What are deck boards? Deck boards are the planks that make up the decking surface. They are usually made from either wood or composite decking material, and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. One of the most important aspects of any deck is the spacing between the deck boards.
If they are not spaced properly, it can cause several problems, such as wet wood, water infiltration, deck board cupping, and poor drainage. In this article, we will discuss why proper decking board spacing is so important, and how to achieve it.
What does decking board spacing mean?
Decking board spacing refers to the distance between deck boards. It is important to space deck boards properly to prevent water infiltration, deck board cupping, and poor drainage. Proper decking board spacing is essential for a functional and aesthetically pleasing deck.
Why proper decking board spacing is necessary?
Decking board spacing is necessary to maintain the structural integrity of your deck. If the decking boards are too close together, they will not be able to support weight and the deck could collapse.
If the decking boards are too far apart, you could have a dangerous slip hazard. Proper deck board spacing is key to having a safe and structurally sound deck.
Responsible for wood changing volume
Decking board spacing is responsible for the expanding and contracting of wood. When deck boards are spaced too close together, they will not have enough room to expand and contract with the temperature changes.
This can cause the deck boards to warp and cup, which will look ugly and can lead to deck failure.
It is important to leave a small gap between deck boards to allow them to expand and contract without causing damage.
Keeps the wood deck boards airy
Deck board spacing also allows the deck to breathe. This is important because it allows air to circulate between the deck boards, which prevents the deck from becoming too hot or too wet.
A deck that is not allowed to breathe can become damaged and may not last as long as a deck that has been properly spaced.
Allows water drainage
Proper decking board spacing allows water to drain off the deck in wet and humid weather, which prevents the deck from becoming wet and damaged.
If the decking boards are too close together, the deck will not be able to shed water properly.
This can cause the deck to become saturated, which will lead to deck board cupping and other damage.
A deck that has been properly spaced will have no problem draining water off of the deck surface.
Different types of decking boards
There are two main types of decking boards: wood decking boards and composite decking boards. Wooden decking boards are made from natural wood materials, such as cedar, pine, or redwood. Composite or PVC boards are made from synthetic materials, such as PVC or recycled plastic.
Both types of decking boards have their advantages and disadvantages. Wooden decking boards are more susceptible to moisture and rot, while composite decking boards are more resistant to weather and insects.
However, hardwood decking boards can be stained or painted to protect them from the elements, while composite decking boards cannot.
The choice between wood decking boards and composite decking boards is a personal one and depends on your individual needs and preferences. Still, it is important to keep in mind the importance of proper deck board spacing when making your decision.
Different Types of Deck Board Spacing
There are three main types of deck board spacing: uniform, staggered, and diagonal.
Uniform deck spacing is when all the deck boards are spaced the same distance apart. This is the most common type of deck board spacing, and it is usually recommended for use with wood decking.
Staggering deck spacing is when the deck boards are spaced at different distances apart. This type of spacing is often used with composite decking, as it helps to hide the joints between deck boards.
Diagonal decking spacing is when the deck boards are spaced at a 45-degree angle from each other. This type of spacing is used to create a more rustic look, and it is not as common as the other types.
Why the proper spacing is important?
If they are not spaced properly, it can cause several problems, such as water infiltration, deck board cupping, and poor drainage. Most deck builders ensure proper spacing and claim that a proper gap is important for several reasons like the following:
How to achieve the perfect spacing?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the optimum spacing will vary depending on the type of decking boards you are using, and the climate and wood type you’re using. However, here are some general guidelines to know how much space they need:
It is important to take your time when spacing boards, and to make sure that they are evenly spaced. This will ensure a level, stable, and drainage-friendly deck.
Improper decking board spacing can cause some major problems, so it is worth taking the time to do it correctly.
How to space deck boards properly?
There are several ways to space deck boards the right way: using a spacer, creating a chalk line, or using a deck board spanner.
Use a Spacer
A spacer is a tool that helps to space the boards evenly. It is a small piece of wood or plastic that is inserted between the pressure-treated boards, and it can be used to create any type of spacing.
Create a Chalk Line
A chalk line is another way to space for example PVC or composite boards evenly. This method involves drawing a straight line between the boards with chalk and then spacing them accordingly.
Use a Deck Board Spanner
A spanner is a tool that is used to space not only pressure-treated wood boards at a diagonal angle. It is similar to a spacer, but it has angled edges that help to create the desired spacing.
Tips for maintaining your decking boards for years to come
Decking board spacing deck boards are important for deck upkeep. They can be spaced at different intervals, depending on the type of decking you have and the climate where you live.
There are several things you can do to maintain your decking boards and keep them looking good for years to come:
Decking board spacing is important for several reasons, including ensuring a level and stable deck, proper drainage, and preventing deck board cupping. It is important to take your time when spacing deck boards, and to make sure that they are evenly spaced. This will ensure a level, stable, and drainage-friendly deck. Improper decking board spacing can cause some major problems, so it is worth taking the time to do it correctly.
DeckBros is here to help you build your dream deck without having to worry about the spacing. We can take care of everything for you, from designing it to ensuring that the boards are properly spaced.
If you’re interested in getting started with us, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We would be happy to answer any questions you have and provide a free quote. Thanks for reading!