The Ultimate Glossary of Deck Building Terms

Shane Chapman / Backyard Building Expert

Shane Chapman

Backyard Building Expert

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Decking Glossary

Explore 'The Ultimate Glossary of Deck Building Terms' - your comprehensive guide to deck construction language. Master key terms and concepts in decking, from materials to tools, ensuring your deck building projects in Saskatoon, Regina, Canada and beyond... are a success!

  • Acrylic Coating: A water-based protective coating for decks, providing a durable surface.
  • Adjustable Post Anchor: A hardware piece allowing adjustment of deck post positioning.
  • Angled Decking: Decking boards installed at an angle to the joists.
  • Balusters: Vertical spindles or rods that make up part of the railing.
  • Beam Span: The distance a beam can support the deck joists without additional posts.
  • Biscuit Joiner: A tool for cutting crescent-shaped holes for biscuit joinery in deck building.
  • Board Bender: A tool used to straighten bent boards in deck construction.
  • Box Sill: A framework of joists and headers at the perimeter of a deck.
  • Camber: A slight upward curve in a beam or deck to prevent sagging.
  • Cantilever: A long projecting beam fixed only at one end, used in deck construction.
  • Capstock Decking: Composite decking with a protective outer layer for durability.
  • Cedar Decking: Decking material made from cedar wood, known for its natural resistance to rot.
  • Composite Decking: A durable decking material made from a blend of wood fibers and plastic.
  • Deck Blocks: Pre-cast concrete foundations for decks that sit on the ground.
  • Deck Footing: A concrete base that supports the deck's posts, providing stability.
  • Deck Joists: Horizontal beams that support the decking boards.
  • Deck Post: Vertical supports that hold up the deck structure.
  • Deck Rails: The perimeter fence-like structure around a deck for safety.
  • Deck Screws: Specialized screws used for deck construction, resisting rust and corrosion.
  • Deck Sealer: A transparent coat that protects wood from moisture and UV damage.
  • Deck Stain: A finish applied to wood decks to add color and protect against the elements.
  • Decking Boards: Long planks used to create the surface of the deck.
  • Decking Clip: A hidden fastener used for attaching decking boards to the joists.
  • Decking Oil: An oil-based treatment to preserve and enhance the appearance of wooden decks.
  • Decking Patterns: Designs created by the arrangement of decking boards.
  • Decking Spacer: A tool used to ensure even spacing between decking boards.
  • Eco-Friendly Decking: Decking made from sustainable, environmentally friendly materials.
  • Edge Banding: A strip of material used to create a finished edge on decking material.
  • End Grain: The small exposed area of a piece of wood at its end.
  • Expansion Gap: A small space left between decking boards to allow for thermal expansion.
  • Fascia Boards: Boards that cover the ends of deck joists for a clean finish.
  • Fascia Mount: A method of attaching railings to the side of the deck, rather than the top.
  • Flashing: Material used to prevent water from penetrating the junction of a deck and the house.
  • Flashing Tape: An adhesive tape used to protect wooden deck frames from moisture.
  • Flush Beam: A beam set level with the joists, creating a seamless deck surface.
  • Footings: Concrete bases buried below frost line to support deck posts.
  • Frieze Board: A decorative board at the top of a deck's siding, beneath the eave.
  • Gazebo: A freestanding, roofed, usually open-sided structure providing a shady resting place.
  • Girder: A large beam that supports the floor joists of a deck.
  • Grain Pattern: The natural lines and textures in wood, affecting its appearance and strength.
  • Grooved Decking: Decking boards with grooves for hidden fasteners, for a seamless look.
  • Guardrail: A safety barrier installed along the edge of a deck to prevent falls.
  • Hardwood Decking: Decking made from dense and durable hardwood species.
  • Herringbone Pattern: A V-shaped weaving pattern used in decking for aesthetic appeal.
  • Hidden Deck Fasteners: Fastening systems that conceal screws or nails for a smooth deck surface.
  • Hidden Fasteners: Decking installation system that leaves no visible screws on the deck surface.
  • Infill Panel: The panel, often made of wire or glass, that fills the space between deck railings.
  • Interlocking Deck Tiles: Tiles that lock together to create a deck surface, easy to install.
  • Isolation Membrane: A material used to prevent moisture transfer between the deck and the house.
  • Jamb: The side post or lining of a doorway or window, used in deck structures.
  • Jig: A tool used to control the location or motion of another tool, useful in deck building.
  • Joist Hangers: Metal brackets used to anchor joists to beams or ledger boards securely.
  • Joist Tape: A protective tape applied to the top of deck joists to prevent rot.
  • Kerf Cut: A series of small cuts made in wood to allow it to bend and create curved shapes.
  • Kiln-Dried Wood: Wood that's been dried in a kiln to reduce moisture content.
  • Knee Brace: A diagonal support between deck posts and beams for added stability.
  • Lag Screw: A large, heavy-duty screw used in deck construction.
  • Lattice: A framework of crossed wooden or metal strips, often used as a deck skirting.
  • Ledger Board: Board attached to the house, supporting one end of the deck joists.
  • Load-Bearing Wall: A wall that supports weight from above in deck construction.
  • Marine Grade Plywood: High-quality plywood suitable for use in moisture-prone areas like decks.
  • Miter Joint: A joint made by beveling each of two parts to be joined.
  • Molded Lumber: Composite lumber shaped into specific forms, like deck boards or railings.
  • Nail Gun: A tool that drives nails into wood at high speed, useful in deck construction.
  • Non-Slip Decking: Decking material designed to prevent slipping, even when wet.
  • Notched Post: A post with a section cut out to allow a beam or joist to sit flush.
  • On-Center Spacing: The distance from the center of one structural member to the next.
  • Outrigger: A projecting structure that increases the deck area or supports an extension.
  • Pergola: An outdoor garden feature forming a shaded walkway or sitting area.
  • Pilot Hole: A small hole drilled as a guide for the insertion of a nail or screw.
  • Polyethylene Decking: Decking made from a type of plastic known for its durability.
  • Post Cap: A decorative element placed on top of a deck post.
  • Pressure-Treated Lumber: Wood that has been chemically treated to resist rot, decay, and termites.
  • Quarter-Sawn Lumber: Wood cut from logs in a way that makes it more stable and less prone to warping.
  • Quick-Connect Fittings: Fittings used in deck railings for easy, tool-free assembly.
  • Railing System: The entire setup of railings, including balusters, posts, and handrails.
  • Resin Decking: Decking made from synthetic resin, known for its weather resistance.
  • Rim Joist: A joist forming the outer edge of a floor frame or deck.
  • Screw Gun: A power tool designed to drive screws into decking and other materials.
  • Shake: A wooden shingle made from split logs.
  • Spindle: Another term for baluster, used in the railing of decks.
  • Stair Stringers: Structural members that support the treads and risers of stairs.
  • Teak Decking: High-quality decking material made from teak, known for its durability.
  • Tongue and Groove: A method of fitting similar objects together, edge to edge.
  • Treated Pine: Pine wood treated with chemicals to resist rot and pests.
  • Treated Wood: Wood that has been treated with chemicals to resist rot and insects.
  • UV Protector: A coating applied to decks to protect from ultraviolet light damage.
  • Under Deck Drainage: A system to keep the area under a deck dry.
  • Untreated Wood: Natural wood that hasn't been chemically treated.
  • Uplift Resistance: The ability of deck components to resist upward forces.
  • Varnish: A transparent, hard protective finish or film used in deck finishing.
  • Vinyl Decking: A durable, low-maintenance decking material made from vinyl.
  • Vinyl Railing: Railing made from vinyl, offering durability and low maintenance.
  • Warp: A distortion in wood caused by uneven drying or grain patterns.
  • Wet-Set Bracket: A bracket set in wet concrete to anchor deck posts securely.
  • Wood Brightener: A chemical treatment used to restore the natural color of aged wood decking.
  • X-Brace: A brace shaped like an 'X', used for additional deck stability.
  • X-bracing: Cross-braced support used in deck construction for enhanced stability.
  • Yard Lumber: Lumber graded for general use, often used in decking applications.
  • Yardstick: A measuring tool used in deck construction for precision.
  • Z-Flashing: A type of flashing bent into a 'Z' shape to protect horizontal joints.
  • Z-Max Coating: A type of coating used on metal connectors for extra corrosion resistance.
  • Zero Maintenance Decking: Decking materials designed to require minimal upkeep over time.

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About the Editor...

Shane Chapman // Backyard Building Expert

Shane Chapman, President and Co-Founder of The Ultimate Deck Shop, is a seasoned expert in the deck building industry. A former award winning deck builder (Fresh Decks), he now leads Canada’s top destination for backyard building materials.

Shane is committed to simplifying the shopping experience, providing exceptional customer service, and empowering both DIYers and professionals with his expert advice.

Get in touch with Shane to connect, collaborate or ask questions at LinkedIn.