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Laying decking boards - step by step instructions

Laying decking boards - step by step instructions

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Laying terrace boards sounds pretty easy at first. In reality, however, there are a few things to consider here so that the dream terrace does not become a nightmare.


A wooden terrace is visually appealing, which is why it is now particularly preferred in naturally designed gardens. However, this does not necessarily have to be made of real wood. If you do not want to rely on it, you can also rely on easy-care and durable planks made of WPC (Wood Plastic Composition), a wood-plastic composite. These have some advantages over normal wooden floorboards. Recommended reading: WPC terrace boards: Overview of the advantages of the boards.

But no matter which planks you choose - there is still the question of whether you build the terrace yourself or have it built. If you are not particularly clumsy in terms of craftsmanship, you can also do the laying of the decking yourself. It's not as difficult as you might think.

Important information before laying the decking

➤ Prefer decking boards with click system:

Basically, you have two different options these days to attach the decking boards to the substructure. The conventional method is fixing with rustproof screws. However, this creates boreholes into which moisture can penetrate and which also pose a certain risk of injury. For example, if you walk barefoot on the ground.

On the other hand, it is much easier with assembly clips. Here, laying works similarly to modern click laminate. This promises a more attractive look and more security, but you also have to dig deeper into your pocket. If you want to use such clips, you must make sure that you need different clips for the first row than for the rest of the covering.

➤ Install the first plank correctly:

It is important that you start at the edge of the first plank and lay it across the substructure. For solid structures, the distance from the planks must always be at least 10 mm.

➤ Use a single type of wood:

Each type of wood has its own swelling and shrinking behavior, so you should only ever use one type of wood. There is usually no need to saw the planks to size, because you can buy finished planks in the hardware store or in the timber trade.

Instructions for laying terrace boards

➥ Step 1:

Before you can lay the planks, you have to prepare the subsurface and build a substructure. For this you need:

  • spade
  • root mat
  • spirit level
  • support beams
  • screw
  • nuts

First of all, however, you need to carefully remove stones and weeds.

2 Step 2:

Then you have to level the surface. Important: take a slight slope into account when leveling so that the terrace slopes slightly from the house towards the garden. To do this, you have to dig a bed with the spade to a depth of 30 cm and then fill it with chippings, gravel or sand. Then spread out the fleece so that no weeds can later grow through the joints of the planks.

3 Step 3:

It is best to use concrete slabs for the foundation, which are spaced about 60 cm apart. Then lay the support beams on top of them, making sure that they are flush with the concrete slabs on the outside. You can then screw the beams together.

4 Step 4:

Once the substructure has been completed, you can start laying the planks. You should proceed parallel to the wall of the house. The grooved profile of the planks must therefore run across the direction of travel. This not only makes walking on the ground more comfortable, but also safer because you have more grip.

It is best to start right at the house and lay the planks row by row towards the garden. There must be a gap of at least 10 mm between the individual planks. A little tip: With click systems you have much less work.


If you screw the planks together, you must measure and mark the position of the screws beforehand. Then pre-drill the holes a little, insert screws and make sure that they are flush with the wood. This is the only way to avoid injury later.

5 Step 5:

If you have covered the surface with planks, you can still blend the side surfaces with decorative stones, palisades or planks.

If you have chosen real wood, you should also impregnate the boards with oil, wax or wood preservative. So they are not only protected from the different weather influences, but are also not overgrown by moss. Reading tip: Remove moss on the terrace and sidewalk - 4 tips.