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Old 06-06-2007, 09:41 AM   #1
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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?

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Old 06-06-2007, 09:48 AM   #2
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Deck Board Gap?


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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)

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Old 06-06-2007, 09:56 AM   #3
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Deck Board Gap?


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?
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Old 06-06-2007, 10:00 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 06-06-2007, 10:03 AM   #5
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Deck Board Gap?


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.
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Old 06-06-2007, 10:13 AM   #6
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Deck Board Gap?


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...
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Old 06-06-2007, 10:14 AM   #7
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Deck Board Gap?


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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....
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Old 06-06-2007, 11:27 AM   #8
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Deck Board Gap?


I get PT decking as tight together as I can.
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Old 06-07-2007, 09:11 AM   #9
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Deck Board Gap?


Thanks everyone!
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Old 06-08-2007, 07:59 AM   #10
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Deck Board Gap?


I doubt you will find predried, depending where you are. You can tell the difference by weight too!
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Old 06-08-2007, 09:08 AM   #11
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Deck Board Gap?


If I don't gap the boards, when they expand, will the boards cup and warp since there is no gap?
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Old 06-08-2007, 10:09 AM   #12
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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...
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Old 06-08-2007, 04:14 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 06-11-2007, 08:51 AM   #14
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Deck Board Gap?


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.
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Old 06-11-2007, 11:13 AM   #15
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Deck Board Gap?


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

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