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sheriff12 04-27-2017 12:16 PM

spacing of deck boards
Hello! I live in Bradenton, Florida. I'm new to the area and I don't know the effects of the weather on deck boards. I'm going to build a small deck and, I'm going to use 5/4"x6" deck lumber that has been pressure treated. What would be the recommended gap to leave between the boards for expansion and contraction? Any discussion or recommendations will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

woodchux 04-27-2017 01:43 PM

To keep the spacing even on installing a deck, a standard practice is to use a 10penny nail for a "gap" as a guide for uniformity. Be safe.

sbrader 04-27-2017 02:08 PM

I built a deck from PT wood last year. I butted the boards up tightly as I installed them. They shrunk to a very nice gap between the deck boards. I'm afraid the gaps would have been huge if I had left any gap during construction.


Catpower 04-27-2017 02:12 PM

Scott is right unless the wood has been sitting for a long time, just butt them up and they will dry with about 1/4 crack between them

shoot summ 04-27-2017 04:17 PM

Butt them tight, you will be surprised how much the wood shrinks. Leave a gap installing and you will be unhappy how much space there is between them...

Toolman50 04-27-2017 10:37 PM

A 1/4" space is sufficient. Actually a 1/4" becomes 3/8 in the het of summer. If you pressure treated wood isn't real dry, a 1/4" will become 1/2" space.
You only ha e to worry about shrinkage on PT lumber, it won't swell enough to notice.

J_L 04-28-2017 05:54 AM

Unless you are using KDAT decking, butt them tight. They will shrink up to leave around 1/8" gap between boards.

Steve Neul 04-28-2017 06:34 AM

I don't leave a gap between treated deck boards. The wood from the store is usually wet so it doesn't expand at all, it shrinks so any gap will end up being a too big gap once the wood dries.

nblumert 05-02-2017 12:05 PM

I just re-did my deck this past September. Do not leave any gap when using pressure treated lumber unless it is kiln dried. The boards will shrink, and give the appropriate spacing as they dry out.

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