Deck Floor Spacing
LESLIE: Next up, we have Cole in Texas who’s looking to build a deck and get outside and enjoy his exterior space.
Cole, tell us about your project.
COLE: I’m building a deck and my – I’ve got a question to ask. My father and my brother-in-law both butt heads on this but my brother-in-law says I need to butt the boards up on my deck coming out and my father tells me I need to have spaces.
TOM: Now are we talking about a pressure treated deck, Cole?
COLE: It’s treated wood.
TOM: Yeah, treated wood?
COLE: Yes sir.
TOM: Yeah, that’s actually an interesting question because there are two schools of thought on that. Some people say that – I think the manufacturers tell you that you need to leave a gap. But experienced contractors often will press them right against each other because they’ve never seen those boards get any bigger. They always seem to shrink.
LESLIE: Right, they shrink.
TOM: Yeah, so I think what I would do is – if it was me and if I was working in a humid, damp area where that lumber is fairly wet; and usually it is when it comes from the yard – I would probably put them fairly close together. I wouldn’t go out of my way to jam them together but I wouldn’t leave a big gap in between them when I was working with pressure treated lumber because it always shrinks. Leslie’s right. And if the gaps get too wide, then you can start …
LESLIE: You’re going to have a dangerous space.
TOM: Yeah, you can start slipping through.
COLE: Alright, I appreciate it.
LESLIE: So who wins? Your dad or your brother?
COLE: My dad, I guess.
LESLIE: Alright, go Dad.
TOM: See? See? Yeah, experience always counts when it comes to this kind of thing.
COLE: Yeah, he’s way older but my brother-in-law thinks he’s a master carpenter and my dad tries to explain to him he ain’t. (Leslie chuckles)
TOM: Alright, well tell Dad we got his back, OK?
COLE: Sure do appreciate it.
TOM: Alright. Thanks, Cole. Thanks for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.