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Flipping Deck Boards

cupped deck boards

Flipping Deck Boards | This is an example of cupping. You're looking at the end grain of a long piece of decking. The Before drawing is a piece of flat-grained decking as it comes from the mill. It's nice and flat. But once installed, the decking board will start to curl where the center of the board is lower than the edges. This is cupping. It will hold water, that's the blue color in the After drawing, and bad things happen when you have standing water on deck boards. The red dashed line represents what the deck board shape was when it was fresh and flat from the mill. It's best to install flat-grained decking boards with the grain humps facing up so the boards have a slight hump that drains the water to the edges. So in this case, the Before decking board should be FLIPPED over when installing it

Flipping Deck Boards - Be Careful About Wood Grain

Patrick McNeill, who is revitalizing his deck in Woodstock, GA asks:

"Can I flip my deck boards instead of replacing them. They are treated lumber."

You bet you can flip them.

There's no harm in doing so. While you're at it, be sure to clean off any debris from the top of the support joists and check for rot at those locations.

If you have cracked treated wood, you should read that column too.

CLICK or TAP HERE to get FREE BIDS from local contractors that can flip deck boards for you.

Should I Use Deck Joist Tape?

You should install deck joist tape on top of the joists. The tape prevents joist rot. Watch this video:

What is the Best Deck Board Spacing?

The best deck-board spacing is 1/4 inch. When reinstalling the decking, keep at least 1/4-inch spacing for ventilation and easy cleaning in the future.

What is the Best Cleaner for Wood Decks?

Be sure to clean the wood with Certified organic oxygen bleach like my Stain Solver.

Stain Solver bottle with scoop

What is the Best Sealer for Wood Decks?

Then use a medium-pigmented penetrating wood sealer to prevent future splitting and sun damage. Watch this video to see what I used on my wood boat dock panels:

Different Decking

Speaking of wood decks, David’s a subscriber who lives in Aveyron, France. He sent me a fascinating article about upside down decking in England. CLICK HERE to read his email.


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