How Much Spacing Between the Boards Should There Be When You Build a Deck?

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Drainage Spacing

  • Decks without proper spacing acquire drainage problems. Standing water can cause slippery areas, mildew growth and wood rot. The recommended spacing between boards is approximately 1/8-inch or the width of a 16d nail, recommends Manage My Life. Leave an additional 1/4-inch between board ends. These spacing dimensions allow drainage without large gaps in the deck construction.

Flush Construction

  • Another option for building a deck is to lay the deck boards flush with one another. However, it is important to note that wood expands when wet. If the wood is slightly damp, it will contract as it dries. Laying the pieces flush could result in uneven spacing as the wood changes from the initial moisture content and with the weather patterns.

Bottom Line

  • The general consensus among home builders is to use spacing between deck boards for even spacing and proper deck drainage. The customary deck board spacing is 1/8-inch between boards and 1/4-inch at the ends of the boards.

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