Instructions for a TimberTech Deck


TimberTech makes a line of low-maintenance composite decking. The Ohio company's five main residential decking products, as of the time of publication, consist of Earthwood Evolutions, XLM, Floorizon, Reliaboard and TwinFinish. An online tool at TimberTech’s site allows you or your architect to design the surface of the deck and come up with specifications for the framing -- the beams, joists and posts below the surface. The framing must be made of dimensional lumber rather than TimberTech products.

Things You'll Need

  • Cordless driver
  • Deck screws
  • Measuring tape
  • Deck spacing tool or 16d nail
  • Frame the deck based on your product specifications and design. For example, the solid planks of XLM, Reliaboard and Earthwood Evolutions require joists 16 inches apart on center for regular installations and 12 inches apart if you are laying the deck boards at a 45-degree angle to the joists. TwinFinish planks can be, respectively, 20 inches and 16 inches on center for regular and 45-degree installations, while Floorizon tongue-and-groove planks span 24 inches for regular and 16 inches for 45-degree installations. These recommendations apply to residential decks; consult the manufacturer’s online instructions for framing a commercial deck, which requires more closely spaced joists.

  • Gap planks with a deck spacing tool or a 16d nail between 1/8 and 3/16 inches side to side and allow a minimum gap of 3/16 inch between the planking and a house or post. Gap the space between the butts of planks 1/8 inch if the temperature at installation is 33 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit and 1/32 inch if it is 75 degrees or higher.

  • Install Floorizon planks, which interlock, by driving 1 1/2-inch screws through a starter strip on the edge of the deck. Slip the tongue of the first plank into the strip and screw the outside leg in place with one screw per joist. Press the tongue of the second plank into the first plank’s groove and screw the second plank’s groove in place. Repeat until the deck surface is covered.

  • Install Timbertech’s solid-plank products -- Earthwood Evolutions, TwinFinish, Reliaboard and XLM -- by driving two deck screws, each 3/4 inch from the outside edge of the plank, at each joist, flush with the plank surface. Lay each plank so its directional notch -- a beveled edge on one long side -- faces the same way so that the directionality of the product surface is consistent.

  • Fasten Timbertech’s grooved planks -- available as an option for Earthwood Evolutions, TwinFinish and XLM -- with hidden fasteners, except for the first deck board. Fasten the first board on its outer edge with No. 8 deck screws, 2 1/2 inches long. Press a hidden fastener into its groove and install the screw provided at a 45-degree angle to each joist. Press subsequent boards against the fasteners, tapping them into place with a scrap piece of decking at least 2 feet long, recommends TimberTech. Continue screwing the fasteners in place until the deck surface is complete.

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