Air dried material is typically spaced at 1/8" edge to edge. Though not meant for structural purposes, these products are plenty strong for decking, fencing, and railings. 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. Though composite decking is more stable than regular pine, it still can break when driving fasteners close to the edges. Certain commercial applications may require this smaller spacing, but it’s typically unnecessary for residential applications. The desired spacing varies according to the brand of decking boards used. 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. and three-sixteenths of an inch (3/16 in.). In pursuit of the perfect deck, all Trex ® decking lines come with a hidden installation option. Falling Through the Cracks – Walking across a deck can prove hazardous if board spacing is too wide. Ripping a composite board (cutting lengthwise) is trickier. Two places our … amzn_assoc_emphasize_categories = "2619525011,1055398,2972638011,228013"; No spacing is required between ends of boards. Second, because composite decking expands in hot weather, the space ensures that extra stress won’t be placed on the fasteners. 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. With others, it’s best to simply view them as a new material. Composite decking brands also generally require 12 inches O.C.joist spacing for 45-degree or angled composite deck board applications. Besides creating a rougher finish, deep countersinking can reduce the effectiveness of the fastener and void the warranty. In general, first an aluminum or vinyl track is installed across the joists, and then top pieces are snapped into place. amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon"; The decking should be at the same temperature as the area where it will be installed. A hand coping saw will work well to smooth finished edges if needed. Adjust the spacing between deck boards gradually over the next 10 rows of decking until the distance to the house is equal. 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. A clean cut should not leave any loose material, but if you need to clean up an edge, do not use a sander. Fire Control – Deck boards that are widely spaced will spread fire more quickly. All deck boards must always be installed with a 6mm side-to-side gap. 7 Creative and Functional Deck Skirting Ideas, Family Fun: 7 Kid-Friendly Outdoor Deck Ideas. TimberTech PRO™ and TimberTech EDGE™ boards must be a minimum of 1/8” to a maximum of 3/16” deck board spacing. So, when would you ever need to use 12 inches OC? 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. Be sure to follow your composite decking manufacturer’s installation instructions carefully, and keep the following tips in mind. When designing a new trex or composite deck, the spacing between floor joists should be 12 inches on center. Proper spacing will allow some movement without buckling. Find Trex composite deck boards at Lowe's today. 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. He appeared for 3 seasons on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert for several years. 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. Tips for Properly Installing Composite Decking Joists. If you choose grooved Transcend for your deck, you have the option of using the exclusive Trex Secret Fix System. Carbide tipped blades are suggested—the fewer teeth the better for smooth cuts. 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 distance between two deck joists is measured in inches “on center”, commonly abbreviated as “OC”. 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. amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart"; 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"; Instead of pilot holes, some manufacturers suggest drilling a starter hole about 1/8 inch deep into the material. Vinyl decking is yet another low-maintenance option, although one that offers a particularly non-traditional deck. 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. This post may contain affiliate links. For example, towns that once required a maximum of 16” OC for composites may now require 12” OC. Q: What size gap between the boards? Pressure-treated lumber is rot-resistant, not rot-proof. 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. From an environmental standpoint, composite decking is considered a “green” product because it is constructed with recycled materials and is very durable. 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! 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. This will increase the longevity of the deck … If you’ve installed deck joists in the past, you can’t always rely on those same guidelines. HomeTips articles may contain links to Amazon.com and other partner programs that provide helpful products and services. This will increase the longevity of the deck and also prevent bowing during the hottest part of the day. 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. This can make cutting and securing more difficult. I am about to replace the 8 year old rotted treated boards with composite like the others and caulk it too. Be sure to gap the boards as previously described. 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. How to Butt Seams Find the Decks & Docks location nearest you or contact us online for shipping inquiries – we look forward to hearing from you! A power miter saw can provide very accurate, straight cuts, and a table saw with support extensions can make all types of cutting easier. Installation differs as well. The smaller the spacing, the longer your joists can span. Decks & Docks Lumber Company supplies the marine construction industry across Florida and the southeast U.S. 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. 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. amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "auto"; When you build a deck, spacing and sizing are both critical. Some may fade more than others. A: The Trex Hideaway hidden fastener will automatically create a 1/4” space between each decking board. Only every month or two. Without the right deck spacing, the boards may expand, cup, and buckle out of place. Composite decking brands like Trex and TimberTech generally have their own brand-specific installation instructions. What Does “On Center” Mean? are converted into composite decking, fencing, and similar outdoor materials by the U.S.’s largest manufacturer of these materials, Trex Company. The distance you choose affects the maximum span, or how long your joists can be without compromising the strength of the deck frame. Build your dream deck with Trex, the world's best high-performance composite decking brand. Quality products cost more than softwoods such as treated pine. First, it allows for proper drainage and keeps the deck cleaner, safer, and less prone to moisture problems. Trex Signature railing and Rod Rail are made to be installed at maximum 6' or 8' CLEAR SPAN BETWEEN POSTS. What’s really necessary? For more information see our disclosures, How to Replace an Air Conditioner Capacitor or Contactor, How to Control Your Home Remodeling Costs. 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. The majority of composite deck board brands including Trex, TimberTech, and more require deck joists spacing to be at 16 inches O.C. Don’t allow blades to get overly hot when cutting as this can cause cuts to be warped or wavy. Spacing on a deck refers to the small edge-to-edge gap between decking boards, not the ends of the boards. Join us to get great money-saving tips, cool ideas, and valuable advice from home improvement expert Don Vandervort! A tell-tale sign of a potential problem with the ledger board attachment is the … Most composite decking materials, like Trex composite decking, require minimum joist spacing for composite decking at 16" on center spacing for straight decking and 12" on center joist spacing for 45-degree angle diagonal decking. 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. Run String Lines to Ensure All Joists Are Level & In Plane. Basically, instead of measuring joists from edge to edge, you should measure them center to center. Again, treat the material just like you would soft pine. Some composites look like real wood—at least from a distance. Composite decking can mimic the look of natural wood. Some composite decking materials are designed to be installed with hidden fasteners. Your measurements and layout need to be accurate, not only for the primary deck surface but for the smaller parts, like your deck stairs. Many jurisdictions following the International Building Code, which requires a minimum 1/8-inch spacing between boards. 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. trex deck spacing between boards. Decking manufacturers may recommend anywhere between 12 and 16 inches for commercial decks and 12 to 24 inches for residential decks. That is unless you’re installing your deck at a 45-degree angle – in this case, 12 inches OC is recommended by most composite decking brands. Adjust the spacing between deck boards gradually over the next 10 rows of decking until the distance to the house is equal. As an Amazon Associate, HomeTips earns from qualifying purchases which allows us to continue creating helpful DIY content. There should always be a slight gap. Wider gaps permit more airflow, which feeds fire, and it also more likely to catch embers. How often? It is also important that all screws be secured at a 90-degree angle to the boards. As the composite decking heats up it not only expands but also becomes more pliable. AZEK Building Products Inc. accepts no liability or responsibility for the improper installation of this product. 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. More than 70 percent of recycled plastic bags (over 1.5 billion of them!) 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. Between end-to-end boards, allow a 3/16-inch space. Working in the morning when the material is still cool will make your work much easier. However, if you space your joists too close together, it will be difficult to install supporting elements such as joist hangers, blocking, and flashing. 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. That’s why the board ends should never be installed tight against one another. by Don Vandervort, HomeTips © 1997 to 2020. Most composite and PVC decking brands, like Trex and Azek, recommend a minimum joist spacing of 16 inches OC. amzn_assoc_default_category = "All"; Don Vandervort writes or edits every article at HomeTips. Caulking between the composite deck boards works if sloped right. amzn_assoc_linkid = "fed726c60c88d738e7784c819bb73fbc"; 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.) The eighth-inch spacing provides for a safer surface for walking. Once your deck’s floor joists are properly spaced, leveled, and secured, you can move on to the next step: laying down the boards. 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. Protect Joists From Rot. 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. 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. Unlike other deck boards, WearDeck resists stains from harsh substances like sunscreen and red wine. A house is only as strong as its foundation, and a deck is only as strong as its frame. Material required for each section in SF, LF and BF will be listed. Between end-to-end boards, allow a 3/16-inch space. 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. No Lag Head Screws. All deck boards must always be installed with a 3-5mm end-to-end or end-to-width gap between boards. Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Sitemap. Both sizes have their pros and cons. Solid “boards” are simpler to deal with, but heavy, hollow types are lighter but fussier to install. From frame to finish, Decks & Docks has everything you need to complete a composite decking project. After purchasing the material, store the composite decking flat and bundled, if possible, in the area where you will be cutting and installing it. This space is important for two reasons. Although they don't expand and contract as much as wood boards, composite boards need room to move. If you're building a deck, dock or seawall anywhere near water, come talk to us. While this gap is fairly small, it is still a crucial component to any good deck. 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. So, when would you ever need to use 12 inches OC? A: The Trex Hideaway hidden fastener will automatically create a 1/4” space between each decking board. 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. Extra spacing is also important between board ends and where boards meet a wall when decking runs perpendicular to the wall. ®HIDDEN FASTENING SYSTEM Installing Angled Deck Boards in Corners ALWAYS start in cornerwith a small triangular piece of decking at 45° and work outwards. Spacing Between Composite Deck Boards As Well Of Trex With Gap Plus within dimensions 2048 X 1536. Unsubscribe anytime! Even the most experienced carpenters have found that when the power saw’s blade heats up, it creates slight waves along the cut line. Composite decking won’t rot or splinter (an extra bonus for bare feet). Those railings are not true 6' (72") or 8' (96") in length. Pressure-treated lumber is typically installed without a gap since the boards will shrink when they dry, creating the appropriate spacing. For a cleaner finish, use hidden fasteners to install your composite deck boards instead of screws. This fact will greatly influence how you go about working with the material to reduce waste and make your project easier. on What’s the Proper Joist Spacing for Composite Decking? 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. When building your deck and railing, it is recommended that pressure treated wood be used as the framing and floor joists. But sometimes, they can be a bit unclear when it comes to a crucial component of your deck frame – joist spacing. 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. Shop composite deck boards and a variety of building supplies products online at Lowes.com. This means that any load bearing area will need to be framed and supported before the composite material can be attached. When securing the decking, it is important to leave adequate spacing between the boards for water to drain. Having appropriate spacing for your deck is important to allow for everything to expand and contract when the temperature fluctuates. Composite decking cannot be used as structural material. For families with young children, these synthetic boards have the additional advantage of being splinter-free. We are the experts in the niche of marine construction. 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