How far apart should you space deck boards?

How far apart should you space deck boards?

The Sweet Spot – Most people agree that 3/16” is a good gap between boards. Going more than a ¼” may get a little too wide. The width of a nail head is just about right. Treated Lumber – Usually treated lumber will have some shrinkage so you can butt the boards almost right against each other during installation.

How do you stagger deck boards?

To stagger deck boards start at one corner of the deck with a full board perpendicular to the joists. Measure, cut and lay the next plank end to end with the first so the two butting ends are centered on a joist. Use the cut-off piece next to the full plank to begin the second row. Repeat the alternating pattern.

Should deck boards be butted together?

We recommend butting treated deck boards together because as the moisture dries from the wood, the boards will shrink and naturally form gaps to allow water drainage. (Depending on moisture content, cedar, cypress and especially hardwood decking may require deliberate spacing for consistent joint sizes.)

Should I use 2×4 or 2×6 for deck?

Most builders stick to using a minimum of 2x6s for deck floor joists. If you want to add guardrails and stairs, you need at least 2x10s. 2×4 and 2×6 joists are ideal for ground-level decks without guards.

How much space should be between decking joists?

How Far Apart Should You Space Deck Joists? The short answer: deck joists are typically spaced either 12 inches or 16 inches apart, on center.

Is it better to stagger deck boards?

Composite decking should not be staggered on a deck. Staggered decking requires butt joints, but composite decking expands and contracts with temperature changes making butt joints unsightly. It is better to design a composite deck with intentional design elements to avoid staggering boards for a wider composite deck.

Should you space 5 4 deck boards?

5/4″ decking needs to be spaced according to the type of wood being installed. For 5/4 pressure treated decking, it should be installed tight and allowed to shrink to provide water drainage.

Can deck boards be too close together?

When the deck boards are too close together, water won’t drain properly and air does not circulate. Your deck boards stay wet causing rot and that can lead to structural failure/ wood rot. A simple remedy to widening your deck board problem is the Saw Guide.

What can I use as a spacer for decking?

Reuse Plastic Lids. Sixteen-penny nails work great as spacers when you’re installing deck boards, but they often fall through the cracks. Keep the nails in place by pounding them through plastic jar covers. They’re easier to move and will stay up on the deck instead of falling on the ground.

Are 2×6 OK for deck joists?

You can use 2×6 as deck joists if the deck is low enough to the ground as not to require guard railing. When using S-P-F 2×6 deck joists, the span must not be greater than 9’0″ (2.73m) with joists at 16″ o.c. (400mm), and 9’10” (3.01m)with spacing at 12″ (300mm).

Should pressure treated deck boards be spaced?

And if so, how big should the gap be? Proper deck board spacing should have a 1/8-inch gap after the decking has dried out. 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.

How should deck boards run?

On most decks, the decking boards run parallel to the house and across the joists (either perpendicular or at a 45 degree angle).

Should you leave a space between deck boards?

The amount of space between deck boards should be anywhere from ¼” to 3/8” inch. You want plenty of space for water to flow between the boards and to allow small debris to fall to the ground. Deck board spacing greater than 3/8” of an inch can become problematic.

How far can you span 5 4 deck boards?

Decking Board Considerations If you use 5/4 decking, joists must be no farther apart than 16 inches. Decking with boards with a 2×4 or 2×6 span can be 24 inches.