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Plank RiteTM Deck Spacing Tool Directions

FOR USE WITH 6” PLANK DECKING (actual 5 ½”). Always refer to plank manufacturer’s specific instructions for spacing and installation.

TREATED WOOD PLANK LUMBER: Use the 1/8th side of the tool.
Try to use dry lumber versus wet. This will allow less contraction after your deck planks have been installed.
Wood planking generally contracts and will expand and shrink over time. However, most producers of wood planks agree that a lesser amount of space between planks (side by side) is needed to allow water and debris to pass between planks.

COMPOSITE DECK PLANKING MATERIAL: Use the 3/16th side of tool.
Composite deck planking will have less contraction versus wood planking. Most manufacturers of composite decking recommend 3/16th of an inch space between the plank boards.
  1. Layout how you plan for the deck planks to run or be positioned on the deck.   
  2. Using the PLANK RITETM tool, find the side of the tool that is marked for the plank that matches your type of material being used (see above). Create a mark on the plank with a pencil with the exact amount of space where you secured the studs. This will allow with the tool laying on top of the plank for you to see the mark in the “V” part of the tool and secure the plank on the stud.
  3. Once the studs have been secured in place and you are ready to position and secure (nail or screw) the deck planks, start the first plank 3/16th of an inch away from positioned wall or house. Then, the following planks should be spaced according to the type of decking used (see above). Using the secured plank position, place the top of the “T” part of the PLANK RITETM tool in between a secured plank and the plank that needs to be nailed or screwed.  Make sure the tool is on top of a nailing stud. Pull the loose plank towards the secured plank and using the tool’s designed holes that lay on top of plank, secure the plank with screws or nails. This will allow the nails or screws to be uniformed across the entire deck and have a professional finish. Move to next stud and repeat process in this step number until the entire plank has been secured to the studs.  
  4. Now position the next loose plank that needs to be secured and repeat process in step 3 until all planks have been secured on the deck.
NOTE: If the tool becomes stuck between planks after they have been nailed or screwed, you can use the claw part of the hammer to grab the tool with the notches on the side of the spacing part of the tool to pull out.