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Deck Patterns, Layouts & Design Ideas

Adding decking patterns to your deck designs can add a splash of style. Consider these options when planning your deck. In most cases, this will require a little extra material.

Deck Patterns, Layouts & Design Ideas

Diagonal Decking:


This method involves installing decking 45 degrees off of the joists. Diagonal decking makes the frame stronger, preventing racking and eliminating the need for sway bracing. To support the diagonal span of the deck, you may need to reduce the spacing between your joists to 12" on center, depending on the decking material you are using. The waste factor of applying deck boards diagonally can increase by 15. With some planning, you can accomplish far better than that. Since this technique requires you to make more cuts, it involves more labor.


With the longest board, start at the corner and work your way outward. Decks must be squared if they are to maintain a constant angle. You can let the ends of the boards hang over the frame until the end so you can use a circular saw with a single pass to have a consistent edge.


When done diagonally it adds a very distinct character to your deck and can have a separate viewing experience depending on how people move through the space. For decks that are over 20’ Wide, this will minimize the butt joints required.


Herringbone Decking:


This is one of the most interesting and creative ways to apply to the deck. By arranging two opposing diagonal decking patterns that are combined in the center of the deck in a staggered orientation you can create a zipper pattern. Deck an octagon as an offset pattern that follows the shape of the frame. Parquet deck floors using squares that alternate decking directions are also possible.


These patterns would require you to add blocks to the frame to provide support and also a solid surface to fasten to. For composite decking, you can use contrasting colors to create an effect. Avoid working with small pieces of decking as a part of your design. Minimize butt joints and miter cuts too as these can separate over time and pieces can loosen and fall out.


Horizontal Decking:


This is the most obvious and easiest method for finishing a deck’s surface. First of all, sway bracing would need to be installed to protect the deck from racking. You can then proceed to your deck boards over the joints but parallel to the house. These deck boards should be fastened at every joist by two screws, or some kind of hidden fastener system. Make sure everything is the correct size and check with the manufacturer to make sure that they are compatible with the decking material or not.


For a deck that is less than 20’ wide, it is possible to finish the deck without any butt joints or splices. However, if it is longer than that your deck boards should be spliced over a joist. Butt joints should be staggered as best as you can to reduce the number of butt joints that are required. These should be best in different positions to reduce their visibility or use a division board to control or concentrate them in one location that makes logical sense. Decking is usually available in several different measurements with wooden decking being in 2’ increments while composite materials are very limited to 12’,16’, or 20’. Depending on the width, this could create a lot of wasted material. Make sure to plan to cut down on the waste material generated and also to save money.


Decking Inlay:


Installing a decking inlay is one of the most creative ways to add some taste to your deck. With color combinations, angles, and shapes to create a proper statement with their deck designs. There are very elegant examples of complex shapes such as octagons, pentagons, compasses, roses, or even curved designs. Keep in mind these inlays are not only expensive but also time-consuming with a lot of waste material that is created out of these. This requires not a seasoned builder but someone more of a craftsman who has honed this art and has massive amounts of skill.


Read more: How to Install Composite Decking


These involve a lot of vertical blocking with the joists because most materials can only be overhanging just a mere 3” beyond a joist. A lot of attention to detail goes on in them as every cut will be on a display and would alter the piece significantly if it is wrong. It requires a lot of small pieces required that are intricately carved which loosen, separate, and fall out over time.



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