Recommendation for butting ends of deck floor planks

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Old 09-25-13, 06:43 AM
J
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Recommendation for butting ends of deck floor planks

Hi,

I have a 20 foot deck and plan to use 12 foot and 8 foot deck boards (5/4 inch thick, ~ 6 inch wide) for each course. I will alternate 12/8 and 8/12 and the ends will butt over two double joists.
I will apply Grace Vycor Deck Protector over the double joists to seal where the joists meet.
I will end-treat the cut ends of the planks with Woodlife Coppercoat green wood preservative.

The wood is regular pressure-treated from Lowes and has been in my garage for about a month and appears to be relatively dry.

What is the best way to butt the ends of the planks together?

Should I butt the ends as closely as possible or leave a specific gap? In either case should I apply anything (like caulk) to the seam between the two board ends?

[I realize what gap to use along the width is a whole other discussion].

Thanks in advance,
John
 
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Old 09-25-13, 06:55 AM
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You may not like the "every other one" seam once it is installed. I would add another sequence to the mix and cut a 12' board at 64", leaving 80" and installing an 8' between, swapping the 80" and 64" as well, to give you 4 different patterns. You can alternatively run all four and the seams will almost disappear. Treating the ends is a good idea, but don't apply any sealant or caulk to them as they need to breathe. Since your wood is dry, butt them to each other, leaving no gap.
 
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Old 09-25-13, 07:23 AM
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Hi Chandler,

I understand the visible seam issue. I was willing to chance it in return for less split ends and easier installation and a longer lasting result.
Is the pattern that noticeable/unattractive?

John
 
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Old 09-25-13, 07:29 AM
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It's noticeable to a carpenter. I have mine done that way, but it is a smaller deck and I can live with it. Like you, it was a matter of expediency. I don't do it for clients unless they request it. No matter what your pattern, the boards MUST extend over at least 3 if not 4 joists. I am assuming you are using 16" oc joisting.
 
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Old 09-25-13, 07:49 AM
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Yes, 16" o.c.

I think I may stick with the original two seams approach - not the prettiest, but better/faster/easier.

Going back to butting the ends. I intend to use a solid stain almost immediately.
Should I try to apply this stain to the ends (after the Woodlife Coppercoat) before laying the planks?

Also should I do anything to treat the underside of the planks before installing (particularly where they rest on the joists)? The (exposed) undersides will eventually be painted white (along with the joists) to match the rest of the deck.

Also should I apply the Woodlife coppercoat to the tops of the joists (or all the joists if I have enough left over)?

John
 
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Old 09-25-13, 08:55 AM
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While staining the edge of the board before install would be best, I don't know if it's worth the extra effort. I'd install the entire deck and then apply the stain [assuming the PT has dried enough to be coated] Stain on the underside can be problematic, when the stain on top fails and the wood gets wet it can affect any coating that's applied to the bottom side. Again, coating all edges[tops of joists too] helps but what little it helps doesn't necessarily justify the additional work.
 
 

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