How to Install Deck Boards


The deck boards are the major part of a deck and the part that your guests will notice the most, so take care to install them correctly. Install the deck boards parallel to the house or at an angle. Angles take more work, but the work goes quickly and easily.

Things You'll Need

  • 1-x-6 or wider kiln-dried or composite deck boards
  • 1/2-inch plywood
  • Measuring tape and pencil
  • Carpenter's square
  • Saw horses or table
  • Circular saw with carbide blade
  • Protective shoes and gloves
  • Disposable particle mask
  • Safety glasses or goggles
  • Hearing protection
  • Angle duplicating tool
  • Cordless drill
  • Hammer
  • Galvanized nails or deck screws
  • Chalk line and chalk
  • Lay a 4-x-8 sheet of 1/2-inch plywood or other hard surface material over the deck joists, leaving some space against the wall. This becomes a working surface until you install some of the boards. Don't fasten the plywood to the joists.

  • Cut off the ends of a few of the boards at the angle you want (cut at 40 to 45 degrees, but no more) or place the boards parallel to the house.

  • Measure and cut the first few boards to the approximate length needed to cover the joists. It's OK if the boards hang over the rim joists.

  • Butt boards together if your deck is large and you need more than one board to cover the length. Stagger the lengths so all the splices won't be in the same spot. Cut the boards so they meet in the center of the same joist for fastening.

  • Fasten the deck boards to the ledger plate and to each joist--leave a small gap between the deck board and the wall. Use two screws or nails wherever the deck board comes in contact with a joist.

  • Install the other deck boards parallel to the first board until the deck is covered. Unless you are using raw lumber, place a few of the fastener screws or nails between each board as spacers so there will be a gap for water to drain off the deck.

  • Take a chalk line and snap a line on any boards that are overhanging the deck. Make the line even with the rim joist. Use a circular saw to cut the boards even with the edge of the deck.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't install deck boards tightly to the side of the house. They hold moisture against the wall and cause rot. Gap the ledger plate with washers to prevent water from collecting.
  • Don't leave a gap between the deck boards if you are using lumber that has not been kiln-dried. The gap will occur naturally as the wood dries. Leaving a gap now will cause too much gap later, possibly making the deck unsafe for women's high heels.
  • Deck boards are usually slightly bowed. The high edge is called the crown. Place the crown side up. The boards won't wiggle and will flatten slightly from the pressure of the fasteners.
  • Use screws to install deck boards because they are easier to remove if you make a mistake or need to dismantle the deck in the future. Use galvanized or rust-resistant screws.
  • Use a ground-fault circuit interrupter on all power cords.
  • Don't wear gloves while using a circular saw.
  • Wear a disposable particle mask when cutting boards.
  • Use hearing and eye protection when using power tools.
Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

  • How to Install a Deck

    A deck can give you enjoyment for as long as you own your house. As an added bonus, when you are ready...

  • How to Lay Wood Decking

    There are options for deck boards as of 2010 that were not available a decade ago. You can get deck boards that...

  • How to Install Veranda Decking

    Veranda brand decking boards are formed from a special composite materials that offer many benefits over traditional wood. The composite material consists...

  • Tips on Installing Wood Decking

    The hard part is over. Installing decking is much more forgiving than planning and building the deck support structure. ... How to...

  • How to Install Decking

    Enjoying the backyard is a little nicer when you're on a deck, and, if you've built it yourself, you can appreciate it...

  • How to Install Composite Decking

    Before installing a deck, make sure you have all the proper permits from your municipality, and make sure the deck is up...

  • How to Lay Replacement Deck Boards

    Screwing Down Deck Boards. Using Recycled Redwood for Deck Repair. Under the Deck Repairs. URL Embed. Comments ... To put a gap...

  • Deck Screw Installation

    Deck screws are the finishing touch to hold down walkway boards.

  • The Best Way to Install Deck Screws

    Deck screws are used on the top of deck boards, with standard screws and nails used for the frame. Many people do...

  • How Far Should Deck Boards Be Apart?

    The distance between the deck boards can translate ... put your grill and set up your table and chairs. The deck frame...

Read Article

Use Vintage Maps to Make These Super Cool Coasters

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!