Tips For Laying Deck Boards

Deck boards are pretty straight forward as far as laying them down and putting screws in them. Make sure to be using the proper screws when installing your deck as this can lead to damage if the right screws aren’t installed. 

When looking for screws, we strongly suggest using ones that are at least 2 inches although here are shorter ones there is not a big difference in cost. 

If you are looking at quality we wouldn’t worry too much about brands, although some of them you will find that they do have a better paint coating on them. This may affect your decision process a cheap paint coating and the steel of the screw can tarnish quicker. 

Laying Deck Boards

Make sure the span on each joist is measured correctly as you do not want to exceed 16 inches. Back in the day people use to use 24 or even 36 inch deck boards. Lumber was a little bit different back then as they were older tree’s as well as the lumber was a lot thicker, resulting in the use of 2 inch deck boards. 

If it was un-plane lumber you would find it was a true 2 inch deck board. Fast forward to the present, you will find 1 ¼ inch deck boards frequently used and once they are planed they go down to 1 inch. 

Being the reason when dealing with such thin deck boards, you do not want to the span exceed 16 inches or you will find that you’ll get a lot of flex out of those boards. 

Diagonal Planking 

If you are doing diagonal planking, you might want to look at decreasing the span of the board to 12 inches. 

There are some negatives when it comes to angled planking:

  • More time 
  • More waste 
  • Costs more 
  • Framing on a 12 inch centre instead of 16 inch


Lastly, if you are going with wood material you don’t necessarily need to pre-drill every single deck board but you will want to pre-drill the ends. 

If you are pre-drilling the ends, it will reduce the splitting and cracking. This will give you a better finish simply by taking the time to pre-drill the end of the boards.

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