Decking: How to Install Wood Deck Boards

Securing the First Wood Deck Board

To secure the first wood deck board, you must first chalk a line across the joists parallel with the house. If the chalk line and house do not measure parallel, adjust the first deck board or scribe the board.

Cut the first deck board to length and fasten it down.

Spacing of Deck Boards

Proper spacing is required for ventilation and expansion/contraction. If the wood is very wet when it is installed, you can probably install the deck boards tight together and a sufficient gap will open up as the boards dry.

For wood that is already dry, place a 6 penny nail between each board as you go to establish the proper gap. This will ensure that water can drain adequately from the deck, and the deck boards have room to expand and contract with the seasons.

Securing the Deck Boards

Deck boards are secured with nails or screws from the top, bottom or between the deck boards. With so many options available please refer to manufactures recommendations and be familiar with different hidden fastener systems.

Do not fasten your decking into the outside joist at this point.

Deck under construction with new wood deck boards installed.

Once all of the deck boards are laid down and secure, chalk a line around the outside perimeter and cut off the overhang.

New two-level deck with wood deck boards installed.