How-To Videos

How to Install Wood Deck Boards

By: Danny Lipford

Building a wood deck makes a great DIY project for your home. Here are some tips when laying the deck boards.

  • When using pressure treated wood that’s still saturated with preservative, install the boards without a gap between them. As the wood dries, it will shrink, leaving a small gap between each board.
  • Orient the deck boards so the growth rings in the end grain have the arc facing up.
  • When nailing into the end of deck boards, turn the nail over and tap the point with a hammer to blunt the nail and prevent splitting.

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3 Comments on “How to Install Wood Deck Boards”

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  • g bishop Says:
    May 24th, 2017 at 10:48 am

    I know the arguments for “bark side up” (growth rings highest in center) vs “bark side down”. From my experience bark side up will cup, bark side down will flatten – so I will install with the growth rings arcing up on the ends.



  • Robert Nassif Sr. Says:
    March 25th, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    EXCELLENT Advise!!!



  • mike doyle Says:
    May 21st, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Regarding your direction to “Orient the deck boards so the growth rings in the end grain have the arc facing up”, Wouldn’t that method result in, in time, in making the deck have a ripple surface which also causes water to pool in the cups of the wood surface? Why would it not be better to put the cups down so the wood flattens over time?
    Thanks for your explanation.


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How to Install Wood Deck Boards