Replacing a Deck Plank

  • 01 of 04

    Replacing a Damaged Wood Deck Board

    cupped deck boards
    Wooden deck boards can cup depending on how they are laid down.

    A repair you'll face at some time if you have a natural wood deck is the replacement of a deck plank or board. In this tutorial, we'll walk through the steps necessary to replace a rotten or damaged deck board.

    Needed Tools and Materials

    Continue to 2 of 4 below.
  • 02 of 04

    Plan and Make the Cuts

    You'll want to cut the damaged section of plank out cleanly and make the repair look as natural as possible. The way to do this is to cut the section out between one or two joist spacings.

    • Locate the damaged section between one or two joists, whichever will make the cut look more natural.
    • Put on your eye protection.
    • With a framing square as an edge guide for the jigsaw, cut the damaged section of plank out alongside the inside edge of one of the joists.
    • Repeat the process and cut the other edge...MORE of the damaged plank again alongside the inside edge of a joist.
    • Remove the damaged section of deck board.
    Continue to 3 of 4 below.
  • 03 of 04

    Install Support Blocks

    With the damaged plank removed, you now need to install supports at either end of the opening for the new deck board.

    • Using a circular saw (How To Use), cut two (2) 12" long sections of 2x4 support blocks.
    • Take one of the 12" support blocks and place it centered under the opening alongside one of the joists and pulled hard to the underside of the deck boards.
    • Nail the support block to the joist face with two (2) 3" spiral shank galvanized nails.
    • Repeat this process for the other end of...MORE the opening, fastening the second support block to the other joist face in the same manner.
    Continue to 4 of 4 below.
  • 04 of 04

    Fasten the New Deck Plank

    Deck Board Bark Side Down
    Bark Side Down Deck Board. © 2006

    With the support blocks in place, it's time to install the new plank.

    • Cut the new deck plank to length, making sure to make a square cut on each end.
    • Note the end grain pattern of the replacement plank and orient the end grain rings so that they curve upward (bark side down). This will help prevent cupping as the plank weathers.
    • If the decking is not cedar, redwood or pressure treated lumber, it will need to be treated with a preservative. Do this before installing the plank.
    • Drill (how to use) p...MOREilot holes through the new plank into the support structure below and fasten with 3" galvanized decking nails or deck screws.

    That's it. Now go get a cold drink and relax!