Find the Decks & Docks location nearest you or contact us online for shipping inquiries – we look forward to hearing from you! Unlike other deck boards, WearDeck resists stains from harsh substances like sunscreen and red wine. 4. How Far Apart Should You Place Floor Joists on a Composite Deck? As the composite decking heats up it not only expands but also becomes more pliable. Decking manufacturers may recommend anywhere between 12 and 16 inches for commercial decks and 12 to 24 inches for residential decks. Composite materials have changed drastically over the years, improving in both performance and appearance. Spacing on a deck refers to the small edge-to-edge gap between decking boards, not the ends of the boards. A: The Trex Hideaway hidden fastener will automatically create a 1/4” space between each decking board. A clean cut should not leave any loose material, but if you need to clean up an edge, do not use a sander. Though composite decking is more stable than regular pine, it still can break when driving fasteners close to the edges. One of the most critical steps for properly securing composite decking in place is to make sure you have a 1/4-inch to 3/16-inch gap between the decking boards (don’t exceed 1/2 inch). The smaller the spacing, the longer your joists can span. Vinyl decking is yet another low-maintenance option, although one that offers a particularly non-traditional deck. Having appropriate spacing for your deck is important to allow for everything to expand and contract when the temperature fluctuates. 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. Don founded HomeTips in 1996. amzn_assoc_default_category = "All"; Don Vandervort writes or edits every article at HomeTips. Carbide tipped blades are suggested—the fewer teeth the better for smooth cuts. Some composites look like real wood—at least from a distance. 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. We are the experts in the niche of marine construction. That will depend upon air temperature at the time of installation (Read this to learn more). Pressure-treated lumber is typically installed without a gap since the boards will shrink when they dry, creating the appropriate spacing. Only every month or two. First, it allows for proper drainage and keeps the deck cleaner, safer, and less prone to moisture problems. This means that any load bearing area will need to be framed and supported before the composite material can be attached. But they last longer with far less maintenance, so this premium is offset by their durability.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'hometips_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_4',600,'0','0'])); Composites come in both solid and hollow-core versions. 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. Pressure-treated lumber is rot-resistant, not rot-proof. 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. Most composite and PVC decking brands, like Trex and Azek, recommend a minimum joist spacing of 16 inches OC. A power miter saw can provide very accurate, straight cuts, and a table saw with support extensions can make all types of cutting easier. If you’re not satisfied with the color choices, or if you would like your deck to match your house, most products can be stained or painted, as specified by the manufacturer. I sloped mine 1" on 6' On one deck I have plastic panels under it and that was a bad idea cause the mains and underside cant breath and is rotting. When building your deck and railing, it is recommended that pressure treated wood be used as the framing and floor joists. Q: What size gap between the boards? Fastening from the side can cause dimpling in the composite surface and mar the finish.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'hometips_com-large-mobile-banner-1','ezslot_3',633,'0','0'])); Composite decking is a great alternative to traditional wood decking, but does have some limitations. Again, treat the material just like you would soft pine. (on center) for standard straight composite decking installation. How much of a gap? The distance you choose affects the maximum span, or how long your joists can be without compromising the strength of the deck frame. This space is important for two reasons. 1 Box covers 50 square feet and 1 Bucket can cover 500 square feet. Extra spacing is also important between board ends and where boards meet a wall when decking runs perpendicular to the wall. Working in the morning when the material is still cool will make your work much easier. HomeTips articles may contain links to Amazon.com and other partner programs that provide helpful products and services. If you’ve ever wondered what becomes of your recycled grocery bags, check out your neighbor’s deck—it might be made of them. So, when would you ever need to use 12 inches OC? The distance between two deck joists is measured in inches “on center”, commonly abbreviated as “OC”. Ripping a composite board (cutting lengthwise) is trickier. AZEK Building Products Inc. accepts no liability or responsibility for the improper installation of this product. When securing the decking, it is important to leave adequate spacing between the boards for water to drain. Installation differs as well. Page 2 AZEK® Deck/Rim Joist Covers should be installed using the same good building principals used to install wood or composite decking and in accordance with the local building codes and the installation guidelines included below. Select a bit size that is the same diameter as the screw’s inner core and take care not to go too deep into the material. It is important to recognize that composite decking expands and contracts with heat and cold. There is less of a hard-and-fast rule when it comes to this, but generally that space is anywhere between one-eighth of an inch (1/8 in.) From frame to finish, Decks & Docks has everything you need to complete a composite decking project. Spacing and Layout. Falling Through the Cracks – Walking across a deck can prove hazardous if board spacing is too wide. Proper spacing will allow some movement without buckling. Join us to get great money-saving tips, cool ideas, and valuable advice from home improvement expert Don Vandervort! 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. The Trex Hideaway Hidden Fasteners automatically measure the 6mm gap between grooved edge boards but you must still ensure the 6mm gap with the square edge boards. ®HIDDEN FASTENING SYSTEM Installing Angled Deck Boards in Corners ALWAYS start in cornerwith a small triangular piece of decking at 45° and work outwards. December 2, 2020 Uncategorized. amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon"; and three-sixteenths of an inch (3/16 in.). Between end-to-end boards, allow a 3/16-inch space. Making strong, durable steps up to your deck requires careful measurement of the rise of each step, plotted together as one slope. Composite decking cannot be used as structural material. 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. Run String Lines to Ensure All Joists Are Level & In Plane. It is also important that all screws be secured at a 90-degree angle to the boards. 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. The desired spacing varies according to the brand of decking boards used. For families with young children, these synthetic boards have the additional advantage of being splinter-free. amzn_assoc_linkid = "fed726c60c88d738e7784c819bb73fbc"; This can make cutting and securing more difficult. Though there are building codes dictating many aspects of deck construction to insure the finished deck is safe and solid, there is no specific distance required for the spacing of screws attaching deck boards to the joists. Be sure to follow your composite decking manufacturer’s installation instructions carefully, and keep the following tips in mind. So, when would you ever need to use 12 inches OC? In general, first an aluminum or vinyl track is installed across the joists, and then top pieces are snapped into place. Pre-drilling pilot holes can prevent this from happening and make installation go much faster and smoother. Between end-to-end boards, allow a 3/16-inch space. If you do have to rip, put the rough, exposed cut side where flaws will be least noticeable.eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'hometips_com-box-4','ezslot_0',602,'0','0'])); If installing the decking around an existing structure, a simple router can be used to make curved cuts. When designing a new trex or composite deck, the spacing between floor joists should be 12 inches on center. Composite decking, which is made from a combination of wood and plastic, lasts longer than traditional wood because it’s less prone to rotting, splintering, and insect damage. After weighing the options, you’ve decided you want to use composite material to build your deck. Generally, an acceptable gap between deck boards is between 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch. No Lag Head Screws. A: The Trex Hideaway hidden fastener will automatically create a 1/4” space between each decking board. When you build a deck, spacing and sizing are both critical. Countersink the screws but no deeper than the screw’s head. 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. Composite decking such as Trex can be cut, drilled, and fastened just like traditional wood, but there are a few tricks you should know to make your project easier, and provide a more professional finish. amzn_assoc_region = "US"; But sometimes, they can be a bit unclear when it comes to a crucial component of your deck frame – joist spacing. 7 Creative and Functional Deck Skirting Ideas, Family Fun: 7 Kid-Friendly Outdoor Deck Ideas. Caulking between the composite deck boards works if sloped right. If you're building a deck, dock or seawall anywhere near water, come talk to us. amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "auto"; This post may contain affiliate links. Don has:• Over 30 years’ experience as a remodeler and builder.• Written more than 30 home improvement books.• Served as Senior Editor at Home Magazine.• Appeared as a segment host on HGTV’s “The Fix” for 3 seasons.• Been a featured expert on MSN.com, US News, and many others.• Learn more about the trusted HomeTips brand! If the gap in between the deck boards is too narrow use the Saw Guide by Lounsbury Products. Two places our … As temperatures fluctuate, composite deck boards will naturally experience thermal expansion and contraction. Composite deck screws are designed so that they do not push the material out and will create a much more uniform and tight fit. That’s why the board ends should never be installed tight against one another. by Don Vandervort, HomeTips © 1997 to 2020. Wider gaps permit more airflow, which feeds fire, and it also more likely to catch embers. In pursuit of the perfect deck, all Trex ® decking lines come with a hidden installation option. The eighth-inch spacing provides for a safer surface for walking. Be sure to check with the manufacturers instructions when planning the substructure of your composite deck—proper sizing and spacing of beams and joists is essential.amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit0"; Certain commercial applications may require this smaller spacing, but it’s typically unnecessary for residential applications. Tips for Properly Installing Composite Decking Joists. Adjust spacing between deck boards Measure to the house at both ends and in the center when you get within about 5 ft. of the wall. Protect Joists From Rot. 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. Unsubscribe anytime! Perhaps the most serious limiting factor is cost. are converted into composite decking, fencing, and similar outdoor materials by the U.S.’s largest manufacturer of these materials, Trex Company. Many jurisdictions following the International Building Code, which requires a minimum 1/8-inch spacing between boards. Whenever possible, try to avoid ripping composite decking and use full boards for your surface. He appeared for 3 seasons on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert for several years. The goal is to have about an 1/8-inch gap (the diameter of an 8d nail) between boards after the decking has dried to its equilibrium moisture content. Quality products cost more than softwoods such as treated pine. When it's hot there is a different spacing than if it's cooler. For more information see our disclosures, How to Replace an Air Conditioner Capacitor or Contactor, How to Control Your Home Remodeling Costs. If the joists are not all the same exact height, the deck’s surface will be uneven. Finally, you can add the finishing touches – posts, railing, skirting, and anything else you can dream of. Complete your yard with our framing, railing, & lighting. Material required for each section in SF, LF and BF will be listed. Discover … A hand coping saw will work well to smooth finished edges if needed. From our slip-resistant wood grain to our 25-year UV Protection Package, we designed WearDeck to meet all your decking needs. The decking should be at the same temperature as the area where it will be installed. If the decking material begins to get warm to the touch as the day goes on, you may want to stop work and continue the project the next morning. Composite decking won’t rot or splinter (an extra bonus for bare feet). No spacing is required between ends of boards. From an environmental standpoint, composite decking is considered a “green” product because it is constructed with recycled materials and is very durable. How to Butt Seams Trex Signature railing and Rod Rail are made to be installed at maximum 6' or 8' CLEAR SPAN BETWEEN POSTS. Install Trex Hideaway fasteners 13 mm off center to keep fastener screws in middle of joists. 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. A house is only as strong as its foundation, and a deck is only as strong as its frame. trex deck spacing between boards. Whether you're a homeowner, contractor, marina, or golf course, you can trust that we have the most knowledge, the best products, and the highest level of service in the southeast. on What’s the Proper Joist Spacing for Composite Decking? What Does “On Center” Mean? Repeat the process for each board until the outside edge of the finial board is fastened with screws. I am about to replace the 8 year old rotted treated boards with composite like the others and caulk it too. But to truly get the most out of your new composite deck, you have to start with a strong frame. Before installing any decking, run string … NOTE: Trex Transcend and Select horizontal railings are made to be installed at maximum of 6' (1.83 m) or 8' (2.44 m) on center (depending upon type of railing you choose). How often? amzn_assoc_fallback_mode = {"type":"search","value":"cutoff saw"}; Basically, instead of measuring joists from edge to edge, you should measure them center to center. For example, towns that once required a maximum of 16” OC for composites may now require 12” OC. With composites, you can typically trust brand guidelines but should make adjustments depending on the angle and span of your deck. More than 70 percent of recycled plastic bags (over 1.5 billion of them!) 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. Your deck can begin to fail prematurely if the framing is weak. Spacing Between Composite Deck Boards As Well Of Trex With Gap Plus within dimensions 2048 X 1536. If the floor joists that span the length of your deck are installed too far apart, the boards on top will sag. Fire Control – Deck boards that are widely spaced will spread fire more quickly. Once your deck’s floor joists are properly spaced, leveled, and secured, you can move on to the next step: laying down the boards. Sanders will mar the finish and in many cases void your warranty. The last board won’t look good if … On the downside, composite decking is susceptible to stains (especially grease stains) and may fade over time. Some composite decking materials are designed to be installed with hidden fasteners. Be sure to gap the boards as previously described. 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. Some may fade more than others. Using composite deck screws is critical because they are specially designed to help hold the material in place. After purchasing the material, store the composite decking flat and bundled, if possible, in the area where you will be cutting and installing it. 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. In this guide, we’ll go over the proper joist spacing for composite decking as well as some common installation mistakes you should avoid. Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Sitemap. Composite decking brands also generally require 12 inches O.C.joist spacing for 45-degree or angled composite deck board applications. Find Trex composite deck boards at Lowe's today. Solid “boards” are simpler to deal with, but heavy, hollow types are lighter but fussier to install. Q: How do I use the Trex Groove Cutter to route non-grooved deck boards? Adjust the spacing between deck boards gradually over the next 10 rows of decking until the distance to the house is equal. For a cleaner finish, use hidden fasteners to install your composite deck boards instead of screws. If you were to draw a line down the center of two joists and then measure the distance between them as 16 inches, that measurement is 16 inches on center. While this gap is fairly small, it is still a crucial component to any good deck. amzn_assoc_emphasize_categories = "2619525011,1055398,2972638011,228013"; Composite decking can mimic the look of natural wood. It’s common sense that the less space there is between joists, the sturdier your deck will be. Most composite and PVC decking brands, like Trex and Azek, recommend a minimum joist spacing of 16 inches OC. This wood is protected against the elements and insects and will provide a solid support for your decking material. Composite decking tends to grow and shrink across the length of the boards as it heats and cools. A tell-tale sign of a potential problem with the ledger board attachment is the … This will increase the longevity of the deck and also prevent bowing during the hottest part of the day. amzn_assoc_enable_interest_ads = "true"; 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. The majority of composite deck board brands including Trex, TimberTech, and more require deck joists spacing to be at 16 inches O.C. For installations where deck boards are butted end-to-end at the joist, we recommend adding an 8" block and using a Veranda hidden fastener clip at the end of each board. 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. TimberTech PRO™ and TimberTech EDGE™ boards must be a minimum of 1/8” to a maximum of 3/16” deck board spacing. Although they don't expand and contract as much as wood boards, composite boards need room to move. amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart"; Adjust the spacing between deck boards gradually over the next 10 rows of decking until the distance to the house is equal. 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. As an Amazon Associate, HomeTips earns from qualifying purchases which allows us to continue creating helpful DIY content. A few extra hours perfecting your deck frame can mean extra years on the life of your deck, so it pays to take your time. Decks & Docks Lumber Company supplies the marine construction industry across Florida and the southeast U.S. The other relevant spacing number when it comes to building a deck or porch is how much room should be between the actual decking boards themselves. Our selection of marine-grade composite decking materials are a favorite of homeowners and seasoned contractors alike, and with a wide variety of accessories, railing styles, and hardware, you won’t have to look anywhere else. The gap in between the deck and also prevent bowing during the hottest part of the deck s! ( 72 '' ) or 8 ' CLEAR span between POSTS an bonus... Between two deck joists spacing to be installed with hidden fasteners to your... 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