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Deck Board Spacing

Question: I have a question about a new deck that I am building. Is it absolutely necessary to have spaces between the boards on my deck? I would like the boards to be up against each other. I think it produces a nicer overall appearance.

Answer: You should have a gap or spacing between the floor boards on a deck. The spacing allows the boards to easily and quickly shed water. Water that pools on decks will eventually cause the boards to rot. The spaces or gaps between the floor boards on the deck, also allows the deck boards to dry quicker as air can circulate around them.

The easiest way to space the boards is to use a 3 or 3 1/2 inch common nails. The heads on the common nails will prevent them from falling through the deck boards while still providing even spacing.