A Timbertech deck is a type of composite decking made from a blend of wood fibers and plastic. Timbertech decks are designed to look like real wood, but they are more durable and require less maintenance than traditional wooden decks. They are also easier to assemble than standard wooden decks but—that being said—it helps to know what you’re doing before you start with construction.
By assembling all of the necessary tools and starting with the ledger board, you can quickly assemble a Timbertech deck within the span of an afternoon. If you pre-drill holes into the decking boards, you can also prevent them from splitting, saving you time and money on a replacement piece. Finally, be sure to space the decking boards about a ¼-inch apart to allow for drainage.
We’ll assume that if you’re reading this, it’s your first time assembling a Timbertech deck. To help you through the installation process, we’ve gone ahead and assembled a list of tips to make your life easier. Continue reading below and be sure to contact a professional contractor if you’re unable to handle the installation on your own.
Gather the Necessary Tools and Materials
Before you can start installing your Timbertech deck, it’s always best to make sure that you have all of the necessary tools and materials. At a minimum, you will need the following items to assemble a Timbertech deck:
- A level
- A tape measure
- A drill
- A saw
- A hammer
- A screwdriver
- 1¼-inch decking screws
- Timbertech decking boards
- A ledger board
- Flashing Post base anchors (if applicable)
- Post collars (if applicable)
We recommend keeping all of these tools within easy reach to avoid having to search for them when you need them most. Also, be sure that you have enough Timbertech decking boards to cover the desired square footage of your deck. You will also need a ledger board, which is a horizontal board that attaches to the house and supports the ends of the decking boards.
Properly Secure the Ledger Board Before Attach the Deck to Your House
One of the most important aspects of installing a Timbertech deck is properly securing the ledger board. The ledger board is a horizontal board that attaches to the house and supports the ends of the decking boards. If the ledger board is not properly secured, it can cause the entire deck to collapse. There are two ways to properly secure a ledger board:
- Through-bolts: Through-bolts are long bolts that are driven through the ledger board and into the house. This is the strongest method of securing a ledger board, but it does require access to the inside of the house.
- LedgerLoks: LedgerLoks are special screws that are driven through the ledger board and into the house. LedgerLoks are not as strong as through-bolts, but they can be used if you do not have access to the inside of the house.
We recommend using through-bolts whenever possible. If you cannot use through-bolts, be sure to use at least three LedgerLoks per foot of ledger board.
Space the Screws About 8 Inches Apart
When attaching the ledger board to the house, be sure to space the screws about 8 inches apart. This will help to distribute the weight of the deck evenly and prevent the ledger board from pulling away from the house over time. If you space the screws too closely together, it can cause the board to crack and splinter, affecting the structural integrity of your deck
Use Flashing to Prevent Water Damage
Water damage is one of the most common problems with wooden decks but it can be easily prevented by installing flashing between the ledger board and the house. Flashing is a thin strip of metal that helps to deflect water away from the ledger board. It can be installed by simply tacking it into place with nails or screws and then tested with a hose to ensure that it is properly deflecting water.
Do Not Attach the Decking Boards to the Ledger Board
Once the ledger board is properly secured, you can start attaching the Timbertech decking boards. Be sure to start at the outside edge of the ledger board and work your way in. When attaching the decking boards, do not attach them directly to the ledger board. Instead, use 1¼-inch decking screws to attach the decking boards to the joists.
Attach the Decking Boards at an Angle
To avoid having the decking boards split, we recommend predrilling holes into the boards before attaching them. Predrilling holes also makes it easier to attach the decking boards at an angle. We recommend attaching the decking boards at a 45-degree angle. This will help to distribute the weight of the deck evenly and prevent the boards from splitting.
Be Sure to Leave a ¼-Inch Gap Between the Boards
When attaching the decking boards, be sure to leave a ¼-inch gap between the boards. This gap is necessary for drainage and will help to prevent the boards from rotting over time. If you place the boards too close together, water will pool on your deck and, no matter how well sealed it is, will eventually degrade over time.
Finish Up by Adding Railings and Trim Boards Around the Perimeter
Once the decking boards are attached, you can finish up by adding railings and trim boards around the perimeter. Railings are not required by code but they are a good idea if your deck is more than 2 feet off the ground. Trim boards can be added around the perimeter of the deck to give it a more professional and finished look.
A Few Final Thoughts
As long as you have the necessary tools and materials, installing a Timbertech deck is a relatively easy process. Be sure to follow the tips outlined in this article to avoid common mistakes and to ensure that your deck is properly installed. If you have any questions about the installation process, be sure to contact a professional contractor for assistance.