How to Install Tongue and Groove Decking

Lead Image
  • 8-16 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 750-4,900
What You'll Need
Hand saw
Tongue and groove decking
Hammer and nails or screwdriver and screws

Tongue and groove decking is one of the easier types of decking to install. The wooden parts are already cut to fit together and just need to be cut to the right lengths to be installed. They will also need to be treated to protect them from the weather. You will also need to have the frame already prepared.

Installing the decking itself is the easier part of the job, especially if it is tongue and groove decking already designed for the purpose. Aside from the tongue and groove decking kit, you will need to have a few everyday tools and basic knowledge of DIY will help you a lot.

Step 1-Preparing the Decking

Assuming you have a simple rectangular area that you are going to apply the decking to, simply cut all of the floor planks to the same length. Make sure that these are cut accurately. If in doubt, leave a little bit extra as this can always be trimmed off later. Before putting everything together, the wood needs to be treated to help protect it from the elements. Use some exterior wood sealer to do this, and then leave the wood to dry for approximately 24 hours. When it is completely dry, you can then continue.

You should also apply wood primer to every side of the decking planks including the connecting areas of it. This primer should be applied thoroughly and carefully and it should be left to dry for about 24 hours. Make sure that the paint is carefully applied inside the grooves of the planks. A thorough job will help to ensure that the wood is well protected and that moisture cannot enter it.

Step 2-Putting the Decking Together

Using tacks, screws on nails, begin to fasten the flooring in place. This is the easy bit. Once you have installed the first plank, simply slide the next one into the groove of the previous plank. One effective method of fastening the floor into the frame is by using a pneumatic finish nailer. Use long galvanized nails.

Step 3-Working around Obstructions

If there are any obstructions in the way, things can get a little more complicated. When you come to an obstruction, it is best to start cutting the wood as required when you come to it. This way you will get a more accurate result. To work around an obstruction, cut a notch out of the plank and check it for a fit. Always be conservative in your estimations, as you can always cut off more wood if you need to. In some cases, to fit a plank, you may need to slip it into the previous one at an angle. Make sure that you seal any gaps between the planks and the obstructions.