Laying Decking: The 5 Most Common Mistakes

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Many hobby gardeners lay their decking themselves. This is absolutely possible with a little craftsmanship. Nevertheless: Plan your wooden terrace carefully, because any errors in laying can be ironed out later only with a lot of effort - in the worst case, they can not be subsequently corrected at all. We will introduce you to the five most common mistakes that must be avoided when installing decking.

1. Lay decking on undulating or weak foundation

Lay all types of decking exclusively on a compact, level surface with a gradient of two to three percent towards the garden - and on a solid foundation on which the beams of the substructure are absolutely secure and can not slip sideways. The result would be that the whole terrace sags on one side or a large part of the floorboards slip, bend or warp. On the subfloor you can put old pavement slabs and dowel the wooden beams. As an alternative to soil compaction, lay the stringers on a point foundation that should be at least 80 centimeters deep and buried on gravel.

2. Too few stringers in the substructure

Substructure, supporting beams wooden terrace

Do not save on supporting beams, otherwise the decking boards will hang

If the distance between the individual beams is too large, the decking sooner or later breaks through and can even break. Even puddles of water will stay on the terrace for a long time, damaging the surface. The support beams of the substructure are generally laid transversely to the decking. The distance between the beams and therefore also the foundations to each other depends on the planned floorboards. As a guide, take 20 times the board thickness. Less distance is of course possible, but represents an unnecessary cost factor.
Important: If you have to lay two decking boards one behind the other in large areas, you need two support beams next to each other at the seam. Otherwise, the planks are not resilient and it can happen that one of the planks loosens, detaches itself from the stringers and bends upward - an annoying tripping edge. To create a harmonious laying pattern, lay out long and short decking boards alternately, each row of boards, so that the joints are offset from each other.

3. Decking with water or earth contact

Decking made of WPC

Deck boards made of WPC are more durable than those made of wood - but forgive not all mistakes

Nothing ruins wooden decking faster than water and damp soil. Wood reacts to it very sensitively and it threatens rot. Planks made of WPC are able to withstand a lot more, but stagnant water will permanently ruin this material as well. Therefore, it is essential to avoid any contact with the ground when laying the decking and to lay the construction so that no waterlogging occurs and all wood parts can dry as soon as possible after a rain. A thick gravel bed below the terrace separates the substructure from the garden floor and lets water seep away quickly. Spacers or spacer strips between decking boards and stringers provide a minimal contact surface between the woods - a moisture-vulnerable vulnerability. Effective are also support pads made of plastic.
Tip: If potted plants are standing on the decking, moisture can collect unnoticed underneath the pot and cause the wood to rot. So that excess water and rain water can drain quickly, place the tubs better on terra cotta feet.

4. No gap between the decking

If decking boards bulge or push up on each other, the individual boards have probably been laid too tightly. Because wood and WPC expand through moisture - especially in the width and depending on the wood species and material to varying degrees. When laying one should therefore necessarily leave a gap between the individual decking. If these are missing or if they are too narrow, the decking boards collide when swelling and push each other up. As a joint width, five millimeters have proven in terraces. They can be laminated with stretchable joint tapes, so that no small parts can fall between the joints, where you usually can not get to them. Do not forget the joints between decking and house wall, walls or other fixed elements such as balcony railings. Otherwise, the swelling wood will be pressed against the wall and displace the adjacent planks.

Decking, wooden terrace, wall connection

Decking should not finish directly on walls or walls

5. Wrong screwing

If decking is screwed incorrectly during installation, cracks or black spots near the screw are created. The planks can even bulge the entire length.The correct screwing not only serves the look, but also the durability of your terrace. If possible, use stainless steel screws that will not discolor even if the wood is still tannic acid. In normal wood screws, the iron content is corroded by moisture, is tannic acid in the game, it goes much faster.
As the swelling wood expands, the screws are in the way and cracking occurs. Be sure to drill the screw holes in any case, especially hard tropical wood. Then the wood can work better and does not break. The drill should be one millimeter thicker than the screw. Also important are always two screws, so the decking can not bulge lengthwise.

Video Board: Avoid the #1 Deck Mistake.

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