Deck Boards Layout

by Henry
(Finleyville PA)

How do I lay the deck boards layout out so that the butt joints are not next to each other?

The deck is L shaped, the main portion is 16W X 21' 3.75"L. The walk way is 5'w 20'L

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Aug 19, 2012
Adding a deck to an existing deck
by: Don

My problem is I want to add a deck to an existing deck with the deck boards going in the same direction. I don't want to step the deck down as there will be elderly on the deck.

I have a 4 foot wide by 22 foot long.

I want to run the deck boards in the same directions as the existing boards. Do I just need a transition board or do I picture frame the new deck? The new deck will be 12 X 22 onto the 4 X 22.

Jul 26, 2009
Arranging Decking Board Layout
by: Editor - Rich Bergman

Determining deck board layout is best done with a sheet of graph paper and marking out the perimeter shape of the deck with all joists. You should try to arrange sequential deck boards so that the butt joints are at least off set by one row of joists - two or three is even lest obvious.

So the first option is to got with a very symmetrical pattern where each sequential row of decking is alternated back and forth by one, two or three joist spacings. This will function very well and also look nice. But it is more obvious then this next option I am going to describe.

This alternative decking layout follows the same principle of no sequential row of decking ever having butt joints aligned with each other.

So off set the second row of decking by one row of joists. Then off set the third row of decking by one row of joists from the second. Then you can set the fourth row of decking on the same joist as the first and repeat.

This is just one example of using multiple off sets and it is less noticeable visibly. But you can create whatever pattern you wish.

The further apart the butt joints are in each sequential row of decking the less obvious it is.

Draw this pattern out on your graph paper and then you can select your materials list. Based on the pattern, you can decide whether to buy 10', 12', 14' or 16' lengths. Your goal should be to minimize waste.

And one last design tip. Since you have an L shaped deck, consider using alternating butt joints at the corner of the deck rather than cutting each deck board at 45 degrees. This requires a little more work to get the joist framing right but looks super!

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