deck fasteners

The Proper Gap Spacing For Your Deck

We received a call from a home owner last week. He was upset that his deck boards had expanded and were now butting up against each other and cupping. He had a mess and was understandably upset. I first asked what type of decking he had. He replied that it was kiln-dried decking. I then asked what type of deck fasteners he had purchased. He had no idea what type of deck fastener he had used but was certain that it was supposed to leave a 3/32” gap space. He made the same mistake other customers have made; using deck fasteners that leave a tiny gap space with deck boards that require a larger gap space. Unfortunately he made this discovery too late.

The Ipe Clip® Fastener Company has dedicated a lot of time in the training of all sales team members, dealers, and distributors. We do this to ensure that the right questions are asked so that the right product is chosen for each and every project.

Air-dried decking – Ipe Clip® Extreme™ fasteners which spaces boards at 3/32” should be used. Air-dried decking has a high moisture content which causes the wood to shrink as it acclimates. In other words, the gap between your boards will get larger so you want to use a deck fastener that starts with a small gap space. Ipe Clip®Extreme4™ can also be used. This leaves a 5/32” gap space. It’s a little larger but still does the job for those that want or need a slightly larger gap space.

Kiln-dried decking – Ipe Clip® ExtremeKD™ fasteners which offer a ¼” gap space should be used. Kiln-dried decking has a lower moisture content which results in the boards expanding as they acclimate. As you probably guessed, this means your gap spacing will come together so you will want to use a deck fastener that leaves a larger gap space during installation. Ipe Clip® Extreme4™ can also be used. This leaves a 5/32” gap space. It’s a little smaller but still does the job for those that want or need a smaller gap space.

Composite decking – Always check with and follow the manufacturer’s recommended gap spacing. Each is different and can vary from 3/32” gap spacing to 1/4″ gap spacing.

PVC Decking – Like composite decking, check with and follow the manufacturer’s recommended gap spacing. PVC decking is a little different in that the gap spacing for one part of the country may be different for another part of the county as PVC is more controlled by temperature.

Know what type of decking you have, know what the manufacturer’s recommended gap spacing is, and let us help you choose the Ipe Clip® brand fastener that’s right for you!

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