How to Lay Deck Boards | 9 Steps to Lay Deck Boards With Tools

People often ask how to lay deck boards?

The comfort of a welcoming home, the warmth of a floor, perhaps a lit fireplace are all elements of a home that everyone has in their hearts because the house represents the place where, once the door is closed, one feels safe, serene, and in total tranquility.

To get our home to have these requirements and these characteristics that make it ‘our home,’ there are many things that can be done. The important thing is to personalize it, make it unique with furniture suitable for us, with paintings, wall colors, chandeliers, and ornaments. All these must correspond to our character, our emotionality, and also represent us.

But many other elements contribute to giving a touch of personality and warmth, one for all, and the floor, yes indeed the floor. Do we want a floor where you can walk barefoot even in winter, a floor that gives us the intimacy of the house? Why not think of How to lay deck boards? The laying of deck boards is not complicated, and you can also do it by yourself.

How to Lay Deck Boards: Tools to use

When working on How to lay deck boards, some tools are needed. This includes:

Circular saw

The Circular saw is necessary when laying deck boards, as the wood would require cutting. A great product you can use is the DEWALT ATOMIC 20V MAX Circular Saw. This adopts a bevel gear design, allowing users to cut two times the material at 90 degrees and one time at 45 degrees. With the convenient onboard blade key storage, users can replace blades with minimal hassle. The slender handle also optimizes the coverage of the trimmed OSB and plywood. 

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DEWALT ATOMIC 20V MAX* Circular Saw, 4-1/2-Inch,...
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DEWALT ATOMIC 20V MAX* Circular Saw, 4-1/2-Inch,...
  • Brushless motor of DEWALT circular saw allows you to cut up to 369 linear feet of 3/4-inch OSB using DCB205 battery (sold separately)
  • The cordless circular saw has the removable auxiliary handle for increased control
  • The compact circular saw has a hang hook for increased convenience

Drill

Drills such as the TECCPO Cordless Drill are essential when laying deck boards. The belt buckle comes with accessories to help users carry it easily. In the end, it solves all the problems you may encounter when drilling holes in wood. It also enables you to complete the assembly of your deck boards in a relaxed and comfortable way.

TECCPO Cordless Drill, 12V MAX Drill, 2pcs 2.0Ah...
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TECCPO Cordless Drill, 12V MAX Drill, 2pcs 2.0Ah...
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  • ▲【20+1 Torque Setting&240In-lbs】 Torque 240In-lbs, 20+1 Position, perfect for drilling into wood, metal, plastic, and all screw driving tasks; Clutch pr, vides precise control and protect the screws effectively.
  • ▲【2-Speed Adjustment】 Delivers 2 speeds (0- 400/ 1350 RPM) with trigger that allows to control your own drilling speed which perfects for what you are setting up for, Front LED light illuminates dark corners and low-light areas to keep visibility.

Wood Screws

To keep the deck boards in place, wood screws are required. A great option in this regard is the Orgrimmar Wood Screw. This can comfortably replace ordinary wood screws, as it does not quickly wear out due to its anti-rust feature. The double countersunk head design further makes the screw head more perfect when sinking into the wood.

ORGRIMMAR Wood Screw Phillips Flat Head Yellow...
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ORGRIMMAR Wood Screw Phillips Flat Head Yellow...
  • Chipboard screws which have deep and sharp thread for cutting through wood easily and cleanly. The exceptional reliability and strength of the T.K. Excellent enables the user to rely on one product for a variety of applications.
  • Made of carbon steel, countersunk flat head, yellow zinc passivated for corrosion resistance.
  • Designed for composite timbers such as hardwood, chipboard, MDF, plastic and thin sheet metal, whilst offering exceptional holding power. Full thread be used when fixing metal to wood.

Shovel

Shovels are needed when preparing the gravel for the base of the deck boards. An excellent product worth using is the LUBAN Heavy Duty Garden shovel. This product is made of electro-polished stainless steel as a whole, which has anti-wear and corrosion resistance. It also has too high durability, and it is straightforward to clean as well.

LUBAN 31.5 Inch Flat Head Garden Shovel, D Handle...
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LUBAN 31.5 Inch Flat Head Garden Shovel, D Handle...
  • LUBAN garden shovels are overall made of electro polished stainless steel that is resistant to abrasion and corrosion for ultimate durability, also very easy to clean
  • This square point shovel is ideal for lifting and moving heavy loads of rock, soil and other materials. Designed to transport loose material, such as soil, sand and gravel
  • All parts of this digging shovel are welded for strengthening to avoid detachment, the metal shank often provides stronger leverage than wood or fiberglass when digging

Chisel

When laying deck boards, the KINGTOOL 87 Pc. Advanced Wood Chisel comes as a perfect tool. It has 87 pieces in total, and the handle is comfortable. When you work with this product, you will complete your task of laying deck boards without hassles.

KingTool 87 Pc. Advanced Wood Chisel Set with...
  • 【Upgraded Version Of Wood Chisel Set】6x chisels 1/4", 1/2", 3/4", 1", 1-1/4", 1-1/2" (6mm, 13mm, 19mm, 25mm, 32mm, 38mm), 1x honing guide, 1x sharpening stone (120/200 grit), 1x 7-1/4-Inch Dovetail Saw, 1x Wooden Mallet, 1x 16-Feet(5-Meters) Tape Measure, 1x Combination Square Ruler, Screw Kits, 2x Carpenter Pencil, 1x Work Gloves, Sharpening Papers. Housed in a large deluxe tool box for easy tool storage and portability. Its sturdy interior and organizer keeps tools in place.
  • 【6 Pieces Heat Treaded Cr-V Woodworking Chisels】*Large strike cap withstands repetitive hammer strikes, a wood mallet is in the wood chisel set. *Ergonomic handles with ProTouch Grips are durable enough to withstand jobsite abuse. *High quality hardened steel blade for superior performance and edge retention.
  • 【Exquisite and Practical Dovetail Saw】Designed for fine woodworking,KINGTOOL Dovetail Saw is great for interior trim work and detailed work around windows. The flexible blade is also great for making flush cuts on dowels. This pull saw features a polymer handle that gives a comfortable, stable grip, even during long sessions.

Tape measure 

A tape measure is a measuring tool that everyone must have in their toolbox when working on lay deck boards. The DILAKS Auto-Lock Measuring Tape Measure fits perfectly for this task, as it’s quite durable and reliable.

Using this tape measure, you will be surprised to find that its pull-out effect is so smooth, and it has a lovely automatic locking function. The automatic locking mechanism means you don’t have to worry about the blade slipping, and you don’t have to worry about being injured by the tape measure. The 1-inch stainless steel widened blade is very suitable for outdoor use, and the sturdy rubber box also keeps the tape measure in good condition.

How to Lay Deck Boards: The steps

To lay deck boards, do make use of the following steps:

  • Level the ground before laying the wood
  • The choice of wood is crucial
  • Take care that the corners are well
  • Details that must be taken care of
  • Level the wooden slates perfectly
  • Placing the wood
  • Attention to the deck finishes
  • Prevent weeds
  • Protect the wood

Level the ground before laying the wood

If you desire your deck to be a stable construction, the first thing you have to do is level the ground you will put it. You can dress a cement base on the floor to cover the deck for more excellent stability. After leveling the ground, the next thing is to place the wooden beams that will serve as the base for the deck’s wooden boards.

How to Lay Deck Boards

The choice of wood is crucial

You must choose the type of wood you are going to use well. Remember that although wood can be varnished to make it more durable, it is also true that the natural durability of this material depends a lot on the species of tree from which the wood is obtained.

Once you have chosen the wood type you will use, place the wood on the beams to serve as a base and support. The deck boards are always placed perpendicular to the base beams.

what direction do you lay decking boards

Take care that the corners are well

Before installing the boards, be sure to cut them to fit the size and shape of your deck perfectly. In this way, you will make each corner look perfect. For cutting them get Portable Gypsum Board Cutting Device.

how to stagger deck boards

Details that must be taken care of

Leave an invisible space between the boards, about a millimeter, to ensure ventilation at the bottom of the deck. This will prevent the fungus from growing under the wood.

Level the wooden slates perfectly

When you place the wooden slats on the bases, they should be fixed with screws or with the same cement or special adhesives to the concrete. You must be sure that both the bases and the wooden slats are well leveled in both directions. In this way, your floor will be level throughout its length.

how to stagger deck boards

Placing the wood

The floorboards must be worked with a tongue and groove to be fixed between them without leaving spaces. These boards should be placed perpendicular to the guides that you set on the base cement. You do this with flat head stainless steel screws, placing a double screw for each stave or board, and to make it more finished, the screw is lowered a few millimeters below the level of the board you are placing.

Next, this space should be filled with Sawdust; the same color as the wood and a suitable glue, so that the screw heads are not visible. If the deck integrates trees or other structures typical of the garden, some boards should be cut to follow the proper shape.

joining deck boards end to end

Attention to the deck finishes

The deck already has its wood in place, and you need to decide what to do. You can leave the wood with its initial treatment and only cover it with a sealing varnish, following the manufacturer’s instructions or give it a matte or glossy varnish according to your preference.

The sides that are below the floor of the house should be treated with some cement. The joint between both floors should also be filled with some specially dosed cement to seal it and prevent problems later with some leakage.

how to join decking boards

Prevent weeds

Apply herbicide so that weeds do not grow. Spreading a layer of gravel and avoiding weeds will improve the drainage of the land.

Protect the wood

Apply an impregnate or wood protector to the beams installed and the boards that will form the deck. It can be a colorless or tinted protector.

How to Lay Deck Boards: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the correct way to lay decking boards?

As earlier highlighted, the steps in laying decking boards are not complicated. This includes:

  • Level the ground before laying the wood
  • Make the proper choice of wood 
  • Take care that the corners are well
  • Take care of other details
  • Level the wooden slates perfectly
  • Place the wood correctly
  • Pay attention to the deck finishes
  • Prevent weeds
  • Protect the wood
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How do you stagger deck boards?

Wooden decks are typical exterior decoration for houses, allowing families to have more space to enjoy outdoor activities. There are wooden boards for walking on the deck, but if these boards are shorter than the deck’s width, more than one board must be used in each row. The pattern of staggered joints is a way to help spread any necessary boards throughout the pattern.

A common way to stagger the decks is to start with a whole plank from the first row and then cut a third of the first plank in the second row from the end. On the next row, cut another third, and then repeat when returning to the whole board. However, the deeper the deck, the more pronounced the repeating pattern would be, as your chosen pattern will begin to repeat itself regularly at this point. If you want more randomness, you can customize the deck’s stagger to create the desired look.

Can you lay decking on soil?

There are two options for laying decks. You can either build it directly on the ground or place it in a square shape and then build it on top of the floating platform’s riser. If you put it directly on the soil, it may easily absorb moisture and require additional maintenance.

What do you put under decking?

Compacted gravel put under decking can adequately drain and keep water away from the wood chips. This helps prevent decay and extend the life of the deck. When using gravel under the deck, it prevents water from accumulating in the ground, thereby reducing erosion-related problems that can damage your deck.

If the area under your deck or stairs will get moisture, it is also best to use an inorganic covering such as mulch or river rocks.

Is it better to nail or screw deck boards?

For deck construction, it is best to use screws. Screws are an excellent choice for laying wooden floors. They can hold items better, wash out better, and have better fastener/tensile strength to prevent the boards from popping out over time.

Last Words

In conclusion, without a doubt, deck boards are very functional structures which are quite decorative and healthy. These also stand as elements that can change your outdoor space’s appearance and give you great satisfaction. Furthermore, when working on how to lay deck boards, the steps highlighted above would be indispensable.

Read More: How to Lay Vinyl Flooring on Floorboards

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