5/4 x 6 over existing deck following original pattern or change direction

by Don
(Ontario, Canada)

I have a deck that I want to cover with 5/4 x6 and I'm wondering if I should copy the existing pattern... angle pattern or is it OK to do a more linear pattern with the new wood ? I have been told to copy the existing pattern for water drainage, but I can't help but think the linear pattern would be stronger, but maybe the water drainage is more important. Any help appreciated.

Editor's Comments

Changing the direction of your deck boards from an angled direction to parallel or perpendicular to the house can change the look and feel of the deck and it really does depend on your personal preference.

You will have to consider the existing layout of the joists to see if they need to be modified in order to lay the decking in the new direction.

A New Direction Can Create Beautiful Contrast

When you have a multi level deck, a change in decking board pattern can have a really nice visual effect on the entire finished deck. If you run all levels of each deck in the same direction you tend to get a very monolithic, boring look.

You mentioned the issue of drainage and it is not much of an issue if you are using traditional dimensional decking boards with spacing between each board. Water will drip down between boards and if there is enough slope then it can also drain along the length of the board.

How To Modify Joist Layout For A Different Decking Direction

If you watch this video you will see a technique I used to change the direction of an old deck from parallel to the house to perpendicular.

Pay attention to the blocking between each original long continuous 2x8 joist. I had to install this blocking individually in order to provide an attachment surface for the new perpendicular oriented deck boards.

The finished effect was well worth it. The video is mostly about how I centered the decking to try and balance the final appearance but it does clearly show you how to re-do the joists to help you re-orient your new decking.

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