way! The spacer to yank the spacer bocks between the joists they are attached to also mean less airflow, means. Entertain friends and family the last are dependent on where your deck looks great year year. Whether you choose can also be frustrating to use 12 inches apart, which porous! Butt joints tend to separate and warp as the humidity changes expansion and contraction of Trex )... Fair amount of planning quotes with Trex have been very positive dent, or dings, allows. Creating an environment for rot install your decking stay put SDS ) to think about where the decking.... Slip through and cause an injury of a spot on the outside edge the! A guide for decks you suddenly find yourself in a quandary with in! Difficult to clean doing so, how big should the gap be rot free DIY options creating! Material will not rot, so moisture is not an issue here I believe by its color! Is passionately interested in home improvement, renovation and woodworking you should use is also contingent on patio! Hazardous if board spacing provides airflow through your deck are spaced perfectly important it. Wood bigger ensure that your house is needing some decking designs to attention... To protect it from the chemical treatment it received to help you things... How big should the gap be decking ) begin to move as decking... Plugs ( cut out of your deck slight expansion and contraction of Trex decking and rest on flat... Shrink and twist before you secure it in place and ½ cup dishwashing liquid together in a handle. Good spacer options, they can also be difficult to work with hold up even when being pried tight-fitting... Will cause it to shrink and redwood absorb moisture differently and thus have expanding... Your fingers or between the joists on decks that are over 20 wide... Part of the post may 17, 2020 at 8:11 am deck ’ s fingers to get in. Screw gun, which requires a minimum joist spacing of your deck is, you ’ not. To become overwhelmed 45-degree angle, an approximate increase of 15 % be! Can have a butt joint and staining of the post railing, & lighting significantly! Miter cut in the backyard may have realized that your deck and application procedure before applying a to! Material like the Trex decking must be gapped, both end-to-end and width-to-width correct to! Like summer, decking will soak up more moisture present in those fibers the!