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Composite decking needs spacing to cater for expansion and construction. Spacing your decking will ensure that it will not buckle when the temperature changes. For centuries, homeowners have installed wood decking with less regard for the spacing requirement. Also, for a long time, folk have known traditional timber decking to rot, warp, and collapse due to environmental pressure. Then came composite decking.

 Composite decking is a durable material that does not absorb water rapidly like a wood decking. What this implies is that is your plastic wood decking comes in contact with water, it will only take in little water. The expansion and contraction of wood decking depend on the amount of moisture in the air. Moisture in the air does not affect composite decking like wood.

 But the fluctuating temperature can affect composite decking. That is why you have to space your composite boards properly if you want it to last long. Our timeless and essential composite decking can withstand the pressure mother nature place on your decking. If you give our decking boards the proper spacing, then it will last long. 

How Much Spacing Does My Composite Decking Need?

When installing your composite decking, you have to leave the right amount of space between the boards. Before that, let go in-depth into how to install your composite decking. The first thing to do when you want to install your composite decking is to measure the area and clear the space. Make sure you remove grass and use chemicals to make sure that they won’t grow again. 

After that, you should dig holes where you will fix the posts. You should make sure that you cover the posts with cement to a considerable length so that it will stay firmly in the ground. After fixing the posts, you can start fitting frames to the post. Note that the structure or joist that you use for your substructure should be a durable material. When fixing the edge, you should start from the outer frame and take it in until you install everything. 

Use the recommended screw and hanger when joining the frame to the post and one another. You can use pressure-treated wood for the joists of your composite decking.  Your joist to need an adequate spacing. We recommend that you leave at least 16 inches spacing between your joists if you are installing in a residential setting. If you are building in a commercial setting, the recommended spacing should be 12 inches. 

Laying the Boards

Laying the boards is the next thing to do after installing the substructure.  You should start from the side of your building or the side of a structure. What you should do is to attach the starter clips and fastened them to the joist that is close to your building. When you have done that, you can fit the first sets of boards to the starter clips so that the clips will clamp down the boards at the grooved side. 

Note that you have to leave at least 3/16” minimum spacing gap between the first sets of composite decking boards and any structure that is close to them. This space is important because it allows for drainage between the decking and the wall. When you have installed the first set, you can start fixing the other boards with intermediate clips. Intermediate clips look like the letter T.  

outdoor decking spacing

You should use the recommended screws to fix the clips to the joist. The composite decking spacing requirement between composite decking boards should be at least 5 mm side by side. It is important because composite decking boards expand to their sides when the temperature change. Also, composite decking spacing allows for proper drainage when the rain falls and airflow.

 It will ensure that your composite decking surface stays clean and last longer.  Remember that water drainage and airflow are important to decking longevity. It is because they will prevent mould and mildew from growing on your decking and on the subframe that supports your decking. Although mould cannot grow on composite decking like wood decking, it is best to follow best practise when installing them. 

Note that the composite decking spacing should not be too broad. If it is too wide, the gap will distort the surface of your decking. Also, things like dirt and leaves will be at the sides of your decking.

Conclusion

Does composite decking need spacing? Composite decking needs at least 5 mm spacing side by side and at least 3/16” minimum spacing gap between the decking and a wall. 

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