As a result, you may have to replace broken decking, or reinstall the boards with wider spacing … deck … Frame spacing for trex decking refers to the measurement of space that is required between floor joists. amzn_assoc_linkid = "fed726c60c88d738e7784c819bb73fbc"; 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. It also means fewer boards, which means less weight on the joists. Again, treat the material just like you would soft pine. The types of fasteners you choose can also affect deck spacing. How Do You Widen Space Between Deck Boards? amzn_assoc_enable_interest_ads = "true"; 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. Spacing Between Composite Deck Boards As Well Of Trex With Gap Plus within dimensions 2048 X 1536. Remember, pressure-treated wood is often sold wet, meaning it has not yet tried out from the chemical treatment it received. Trex has several different products. This will increase the longevity of the deck … And while KDAT is not as expensive as composite decking, it does come at a higher cost than regular pressure treated decking. For a more rigid feel, 12” or less may be preferred. While nails are good spacer options, they can also be difficult to work with. On the downside, composite decking is susceptible to stains (especially grease stains) and may fade over time. Extra spacing is also important between board ends and where boards meet a wall when decking runs perpendicular to the wall. Trex and … Some builders reduce joist spacing to 12" on center to strengthen the deck frame or to increase maximum allowable joist spans. The size of the gap you should use is also contingent on the type of decking material. This means KDAT can be installed with a 1/8-inch gap. Spacing between deck boards provide a few critical functions. The Saw Guide is $16.95 at the Lounsbury site. 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. Without gaps, the boards have nowhere to go when they expand, causing them to buckle and crack. Widht of TREX gap? When building your deck and railing, it is recommended that pressure treated wood be used as the framing and floor joists. 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. by Don Vandervort, HomeTips © 1997 to 2020. A: The Trex Hideaway hidden fastener will automatically create a 1/4” space between each decking board. The downside is, if you want a gap smaller or larger than 3/16 of an inch, you’re out of luck. Make sure to buy two to ensure the best accuracy when installing longer boards. 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. There is less of a hard-and-fast rule when it comes to this, but generally that space is anywhere between … The Trex air space under for . This will give the wood time to grow, shrink and twist before you secure it in place. While the gap in your deck boards may seem like a small step in a deck project, the gap size you choose serves a significant purpose. Learn the correct spacing measurements you need when laying your deck. The wider your joist spacing, the stronger decking board you need. This finishing touch is now available to match every Trex decking option—so whatever you choose, we’ve got you covered. This is a sustainable building material, made of recycled plastic and wood chips, which means that the use of our products can help reduce environmental pollution and prevent further … Though not meant for structural purposes, these products are plenty strong for decking, fencing, and railings.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'hometips_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_3',198,'0','0'])); Builders like composites because they are relatively easy to install–the materials are very consistent in size and quality, come in lengths up to 20 feet long, and are not prone to warping and cracking. Q: What size gap between the boards? Second, because composite decking expands in hot weather, the space ensures that extra stress won’t be placed on the fasteners. what are the pros and . 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. Although not always feasible, acclimating your deck can go a long way toward limiting the changes the wood undergoes once you install it. As an Amazon Associate, HomeTips earns from qualifying purchases which allows us to continue creating helpful DIY content. This can make cutting and securing more difficult. More than 70 percent of recycled plastic bags (over 1.5 billion of them!) Samples available in store. 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 . The Trex deck boards can be cut and carved like timber without the need to use any special tools. 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. Quarter-inch spacing does allow for better ventilation, drainage and debris removal. Earth Friendly With careful consideration and a little planning, you can ensure the boards on your deck are spaced perfectly. It is important to recognize that composite decking expands and contracts with heat and cold. HomeTips articles may contain links to Amazon.com and other partner programs that provide helpful products and services. A perfect finish with Trex Hideaway ® Secret Fixings. Then vary the gaps between the boards as you move to the wall to square the deck to the house. It should be noted that KDAT does need to be immediately stained and sealed after installation to protect it from the sun. If you’re trying to create a 1/4” gap, try 1/4-inch thick plywood. This precision also creates perfectly consistent spacing between the boards for a flawless look across the entire deck… A 1/8” gap can easily be accomplished through the use of an 8d nail. It is a great irony that the bulk of deck building happens when the thermometer passes 90 degrees. With this in mind, consider using screws over nails. But most decks need and can achieve spacing between the deck boards for drainage. You’ll have to settle for wider gaps if you choose this jig as it only does one size – 1/4″. Make Space in Moist Areas – If you live where there is a fair amount of moisture in the air the boards will swell. If the boards are running out of kilter by more than 5/16”, it’s important to immediately correct them. Larger gaps, such as 1/4”, allow more of this material to fall through the deck. The primary function is to drain water from the deck. The underneath the boards are very wet. JIG-A-DECK’s spacer and alignment guide for decks. If you’ve ever wondered what becomes of your recycled grocery bags, check out your neighbor’s deck—it might be made of them. Some brands, like WearDeck , let you get away with more – reinforced with a layer of fiberglass on both the top and bottom, WearDeck boards easily allow for spans of 24 inches OC. Annotated decking diagram. Don Vandervort has developed his expertise for more than 30 years, as Building Editor for Sunset Books, Senior Editor at Home Magazine, author of more than 30 home improvement books, and writer of countless magazine articles. This space is important for two reasons. Do not overdrive double thread screws. When deck boards are too tight, water will not be able to drain, causing the wood to rot over time. Cut a narrow strip of plywood, then slide the strip between your deck boards to create an even gap. Gaps that are too small will trap debris, creating an environment for rot. He is passionately interested in home improvement, renovation and woodworking. If you do have to rip, put the rough, exposed cut side where flaws will be least noticeable. Make sure you are using enough fasteners to make your decking stay put. When using grooved-edge boards, our secret fixing system installs between the deck boards, fastening them to the joists with no visible screw heads on the walking surface. Finally, wood species can also impact spacing. Without the right deck spacing, the boards may expand, cup, and buckle out of place. Determining the gap with pressure-treated decking can be a bit more complicated. Try a speed square. If you are planning on using one of these systems, check to make sure the one you choose offers the spacing you want before committing to it. From an environmental standpoint, composite decking is considered a “green” product because it is constructed with recycled materials and is very durable. Just like that, you’re installed—with decking handrails and balustrade next on the list. This means that any load bearing area will need to be framed and supported before the composite material can be attached. Wood species commonly used as decking on patios and decks … We recommend that all boards are trimmed before being installed to ensure a straight and clean edge. Even the most experienced carpenters have found that when the power saw’s blade heats up, it creates slight waves along the cut line. While this gap is fairly small, it is still a crucial component to any good deck. But most decks need and can achieve spacing between the deck boards for drainage. Whenever possible, try to avoid ripping composite decking and use full boards for your surface. Simply slide the square into place between the boards. Trex. Nails fall through cracks as you’re working the boards into place. Cover the decking edges. Deck boards are thin so they can’t safely span longer distances than 16″. Laying out the first joist position on an angle. Then consider investing in a professional spacing tool. Composite decking and deck hardware has come a long way. amzn_assoc_emphasize_categories = "2619525011,1055398,2972638011,228013"; To ensure a perfect looking deck, Trex Hidden Fastener clips are the perfect choice to ensure a flawlessly looking deck. In pursuit of the perfect deck, all Trex ® decking lines come with a hidden installation option. and see "HS" in that code. The innovative Trex Hideaway Secret Fixings are an option with grooved-edge boards for perfectly consistent spacing and no visible screws on top. 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. A 1/8” gap can easily be accomplished through the use of an 8d nail. 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. Make sure to consider the properties of the wood you are using when considering what size gap to use. Spacing Between Composite Deck Boards As Well Of Trex With Gap Plus within dimensions 2048 X 1536. Your measurements and layout need to be accurate, not only for the primary deck surface but for the smaller parts, like your deck stairs. Spacing on Deck Boards in a Humid Area The summer heatwave is in full effect across most of the country, and we continue to sell a lot of Ipe decking . If you’re looking for a quick fix, try using a chisel to give you leverage. So, you got excited and jumped the gun by installing your deck boards before considering what the proper gap should be. The gaps allow rain and snow to drain through rather than a puddle on your deck, resulting in an unsafe walking surface, and the growth of mold and mildew. amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon"; If your deck is slightly out of square (different widths), calculate results for both widths, and set out each end to suit. Deck spacing isn’t anything to take lightly. When you get about five feet from the wall, measure the remaining width at both the ends and the center. That’s why stretching a string across the joist spacing for composite deck boards can help detect spots that may be higher than others. HomeTips.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Thanks! Only every month or two. 6 Trerx.comet1x-.8m1e TREX TRANSCEND®, TREX ENHANCE®, AND TREX SELECT® CARE AND CLEANING GUIDE All exterior building materials require cleaning. Call a Trex RainEscape Specialist at 1-877-348-1385 for recommendations. 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. Redwood can be spaced similarly to cedar. As the composite decking heats up it not only expands but also becomes more pliable. 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. When installing the decking, make sure to start on the outside edge of the board and work toward the house. Within a given wood species or decking product, the thicker the board, the stronger it becomes, relatively speaking. When using grooved-edge boards, our hidden fastening system installs between the deck boards, fastening them to the joists … Spacing between composite deck boards is a new type of construction material that has become increasingly popular in recent years. Spacing on a deck refers to the small edge-to-edge gap between decking boards, not the ends of the boards. Trex expands quite a bit due to sunlight and temperatures, maybe when you inspected it was warm and expanded. 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. Installed between the grooved boards, the secret fixing system fastens to the joists to ensuring no screws are visible on the surface of the deck. With your spacer in place, pull the handle of the chisel to you to bring the board tight against the spacer. 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. Account for this in the spacing by giving it a little more room between boards. Written by: Kelvin O'Donahue. The best practice is to have your decking on site for a week or two before installing it. Trex Hideaway ® Hidden Fastening System. Exterior Inspections. Over months, treated wood will dry out and contract. A: The Trex Hideaway hidden fastener will automatically create a 1/4” space between each decking board. The spacing between the sides of the boards is 1/4" minimum in the summer, when the boards are warm, and 3/8" in the winter, when the boards are cool. With this in mind, wet wood should be installed butted together as a gap will be created as the wood dries and shrinks. Not to mention, the hidden deck fastener system allowed for a sleek finish and perfectly consistent spacing between boards. 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. New styles also have fire prevention technology incorporated into the composite, which reduces the risk of house fire during cookouts and makes them less of a fire hazard where wild fires can be a threat. Deck board spacing tools are designed to make the decking installation process faster by eliminating those problems. 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. The guide is designed with grooves that slide into the gaps in your deck, allowing you to make an even cut along each board and widen the gap. This is especially useful when having to tweak your spacing to square your boards. Vinyl decking is yet another low-maintenance option, although one that offers a particularly non-traditional deck. The decking should be at the same temperature as the area where it will be installed. Lay the boards in place, using several 8d nails as spacers. Once installed, treated wood will dry out for a few months, which will cause it to shrink. size gap between the boards? Adjust the spacing between deck boards gradually over the next 10 rows of decking until the distance to the house is equal. 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. In general, first an aluminum or vinyl track is installed across the joists, and then top pieces are snapped into place. or 12″ o.c. KDAT decking has been dried in a large oven or kiln to remove excess moisture from the wood. Trex Hideaway® Hidden Fasteners In pursuit of the perfect deck, all Trex® decking lines come with a hidden installation option. A door that might work just fine in the winter may in the summer swell and not close properly in its door frame. If the gap in between the deck boards is too narrow use the Saw Guide by Lounsbury Products. The tool automatically creates 3/16-inch spacing. Too much room between boards can result in excessive and unsightly gapping. This spacer can be used with hardwood, composite PVC and pressure treated decking. Smaller gaps also mean your deck won’t drain quite as well as a deck with larger gaps. 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. Each ring has a large handle that makes it easy to grip between your fingers. 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. Is ripping up the boards and doing a full reinstall your only option? Between end-to-end boards, allow a 3/16-inch space. amzn_assoc_default_category = "All"; Don Vandervort writes or edits every article at HomeTips. All deck boards must always be installed with a 6mm side-to-side gap. This helps to keep your deck’s framework dry and rot free. Would you call out the spacing between these TREX boards? Specific Inspection Topics. Using composite deck screws is critical because they are specially designed to help hold the material in place. 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. 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. The last board won’t look good if it’s skinny or cut at an angle. The kit includes two different sizes of spacer rings that easily slide into the spaces between your decking without falling through. Perhaps the most serious limiting factor is cost. Then use your other hand to drive in the screw or nail. Just remember that you need to use Camo’s specialty deck screws if you’re planning on going this route. usin g ti ger claw with no gap between the boards. 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. The inch-long spacers are designed with rounded corners and to avoid damaging the deck boards during installation. This makes the wood less susceptible to cupping, warping, expanding and contracting that wet wood typically undergoes. This … How often? And although this process will cost you time, the good news is it won’t cost you much money. Though composite decking is more stable than regular pine, it still can break when driving fasteners close to the edges. 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. Also, keep in mind that this is an entire hidden fastener system, so the price point will be higher. Deck de Madeira image by CarlosNeto from Fotolia.com. Both sizes have their pros and cons. Sanders will mar the finish and in many cases void your warranty. What do you do? Fasteners are what hold boards in place, resisting their efforts to bend and move as the humidity changes. what are the pros and . 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. Should they butt up against each other, or do you need a gap? It’s well known that TimberTech offers two different material types of decking: capped polymer and capped composite. 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. 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. Trex and several other manufacturers, including Weyerhauser and TimberTech, combine landfill-bound plastic, wood scrap, and sawdust into low-maintenance outdoor materials that imitate the look of wood somewhat convincingly but are far superior to natural wood in their ability to stand-up against the damaging effects of sun, rain, salt air, and insects. 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. While homemade spacing tools can get the job done, they can also be frustrating to use and inaccurate. Unsubscribe anytime! Working in the morning when the material is still cool will make your work much easier. If you live in an area that sees wide changes in humidity, you’ll need to pay attention to these factors. Chances are slim that you'll look at the date code of your Trex boards (2X6 ONLY!!) They grow in the heat … If you fail to space your boards properly, the consequences can be significant. Apply force to ensure board is fully installed engaging boards with 1/4” bump-stop tab. Deck joist spacing should never exceed 16” on center (with the exception of MAX deck boards, which allow for maximum 24" on center). Simply attach the tool to a perpendicular joist and give it a pull close gaps up to two inches big. One of the most popular options for homeowners in the past 20 years has been composite … 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 underneath the boards … Due to the uniformity of the fastenings, using the hidden fixings gives a precise and consistent spacing between the boards … While this gap is fairly small, it is still a crucial component to any good deck. The cool thing about this tool is that it allows you to get exact spacing while at the same time installing your fasteners, saving you a significant amount of time. The most common spacing measurement between deck boards is 1/8 inch. Conversely, the stronger your decking board, (based on MOR and thickness), the wider the joist spacing you can afford. There is 5/4, which needs to be supported every 16" (max. Gaps that are too large are unsightly, cause tripping hazards and make your deck more susceptible to fire. 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. Q: How do I use the Trex Groove Cutter to route non-grooved deck boards? Expert advice on how to install and work with TREX and other composite decking materials, how to cut and fasten TREX, and framing for composite decking. Pre-drilling pilot holes can prevent this from happening and make installation go much faster and smoother. Whether you choose 1/8” or 1/4” spacing, there are a variety of ways to achieve uniform spacing between your deck boards. Would you call out the spacing between these TREX boards? But as you install that first and second boards, you suddenly find yourself in a quandary. Lay the boards in place, using several 8d nails as spacers. The Trex RainEscape system cannot support body weight. 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. The Trex Hidden Fasteners work well to secure each board and maintain the proper spacing. Whether to leave a gap between pressure treated wood deck boards depends on how dry the wood you’re using is. These clip systems generally are screwed into to the deck frame across each joist … Between end-to-end boards, allow a 3/16-inch space. Now you’ve ended up with a gap that is too small. One solution is to “picture frame” the deck by installing Trex deck boards around the perimeter. 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. Nails can easily slip out of your fingers or between the boards and onto the earth below. 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