I had a customer call in a few weeks ago and asked the question, “Which is better? Buying my deck boards pre-grooved or routing them myself?” Great question!
There is no clear cut answer to this question as it is basically a cost analysis for each job. If you are a do-it-yourselfer with the time to cut your own grooves, you could save some money on materials by using a biscuit joiner or router to cut the grooves in the boards yourself. However many contractors prefer pre-grooved lumber as this will cut the labor rates down and speed up the install.
For those of you still wondering which is better for the structural integrity of the deck boards, both methods are proven to hold the boards firm to the joist and have been used successfully on deck projects throughout the world. Both installation methods are correct so feel free to choose the one that fits your project the best.