spacing of deck boards - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
  • 2 Post By sbrader
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 9 Old 04-27-2017, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Bradenton, Florida
Posts: 11
View sheriff12's Photo Album My Photos
Question 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!
sheriff12 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 9 Old 04-27-2017, 01:43 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Midwest
Posts: 1,885
View woodchux's Photo Album My Photos
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.
woodchux is offline  
post #3 of 9 Old 04-27-2017, 02:08 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 122
View sbrader's Photo Album My Photos
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.

FrankC and JamesTinKS like this.
sbrader is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of 9 Old 04-27-2017, 02:12 PM
Senior Member
Catpower's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Frognot Texas
Posts: 2,248
View Catpower's Photo Album My Photos
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
Catpower is offline  
post #5 of 9 Old 04-27-2017, 04:17 PM
Smart and Cool
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 1,843
View shoot summ's Photo Album My Photos
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...
shoot summ is offline  
post #6 of 9 Old 04-27-2017, 10:37 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Garland, TX
Posts: 4,232
View Toolman50's Photo Album My Photos
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.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
Toolman50 is offline  
post #7 of 9 Old 04-28-2017, 05:54 AM
Senior Member
J_L's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
Posts: 253
View J_L's Photo Album My Photos
Unless you are using KDAT decking, butt them tight. They will shrink up to leave around 1/8" gap between boards.
J_L is offline  
post #8 of 9 Old 04-28-2017, 06:34 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25,995
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
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.
Steve Neul is offline  
post #9 of 9 Old 05-02-2017, 12:05 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 407
View nblumert's Photo Album My Photos
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.
nblumert is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Jointing long boards Phyberoptic Joinery 18 02-25-2019 10:02 AM
Should I be able to join s4s boards? jkanter Joinery 18 11-15-2016 08:29 AM
Can you plane polyurethane from boards? emsennett General Woodworking Discussion 11 11-12-2016 02:12 PM
Cheap deck that'll cost me stanstanlison General Woodworking Discussion 11 07-12-2016 05:28 PM
Building a bed for my son...where to find dimensional hardwood boards??? Bryank930 General Woodworking Discussion 13 03-25-2016 01:48 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome