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How To Replace A Deck Board – A Step-By-Step Guide

Picture this – the warm sunshine, the gentle breeze, and the laughter of loved ones on your beautiful deck. But wait, what’s that? A damaged, weather-worn deck board ruining the perfection of your outdoor haven?

In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of assessing, removing, and replacing that troublesome deck board. Armed with a handy list of tools and materials, you’ll be well-prepared to tackle this task like a pro.

We’ll also indulge in a fascinating comparison between two popular decking materials – Trex and TimberTech – so you can make an informed choice for your future decking projects.

PVC decking

How To Tell When Deck Boards Need Replacing

Inspecting your deck regularly is essential to identify signs of wear and tear that may require deck board replacement. Here are some indicators to look out for:
how to replace a deck board guide

Remember, the lifespan of deck boards can vary depending on the wood species, pressure-treated wood, composite materials, and the level of maintenance and protection from the elements they receive.

Regularly assessing your deck boards and addressing any issues promptly will ensure your outdoor space remains safe, functional, and aesthetically appealing.

If you are unsure about the extent of the damage or the right course of action, consult a professional deck repair and replacement service to guide you through the process.

Choosing a Replacement Deck Boards

When it comes to selecting a replacement board for your deck, the process is quite straightforward.

Most decks use 5/4 boards, which are 1-1/4 inches thick. To ensure a good match, you need to focus on two main factors: the size of the existing boards and the wood species used.

Measure and Match Size

Start by measuring the dimensions of the boards you need to replace. Make a note of their thickness and width. When you go to buy replacement boards, look for ones that have the same measurements. This way, the new boards will fit seamlessly into your deck.

Consider the Wood Species

Decks can be made from various types of wood, but common choices include cedar, redwood, and pressure-treated yellow pine. Try to identify the wood species of your existing boards. To do this, take a small piece from the boards you’re replacing with you to the lumberyard or hardware store.

Compare the appearance and smell of the sample with the boards available for purchase. This will help you find a replacement board that closely matches the look of your existing deck.


How To Replace Deck Boards

The first step in learning how to replace a deck board is having all the necessary tools and materials at hand before you get started. They include:
measuring for deck board replacement

Step 1: Assess the Damage

Inspect your deck thoroughly to identify the damaged or rotten deck board(s) that need replacement. Check for any loose fasteners as well.

Step 2: Safety First

Before starting any work, put on your safety goggles and work gloves to protect yourself from debris and splinters.

Step 3: Remove the Damaged Deck Board

Use a pry bar or deck board removal tool to gently lift the damaged board. Be careful not to damage the surrounding boards. If the board is nailed down, use a hammer to carefully remove the nails.

Step 4: Measure and Cut the Replacement Board

Measure the length of the removed board and use a circular saw to cut the replacement board to the appropriate size. Use a speed square to ensure precise cuts.

Step 5: Prepare the Replacement Board

Inspect the replacement board for any rough edges or splinters. Sand the edges and surface as needed to create a smooth finish.

Step 6: Install the Replacement Board

Place the replacement board into position, aligning it with the existing deck boards. Use a drill/driver to secure the board with screws or nails. Ensure the fasteners are flush with the board’s surface.

Step 7: Finishing Touches

Inspect the entire deck to ensure all boards are secure and free of any hazards. Sweep the deck to remove any debris or sawdust.
Trex Deck in Knoxville

Trex vs. Timbertech

In the vast and ever-evolving world of decking materials, two prominent contenders stand out as giants in the industry – Trex and TimberTech.

If you find yourself navigating the treacherous waters of deck-building choices, fear not! We present to you a comprehensive comparison table that will shed light on the unique features, advantages, and distinctions between these two renowned decking brands.

Aspect Trex TimberTech
History Trex invented composite decking in 1996 and offers a full line of products, including decking, railings, lighting, and outdoor furniture. TimberTech entered the composite decking market in 1997 and is now known for its innovation in composite railing systems.
Materials and Capping Trex caps only the top of the boards, allowing moisture to escape from the bottom. TimberTech boards are fully capped with PVC coating, sealing out all moisture.
Durability Trex Transcend is highly durable and resists scratching better than most other options. TimberTech offers durable products with realistic-looking boards.
Pricing Trex and TimberTech offer several tiers of composite decking products, with pricing varying based on deck size and add-ons. TimberTech tends to be a bit more expensive than Trex in the lower-end options.
Warranty Trex offers a 25-year fade and stain warranty for all capped composite decking. TimberTech provides a 30-year warranty for their capped composite decking.

replacing Deck Boards FAQs

Yes, you can replace deck boards without having to rebuild the entire deck structure. If the underlying deck frame is still in good condition, replacing individual damaged or worn-out deck boards is a viable and cost-effective solution to restore the deck’s appearance and functionality.

To replace a single deck board, follow these steps:

  • Measure and purchase a replacement board of the same size and material as the existing deck boards.
  • Using a pry bar, carefully remove the fasteners (nails or screws) securing the damaged board to the deck frame.
  • Lift and remove the damaged board from its position.
  • Align the new board and fasten it securely to the deck frame using appropriate screws or nails.
  • Ensure the replacement board is level with the surrounding boards and check for a snug fit.

To remove existing deck boards, follow these steps:

  • Use a pry bar or a cat’s paw tool to carefully lift the edges of the boards and expose the fasteners (nails or screws).
  • Unscrew or remove the nails from the fasteners using a drill or hammer, and then detach the deck board from the joists.
  • Work systematically across the deck, repeating the process for each board until all damaged or old boards are removed.
  • Dispose of the old boards responsibly or consider recycling if applicable.
The cost-effectiveness of repairing or replacing a deck depends on the extent of the damage and the overall condition of the deck. Generally, if only a few deck boards are damaged or showing wear, repairing those specific areas will be more cost-effective than replacing the entire deck. However, if the deck has extensive damage, rot, or structural issues, a full deck replacement might be a better long-term investment.

Convenient Deck Repair Services In TN

With our experienced team of deck builders and repair specialists, we offer you a hassle-free solution to restore your deck to its former glory. No need to worry about finding the right tools or matching replacement boards – we’ve got you covered.

Get in touch with us and we’ll help you replace your deck boards while you enjoy your day-to-day.