Laying Decking Part 2 of 5
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
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.
Composite Decking - Step 1
Lay composite decking as you would wood decking. Position with the factory crown up so water will run off, and space rows 1⁄8" to 1⁄4" apart for drainage.
Composite Decking - Step 2
Predrill pilot holes at 3⁄4 the diameter of the fasteners, but do not countersink. Composite materials allow fasteners to set themselves. Use spiral shank nails, hot-dipped galvanized ceramic coated screws, or stainless steel nails or deck screws.
Composite Decking - Step 3
Alternate method: Attach composite decking with self-tapping composite screws. These specially designed screws require no pilot holes. If the decking “mushrooms” over the screw head, use a hammer to tap back in place.
Composite Decking - Step 4
Lay remaining decking. For boards 16-ft. or shorter, leave a gap at deck ends and any butt joints, 1⁄16" for every 20°F difference between the temperature at the time of installation and the expected high temperature for the year.
Tongue-and-groove Decking - Step 5
Position starter strip at far end of deck. Make sure it is straight and properly aligned. Attach with 2 1⁄2" galvanized deck screws driven into the lower runner found under the lip of the starter strip.
Tongue-and-groove Decking - Step 6
Fit tongue of a deck board into groove of starter strip. There will be approximately a 1⁄4" gap between the deck board and the starter strip. Fasten the deck board to the joists with 2 1⁄2" galvanized deck screws, working from the middle out to the sides of the deck.
Tongue-and-groove Decking - Step 7
Continue to add decking. To lay deck boards end-to-end, leave a 1⁄8" gap between them, and make sure any butt joints are centered over a joist.
Tongue-and-groove Decking - Step 8
Place final deck board and attach with 2 1⁄2" galvanized deck screws driven through top of the deck board into the joist. If necessary, rip final board to size, then support the board with a length of 1 x 1 and attach both to the joist. Attach facing boards to conceal exposed ends.
T-clip Decking - Step 9
Insert 2" galvanized deck screws into T-clips. Loosely attach one T-clip to the ledger at each joist location.
T-clip Decking - Step 10
Position a deck board tight against the T-clips. Loosely attach T-clips against bottom lip on front side of deck board, just tight enough to keep the board in place. Fully tighten T-clips at back of board, against the house.