Author Topic: Decks (spacing of deck boards)  (Read 9308 times)

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Guest

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Decks (spacing of deck boards)
« on: August 14, 2007, 04:56:03 PM »
I'm creating a 3D (don't even start!) drawing of deck plan for my father.  What's the spacing between the boards.  I know they say "place a few nails between the existing board and the next, then nail the board down", but what's that dimension?  I'm being really anal about this one (just because I can!).  Space isn't an issue, so it's not like I have to be 100% accurate here.  It's more of a curiosity thing now that I've got this started.  Also, does anyone have any good ideas for a design for the deck boards?  I don't want to do the same ol' thing with the boards all running the same direction.  Also, there is going to be a little nook for the grill and another area for one of those gazebos that you buy at Target.

<side note> Anyone got any dynamic lumber blocks they'd like to share? </side note>


Josh Nieman

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Re: Decks (spacing of deck boards)
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2007, 05:05:26 PM »
I don't know how "official" the number is... when my dad and I built the deck on his house, we fabricated some steel guides using 1/4" plate with a stop on top, and a handle, so all we had to do was drop it on top of the first board, shove the next up against it, screw 'er down, and repeat.

Maverick®

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Re: Decks (spacing of deck boards)
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2007, 05:40:16 PM »
Are you using dimensional lumber or composite?

Maverick®

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Re: Decks (spacing of deck boards)
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2007, 05:43:06 PM »
  Having a fancy layout for deck boards looks great. But if you are going to be having them run every which way you are in for a ton of blocking.  Joist run one way, decking runs another.  You can run them at an angle to the joist but you will waste a lot of footage on those 45 dg (or whatever) cuts but it can look nice.

Greg B

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Re: Decks (spacing of deck boards)
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2007, 05:49:04 PM »
  Having a fancy layout for deck boards looks great. But if you are going to be having them run every which way you are in for a ton of blocking.  Joist run one way, decking runs another.  You can run them at an angle to the joist but you will waste a lot of footage on those 45 dg (or whatever) cuts but it can look nice.

You are thinking on a budget.


I dunno if there is a standard.  Might depend where you are.  If you have a lot of leaves, you may want a larger spacing so you can clean out the cracks easier.

Josh Nieman

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Re: Decks (spacing of deck boards)
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2007, 05:51:01 PM »
If we're thinking on budget... make 'em about 24" o.c.

That should be comfortable walking distance.

Strucmad

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Re: Decks (spacing of deck boards)
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2007, 05:52:58 PM »
Hardwood or Softwood timber species, softwood/treated pine - larger gap, more shrink/swell with moisture.

Here I think the standard is a couple of coins  :-D

Maverick®

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Re: Decks (spacing of deck boards)
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2007, 06:03:32 PM »
You are thinking on a budget.

I'm looking for more info.

  If you are using standard lumber....  When we build them here the boards are installed tight as you can get them.  After roughly a month you are left with a very nice uniform 3/16" to 1/4" gap.  (After the boards dry out.)  We have done it that way for a long time and it has always worked out nice.  I've seen decks where do-it-yourselfers have spaced them 1/4".  They end up with almost 1/2" between boards.  That is treated lumber.  If you are doing Cedar space them with a 16d nail (roughly 1/8").
 
  FWIW.  Your mileage may vary. Some settling may occur during shipping. Colors will vary from lot to lot. E pluribus unum.


PHX cadie

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Re: Decks (spacing of deck boards)
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2007, 06:06:00 PM »
Are you using dimensional lumber or composite?


Slight steal:

I started plans for a deck of mine and was told composites could not be used for structural members....true? ?
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Maverick®

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Re: Decks (spacing of deck boards)
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2007, 06:08:34 PM »
I haven't seen any composite structural yet.  I wouldn't be surprised if it's out there somewhere though.

IMO even the railing material they use is too flimsy.

Josh Nieman

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Re: Decks (spacing of deck boards)
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2007, 06:09:11 PM »
My dad's deck; we used treated cedar and it ended up being maybe 5/16" if it the gap grew at all.  FYI... just adding this one singular instance of a deck built in Missouri with one single type of wood by a couple people.

Maverick®

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Re: Decks (spacing of deck boards)
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2007, 06:11:49 PM »
They treat cedar down dere?

Strucmad

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Re: Decks (spacing of deck boards)
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2007, 06:15:51 PM »
Man that deck would look kewl if you sunk the gazebo floor area, like a conversation pit.....

Matt you going to help your old man build this  :-D

Bob Garner

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Re: Decks (spacing of deck boards)
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2007, 06:31:41 PM »
Maybe run the deck boards parallel for economy but get a router and cut a geometric design in the deck?  But don't cut it too deep into the decking.  You could cad-up a design to scale and lay out a grid on the deck to transfer the design.

We lined a bath surround with some kind of rigid composite material and routed out the outline of a sunfish.  Looked pretty good and was relatively simple.

Bo

Bob Garner

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Re: Decks (spacing of deck boards)
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2007, 06:53:36 PM »
I've seen some structural composite "lumber" that has fiberglass tendon reinforcing.  Although it's supposed to be as strong as wood, it's still more flexible.  Looks phony, too.