Loading

Deck Blocking And Bridging

Blocking or bridging can be used for a variety of purposes in deck building. Probably, the most commonly used technique is to install small pieces of material in a zig-zag pattern between the perimeter joists to create a rigid rim joist that prevents bounce and increases the strength of the rail attachment. Some deck builders install blocking throughout the frame to increase the strength of long joist spans and promote a more solid structure.

Often times, scrap materials from your framing lumber may be used for blocking. Always make sure that this material is either pressure-treated or naturally resistant to decay.

Another blocking technique involves laying the blocking level with the tops of the joists to create a solid surface around the perimeter to support a picture frame or racetrack perimeter board. Blocking can also be used in this manner down the center of a deck to provide support for a division board, a zipper pattern or herring bone pattern. Most creative decking styles like parquet etc. will require some blocking. 

Reduce joist bounce with blocking.
PinterestSave
Reduce joist bounce with blocking.

Install blocking or bridging between joists at mid-span to reduce bounce. Install blocking along the perimeter rim joists to strengthen guardrails.

Blocking the joists at mid span.
PinterestSave
Blocking the joists at mid span.

Snap a chalk line across the center of your joists to lay out your bridging. You can use scrap framing material for blocking and bridging.

Toe nailing blocking with a nail gun.
PinterestSave
Toe nailing blocking with a nail gun.

Stagger the blocking material to provide space for nailing. Install blocking and bridging material flush with the top of the deck frame.


Popular Framing Articles
Deck Support Columns

How to Decorate Deck Support Columns

Browse some examples of decorative deck support posts for tall decks.

Deck Support Beams

How to Install Flush Deck Headers & Beams

Flush beams are a great solution when space and clearance may be limited. Learn how to install deck headers and flush beams at Decks.com.

Deck Framing

How to Angle Corners and Joists

Learn how to frame a deck with angled or clipped 45-degree corners using a cantilever beam.

Next Step: Decking Articles
Decking Installation

Decking Patterns

Installing your decking at a 45-degree angle is a popular style for decks. This can be done to reduce decking seams or just for appearance.

Decking Installation

Installing Composite Decking

Learn about how to install composite decking. Topics include expansion and contraction issues and hidden fastener systems.

Decking Installation

Best Time to Build a Deck

People often wonder when the best time to build a deck is. Learn why building a deck in winter or fall might be your best bet.

Get more helpful resources delivered right to your inbox

Explore Articles by Topic

Popular Framing Articles
Deck Framing

Why is Joist Protection so Important for Your Deck?

If you’ve ever seen a piece of wood left out in the weather for any period of time, you know what happens: decay. Whether through wet rot, insect damage, or mildew, the fibers begin to break down.

Deck Framing

How to Extend a Deck

A deck extension is a great option when you feel like you need more outdoor space. Learn the step-by-step process of extending an existing deck.

Deck Support Columns

How to Connect a Notched Wood Post to a Beam

Learn how to install a notched wood support post to cantilevered beam connection using lag bolts, through bolts with washers or structural screws.

Next Step: Decking Articles
Decking Removal

How to Demolish & Remove a Deck

At some point, it might become necessary to remove an old deck, due to age or condition. Learn more about what's involved in a deck demolition and removal project.

Decking Installation

Decking over decking

No; this is not a recommended practice.

Decking Installation

Best Time to Build a Deck

People often wonder when the best time to build a deck is. Learn why building a deck in winter or fall might be your best bet.

Get more helpful resources delivered right to your inbox

Explore Articles by Topic