# Which side of deck board goes down?

The debate about whether deck boards should be placed "Bark Side

**Up**" (growth rings curving down) or "Bark Side Down" (growth rings curving**up**) has raged for years. Bottom Line: The hype that "bark side**up**" is always the answer is not accurate.A.

### What is the gap between decking boards?

Overall, conventional decking profiles should be installed such that when seasoned, will have gaps between

**1/8**and 1/4 of an inch. Look at the ends of the boards and install the decking "barkside" up to prevent cupping. Install decking with 3" pressure treated compatible deck screws instead of nails.#### How long does it take for pressure treated wood to dry?

Wet treated wood: The most common kind is still wet when you buy it. It'll be noticeably heavier than kiln-dried lumber. It may even “spit” at you when you nail it down. Let this lumber dry out (from a few weeks to**six months**, depending on the weather and the condition of the lumber) before applying any stain.#### How many screws do you put in decking?

Once you know the lineal meterage of decking required it is quite easy to approximate how many screws you will need. Say you need 500lm of decking, divide that by .450 which is your standard joist spacing. Then times it by 2 because each decking board need**2 screw**to fix it to each joist.#### Can you use screws to attach joist hangers?

It's true that hot-dipped galvanized box nails aren't as thick as common nails, but they are the acknowledged choice for outdoor work. Indoors or out, for standard-type single**joist hangers**,**use**only 1-1/2 in. The manufacturers agree: Never**use**galvanized deck**screws**or drywall**screws**to install**joist hangers**.

B.

### What is the proper spacing for deck joists?

In general terms, joists spaced

**16 inches**on center can span 1.5 times in feet their depth in inches. A**2x8**up to**12 feet**; 2x10 to**15 feet**and 2x12 to**18 feet**. The larger the deck, the larger the joists.#### What is the joist spacing for composite decking?

If you're planning to replace old wood**decking**with PVC or**composite**, measure the**joist spacing**first. Most**deck joists**are centered 16 in. apart, which is the maximum span for most low-maintenance**decking**. If you plan to install your**decking**at a 45-degree angle, your**joists**may need to be 12 in.#### What is on center spacing?

When you build a wall, the studs should be**spaced**equidistant from each other. Here's why the standard is 16 inches "on**center**", and an easy way to mark them. "16 inches on**center**"**means**the**center**of each 2x4 wall stud is 16 inches apart from the next one.#### How far apart do joists need to be on a deck?

In general terms, joists spaced**16 inches**on center can span 1.5 times in feet their depth in inches. A 2x8 up to**12 feet**; 2x10 to 15 feet and 2x12 to 18 feet. The larger the deck, the larger the joists.

C.

### How far apart are posts for a deck?

In general, posts should be spaced no more than

**8 feet**apart. Some builders position them every**4 feet**for a completely rigid frame. The maximum distance between footings is determined by the size of your joist material.#### What is the spacing between spindles on stairs?

The specifics vary depending on your location, so study the details carefully. Even if you have experience with constructing stairs and consider a gap of**4 inches**between balusters to be the standard, a code specific to the area could state that 3.5 inches is the largest space allowed.#### How high does a deck have to be to need a railing?

There are building code requirements for a porch: In the USA, if your porch floor is less than**30 inches**high from the ground, a porch railing is NOT required by code. In Canada the maximum height from the ground is**24 inches**.#### How many stringers do you need for deck stairs?

Cut stringers can be spaced no more than 18 inches on center, so a 3-foot-wide staircase needs**three stringers**, and a set of slightly wider stairs (say 3 feet 6 inches) needs**four stringers**. The maximum 18-inch spacing presumes treads of 5/4-inch wood decking or 2-by stock.

Updated: 6th October 2018