Tongue and Groove Decking
Tongue and Groove Decking - A Mark of Quality
Finishing the top of your wooden decking for quality, stability, and appearance can be a chore, but the
finished look can be enhanced by tongue and groove decking. Done right, it will last a long time, and a smooth surface can be obtained
That decision made, proper preparation is essential to making the finished surface livable and easily maintained. Too many times, tongue and
groove decking is installed improperly with nail heads showing, ill-fitting joints, and rotting or cracked edges.
Once the foundation for the deck is installed, go ahead and set the boards to length but don’t nailed them down just yet. You’ll want to first
paint the groove side of the boards with a primer paint made for outdoor use. Once dry, usually about twenty-four hours if a high quality
oil-based paint was used, you can begin to install the tongue and groove decking.
Holes for any nails you need close to the end of the wood should be pre-drilled to prevent cracking. The holes should not be any bigger than
the size of the nail, and a slightly smaller hole is preferable.
When you start to nail down the tongue and groove decking, go ahead and paint the tongue part of the board with the primer
already dried in the groove. While the paint is still wet, you can put the board in place and the wet paint will help form a seal in the
Secure Nailing a Must for Longer Life
Securely nailing tongue and groove decking can be a challenge if you are using an air or electric nail gun. Kneeling on the deck to nail can
put the gun in the right position to fully sink the nail, but it will also put you on top of the newly-painted tongue of the deck and create
quite a mess.
Standing on the ground to nail will keep you off the wet paint, but you will have to hold the nail gun basically backwards. It’s a little
awkward but easier than having to go back on every nail with a hammer and a counter-sink to properly secure the tongue and groove decking.
A lot of the time, when using tongue and groove decking you will experience a warped board that doesn’t fit just right. Especially with pine
woods, boards shaped like bananas are not that uncommon. To fit them properly, a large wood clamp can be used as a spreader between the board you
are trying to bend into shape and another solid board already in place.