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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1

    Question New Deck Spacing ?????



    I just built on to my old deck with new (wet) treated wood.
    In laying the deck flooring, I put the boards together with no space between the boards. I have read that I should have left a little space between the boards. Which is right.
    Will I be sorry if I don't change this????
    What is likely to happen if I leave it the way it is????

    I live in Kansas with weather extremes.

    Thanks....

    Rex.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: New Deck Spacing ?????

    The idea of spacing the deck boards is to allow water to drain off the surface through the spacing also to allow room for expansion of the wood.

    The "wet" new lumber will eventually dry and shrink around 1/4 inch which will provide a spacing for the water drainage .... however ... usually when laying new decking a nail spacing is commonly used to provide the intermediate spacing for draining and expansion that may take place.

    It's hard to say but you might be ok with leaving them as is but if the decking expands too much and they are butted too tight .... they will buckle up.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: New Deck Spacing ?????

    My experience: you are safe with having no space between the boards when placed. Shrinkage will provide all the space you need for drainage and air circulation. One caution, and if already attached, well, it's too late: on the end of the boards, have the grain of the wood arched high in the middle, else wood will warp and edges will be higher than middle, causing a trough which will hold water.
    Last edited by alxzba; 07-04-2008 at 11:20 PM. Reason: clarification

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: New Deck Spacing ?????

    Quote Originally Posted by alxzba View Post
    My experience: you are safe with having no space between the boards when placed. Shrinkage will provide all the space you need for drainage and air circulation.
    Doesn't allow for expansion when the lumber is newly laid.


    One caution, and if already attached, well, it's too late: on the end of the boards, have the grain of the wood arched high in the middle, else wood will warp and edges will be higher than middle, causing a trough which will hold water.
    Having the growth rings ( bark side ) facing up used to be the norm.
    However ... with the 2nd and 3rd generation of fast growth lumber that method is hit and miss ... in my experience.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    246

    Default Re: New Deck Spacing ?????

    When we first move to NC, there are new home constructions being built next door.

    I often stop by and learn a thing or two. I notice when they were building new deck, they did not leave any gap between planks. They were using pressure treated wood.
    Two years later, the planks did shrink a lot, now it has 3/16" to 1/4" gap between planks.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: New Deck Spacing ?????

    hello...

    i recently bought a house and the deck that we have does not have spacing, and causes the "trough" effect.

    any ideas on how to either create spacing or to fix this with "minimal" cost?

    Thanks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    nova scotia, canada
    Posts
    1,522

    Default Re: New Deck Spacing ?????

    i build decks with pressure treated, cedar and composite.

    if im using pt or cedar i check how green the wood is. most fo the time the pt is fairly green and will "bleed" when fastening it. meaning that water and chemicals will squeeze out around the nail or screw. this is usually when i buy the lumber from a yard. in this situation i will lay the boards tight together. if the lumber comes from a big box store where the lumber is kept indoors i will space the boards the thickness ** my speed square blade. this will allow for some expansion.

    when im installing composite decking i specifically gap the boards 1/4" this product wont expand with moisture but with heat. in direct sunlight you can literally watch the planks grow in teh summer
    fire up the saw and make some dust

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