Spacing Deck Boards

Spacing Deck boards Properly is Critical for Allowing Rain Run-Off

By Mark J. Donovan

Deck boards contract and expand with variation in temperature and as they age. Consequently when installing deck boards it is important to properly space deck boards so that water can drain off of the deck. Typically deck board spacing should be about ¼ inch.

When installing deck boards, start on the side nearest the house and work your way outwards. As you install each deck board, it is important to allow for proper spacing between adjacent deck boards.

If the deck boards are dry, or manufactured out of composite decking material, place a 16 penny nail between deck boards as you fasten the deck boards to the deck floor joists.

This will ensure proper deck board spacing to allow for rain water to run off of the deck. Alternatively there are deck spacers that you can use. Deck spacers are placed in-between the deck boards and onto the surface of the deck floor joists.

If you are using green pressure treated deck boards you do not need to space them. Green pressure treated deck boards will shrink when they dry out thus providing natural deck board spacing over time.

For help on building a deck, see’s Deck Installation Bid Sheet. The Deck Installation Bid Sheet will teach your how to hire the right deck contractor, and help to ensure that your deck project is completed on time and budget.

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