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How to Install Cedar Decking: Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Cedar Deck Boards

Updated: Mar 26


how to install cedar deck boards

Installing a cedar deck in your outdoor living space can drastically improve the look and feel of your home's outdoor space. Not only will it provide an ideal area to lounge, socialize, or just take in the scenery, but it will also increase the value of your residence.


Installing cedar decking can be a daunting task for those unfamiliar with the process. Yet, by leveraging some essential tools and knowledge, it can become an incredibly rewarding experience!


In this step-by-step guide, we will show you how to install cedar decking in no time – from surface preparations to finishing touches. To ensure that your hard work stands the test of time and lasts as long as possible, don't forget our maintenance tips which are included in this comprehensive guide.


So if you're ready to take on the challenge of installing cedar decking and elevate your outdoor living space, let's get started.


Quality Cedar Products can meet all your cedar board needs. This blog is informational only and not a replacement for expert advice. Please consult a professional before starting any building project as your needs and specifications may vary and it may not reflect the most current building codes, regulations, or industry standards.


Learning How to Install Cedar Deck Boards Properly Cannot Be Overlooked...

If you're looking to build a sturdy and long-lasting cedar deck, the importance of learning how to install cedar deck boards properly cannot be overstated. Without following accurate techniques when installing cedar decking, you could end up with an unstable structure that brings safety hazards and pricey repairs in tow.


To help ensure success with your project, here are some common mistakes made during cedar board installation – as well as why it's essential to commit time to learn how to do it correctly.


  1. Uneven or Improper Spacing: If you're in the process of constructing a cedar deck, one crucial misstep to avoid is the incorrect spacing between boards. Neglecting to leave adequate room between each board can result in warping or cupping and will ultimately create safety risks as well as unsightly gaps. To prevent this from occurring it's essential that you include 1/8 inch - 1/4 inch intervals of empty space for proper expansion and contraction of the wood planks.

  2. Incorrect Fastening: Ensuring your deck is securely fastened is essential to its overall stability and strength. If you don't use the right type of fastener or enough per board, it can cause boards to become warped or loose - a major safety hazard! Always ensure that you adhere to the manufacturer's instructions regarding fasteners and spacing for optimal security.

  3. Ignoring Moisture Content: Installing cedar deck boards with an incorrect moisture content of over 15%, will result in the wood warping, cracking, or shrinking. This could mean a shorter lifespan for your outdoor project; however proper maintenance and prevention can extend its life significantly. Make sure you check the moisture content before starting to build to ensure your deck looks gorgeous for years.

  4. Inadequate Joist Support: To guarantee a safe and steady deck, cedar boards should be securely affixed to sturdy joists using the appropriate size and spacing. Ignoring this crucial step could result in an unsteady structure that poses serious risks for anyone walking on it.

  5. Improper Cutting: To guarantee a beautiful outdoor deck that won't succumb to premature wear and tear, it is vital to use a suitable saw blade when cutting cedar boards. Furthermore, measuring precisely will ensure precise cuts for an inviting and durable finished product.

  6. Neglecting End Sealing: Learning how to seal a cedar deck properly is vital for a beautiful appearance and enhanced longevity. Leaving them unprotected will result in splitting, checking, and an overall unappealing aesthetic.

  7. Inadequate Cleaning: Investing the time to properly clean your cedar deck boards before installation is an absolute necessity for a safe and sturdy deck. If you neglect this step, it could lead to an unsafe outcome as any dirt or debris that remains on the boards can cause weak spots in the structure of your new deck.

How to Install Cedar Decking: Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you are aware of the common installation mistakes to avoid, let's get into the nitty-gritty of how to install cedar deck boards.


Step 1) Get Quality Cedar Decking

Before beginning your decking project, it's essential to invest in quality cedar decking. Quality Cedar Products is among the best western red cedar lumber suppliers in Canada - no question about it.


Apart from our unmatched customer service, we are dedicated to providing you with the best western red cedar decking available on the market; each plank passes through rigorous quality control processes before being approved for use. We will be your trusted source of exceptional-grade red cedar decking lumber for projects like these.


Step 2) Prepare the Surface

After purchasing lumber through Quality Cedar Products, your next task is to ready the surface. Remove any current deck planks and look for signs of damage or decay underneath. Should you find damaged or decayed boards, replace them before strengthening the foundation beneath so that it can effectively support your brand-new deck.


Step 3) Lay Down the Joists

To ensure long-lasting sturdiness, the next step is to lay down joists with pressure-treated lumber. Additionally, it's essential that you adhere to the recommended guidelines for spacing your joists according to the thickness of your decking boards. Doing so will guarantee a strong and secure foundation for your deck.


Step 4) Install the Ledger Board

The ledger board is the backbone of your cedar deck, so it's imperative to properly install it. Use lag bolts to fasten the ledger board onto the house's rim joist for lasting stability and make sure you double check that everything is level before continuing with construction.


Step 5) Install the Decking Boards

Once you've secured the joists and ledger board, it's time to assemble your cedar decking boards. We recommend commencing at the house end and making its way outward. To produce even spacing between each board, utilize a chalk line.


For maximum stability in installation, use stainless steel screws for attachment of every individual plank to its respective joist - leaving an interval of 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch gap between them so as to enable expansion or contraction due to moisture changes in wood over time. To ensure that gaps remain consistent throughout the assembly process, make sure that you have spacers with accurate measurements handy.


Step 6) Finish the Decking Boards

After laying down all the beautiful cedar decking boards, it's time to protect them. Applying a sealant or stain is vital in order to shield your deck from moisture and sunlight. To keep your stunning space looking its best for years to come, remember to clean and refinish cedar deck as needed.


Clean cedar deck boards using either a pressure washer or a specialized cleaner or even a stiff-bristled brush. Refinishing entails sanding down the wood before reapplying stain/sealant - an easy task that will leave you satisfied upon completion.


Other Considerations

Other considerations for cedar decking include the cost of cedar decking and its longevity. Cedar decking cost can vary depending on the quality of the cedar decking and the size of the deck. How long cedar decking lasts varies but on average, it’s up to 20 years with proper maintenance. Staining a cedar deck can help it last longer by protecting it from moisture and UV damage.


Some people ask "Can cedar be painted?". Yes, you can also paint cedar decking, but it's essential to use a paint that is specifically designed for use on wood.


Quick Care Tips After Installing Cedar Decking

After installing cedar deck boards, make the most of your stunning deck by following a few cedar deck maintenance tips and tricks that will keep it looking fresh, vibrant, and like-new for years. Although durable in nature, regular upkeep is essential to preserve its life expectancy over time.


To keep your cedar deck in optimal condition, regular cleaning is key. Sweeping away debris and rinsing off dirt on a frequent basis will help prevent discoloration or damage caused by an accumulation of particles. Taking these steps to care for it now ensures that you can enjoy its beauty for years to come.


Protect your cedar deck from weather, UV rays, and bugs by sealing or staining it. Look for a top-notch sealer or stain that will penetrate the wooden fibers, forming an effective shield against moisture, sunlight, and insects. Make sure to read the instructions on the application thoroughly before getting started - proper reapplication is vital too.


Bear in mind that cedar wood doesn't necessitate pressure treatment, as it is inherently resilient against rot and decay. Nonetheless, if you want an added layer of security for your cedar decking from water damage, a waterproof coating will do the trick. Check out our guide on does cedar wood need to be treated.


Final Thoughts on How to Install Cedar Decking

All in all, cedar decking is a fantastic choice for those who want to instantly bring rustic beauty and enhanced longevity to their outdoor areas. It's an assignment that can be completed by DIYers or professionals with the correct instruments and strategies.


Here at Quality Cedar Products, we are devoted to providing unparalleled quality when it comes to our red cedar lumber products. We promise you nothing but the best; each item of wood produced in our facility has gone through thorough inspection processes so as to guarantee its sustainability and visual appeal.


If you're looking to complete other outdoor projects, we also offer cedar sauna wood, cedar fencing, and sound barrier fencing, among other products. Whatever your needs, we have the products and expertise to help you get the job done right.


So why wait? Visit the Quality Cedar Products store today to get started on your next project. We're committed to providing you with the best service and products possible, so you can enjoy the natural beauty and durability of cedar wood for years to come.


G&B Wholesale Lumber Incorporated does not assume any liability for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of the information provided in this blog post. The reader is solely responsible for any actions taken based on the information presented. Any reliance on the information is at the reader's own risk. G&B Wholesale Lumber Incorporated is not responsible for any loss, injury, or damage that may occur as a result of following the suggestions, tips, or recommendations provided in this blog post. Building projects involve inherent risks, and it is essential to exercise caution, obtain proper permits, and engage qualified professionals to ensure safety and compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. The inclusion of external links, references, or recommendations in this blog post does not constitute endorsement or guarantee the quality, reliability, or suitability of the linked sources. The reader should independently verify the information and assess its relevance to their specific circumstances. The author reserves the right to modify, update, or remove the content of this blog post at any time without prior notice. It is recommended to check for the most recent updates or consult with professionals to ensure the information is current and applicable. By reading this blog post, the reader acknowledges and accepts the above disclaimer and agrees to use the information provided responsibly and at their own discretion.

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