Should decking be ribbed side down?

Asked by: Michel Bailey
Score: 4.9/5 (14 votes)

Any decking board manufacturer or professional will tell you: “The proper way to install a decking board is ridge side down.” The ridges are designed to allow for airflow, to stop moisture sitting in the ridge, and allow for a stronger structure.

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Also Know, Should decking be ribbed side down UK?

'Most decking manufacturers advise ridge side down installation, as it enables air circulation beneath the boards, preventing excess moisture and mould. ' He adds that moisture can decrease lifespan, so for long-lasting and robust decking area, go for groove-side down.

In this manner, Which side of a deck board goes down?. "Bark side down" orients the board so the end grain growth rings curve upward. This creates a crowning warp when wet. As a result, water is shed from the board, as opposed to pooling on it. Also, the exposed board face is heartwood (closer to the tree's center) versus sapwood, and heartwood is more decay-resistant.

Subsequently, question is, Should decking be grooved side up?

Grooved Decking Should Be Fitted Face Down

To help with drainage, they should be fitted with a slight tilt in the direction of the grooves. Some people choose to put the grooved or reeded side face down to allow for airflow underneath the boards to prevent a build up of moisture.

Does it matter which way you lay decking boards?

Laying decking boards in a diagonal direction gives the deck a very noticeable look. To lay a deck this way, joist have to be set no wider than 300mm apart, so you may need one or two more joists extra.

36 related questions found

Should deck boards be installed crown up or down?

Seldom does a week pass when I don't hear reasons why deck boards should be installed either bark-side up or bark-side down. In truth, the answer is very simple. Lay deck boards so that the best-looking face is facing up! Wood is stable when its moisture content is held above 30%(fiber saturation point).

Should deck boards be installed bark side up or down?

A board that is correctly installed right side up (or bark side down) will form a crown and allow water to run off the edges. If the board is installed wrong side up (or bark side up) it will curve up on the edges when dry and water can gather and sit in the cup. That is a recipe for wood rot and problems.

What are the disadvantages of composite decking?

Cons of Composite Decking
  • A pricey alternative to wood. Durability comes at a cost, as composite decking is more expensive than wood. ...
  • Composites aren't natural. ...
  • Composite decks aren't completely maintenance free. ...
  • You'll need to comparison shop.

Is it OK to flip your deck boards?

Flipping Deck Boards - Be Careful About Wood Grain

You bet you can flip them. There's no harm in doing so. While you're at it, be sure to clean off any debris from the top of the support joists and check for rot at those locations.

Is composite decking slippery when wet?

Trex decking is a low-maintenance decking solution that requires a fraction of the work of wood decks and is less likely to get slippery when wet.

What is the correct way to install deck boards?

Deck boards should sit 1 ½” off the edge of each side of your deck. Use your straightest deck board and lay it first across the deck's front edge, opposite your house. Each board should have a ⅛” gap. All deck board should end on a joist, making sure to stagger deck board ends.

How should decking be laid?

However, every decking timber manufacturer will tell you: the proper way to install a board is ridge side down. The ridges, they say, were designed to let air circulate underneath the boards. This, according to them, prevents the buildup of moisture and, consequently, of mould.

How do I keep my deck boards from warping?

Tips to Prevent Warping Deck Boards

Aside from the type of wood, maintaining your deck boards is key to keeping your wood boards from deteriorating. Apply a sealant on the wooden boards to help protect them from the elements. Sealant might be clear, translucent, or even in a solid stain.

What type of decking is best UK?

What is the best wood for decking?
  1. European Oak. Timeless, beautiful, high performance — you simply can't go wrong with oak. ...
  2. Iroko. This is the first of two tropical hardwoods we'll mention. ...
  3. Balau. Much like Iroko, Balau oozes tropical class, as well as having exceptional technical performance. ...
  4. Thermowood. ...
  5. Siberian Larch.

What is the gap between decking boards?


Ensure there is a minimum gap of 5-6mm between each deck board.

How do you lay decking on uneven ground?

To build a decking base on sloped uneven ground:
  1. Clear the area of all grass, weeds and debris using a good quality spade.
  2. Dig 1ft deep post holes.
  3. Set the posts using post mix so that the top is at or slightly above the desired height.

Can I reuse my deck joists?

New framing will also give us a better surface to install your new decking to. Due to the straighter lumber, your deck will have a much nicer end result with new framing underneath it. ... Deck frame failures cause injuries every year, and we never recommend trying to reuse old worn out deck framing.

Can I Plane my deck?

A: Aside from the blade-dulling grime unavoidable in deck wood, there are a couple reasons to avoid power-planing pressure-treated (PT) lumber, Brent. ... However, the debris created when planing increases your exposure and the chances of introducing the arsenic into the environment.

How do you reuse old decking?

So if you're looking for ways to make the most of your leftover wood, see how we've utilised leftover decking this summer.
  1. Window planter box. Actually, planter boxes in general, but we just so happen to have built one under our kitchen window. ...
  2. Soil Sieve. ...
  3. Traditional flower bed. ...
  4. Decking steps. ...
  5. Ferret ramps. ...
  6. Cover ups.

Is a composite deck worth the money?

There is no doubt that composite decking material is more expensive than wood. However, it is valued for its striking resemblance to natural wood and efficiency making it an excellent choice for decking. It is easier to clean and maintain which makes it last long enough to transfer the same value to the next homeowner.

How long do composite decks last?

Composite decking requires minimal upkeep and can last between 25 and 30 years. On average, plastic decking has a similar lifespan to composite decking and can last nearly 30 years.

Do composite decks get hot?

But how hot can composite decking get in the sun? One study found that in direct sunlight, composite decks can reach temperatures from 34° to 76° F hotter than the surrounding air. On an 80° day, that could mean a deck surface temperature of more than 150°.

How can I make my deck boards tighter?

Straighten crooked boards with a chisel, clamp or nail

Start nails into the deck board. Drive a 3/4-in. wood chisel into the joist and tight to the edge of the deck board with the bevel facing you. Pull back on the chisel until the deck board is tight to your spacer and drive the nails.

How do you flatten cupped deck boards?

Use a plane or belt sander to take down the high edges if the cupping is shallow. If it's pronounced, either pull the nails and reinstall the board upside down, or replace it.

How do I keep my wood deck from cupping?

Decreasing the distance between your deck joists means that your deck boards are secured in more locations, span a shorter distance, and help prevent any unwanted cupping or warping. This helps solidify the deck overall and helps hold the structure together more firmly.