What Gap Should You Leave Between Decking Boards?

Henry A
decking gap

When you’re building a Ultradecking, even the slightest things can affect the project. For this reason, you may want to prepare and plan as much as possible if you intend to build one. It may be difficult for beginners, but it is doable. One of the things that you may want to take note of is decking board spacing. Why do you need to space your boards? How wide of a gap should you leave between the decking boards? Read on to learn the answers.

Why Do You Need to Leave Gaps Between Decking Boards?

Leaving gaps between the boards is crucial when building a decking area. Incorrect gaps or spacing can greatly affect the performance of your decking. There are two main reasons why this is the case.

To Preserve the Decking

Putting spaces in-between your decking boards can preserve your deck. How so? The gaps between the boards act as the drainage for the decking area. Without it, water will be stuck on the surface of your patio. When left, decking is exposed to moisture, the boards can absorb moisture. If they do, the boards will expand. The truth is, most wooden boards will expand or shrink regardless. On the other hand, composites do change in size, but to a lesser extent. Temperature and humidity cause these boards to shrink or expand.

The expansion of the boards have issues associated with it. First, it may remove the screws and nails used to fasten the decking. This can make the decking unsafe and unstable. Furthermore, it can be detrimental to the decking’s lifespan. Next, it may warp the boards, or change the boards’ shape beyond repair. Finally, the expanded boards can cause friction and pressure to each other. This pressure will lead to damaging the boards.

Another reason why it’s crucial to have proper spacing is ventilation. Without the gaps, the vapour that rises from the ground beneath the decking will be stuck. Because of this, moisture will accumulate under the patio. As previously mentioned, moisture is a major problem for decking boards.

While these problems occur more often on wooden boards, it doesn’t mean it won’t happen in composite decking boards. True, composites are more resistant to moisture and warping. However, it’s still wise to prevent it from happening.

For Safety

Spacing out your decking boards can make your decking safer in so many ways. For instance, if you don’t have spaces, as previously mentioned, there might be water puddles on your patio. Not only is it a threat to your decking, but it is also a danger to you and your family. Some decking can become very slippery when wet.

Of course, you will need to put the correct width of gaps in-between the decking boards. No spacing at all presents problems so is spacing the decking boards out too wide. For instance, a decking with wider gaps is more susceptible to fire. It is also more likely to trip someone and is often harder to walk on. So the question is, how wide of a gap should you place between the decking boards?

Proper Gap between Decking Boards

Gaps Between Decking Boards

When installing decking boards, make sure to leave a 3mm to 6mm gap between the decking boards. This gap will make sure that the decking can breathe, have sufficient drainage, and make it easier to clean. Of course, the measurement can vary depending on many factors. For instance, composites rarely shrink and expand less than wood. It may be possible to put a narrower gap between the composites. If you’re living in a place where there’s fluctuating temperature, you may also want to consider this when determining the gaps between your decking boards.

The colour of the boards can also slightly affect how they absorb heat, as darker boards heat faster. Most importantly, you must follow the instructions supplied by your manufacturers. They may give you an exact measurement of how wide the gaps should be.


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