what length deck boards should i use

Note: Figure A can be downloaded and printed from Additional Information below. Since 2x4 and 2x6 deck material is 1-1/2 in. ACQ (Alkaline Copper Quat) and other preservatives are replacing it. And the colors do tend to fade eventually. If you're purchasing redwood, you may find two grades. Natural woods: The rich, natural color of redwood and cedar looks fantastic when the deck is new. Screws don't pop out like nails when used for decking and they are easy to remove when repairs are needed, making them ideal to use with wood decking materials. Framing: Set aside your straightest joists and use them for the perimeter of your deck. Any time you can use a long board,you should. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. Get my curated list of affordable woodworking tools. And avoid posts that already have a twist or bow; chances are the defect will only get worse. L and have 1 in. MON-FRI 08:00-18:30 / SAT 10:00-16:30 / SUN 11:00-16:00 / BANK HOLIDAYS 10:00-15:30. However, when it is helpful to consider the length of the deck, it is not a necessary aspect. Longer boards make landing easier, while shorter boards are easy to spin when performing tricks. Heartwood in these species is the darker core of the tree. And treated lumber has a greater tendency to crack once in place; apply a water repellent every year or two to stabilize it. Use 3-inch screw for 2x boards for into end grain, for a stronger connection Hopefully, now you know how to choose wood screw length for your next woodworking project. Look for material that's straight, with no splits or large knots. Composites are more expensive. If your deck is going to be octagonal or hexagonal, you’ll be able to take advantage of being able to buy a mixture of short and long boards in order to make your desired shape if you plan your project carefully.  No matter whether you plan to lay your boards from the inside of your desired shape outwards or if you prefer to lay them across the full width of the shape, you’ll be able to use a mix of longer and shorter boards, which will help reduce the cost of your project and will increase the options you can choose from. With your frame completed, it’s time to learn how to install decking boards. Above-grade use (.25, sometimes .15). Treated lumber: This material is strong, long lasting and the least expensive of your options. If your deck is going to take on a high amount of traffic during its lifetime or is going to be asked to support heavy weights, such as furnishings etc., then you’d be best to opt for a thicker board.  The reasons for this are twofold.  First, to ensure stability for heavy weights, you need to make sure your decking boards are sufficiently thick and strong to provide the support you need.  Thereafter, if your footfall is going to be high, you need to have the capacity to re-sand and re-finish your deck a number of times in its life.  As you can imagine, the thicker the board, the more times you can avail of sanding and refinishing. of unthreaded shank. Pressure treated softwood deck boards should be treated to at least Use Class 3 (outdoor above ground use) 15 year desired service life specification … This might sound like a mouthful, but with our assistance, your most burning question: what size skateboard should I get , can be easily answered. Some people object to their homogenous look and “plasticky” feel. Length: When possible, buy decking that can run the full length of your deck. If you’d like to chat through your decking project with an expert, all you need to do is get in touch.  We’re here to help. They have their drawbacks, however. Pressure-treated lumber is the logical choice for the structural part of your deck—the posts, joists, beams and other members you normally don't see. 2x6 joists should only be used on ground-level decks that do not require, and will not provide for, any guards. Installing double joists where the boards meet in a run takes “pre-planning” – meaning you need to know where the boards will butt and … You'll cut deep triangles into each 2x12 to accommodate the treads; avoid splits along the top edge and knots along the lower edge, which can weaken the already thinned body of the jack. These include the deck size, board shape, length, and width. Your deck boards are "warped and cracked". A perfectly flat joist will wind up with a dip. Use lower quality lumber where it's not visible or for shorter spans. I believe max is 2''. Pressure treated wood in longer lengths (10 feet or greater) and wider widths (6 inches or greater) can work as an effective deck board, but with a few limitations. Our latest shed is also a pavilion—and you can build it, too! Locate screws about 3/4" from the edges of boards. If you purchase wider deck boards, such as 2x6s, you can plan 36 inches between joists. All lumberyards and home centers carry 16-ft. deck boards, but many also stock or can order 20- and 24-ft. boards, though they may cost more. thick. They'll also last longer and support extra weight if you add a structure to your deck somewhere down the road. Check the crown by sighting along the edge of the board. The length, width, materials, and concave of your skateboard deck determine what you will be able to do on your skateboard. They tend to push the wood fibers apart rather than tear through them like nails. Should you use screws or nails for deck? These things can help make longboarding easier and … They have a wimpy feel underfoot even with closer joist spacing. Be When it comes to decking board size there really are no rules, but here are a few basic questions you need to ask yourself. Your decking boards will be tagged with the concentration and treating solution used. ”. If your joists are spaced at 24 in. In most cases, it requires a joist spacing of 16 in. Since there are no defects, there is very little waste, and many now come in a variety of colors. (Figure A, Below). Use joists that vary less than 1/8 in. COVID-19 Update | Online and phone orders, samples, as well as, deliveries are operating normally. Wood used in situations where it's more likely to rot contains more preservative. How to Stagger Deck Boards. The right spacing on deck boards relies on knowing the wood and the conditions all year. Heartwood contains the natural preservative oils that give these woods their resistance to decay and insect attack. The Marksman Pro and Marksman installation tools are compatible with 6" wide decking. Similar to for proper support. Your longboarding style The way that you intend to use your longboard will also play a large part in what length of longboard you should purchase. At Fasteners, Inc. we are ready to help determine what wood screw you need and offer a wide assortment of fasteners for every project. Deck boards from our TimberTech AZEK line can be used as cladding, however deck boards from our TimberTech PRO and EDGE lines are not currently supported by our testing or a Code Compliance Research Report. It's also much less expensive. Bigger riders and those who like to use skating ramps and vert ramps find a wider and longer deck more useful. But natural woods will turn gray within the first year or two unless you regularly maintain them with a sealer or finish. What’s the footfall on my deck likely to be? All perform a bit differently. Sometimes you can straighten warped boards. What shape will my deck be? Deck boards: If a deck board isn't perfectly straight, you can work the bow out of it as you nail it to the joists. The extra weight makes wet decking boards harder to work and to cut, and they shrink when they dry. Pressure-treated lumber can support more weight and span longer distances than cedar, redwood or other woods commonly used for building decks. I dont think the screw gun I bought supports that. From here, you should be able to determine your deck surface area (Length X Width). The more joints you have the weaker the structure is. Typically used for posts, beams, joists and, again, decking. Look for lumber labeled “heartwood common,” which has more heartwood than “construction common.”, Install decking boards “good side up.” Some swear decking boards should only be installed “bark side up, ” the theory being, if a board cups, boards laid “bark side up” will warp into a hump that water will run off rather than a dip where water can settle. How long is my deck going to be? I would use 2 1/2 inch coated torx deck screws. Naturally durable deck boards should be rated as moderately durable (durability class 3) at least for above ground use and durable (durability class 2) for ground contact use. Start installing deck boards at the outside of the deck and work towards the house wall. thick) has become extremely common. You can also use wide boards to bring in the length of a long deck. All lumberyards and home centers carry 16-ft. deck boards, but many also stock or can order 20- and 24-ft. boards, though they may cost more. Deck boards secured to uneven joists will flex more and the fasteners will creak and pop. Below-grade (.60). Stagger butt joints as much as Screws are notorious for splitting deck boards. Treated lumber is the least expensive. Avoid boards that are only 3/4 in. Select decking boards with the preservative concentration suitable for their use. Thickness: Radius-edge, 5/4 material (which can measure anywhere from 1 to 1-1/4 in. If you are building or fixing your deck, it may be difficult to decide out of the many different kinds which deck screws to use. Be fussy here. I need to replace about fifty 2x2 (actual 1 1/4 X 1 1/4) X 48" deck balusters. Ground-contact use (.40). Tip: As you haul your material from the driveway to the back yard, stack it into piles of “pretty” and “ugly”, then use them accordingly. Azek Decking vs Trex: Which is Best for You? It's actually preferable to use joists with a slight crown, an upward bow of 1/4 to 1/2 in. For decking boards, look for wood that's labeled KDAT (kiln dried after treatment). ; the 12-ft. long 2x10s at your lumberyard may measure 9-1/8 in. These woods are also naturally stable and tend to lie flat with minimal checking or cracking. If you have joists that are curved or twisted, straighten them with blocking or as you install the decking (Figure A). CCA (chromated copper arsenate) is being phased out because of health concerns. they should be corrosion resistant to prevent rusting and weakness of the structure in subsequent years. Pressure Treated Wood Deck Boards Pressure treated wood is the classic low-cost deck board. in depth, while the 16-footers measure 9-1/2 in. Use 6x6 posts instead; they look and are more solid and substantial. How to Choose Deck Boards. In the same way that you can create an illusion of reduced length by cleverly planning your board layout, you can also create an illusion of width by using wide boards to create an illusion of increased width.  What’s more, you can choose to run your boards along the width of your deck, rather than along the length, again to give an illusion of increased width. If you're buying treated wood, buy boards that have had time to dry after they've been treated. Deck screws are a good example of Optimized Thread Length . Considering that rule and the fact that a finished 2×4 is 1.5 x 3.5 inches, you would need a 4.5 inches … You can be too picky. JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. Eight inch wide boards, because of their greater width, have more of a tendency to crack and cup; avoid using them. How to Calculate Trex Decking Cost for Your Project, Get the Look: Deck Details You’ll Want to Copy, How to Select the Best Trex Decking Colors for Your Outdoor Space, From Bland to Grand: A Deck Transformation, We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer), Amerisleep’s Extended Sale Is the Best Way to Upgrade Your Mattress, First-Timer’s Guide to Pouring a Concrete Patio, Figure A: Uses for less-than-perfect lumber, Do Not Sell My Personal Information – CA Residents. Deck boards not only provide the surface that supports everything you’ll put on your deck, they are also one of the most visible parts of the entire structure. Do I want a traditional or modern look? Fasteners driven close to the ends also tend to split the wood, making the ends even more vulnerable. Never overspend on tools again https://theweekendwoodworker.com/tool-list Why use … Our Showroom will be available for pre-book meeting only and under COVID-19 restrictions. Wooden decks are a common exterior addition to homes, allowing families extra space to use when enjoying the outdoors. It's OK if 5 percent of your boards are “ dogs”. We recommend our users to update the browser. What fixing method should I use? It’s very important that all deck fixings are suitable for outdoor use. The screws normally used to install 2x4s or 2x6s for decking are 3 in. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. And like any other outdoor material, they can become dirty and stained; expect to do an occasional pressure washing. Deck boards are laid flat side down and spaced to allow for expansion and room for moisture to slip though. Typically used for support posts that are partially buried below grade and for permanent wood foundations and planters. Composite deck boards: Composite boards are made from wood and plastic (often recycled materials) and resist rot and insect attack. How wide is it going to be? Deck Design: You have a few The tools are compatible with treated lumber, hardwood, cedar, composite or PVC deck boards. Length: When possible, buy decking that can run the full length of your deck. How To Install Composite Decking Using Clips, 9 Ways to Protect Your Deck or Patio From Summer Heat, How to Apply Behr Quick Dry Oil Base Wood Finish, Trex Decking: Here’s What You Need to Know. If your deck is going to be long, the temptation is to say that you need long boards, but that needn’t necessarily be the case.  Quite often, ‘thinking outside of the box’ can produce some stunning results and save you money in the process.  With a long narrow deck for example, you can use short boards and run them across the width of the deck to give an illusion of reducing the length and increasing the width.  Another alternative is to create a ‘pattern’ on your deck so that the length of your deck seems to be reduced.  It may be that you decide to use different coloured decking boards to do this or you could choose to run the boards in a different direction at each end of your deck in order to bring in the length and emphasise the width.  You can also use wide boards to bring in the length of a long deck. Depending on how hard you skate, you'll want to replace your skateboard deck anywhere from after a few weeks to a year. So 2 3/8" or 2 1/2" will be plenty long enough. There’s no getting away from the fact that you can completely change the look of a deck by changing the width of board you choose.  You can create a highly modern look by choosing extra-wide boards or indeed by choosing extra-narrow boards.  It really is up to you what sort of image you want to create as well as the furnishings you plan to include in your finished project. Then check that crowned edge for scalped edges, called “wane” (see photo).Wane on the bottom of a joist is OK, but wane on the top means there's less wood for driving fasteners into—and you can't butt two deck boards on an uneven joist.  What this means is that there is less ‘noise’ on the surface of your deck to detract from its good looks if you choose a hidden fixing.  Because of this, with hidden fixing, there’s no reason why you can’t opt for a shorter board, which will normally increase your choice and reduce your cost. While the length of the longboard is one of the most important things to consider when shopping for a new board, there are other things you should consider as well. For upper-level decks, 2x10 is recommended as the minimum size to use for strong guard post connections. Remember, if you are using cedar, then you should opt to use a hidden fastening system as I am going to use deck screws. Use .40 material if you can't find .25. Please can to give me a price on,ipe decking. Add at least 1 1/4" longer than your deck wood thickness. Deck board spacing/deck spacing between boards depends on when they are installed. Use two nails for each joist to deck board connection. Another added benefit of short length decking is looks. i.e. The depths of joists can vary by as much as 3/8 in. Then, use a long tape measure to determine the total length and width of your deck (enter into calculator). If you are not using a screw gun, get square drive screws. Obviously, I would prefer the nail gun's speed and efficiency. By opting to use a shorter board you are minimizing the propensity of your deck board’s movement. A 3” length deck screws are preferable to 2.5” as they hold better. About 70 percent of this post is heartwood, which did not accept the preservative treatment. How wide is it going to be? what size of screw should I use for the 2x4 to 4x4 attachment? Four inch wide material takes longer to install, creates more gaps and requires a lot more fasteners—but you can use it. A #8 diameter deck screw is ideal, as any higher would split the wood. But with 4x4 and 6x6 posts, the preservatives may not penetrate the dense heartwood. But tests have shown there are many reasons boards cup and they don't always cup according to “bark side. Deck boards are usually 2”x4”, 2”x6” or 5 1/4”x6”. There are three main categories of deck boards, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Full-length material allows you to avoid butting boards end to end, which can invite trouble; the ends of boards are more absorbent, slower to dry out and more susceptible to rotting, swelling and splintering. If you're unsure whether a board is too wet, compare its weight with that of an untreated board the same size; if it's twice as heavy and feels damp, it may need time to dry. Typically used for decking, fence and railing material. The length of the boards really doesn't matter. Stair jacks should be straight so that the stairs remain level and strong. thick) boards. This decking is more expensive. This lumber contains almost no heartwood and is almost 100 percent treated. Complete DIY projects like a pro! We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer) as we strive to provide site experiences for browsers that support new web standards and security practices. Decking Boards Deck Construction | Outdoor text: Tim Carter DEAR TIM: I’m confused about which decking boards to use on my new deck. Deck boards – no matter the thickness (5/4″ or 2″) should always be fastened on top of a DOUBLE joist so there is enough nailing edge on each decking board where they are butted. The length and width of the deck should be chosen keeping in mind your physical size and skateboarding ability. It says that the anchor length of a fastener should be twice that of the workpiece you are fastening. Joists. or you're running your deck boards at a diagonal, you may need to use 2-by (1-1/2 in. And if there's a foot or two of bad material, you can cut out the defect, then use the resulting two shorter pieces for a smaller area of the deck, stair treads or landings. Extremely bowed or knot-filled boards can, again, be cut up and used as blocking or as joists for smaller landings and deck sections. Can I use the CAMO Deck FastenerNo, the This means joists can “rise up” out of their hangers, making them bouncier and less well supported. Since heartwood—wood from the center of the tree—is denser, it accepts pressure treatment less readily than sapwood—wood cut from the outer edges. Lumber with moderate defects can be used. But often boards that aren't kiln dried after treatment will shrink appreciably after they're installed, creating wider spaces between the boards. Sign up for our newsletter! In the same way that you can create an illusion of reduced length by cleverly planning your board layout, you can also create an illusion of width by using wide boards to create an illusion of increased width. There are two ways of fixing your decking boards: hidden and screw.  Needless to say, with screw fixing, you can see the screws, even if they’re sunken.  With hidden fixing, all you see are the ends of the boards; there are new screw holes to put up with or to try to camouflage. However, it can be difficult to find posts not cut from heartwood. But unless you are going to have your lumber custom milled,the longest standard lumber is 16″ at least where I live. Pressure-treated lumber is rated according to the pounds of preservative retained per cubic foot of wood; the higher the number, the better the protection against fungi and insect attack. Joists will settle and sag slightly as they support weight and movement. Not all brands are code compliant in all communities. This isn't as great an issue with dimensional lumber like 2x10s and deck boards; these boards are thin enough that the preservatives are usually driven throughout. How big is my budget? Even boards that look good initially can get little “cat’s-eye Now more than ever, people want to translate the beauty of the indoor hardwood flooring to their outdoors. some ppl said I should use 3 1/2''. The screw should sink into the framing material by 1 inch or more. Width: Six-inch wide boards are ideal in most cases. 3. Home Outdoors Yard & Garden Structures Deck & Patio. That's what happens when you use wood for the decking. The more layer the deck has, the sturdier the deck will be, and the better the deck will be for carrying heavier riders. If you can't find decently treated support posts, make your own by sandwiching three well-treated 2x4s or 2x6s together. There are different wood species and types as well as the entire family of composite Boards still saturated with the water used to carry the wood preservative into the wood cells can be literally twice as heavy as dry wood. If you’re in the throws of planning a decking project, there are probably lots of questions going through your mind.  You’ll have decisions to make about whether you choose a composite board or whether you’ll plump for hardwood.  Either way, apart from choosing the right material, it’s also important to choose the right decking board size.  So how do you go about making sure that you make the right choice on this front? Our Showroom will be available for pre-book meeting only and under COVID-19 restrictions. Some deck boards are thicker or wider and some have rounded edges. LEARN MORE. My current deck flooring is done with 2x6x10' boards, however they have degraded to the point now where they need to be replaced. Fasteners can loosen and your deck can wind up with uneven and unsightly wide gaps between the boards. You can “sticker” the wood and let it dry for a few weeks. The heftier the lumber you use for joists, the longer the joists can span between supports, based on how close the joists are to each other. If you are on a tight budget, then the more flexible you can be about the board size you choose, the wider your choice will be.  If it’s the case that you are completely open-minded, then you’ll be able to avail of special offers, choose shorter, cheaper boards or even use a mix of board lengths and widths inventively in order to reduce costs.  In effect, the more flexible you can be, the more money you stand to save.

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