Both sizes have their pros and cons. Gaps between your deck boards also allow for expanding and contracting. With these pros and cons in mind, many builders choose to split the difference and go with 3/16” spacing between deck boards. Not to mention, the hidden deck fastener system allowed for a sleek finish and perfectly consistent spacing between boards. by Don Vandervort, HomeTips © 1997 to 2020. In pursuit of the perfect deck, all Trex ® decking lines come with a hidden installation option. Many PVC and Trex composite decking products are not the same color all the way through, so you’ll want to cover the ends. This circular saw attachment will make it easy to widen the gap. Where board ends meet a wall, leave a healthy 1/2-inch gap to ensure the material can expand and contract without coming into contact with the wall. It is also important that all screws be secured at a 90-degree angle to the boards. Pro tip: A picture frame creates a professional look but does require additional framing. Over months, treated wood will dry out and contract. If installing the decking around an existing structure, a simple router can be used to make curved cuts. Fastening from the side can cause dimpling in the composite surface and mar the finish.eval(ez_write_tag([[728,90],'hometips_com-large-mobile-banner-1','ezslot_4',633,'0','0'])); Composite decking is a great alternative to traditional wood decking, but does have some limitations. These seasonal effects on your deck are dependent on where you live. Some may fade more than others. What Is the Proper Spacing Between Deck Boards? Using a scrap piece of wood … You might have noticed this quality if you live in an older home that has solid wood doors. Laying out the first joist position on an angle. There is a solution here. 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. Installation The installation process of trex and composite decking is important, the material requires a standard spacing between boards. The wrong spacing can turn the deck project you’ve spent so much time and money on into a disaster. Treated decking, for example, can have a high moisture content when purchased, especially if it was recently treated. This means KDAT can be installed with a 1/8-inch gap. Deck joist spacing should never exceed 16” on center (with the exception of MAX deck boards, which allow for maximum 24" on center). Where board ends meet a wall, leave a healthy 1/2-inch gap to ensure the material can expand and contract without coming into contact with the wall. air space under for . The underneath the boards … This finishing touch is now available to match every Trex decking option—so whatever you choose, we’ve got you covered. With careful consideration and a little planning, you can ensure the boards on your deck are spaced perfectly. More than 70 percent of recycled plastic bags (over 1.5 billion of them!) 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. Trex Hideaway ® Secret Fixing System. Whether you choose 1/8” or 1/4” spacing, there are a variety of ways to achieve uniform spacing between your deck boards. A 1/8” gap can easily be accomplished through the use of an 8d nail. The eighth-inch spacing provides for a safer surface for walking. Leave gaps between deck boards to achieve drainage. This is especially useful when having to tweak your spacing to square your boards. In pursuit of the perfect deck, all Trex ® decking lines come with a hidden installation option. Deck boards are thin so they can’t safely span longer distances than 16″. This helps to keep your deck’s framework dry and rot free. In general, first an aluminum or vinyl track is installed across the joists, and then top pieces are snapped into place. 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. trex spacing - DoItYourself.com Community Forums . 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 … DO NOT try to lift the same quantity of Trex boards as you would traditional lumber. Start a nail or screw in the board. For a more rigid feel, 12” or less may be preferred. The size of the gap you should use is also contingent on the type of decking material. There is less of a hard-and-fast rule when it comes to this, but generally that space is anywhere between … Install Trex® Fascia boards to the edges of your patio to give it a more polished look. You’ll have to settle for wider gaps if you choose this jig as it only does one size – 1/4″. Typically if you install Trex decking on a 45 degree angle you need 12″ o.c. Widht of TREX gap? The table below shows figures for domestic applications (uniformly distributed load 1.5kN/ m2) and commercial applications (uniformly distributed load 4.0kN/ m2). The Trex RainEscape system cannot support body weight. What is the proper deck board spacing? Gaps in your deck allow this debris to fall through to the ground. ), and there is High Strength 2X6, which will span 24". Extra spacing is also important between board ends and where boards meet a wall when decking runs perpendicular to the wall. Then use your other hand to drive in the screw or nail. Cedar, a popular choice for decking, can also be spaced with a gap between 1/8″ and 1/4″. You can make simple cross cuts in composite decking the same way you would cut any soft pine—a power circular saw will work fine. This means that any load bearing area will need to be framed and supported before the composite material can be attached. Smaller gaps also mean less airflow, reducing fire hazard. what are the pros and . Repeat this at the opposite end of the board, as this will ensure the board remains straight, and then work down the board, fixing the screws into each joist below. When using a minimum 2x6 joist standing on edge and the suggested 1/4" side gap, there should be a 2" clear space between the bottom edge of the joists and grade in order to allow for … Just like that, you’re installed—with decking handrails and balustrade next on the list. It is important to recognize that composite decking expands and contracts with heat and cold. Smaller gaps mean more boards, which means more weight on your deck. Now you’ve ended up with a gap that is too small. To ensure a perfect looking deck, Trex Hidden Fastener clips are the perfect choice to ensure a flawlessly looking deck. For families with young children, these synthetic boards have the additional advantage of being splinter-free. Some composites look like real wood—at least from a distance. What if Space Between Decking Boards is Too Wide? Quarter-inch spacing does allow for better ventilation, drainage and debris removal. leave a 1/8th gap. For decks with 16-inch spacing, measure and mark each joist that is at 48 … JIG-A-DECK’s spacer and alignment guide for decks. Do not use nails to attach the deck boards above the Trex RainEscape system. size gap between the boards? We recommend that all boards are trimmed before being installed to ensure a straight and clean edge. This circular saw attachment will make it easy to widen the gap. Don’t despair! Should they butt up against each other, or do you need a gap? 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. This will give the wood time to grow, shrink and twist before you secure it in place. Thanks! A clean cut should not leave any loose material, but if you need to clean up an edge, do not use a sander. You can usually tell how “wet” treated wood is by its green color. This space is important for two reasons. Make sure to consider the properties of the wood you are using when considering what size gap to use. Proper deck board spacing should have a 1/8-inch gap after the decking has dried out. It also includes a handle for your fingers that makes it easier to free the spacers from fastened boards. INSTALLATION GLOSSARY OF TERMS Carriage Bolt A bolt with a rounded head and a square shoulder under the head to prevent turning during installation. This wood is protected against the elements and insects and will provide a solid support for your decking material. Push the board firmly against the square and attach the board to the framing. The most common spacing measurement between deck boards is 1/8 inch. Smaller gaps mean fewer trip hazards or opportunities for high heels or a child’s fingers to get caught in the cracks. amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart"; Lay the boards in place, using several 8d nails as spacers. Composite decking and deck hardware has come a long way. I referenced the Trex installation handbook to ensure proper gapping between boards and used its recommended joist spacing to ensure the deck turned out nicely. Don founded HomeTips in 1996. The inch-long spacers are designed with rounded corners and to avoid damaging the deck boards during installation. Trex expands quite a bit due to sunlight and temperatures, maybe when you inspected it was warm and expanded. A: The Trex Hideaway hidden fastener will automatically create a 1/4” space between each decking board. Like a stopped watch that is only right twice a day, those deck boards are going to expand and contract as the seasons change, and no matter what you do, the gap between the boards will only be consistent for a certain window of time. The deceptively small CEPCO Tool BW-2 BoWrench decking tool will give you all the persuasion you need to straighten those bowed deck boards. The less moisture, the more the wood will contract. All deck boards must always be installed with a 6mm side-to-side gap. Poorly spaced boards can lead to damage to deck boards and even your deck framing, or it may leave gaps that may make your deck unsafe for walking. You’ll also want to take into account the type and intervals of your fasteners. The underneath the boards are very wet. Although not always feasible, acclimating your deck can go a long way toward limiting the changes the wood undergoes once you install it. Leave at least a 1/8″ gap between composite boards. Unsubscribe anytime! Any type of deck board can be bouncy if the joists aren’t spaced properly, that’s why deck joists are supposed to be 16″ o.c. amzn_assoc_fallback_mode = {"type":"search","value":"cutoff saw"}; 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. How often? This … A power miter saw can provide very accurate, straight cuts, and a table saw with support extensions can make all types of cutting easier. Measuring the Boards: As you are installing your composite decking, you need to back-measure and front-measure to ensure you’re keeping the same distance on the ends of the deck from the wall, and in the middle. Composites are exactly the opposite of wood. One of the tougher tasks to accomplish, especially if you are by yourself, is getting a tight fit against your spacer as you install each board. Composite decking cannot be used as structural material. Spacing between composite deck boards is a new type of construction material that has become increasingly popular in recent years. When building your deck and railing, it is recommended that pressure treated wood be used as the framing and floor joists. … Though common wood screws might seem like they would work as well, they tend to “mushroom,” or bore out the holes rather than set into the material. After purchasing the material, store the composite decking flat and bundled, if possible, in the area where you will be cutting and installing it. Countersink the screws but no deeper than the screw’s head. With others, it’s best to simply view them as a new material. The last board won’t look good if it’s skinny or cut at an angle. When installing the decking, make sure to start on the outside edge of the board and work toward the house. When using grooved-edge boards, our hidden deck fastening system installs between the deck boards, fastening them to the joists with no visible deck screw heads on the walking surface. A: The Trex Hideaway hidden fastener will automatically create a 1/4” space between each decking board. Proper spacing will allow some movement without buckling. Deck de Madeira image by CarlosNeto from Fotolia.com. A: The Trex Hideaway hidden fastener will automatically create a 1/4” space between each decking board. Some composite decking materials are designed to be installed with hidden fasteners. 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. Extra spacing is also important between board ends and where boards meet a wall when decking runs perpendicular to the wall. Go to www.trex.com for Safety Data Sheets (SDS). Install Trex® Fascia boards to the edges of your patio to give it a more polished look. When considering deck spacing, it’s important to remember that wood is made up of fibers that are capable of retaining moisture. Composite deck screws are designed so that they do not push the material out and will create a much more uniform and tight fit. Account for this in the spacing by giving it a little more room between boards. The Saw Guide is $16.95 at the Lounsbury site. If you’ve ever wondered what becomes of your recycled grocery bags, check out your neighbor’s deck—it might be made of them. But most decks need and can achieve spacing between the deck boards for drainage. This can even cause damage to the joists they are attached to. Q: How do I use the Trex Groove Cutter to route non-grooved deck boards? usin g ti ger claw with no gap between the boards. From an environmental standpoint, composite decking is considered a “green” product because it is constructed with recycled materials and is very durable. 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. All boards have a tolerance of up to 5mm on the length to ensure they can be trimmed down into shape. Installing Trex … Connector Clip Hidden fastener used between deck boards to secure positioning. Would you call out the spacing between these TREX boards? Joist Spacing for Composite Decking Before building a composite deck , always read the installation instructions from the manufacturer, paying special attention to the required joist spacing for composite decking. Adjust the spacing between deck boards gradually over the next 10 rows of decking until the distance to the house is equal. Trex Hideaway® Hidden Fasteners In pursuit of the perfect deck, all Trex® decking lines come with a hidden installation option. bhartley (Buck Hartley, CMI) May 1, 2009, 11:46pm #1. You need to take this into account when determining your spacing. Earth Friendly Tools SAWS Miter Saw: When using a miter saw we recommend using the Trex Blade™ or a carbide-tipped blade with 60 teeth or more. With your spacer in place, pull the handle of the chisel to you to bring the board tight against the spacer. Leave gaps between deck boards to achieve drainage. and see "HS" in that code. And if so, how big should the gap be? Composites – Composite deck boards will have basically no shrinkage so they need to be spaced with gaps from the get go. 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. This makes it easy to yank the spacer free after your deck boards are secured. Is ripping up the boards and doing a full reinstall your only option? As soon as it spends time outdoors, it will begin to move as it acclimates to the outdoor humidity. And wooden spacers can get stuck in gaps after you’ve finished securing the boards, forcing you to spend time and energy prying them free. Spacing between deck boards provide a few critical functions. When using grooved-edge boards, the hidden deck fastening system installs between the deck boards, fastening them to the joists with no visible deck screw heads on the walking surface. First, it allows for proper drainage and keeps the deck cleaner, safer, and less prone to moisture problems. When you get about five feet from the wall, measure the remaining width at both the ends and the center. Why the Proper Deck Board Spacing Is Important. Apply force to ensure board is fully installed engaging boards with 1/4” bump-stop tab. Remember, pressure-treated wood is often sold wet, meaning it has not yet tried out from the chemical treatment it received. bits provided and it has plugs (cut out of Trex … Between end-to-end boards, allow a 3/16-inch space. The types of fasteners you choose can also affect deck spacing. air space under for . Do not stand anywhere other than the top of the floor joists, ledger, rim joists, or headers. Vinyl decking is yet another low-maintenance option, although one that offers a particularly non-traditional deck. Specific Inspection Topics. Installation differs as well. Thanks! Join us to get great money-saving tips, cool ideas, and valuable advice from home improvement expert Don Vandervort! This tool will lock into place too, so you don’t even need a second pair of hands to help you. Written by: Kelvin O'Donahue. Chances are slim that you'll look at the date code of your Trex boards (2X6 ONLY!!) Composites – Composite deck boards will have basically no shrinkage so they need to be spaced with gaps from the get go. usin g ti ger claw with no gap between the boards. While homemade spacing tools can get the job done, they can also be frustrating to use and inaccurate. However, if you make your home in say Denver, Colorado, where humidity stays consistently dry throughout the year, you don’t need to worry about how humidity will affect your boards. Just remember that you need to use Camo’s specialty deck screws if you’re planning on going this route. deck … Eugene has been a DIY enthusiast for most of his life and loves being creative while inspiring creativity in others. Within a given wood species or decking product, the thicker the board, the stronger it becomes, relatively speaking. Samples available in store. All deck boards must always be installed with a 3-5mm end-to-end or end-to-width gap between boards. Don’t allow blades to get overly hot when cutting as this can cause cuts to be warped or wavy. Even the most experienced carpenters have found that when the power saw’s blade heats up, it creates slight waves along the cut line. Pre-drilling pilot holes can prevent this from happening and make installation go much faster and smoother. Try manipulating the deck board spacing to help you square things up. amzn_assoc_enable_interest_ads = "true"; Spacing with composite deck boards is just as important as it is with conventional wood. Many jurisdictions following the International Building Code, which requires a minimum 1/8-inch spacing between boards. As discussed in Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction: 'When securing the decking, it is important to leave adequate spacing between the boards for water to drain. Conversely, dry cedar boards should be spaced 1/4″ apart to avoid damage when the material absorbs moisture and expands, narrowing that gap. The Trex Solid “boards” are simpler to deal with, but heavy, hollow types are lighter but fussier to install. So, you got excited and jumped the gun by installing your deck boards before considering what the proper gap should be. Before deciding on how much space to leave between deck boards, check with your local building code to see if it covers deck board spacing. amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon"; If adding additional framing, be sure to keep all boards level and in plane across the tops. b Check gap between boards for consistency. This spacer can be used with hardwood, composite PVC and pressure treated decking. In this instance the maximum span between deck post centres is 2.07m (C16) or 2.24m (C24). The Trex Hideaway Hidden Fasteners automatically measure the 6mm gap between grooved edge boards but you must still ensure the 6mm gap with the square edge boards. You’re kicking yourself and rightly so. Some builders reduce joist spacing to 12" on center to strengthen the deck frame or to increase maximum allowable joist spans. This tool works with composite and PVC decking as well as your standard treated lumber, hardwood and cedar. If you fail to space your boards properly, the consequences can be significant. Smaller gaps also mean your deck won’t drain quite as well as a deck with larger gaps. Learn more about the basics of deck framing and more info on how to frame a deck in the Deck Framing Guide and learn the specific deck part names in the Glossary of Deck Terms and Lingo . If you’re not satisfied with the color choices, or if you would like your deck to match your house, most products can be stained or painted, as specified by the manufacturer. When using grooved-edge boards, our hidden deck fastening system installs between the deck boards, fastening them to the joists with no visible deck screw heads on the walking surface. Nails can easily slip out of your fingers or between the boards and onto the earth below. The more moisture present in those fibers, the more they will expand, making the wood bigger. If the boards are running out of kilter by more than 5/16”, it’s important to immediately correct them. Be sure to check with the manufacturers instructions when planning the substructure of your composite deck—proper sizing and spacing of beams and joists is essential.amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit0"; Select a bit size that is the same diameter as the screw’s inner core and take care not to go too deep into the material. Spacing on a deck refers to the small edge-to-edge gap between decking boards, not the ends of the boards. Composite Decking Weight Vs. Wood. Carbide tipped blades are suggested—the fewer teeth the better for smooth cuts. With this in mind, consider using screws over nails. During the winter, when the humidity is significantly lower, the wood will dry out and reduce in size. When replacing the existing boards with composite decking on a deck with 24-inch frame spacing, you will only need to add joists 12 inches on center between existing joists. If the gap in between the deck boards is too narrow use the Saw Guide by Lounsbury Products. Make Space in Moist Areas – If you live where there is a fair amount of moisture in the air the boards will swell. He appeared for 3 seasons on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert for several years. Like real wood, composite boards will also expand and contract as the humidity changes. Your measurements and layout need to be accurate, not only for the primary deck surface but for the smaller parts, like your deck stairs. They grow in the heat … Wet wood takes time to season. Wooden decks will have a frame spacing measurement of either 24 or 16 inches. Depending on where your deck is, you may also have a fair amount of debris raining down on it. When using grooved-edge boards, our hidden fastening system installs between the deck boards, fastening them to the joists … 1 Box covers 50 square feet and 1 Bucket can cover 500 square feet. Spacing Between Composite Deck Boards As Well Of Trex With Gap Plus within dimensions 2048 X 1536. amzn_assoc_emphasize_categories = "2619525011,1055398,2972638011,228013"; And although this process will cost you time, the good news is it won’t cost you much money. It also means fewer boards, which means less weight on the joists. As a result, you may have to replace broken decking, or reinstall the boards with wider spacing … Just like that, you’re installed—with decking handrails and balustrade next on the list. After seeing the picture-framed look, I decided to do the picture frame around the entire perimeter of the deck. Too little room in-between deck board spacing and your deck boards could buckle when they expand. Q: How do I use the Trex Groove Cutter to route non-grooved deck boards? In pursuit of the perfect deck, all Trex ® decking lines come with a hidden installation option. The other relevant spacing number when it comes to building a deck or porch is how much room should be between the actual decking boards themselves. If necessary, adjust number of deck boards to match in both calculations, and see if different board gaps at each end of deck are acceptable, compared to equal gaps and cutting the last board at an angle. Only every month or two. That’s why stretching a string across the joist spacing for composite deck boards can help detect spots that may be higher than others. However, wider gaps create more opportunities for trip hazards. Lay the boards in place, using several 8d nails as spacers. The decking should be at the same temperature as the area where it will be installed. This heavy-duty aluminum-alloy speed square makes for a nice 1/8″ spacer between your deck board. During more humid seasons, like summer, decking will soak up more moisture, causing the boards to expand. A: For Trex Accents®, Trex Brasilia®: On the end of a test sample, measure and make a reference mark 1/2” from the bottom of the board. Quality products cost more than softwoods such as treated pine. If the wood is not seasoned, expect the boards to eventually shrink as the sap and moisture dissipate from the board, making the gap larger. Q: What size gap between the boards? Composite decking tends to grow and shrink across the length of the boards as it heats and cools. You might additionally take into account the following decking features, though these can add significantly for the cost: Railings – for safety of young kids, often needed for above ground decking to stop accidental falls. Without gaps, the boards have nowhere to go when they expand, causing them to buckle and crack. The last board won’t look good if it’s skinny or cut at an angle. Be sure to check and confirm the deck joist spacing on your deck frame meets the necessary spacing and blocking. 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 best practice is to have your decking on site for a week or two before installing it. or less spacing, and 2” planks are limited to 12”o.c. If you’re … Deck spacing isn’t anything to take lightly. This precision also creates perfectly consistent spacing between the boards for a flawless look across the entire deck… You’re not the first one to make this mistake and you certainly won’t be the last. Don has:• Over 30 years’ experience as a remodeler and builder• Written more than 30 home improvement books• Served as Senior Editor at Home Magazine• Appeared as a segment host on HGTV’s “The Fix”• Been a featured expert on MSN.com, US News, and others• Learn more about the trusted HomeTips brand. The underneath the boards are very wet. These spots can be addressed with a power hand planer to give you a nicer, smoother surface for the deck of your dreams. This precision also creates perfectly consistent spacing between the boards for a flawless look across the entire deck. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'hometips_com-leader-1','ezslot_5',158,'0','0']));Composite decking can be fastened to treated wood joists with screws or with hidden fasteners. Composite deck boards and 5/4” boards laid on an angle to the joists require joists at 12”o.c. Breaker boards add a dimension to the design of the deck and help distinguish between … 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. One solution is to “picture frame” the deck by installing Trex deck boards around the perimeter. The wider your joist spacing, the stronger decking board you need. Proper spacing of your deck boards is a critical step that shouldn’t be overlooked. ), there is 2X6, which will span 20" (max. Whenever possible, try to avoid ripping composite decking and use full boards for your surface. There is 5/4, which needs to be supported every 16" (max. Trex Hideaway Hidden Deck Fastening System: This ¼â€ self-spacing connector clip with 1-5/8” screws is designed to install between Trex grooved composite decking boards. When deck boards are too tight, water will not be able to drain, causing the wood to rot over time. Instead of pilot holes, some manufacturers suggest drilling a starter hole about 1/8 inch deep into the material. Trex. Make sure you are using enough fasteners to make your decking stay put. If you live in an area that sees wide changes in humidity, you’ll need to pay attention to these factors. The Saw Guide is an attachment for your circular saw specifically designed to widen the gaps in decks. While this gap is fairly small, it is still a crucial component to any good deck.

trex deck spacing between boards

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