You should leave gaps between the boards when you are building your deck. If you want your deck to last a long time, there are gaps between the boards. Failure to install your composite decking the right way will make the boards crack, sag, warp or split. It doesn’t mean that the material isn’t good outside. The elements of nature won’t cause wood to break or crack. Homeowners need to ensure their wood plastic deck doesn’t get damaged due to bad installation. Do you leave gaps between the boards? Let’s look at the answer to that question. 

Why is leaving gaps important?

The difference between wood and plastic is that the former is stronger and more durable than the latter. The elements of nature will not destroy your deck. The elements of nature will make lumber decking susceptible. The wood expands and contracts to cause cracking or splitting of the boards. The creation of highly durable outdoor decking is a result of improved technology. It is better to resist the elements than any other type of deck. Better still, it has an improved flexible surface. This means that the deck won’t crack easily. It doesn’t mean that the boards won’t crack if installed correctly. 

What is the purpose of leaving a gap?

Homeowners must add space between their boards.The purpose of adding space is to cater for expansion and contraction. When the temperature in your garden fluctuates, the thermal expansion and contraction of the boards will occur. It means that the heat of the day will cause the wood plastic to expand, while the cold of the night will cause it to contract. Wood will not survive long because of heat and cold.

Wood will crack or break because of that. But it will not be made out of wood. When the board surface is hot and cold, wood plastic will expand or decrease in size. That is why the deck shouldn’t be installed tight against a wall. If the deck expands, the boards will not touch one another, so there should be a gap between the wall and the boards. There is the right amount of space to add between the boards. 

What if you install your boards yourself?

Is there enough space to add between the boards? Homeowners with carpentry skills can install their deck. This is possible if homeowners know how to use a basic carpentry tool. If you have carpentry skills, you can install the wood yourself. It’s important to know the right space to add between the boards when installing wood plastic. Adding too much or too little can affect your deck. The space between your boards should be between 14 to 3/16 inches. The boards should not be more than 12 inches between them.

The spacing requirement for wood plastic is important. The boards will touch if the space between them is too small. Dirt and rotten pollen can accumulate between the boards if the space between them is too small. The dirt between the wood and plastic can cause problems. Mold and mildew can grow in between your boards. It will distort the surface of your deck if there is too much space between it and the wood. If you want your deck to retain its beauty, you should use thin lines, but you should use wide lines if you want it to be less attractive. 


Do you leave gaps between the boards? The right gap between the boards should be left so that they don’t touch one another.

Read more: How do I prevent composite decking from damage?

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