at 45°. UK Composite Decking is inherently a very low maintenance product. 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 extreme climates now experienced in many parts of the country demand that anything built outside must be made from rugged materials able to withstand sub-freezing temperatures, heavy snow, wind-driven moisture, and extended periods of high heat and humidity. Deck boards (including perimeter boards used for picture-framing) should be installed so they extend past the outer rim joists by less than 2” lengthwise and 1” width wise. Use three fasteners, equally spaced across the width of the fascia board at the top, middle and bottom locations of the board (2 fasteners for riser boards) and spaced approximately every 12” along the length of the board. The most common mistake we see with fascia installation is the practice of extending the fascia to cover the ends of the decking boards. Remember to factor all necessary expansion gaps into your plans. Use three fasteners, equally spaced across the width of the fascia board at the top, middle and bottom locations of the board (2 fasteners for riser boards) and spaced approximately every 12” along the length of the board. » Note, Trex fascia has to be gapped width-to-width and end-to-end the same as Trex decking. The primary function is to drain water from the deck. Enhance the beauty and functionality of your space; Hyperion board gap inserts prevent valuable loss between decking boards and can be inserted with ease. Notch your composite decking material around rail posts. How much of a gap? Decking around an inside rail post. Slide the scraper straight along each gap, working the material out slowly to avoid damaging the flooring. This space is important for two reasons. But to truly get the most out of your new composite deck, you have to start with a strong frame. Installing composite decking can’t be done like wood decking where you can slam it tight together when it’s still green and then shrinks as it dries. It is important to leave gaps between boards when installing your composite decking, but the size of the gap you choose can vary. Solid composite deck boards require a 6mm expansion gap along the length of the deck boards and a 3mm gap along the ends of the deck boards. Create adequate ventilation for the deck by widening side-to-side spacing between boards to ¼ inch (6 cm) with a maximum of 3/8 inch (9.5 mm) gap. DuraLife’s ColorLock™ Multi-Layered Finishing System also helps protect against discoloration because composite material is completely uniform from one side of the board to the other. Allow a 10mm expansion gap between the ends of boards Super Deck hidden fasten clips will allow a minimum 5mm gap between composite boards (side to side) to ensure proper drainage and ventilation and to assist with the removal of small organic debris. Providing a clean and smooth finish, the fasteners remain hidden from view once secured in position, and the practical 6mm drainage gaps between boards left by the fasteners allow space for a drill or screwdriver for easy installation. Another mistake to avoid when installing composite decking is spacing the joists too far apart. Having a proper gap between boards is very important. While the advancements in screw technology have improved their ability to be installed without stripping, screws can still be difficult to work with – especially with composite deck installations. As with any lumber, minimizing exposure to moisture is key to maintaining a solid, strong bond with the home. However, you must keep it clean, free from debris/litter and maintain the ventilation & drainage gaps in between the boards and at the ends of the boards, especially where they butt up to another board or a … Capped polymer and capped composite deck boards, on the other hand, are installed at a minimum 1/8” gap between boards because they won’t shrink from drying like pressure-treated decking. This makes DuraLife exceptionally resistant to staining and fading compared to older generations of composite decking from other manufacturers. Our Elite™ product range can also utilise stainless clips that are designed to fix a deck with 3mm between boards. Give it Dry Time – If you have the time and a place to keep the wood out of the elements, give it two or three weeks to dry out before installing. 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. Even when the screws are installed perfectly – they can clutter up the otherwise clean and smooth look of a beautiful composite deck panel that’s been engineered to mimic the look and feel of Golden Teak, Brazilian Cherry, Tropical Walnut wood. Another common mistake that should be avoided is improper installation of concrete footings. Plan accordingly based on how dry your decking is. Attaching decking to the support framing boards below with screws has been the method of choice for deck builders for many years. Raw Materials and Manufacturing Processes Matter. Instead of using screws, composite decking makers have designed hidden fastening systems that create a clean, smooth surface while providing a solid, stable connection to the deck frame. Offering the most pristine finish with the smallest gaps between boards, our hidden 3mm Composite Decking Fasteners are the best fasteners to use for a premium finish, closely aligning deck boards with no visible fixings. STEP 8. Ensure there is a minimum gap of 5-6mm between each deck board. Gapping also allows for the shrinkage of the wood joist system. However, even the best composite decking product in the world won’t perform as well as it should if it’s not installed correctly. Rather than installing screws through the top of every deck board, clips are first attached to the framing boards and the decking is then attached to the clips. A detailed installation and maintenance guide for our decking can be found on our website's resource centre. All installed decking should have a gap between each course of material to promote adequate drainage. (on-center) at 90° to 16” O.C. That will depend upon air temperature at the time of installation (Read this to learn more). DuraLife Step-Clip™ composite decking hidden fastening system, DuraLife’s ColorLock™ Multi-Layered Finishing System, outperform all other wood and composite decking products, Why DuraLife Is the Go-To Eco-Friendly Brand Built to Last, The Benefits of Building Composite Decks in the Fall, How Much Does Composite Decking Really Cost, DuraLife’s Step-Clip Decking Earns Top Spots Across Industry Publications, What Composite Decking Is Really Made of and Why It’s Better Than Wood, 4 Challenges That May Delay the Deck-Building Process, 9 Things to Consider Before Replacing Your Deck, 5 Ways to Plan Your Perfect Deck Right From the Comfort of Your Couch, How a New Deck Can Increase the Value of Your Home. My deck has so many coats of paint the gaps between deck boards are completely filled in. But most decks need and can achieve spacing between the deck boards for drainage. 3 With composite decking you have to create the gap right from the get go. Timber deck boards require a 5 to 8mm expansion gap along the length of the deck boards and a 3mm gap along the ends of the deck boards. That will depend upon air temperature at the time of installation (Read this to learn more). That’s why the board ends should never be installed tight against one another. Wood decking is commonly available in 2x6 and 5/4 x 6 profiles. Spacing between deck boards provide a few critical functions. There should always be a slight gap. A gauge screw makes an ideal spacer or use off-cuts of wood. That’s why most professional builders agree that building a deck with high-quality composite decking materials is the ideal choice. The peal and stick under the deck boards is worst of all cause it rots the deck boards really fast. Gapping is necessary for drainage and the slight thermal expansion and contraction of Trex decking boards. Get into the nitty-gritty details of all side-to-side deck board spacing requirements in our official and detailed installation guides for each decking line (AZEK, PRO, EDGE, and specialty decking). So, keep in mind that some additional framing may be necessary if you decide to upgrade your existing pressure treated wood (PT) deck with a high-quality composite material. DuraLife Step-Clip™ composite decking hidden fastening system can reduce installation times by up to 50 percent. They should make a deck board with a channel on the edge that locks with the adjacent board with an 1/8" of play for expansion and contraction. Remove old filler material, dirt or debris from the gaps between the boards with a scraper. When installing new air-dried decking the proper gap ranges from 1/8 inch (3.5 mm) - 1/4 inch (6.5mm) depending on the environment. Other benefits of the DuraLife Step-Clip system include providing complete joist protection (no tape needed) and is designed to automatically create a uniformed 3/16” space between each composite deck board. More solid and safe under foot, DuraLife decking is backed by a 25-year warranty. First, it allows for proper drainage and keeps the deck cleaner, safer, and less prone to moisture problems. The fix could be as simple as adding the appropriate number of heavy-duty lags to the existing frame. Settling for a screwed down composite deck is yet another common mistake to avoid. The good news for homeowners is that unlike most composites, DuraLife® hardwood composite decking products can be installed between 20” O.C. 5/4 x 6 is produced specifically for decking and is milled with a radius edge or bull nose. Get samples of DuraLife composite decking and have them shipped directly to your door. Of course, prime deck-building season is during summertime, when the high humidity levels throughout much of the U.S. dictate that wood width is as swollen as it will be at a… Usually the boards expand beyond that 1/4″ gap, and now the boards are buckling … Deck floor board spacing gaps: Proper gap size to leave . Current building codes require that all decks should be supported with a minimum of 2”x 10” pressure treated pine joists that are spaced 24” apart (although 16” OC is standard building practice). The ½” thick DuraLife fascia boards should then be installed below the decking boards and fastened to the outer rim joists using #8 x 2” stainless steel capped composite deck screws or #9 x 1-7/8” fascia screws (similar to the Starborn Deckfast Fascia System). Like real wood, composite boards will also expand and contract as the humidity changes. Going more than a ¼” may get a little too wide. If you have poor ventilation, wider is always better. When using a minimum 2x6 joist standing on edge and the suggested 1/4" side gap, there should be a 2" clear space between the bottom edge of the joists and grade in order to allow for proper ventilation. Then, install a fastener in the middle of each board length to prevent shifting during thermal expansion and contraction. Installing concrete footings at the correct depth allows the footing to absorb the expansion and contraction of the material surrounding it as it freezes and thaws without causing the footing itself to shift – taking the deck with it. The biggest mistake that consumers can make is investing in a ‘legacy’ composite material that hasn’t been improved upon since the 1990s. Wood Composite deck boards are subject to expansion and contraction when exposed to variations in temperature. The width of the Wickes range of composite decking board is 140mm. Bear in mind when planning your deck that the length of the Wickes range of composite decking boards is 1.8 or 2.4 metres. The #1 reason that decks fail prematurely is not from too much weight, per say, but rather from the deck’s ledger board being incorrectly fastened to the frame of the house. Here in Maine, that can be 48” or more. Whether to leave a gap between pressure treated wood deck boards depends on how dry the wood you’re using is. With plastic clips a board gap of 5mm is ‘normal’ and allows for screws to be extracted even when the boards are in place. Air-dried decking can often be installed with a gap less than 1/4 inch (6.5 mm) because the boards will likely end up shrinking in width rather than expanding. 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. That’s why the board ends should never be installed tight against one another. The purpose of drainage is to allow all standing water to fall to the ground below and any moisture that is left to dry. Choose your samples now! For areas that are subject to significant temperature swings, we recommend installing your deck boards using surface fasteners. As long as the space left is big enough for adequate drainage and board expansion in the heat, and the gaps are exactly the same size to give a uniform finish, the gap size is an aesthetic decision. Determining the gap with pressure-treated … Use gaps between deck boards to achieve drainage. Now that you know the differences between composite deck board profiles and the available fastening options, you’re ready to see and feel our nature-inspired decking for yourself. These board inserts only work with 6 … Get Samples, try our Composite Deck Visualizer, or contact DuraLife now to learn more. These affordable 6mm Composite Decking Fasteners are the go-to fastener for cost effective deck installations. In addition to selecting the right type of hardware to make the actual attachment, the ledger board must also be flashed correctly to allow any water to drain down and out from under the finished wall assembly. Breaker boards clips are used to secure any breaker boards that are part of the deck design. 2x6 is thicker and is stronger, but is also more expensive. Can Super Deck be installed over existing joists and framing? Spacing with composite deck boards is just as important as it is with conventional wood. Installation & Maintenance. ©2020 DuraLife® Decking & Railing Systems. Since wood fibers act like a bundle of straws that sucks up moisture from the air, we can expect the board width to expand with increased moisture. When fastening, always leave a 1/8” gap between the top of the fascia and the bottom of the deck boards. Leave at least a 1/8″ gap between composite boards. As temperatures fluctuate, composite deck boards will naturally experience thermal expansion and contraction. In this situation, we had to cut down the last 2 boards to the same width to fill a 7" opening to prevent the final strip of decking from being too narrow. Despite the frustrating reality of fluctuation, wood offers us this consolation: its movement is predictable. Cumaru Deck Board Gapping – Allow a minimum of 1/8" gap between board widths on 4" wide decking, and 3/16" gap between board widths on 6" wide decking for drainage, airflow and expansion. When deck boards are too tight, water will not be able to drain, causing the wood to rot over time. How much of a gap? When installing UltraDeck® decking, gapping guidelines must be followed to ensure that gaps between decking and end gaps allow for proper expansion/contraction, drainage, and the shrinking of treated wood joists that can happen over time. To accommodate for this potential thermal movement: Allow a 30mm expansion gap around the perimeter of the deck giving consideration to all walls, posts and other obstacles. If the only fasteners you see are simple nails or screws attaching the ledger to the house, it’s worth having a professional take a closer look before proceeding with the installation of new composite decking. DuraLife’s unique polypropylene and hardwood composite decking materials simply outperform all other wood and composite decking products. In reality, boards don’t always expand evenly, and it will vary depending on where the board was located within the original log. Here are five mistakes to avoiding when installing – or hiring someone to build – a new composite deck at your home. Related Stories. This article is made possible by DuraLife. Veranda decking, like all wood and composite decking products, requires proper ventilation and drainage in order to ensure its longevity. Your Guide to Hidden Deck Fasteners for Composite Decking. Starting/finishing board clips are used on the first and last board on the deck. The minor amount of pooling dries in no time. If you are lucky, that original 1/4″ gap is gone. A tell-tale sign of a potential problem with the ledger board attachment is the absence of lag screw heads. How much gap should I leave for expansion or contraction when installing. When fastening, always leave a 1/8” gap between the top of the fascia and the bottom of the deck boards. Make sure to leave at least an 1/8" gap for thermal expansion. DuraLife composite decking products are uniquely manufactured with a super-strong, co-extruded polypropylene outer shell that forms a “force field” around three sides of the board. The BAL is a special clip designed to give a 2-3mm gap between boards as required in a high bush fire zone. It is stain and fade resistant, mold and mildew resistant, and is available in the colors and deck railing options you want. JOINING TWO BOARDS IN A RUN When joining two cut deck boards together in a run, fix with screws 15mm from the end of each board, at an angle to ensure secure fixing into the joists below. First, ensure that the deck boards are aligned properly. Any small investment in additional framing material will be well worth the increased stability you’ll experience for the lifetime of the deck. Never place fasteners closer than 5/8” from the edge or ends of the board and make sure to leave a 1/8" gap at butt joints and adjacent to fixed objects. You must gap Trex®decking, both end-to-end and width-to-width. This improper installation method allows dirt & moisture to be trapped in the gap between the fascia and decking and often causes the fascia to eventually warp or pull away from the outer rim joist. Note: Changes in length are most significant during the installation process, and should be This is a personal choice and allows for a different look when the composite deck is laid. The deck design must allow unrestricted air flow under the deck at the open joist ends for ventilation and drainage. Made with a proprietary mixture of polypropylene plastic and hardwood fibers, DuraLife composite decking is inherently more resistant to damage from moisture buildup, mold and mildew growth. There should always be a slight gap. The Cleaner Alternative: Hidden Fastener Systems. As temperatures fluctuate, composite deck boards will naturally experience thermal expansion and contraction. Again, a little extra effort here can go a long way to making your composite deck feel sturdy and secure for years. It’s just not a great look. The Sweet Spot – Most people agree that 3/16” is a good gap between boards. Securely attaching your decking boards to their frame to create a solid and stable surface, the fasteners reduce alignment time […] Extreme freeze/thaw conditions can wreak havoc on concrete footers if they are not installed below the frost line.

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