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cibula11 06-06-2007 09:41 AM

Deck Board Gap?
 
I will soon be constructiing a new deck and will be using PT 5/4 x 6 boards for my deck planking. I have heard conflicting views on whether to gap the boards when laying the decking. Some say you need to gap 1/8" or so and others say to butt the boards tightly to one another. Which is correct?

AtlanticWBConst. 06-06-2007 09:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cibula11 (Post 47964)
I will soon be constructiing a new deck and will be using PT 5/4 x 6 boards for my deck planking. I have heard conflicting views on whether to gap the boards when laying the decking. Some say you need to gap 1/8" or so and others say to butt the boards tightly to one another. Which is correct?

PT deck boards: NO GAP.

Place the deck boards side by side.
(Check for alignment every 6 boards out, or so - If it's a long length deck board arrangment. You could also pre-snap reference lines over the joists prior to the start of the decking work).

Pressure treated deck boards, as is the case with all PT lumber, shrinks considerably after it is installed and slowly dries out.

Deck boards placed side by side will give you 1/8" to 3/8" gaps between the boards when it is fully seasoned (3-6 months)

boman47k 06-06-2007 09:56 AM

Just read an article about some pt being predried now. In that case, shouldn't a gap be left beyween the boards? Like maybe a nail used as a spacer?

AtlanticWBConst. 06-06-2007 10:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by boman47k (Post 47968)
Just read an article about some pt being predried now. In that case, shouldn't a gap be left beyween the boards? Like maybe a nail used as a spacer?

Pre-dried, yes.

cibula11 06-06-2007 10:03 AM

Most PT is not pre dried, correct? So I should NOT leave a gap? That's what I thought, but some were saying that it would be a drainage problem if no gap was left.

KUIPORNG 06-06-2007 10:13 AM

I am more worry that small animals find a comfort home and decide to stay there if there is no gap... but then a no gap deck must be very comfy...

AtlanticWBConst. 06-06-2007 10:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cibula11 (Post 47971)
Most PT is not pre dried, correct? So I should NOT leave a gap? That's what I thought, but some were saying that it would be a drainage problem if no gap was left.

Regular PT, that is not sold specifically as "Pre-dried" = place side by side.

Specific "Pre-dried" PT, talk to the supplier to ascertain exactly what that labeling means in terms of the decking they are calling "pre-dried"...Their definition of this....

RYANINMICHIGAN 06-06-2007 11:27 AM

I get PT decking as tight together as I can.

cibula11 06-07-2007 09:11 AM

Thanks everyone!

crecore 06-08-2007 07:59 AM

I doubt you will find predried, depending where you are. You can tell the difference by weight too!

cibula11 06-08-2007 09:08 AM

If I don't gap the boards, when they expand, will the boards cup and warp since there is no gap?

KUIPORNG 06-08-2007 10:09 AM

I remember reading from the web that nowaday, they don't gap, and they don't expand no more... gap is for old days installation...etc... forget where reading those though...

AtlanticWBConst. 06-08-2007 04:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cibula11 (Post 48272)
If I don't gap the boards, when they expand, will the boards cup and warp since there is no gap?

Cib,

They Don't expand, they shrink as they dry.

Mike Swearingen 06-11-2007 08:51 AM

IF you have p-t wood that is stamped KDAT (for Kiln-Dried After Treatment), then you can leave a nail size gap, otherwise butt the deck boards tightly together and they will leave a nice drainage gap when they dry out.
Most p-t wood is allowed to "drip dry" on a concrete pad (that drains the excess chemical back into a recycling pit) at the manufacturing plant, and the moisture content stays pretty high for a long time. Most manufacturers recommend - for best results - allowing up to 6 months for the p-t wood to dry out in place before staining or painting.
Mike

boman47k 06-11-2007 11:13 AM

Brings up another question, but I wll make seperate post for it.


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