Decks are wonderful additions to any home and are highly recommended. One can rise above the ground by using a deck. And this elevation is obvious both when looking up at the deck design from the ground and while looking down at the large open area beneath the floors. A lattice is an easy option that can be used to hide this area and give the deck the appearance of being clean and unified. Lattice installation is a quick and easy improvement that won’t break the bank and can be finished in about an hour whether you use plastic or wood.
Basics of Installing Deck Lattice
Plastic and wooden versions of lattice are both commercially available. Both the lattice and the decking are available at a height of 4 feet, which means that you may cover a deck up to this height with a single piece of lattice, add more lattice for taller decks, or trim the lattice for decks that are lower.
On any deck design are a few strong connection points for the lattice that surrounds the deck. At the very top of the deck, either the rim joist or the beam can have lattice attached to it. It is possible to secure it to the upright poles that are located along the sides. In order to provide the necessary horizontal support for the bottom, you will need to install a stringer made of two-by-fours that will run from post to post.
Plastic Lattice for Decks
- It is impervious to insects or rot.
- molded as one piece
- Available as a deck kit.
- The paint does not stick well.
- Limited color choices
- Must be cleaned rather than painted over
Plastic lattice is constructed of vinyl and is available in 8-foot-long, and 4-foot-tall lengths. Typically, both diamond and square shapes are available. While white lattice is commonly stocked at many home improvement stores, a few additional hues, including black, green, grey, and brown, are available upon special order.
When cut, a one-piece plastic lattice retains its integrity. Because the lowest portion of decks frequently comes into contact with vegetation, vinyl’s water resistance and durability reduce upkeep.
However, plastic lattice offers fewer design options than wood lattice. It is not stainable. It is feasible to paint plastic lattice to some extent. However, painting plastic eliminates the advantages of its baked-in color. Since plastic lattice cannot be painted, the answer to its discoloration is to clean it.
Wood Lattice for Decks
- Stainable to wood tones
- Rigid, sturdy
- Requires regular maintenance
- Slats can dislodge from the lattice
- May twist out of square
Typically, the wood lattice is manufactured in a factory from cedar or another durable type of wood. Lattice is available in 8-foot lengths and 4-foot heights.
The major advantage of the wood lattice is the ability to customize its appearance. Since the wood is unfinished, it can be stained, painted, or left to naturally weather. Wood is rigid, so it is less likely to flex than plastic lattice.
However, wood lattice requires periodic care, such as repainting or providing an additional protective coating. Due to the fact that wood lattice is composed of individual slats, these slats can become separated during the cutting process.
Codes, Regulations, and Permits
Deck construction frequently requires a permit in many regions. Deck lattice installation may not require a permit, but you should always consult with your local building authority.
When cutting or connecting plastic or wood lattice to a deck, always wear eye and hearing protection.
What You’ll Need
Equipment / Tools
- Cordless drill
- Circular saw
- An electric miter saw
- Tape measure
- Plastic or wooden lattice
- 3 Flat wood or PVC 1-3/4-inch by 8-foot molding strips
- Two galvanized reinforcing L-angles
- 1 pressure-treated two-by-four
- 1/2-inch stainless steel screws
- Measure and Cut the Stringer Using the measuring tape, determine the distance between two deck posts. This measurement should be applied to the two-by-four. With a circular saw or miter saw, cut the two-by-fours.
- Install the L-Angles Attach L-angles to the sides of the deck posts using the cordless drill. Move the L-shaped pieces back 1 1/2 inches from the front of the posts.
- Install the Stringer on the Deck Have an assistant hold the two-by-four against the L-angles as a stringer while you use the cordless drill under the deck. Drill the two-by-fours against the L-shaped angles.
- Measure the Coverage Area. The lattice should extend to the bottom of the two-by-four stringers and 1/2 inch below the deck floorboards. On the other hand, the lattice should reach the center of the posts minus a quarter inch.
- Cut the Lattice to Size The measurements are transferred to the lattice. For cutting vinyl lattice, use a blade designed for plastics. For wood lattice, use a blade with fine teeth.
- Attach the lattice to the Deck Every 24 inches along the perimeter of the lattice, pre-drill holes. The holes should be larger than the diameter of the screws used to secure the lattice to the deck. Hold the lattice at the installation site and secure it with screws. Allowing for expansion and contraction, the lattice should be able to move somewhat.
- Attach the Moulding Around the Lattice All four sides of the lattice must be measured. Transfer these dimensions to the plastic (if utilizing plastic lattice) or wood molding (for wood lattice). Remove the molding. Attach the trim around the lattice with screws that go from the trim to the rear attachment point, but do not pierce the lattice. The lattice ought to be mobile.