Home>Discussions>EXTERIORS>Which way to lay deck boards?
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Frozen Tundra
Which way to lay deck boards?

I'm building a new deck, and am about to put down the pressure treated decking. What is the current thought on which way to lay the boards - bark side up or down? I thought I read somewhere that the school of thought reversed, but from what to what?

jkirk
Re: Which way to lay deck boards?

bark side?

some guys will lay their deckboards by looking at the direction of the grain on the end of the boards so they dont cup. most simple put the best face up so you have teh smoothest surface. if you have the wain showing it will flake off which looks terrible.

then again i havent built a deck with pressure treated decking in 3 1/2 years, its mostly been composite or cedar

Nestor
Re: Which way to lay deck boards?

In this article, the author analyzes the advantages and disadvantages of bark side up or bark side down six ways from Sunday, and ends up concluding there is no "best" way to do it other than having the best wood showing.

http://bct.eco.umass.edu/publications/by-title/do-i-lay-decking-bark-side-up-or-down/

dj1
Re: Which way to lay deck boards?

I would lay straight boards "good side" up. I won't use boards which are not completely straight.

Then use deck screws and fasten them to each joist intersection.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Which way to lay deck boards?

They all seem to cup, so put the best side up. Use 3" deck screws careful not to over drive them to hold them down. You can straighten some warped boards as you install them.

canuk
Re: Which way to lay deck boards?
Frozen Tundra wrote:

I'm building a new deck, and am about to put down the pressure treated decking. What is the current thought on which way to lay the boards - bark side up or down? I thought I read somewhere that the school of thought reversed, but from what to what?

Bark side up was the norm when old growth lumber was used back in the day -- still can be considered with virgin lumber.
However, with fast growth lumber being harvested today ( and most likely is what you are purchasing ) bark side up is hit and miss.

Bottom line -- best side up.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Which way to lay deck boards?

We always lay them flat, but I have seen a few decks built with 2x4's on edge.
Casey

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