The possibilities for creating decking patterns are almost endless. Any one of several might fit your overall landscape design adequately. A few general principles will help you choose a pattern.
- On long, rectangular installations, decking set perpendicular to the length of the deck will tend to minimize the length and make the surface seem wider than it is.
- Borders lend a finished look to the deck.
- On small decks, simple patterns work better than intricate ones. Complexity can result in a pattern that looks “busy.”
- Diagonal patterns look best if they reflect a similar line elsewhere in the landscape—an angle of the house or an outdoor structure, for example, or the lines and angles made by planting beds.
- Complex or intricate patterns accentuate rather than hide defects in lumber. Use premium-grade lumber for such patterns. Otherwise, consider simply painting the surface.
Framing for Deck patterns
Unusual decking patterns require careful planning for both the surface and the framing that supports it. The ends of the decking must always rest directly on a joist or blocking. For simple patterns, install the decking perpendicular to the joists and scatter the butted ends at random throughout the deck. Support modular units with framing that holds up both the ends and the interior of each section. Typically, this means that blocking—short sections cut to fit between the joists—must be installed at regular interval.