Originally Posted by jkski
Got all of the deck joists in place for the 14x22 section of the deck last night so everything is nicely tied together for that portion now. Moving on to put the deck boards down but am looking for opinions on spacing them vs. not spacing them?
In decks I have built in the past using 5/4 pine, I have spaced them with a 6 pinny nail but I have heard a lot of guys say that they do not bother spacing as the wood is going to shrink anyways. So, give me some opinions as to what you guys are doing that build these everyday or at least more often than I do.
I doubt pine of any specie would only
shrink but I wouldn't count on that when the deck is as large as yours and you would need to know the moisture content before making this decision. I have seen Ipe decks without spacing, but that's a much more dense wood and it's characteristics are very different. Typically, lower density/larger growth ring species expand/contract more.
Even a miniscule amount of expansion will create big problems when you consider the total width. Multiply the typical expansion across the width by the number of boards and you'll see that a 1/32" per board expansion rate comes out to almost 2-3/4". Using a 6d nail (6 penny) eliminates any problem with the accumulated expansion.