Build A Deck
How to Make a Deck
The following information provided by Cali Bamboo is intended to serve as a reference guide only. Please carefully read Cali Bamboo’s installation, maintenance, and warranty documentation prior to installation.
Please note: Cali Bamboo offers free in house technical support as a courtesy to our customers. Consult with one of our bamboo deck experts before, during or after you start your project. Contact [email protected] or (888)788-2254 to find answers to your specific installation questions that may be unique to your application.
Always protect yourself when operating power tools.
Receiving Your Materials
Once you have received your BamDeck®, make sure you store it covered on a flat level surface until you are ready for installation.
Tools Needed to Build a Deck
To install your BamDeck®composite decking, you’ll need a circular or chop saw, a power drill, a 1/8” drill bit, some 2-1/2” wood screws, a Philips bit, deck board installation hardware, a tape measure, pencil, some 1/4” spacers and some spare 2 by 4’s cut approximately 13 inches long.
Before installing the deck boards, make sure the distance between joists is no more than 16-inches on center. For load-bearing decks (like ones with Jacuzzis) be sure the distance between joists is 8-inches to 12-inches on center. If your deck is being built next to an existing structure like a house, we recommend starting your first row against the structure and working your way outward.
Installing the First Board
While maintaining a 1/4-inch expansion gap, fasten one edge of the first board at each framing support joist by pre-drilling a hole and using quality 2-and-a-half-inch deck screws. Drill the first screw to the center joist, then the far ends, and lastly the joists in between. It is important that this board is straight and well secured.
Installing the First Fastener
It is important to note that while Solid and 3G BamDeck planks require different hardware, the installation techniques covered here are identical and apply to all products. While standing on the first deck board to keep it secure, install the provided screw at an angle through the fastener and into the joist, while keeping pressure on the fastener. Repeat this process and install a fastener, at each support joist.
Make sure each fastener body is straight and vertical and securely screwed to the center of the support joist. If needed, adjust the torque-setting on the screwdriver to prevent spin-out of the screw head.
Installing Additional Boards
Place the next deck board into position against fasteners. Slightly raise the outer edge of board being installed and slide the board securely onto the fastener. Check gapping between boards for consistency. If necessary, gently apply force to ensure that the board is fully seated. Continue installing planks until you reach the end of the first row. If necessary, trim the last deck plank to maintain a 1/4-inch expansion gap.
Butting a Seam
Install a small framing board 13-inches-long to the joist on which the seam is going to land. Install an additional fastener into the center of the newly-added framing board. Your seam should lie between the joist and framing board. Trim the plank if necessary. Install both planks into respective fasteners, while maintaining a 1/4-inch expansion gap between planks. Be sure to install an additional faster to the framing block on both sides of each butted plank for a total of 4 fasteners per seam.
Installing the Last Board
Seat the last board onto the fasteners as usual, but secure it by pre-drilling and screwing quality 2-and-a-half-inch deck screws to the center of each framing support joist. Your BamDeck is now complete, and because it’s composite, you’ll be maintenance free for years to come.
Obtain building permits before building
- Store flat and provide support every 2 ft.
- Keep covered prior to install.
- Joist spacing for residential is 16” on center and 12” on center for commercial.
If running your deck at a 45º angle to the joist, joist spacing needs to be reduced to 12” on center. Stair stringers should be placed 12” on center. Face screw boards on stairs, use solid boards only. Gapping: Install at the mean temperature of your geographical area. The temperature of composite lumber should be at least 45º F at the time of installation. This is not the same as air temperature. For board ends allow 1/16” for every 20º F difference between installation temperature and your hottest average temperature. Regardless of temperature a 1/16” minimum gap is required. Failure to do so will void all warranties and liabilities.
- There must be no ground contact with deck stringers, three sides under deck must be open for airflow.
- BamDeck® boards can NOT be installed directly on old deck boards or cement.
- ATTENTION: Improper installation increases fastener induced cracking.
Locate all holes at least 1 1/2” from board ends and 1” from board sides. Do not over tighten fasteners. Predrill clearance holes including screw heads.