Laying Decking Part 4 of 5

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Buy decking boards that are long enough to span the width of the deck, if possible. If boards must be butted end-to-end, make sure to stagger the joints so they do not overlap from row to row.

 

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Continue to Step 1

Overview

Buy decking boards that are long enough to span the width of the deck, if possible. If boards must be butted end-to-end, make sure to stagger the joints so they do not overlap from row to row. Predrill the ends of boards to prevent screws or nails from splitting the wood.
Install decking so that there is a 1⁄8" gap between boards to provide drainage. Boards naturally “cup” as they age. Lay boards with the bark side facing down, so that the cupped surface cannot hold standing water.
General installation instructions for decking materials are shown here. Always follow the installation methods recommended by the manufacturer of the product you select.

What You'll Need

Tools:

Tape measure
Circular saw
Screwgun
Hammer
Drill
1⁄8" twist bit
Pry bar
Chalk line
Jigsaw or handsaw
Decking boards
21⁄2" corrosion-resistant deck screws
Galvanized common nails (8d, 10d)
Redwood or cedar facing boards

Materials:

Tape measure
Circular saw
Screwgun
Hammer
Drill
1⁄8" twist bit
Pry bar
Chalk line
Jigsaw or handsaw
Decking boards
21⁄2" corrosion-resistant deck screws
Galvanized common nails (8d, 10d)
Redwood or cedar facing boards

 

Step 1

How to Install Decking with Spiked Clips - Step 1

Drive a deck screw through the hole in the clip and down at an angle through the deck board and into the joist. One screw secures two deck boards at each joist location.


Step 2

How to Install Decking with Spiked Clips - Step 2

Set the adjacent deck board into place. Tap it against the clips to seat the spikes, using a scrap block and hand maul or sledge hammer.


Step 3

How to Install Decking with Biscuit-style Clips - Step 3

Cut a #20 biscuit slot into the edge of deck boards at each joist location using a biscuit joiner (plate joiner). Set the slot height so the bottom edge of the biscuit clip will touch the joist edge.


Step 4

How to Install Decking with Biscuit-style Clips - Step 4

Insert the biscuit clip into the slot. Drive a deck screw through the hole in the clip and down at an angle through the deck board and into the joist. One screw secures two deck boards at this joist location.


Step 5

How to Install Decking with Biscuit-style Clips - Step 5

Lay a bead of construction adhesive along the edge of the joist to keep it from squeaking later. Cut slots in the adjacent deck board and fit it over the clips of the previous board.


Step 6

Tip

The hidden fastener options shown here are excellent alternatives to conventional face-nailing or screwing methods. The biggest advantage is probably aesthetic: you don’t have to see row after row of fastener heads any longer with these new installation products. But there are other benefits to hidden fasteners as well. Face-screwed wood decking is more prone to rotting if water collects in the screw head pockets. If you nail the decking down, the nail heads can pop up as wood decking dries and contracts or moves. Hidden fasteners eliminate both of these problems.
If you use spike- or biscuit-style clip systems, be aware that you may need to remove large sections of deck boards in order to replace a damaged or defective board in the future, because the fasteners lock adjacent boards together and hide access to the fasteners.


Step 7

How to Install Decking with Undermount Deck Brackets - Step 7

Install the deck brackets along the top edge of each joist, alternating brackets from one side of the joist to the other in a continuous series. Secure the brackets with screws driven into the side of the joist.


Step 8

How to Install Decking with Undermount Deck Brackets - Step 8

Secure the deck boards by driving screws up through the bracket holes and into the joists. Depending on space constraints, these screws can be driven from above if necessary.


Step 9

How to Install Decking with Undermount Deck Brackets - Step 9

Continue installing all of the deck boards from below. When you reach the last board, you may need to install it from above for access reasons. Drive deck screws through the deck board and into the joists below. To maintain the hidden fastener appearance, counterbore the pilot holes for the screws and fill the counterbore with a plug cut from a piece of scrap decking.


Step 10

How to Install Decking with Undermount Clips - Step 10

Set a deck board into place on the joists, and slide a clip against it so the spacer tab touches the edge of the deck board. Drive a screw through the center hole of the clip and into the joist.


 
 

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