The 4 Best Decking Fasteners And Their Use
One of the most functional outdoor features is a beautiful deck. It becomes a gathering space for friends and family to create wonderful memories together outside. Once the type of decking fasteners is chosen, the method of installation should be decided upon. Just as there are many options of decking materials, so too are there many options of installation methods. The decking material chosen will determine whether one can use nails, hidden fasteners, deck plugs, decking clips, or stainless steel screws.
Now, it is important to specify two things: First, when working with tropical hardwoods, pre-drilling is mandatory, due to the hardness and density of the wood. Second, to fasten the wooden board, screws are always a must.
But this is just a preview of information regarding the installation part, for now we will focus only on the materials and their individual characteristics.
In addition to the size, shape, and color of the new outdoor area, another important decision to make is whether to fasten the deck to its structure with visible stainless steel screws or coated with plugs, or with hidden fasteners.
Here at Brazilian Lumber, we share what we consider to be the 4 best decking fasteners, as well as their features and the variety of alternatives they offer:
- Stainless Steel Screws
- Hidden Deck Fasteners
- Coated Steel Screws
- Fasteners for composite decking
1.Decking Fasteners: Stainless Steel Screws 5 Main Features
Fastening the decking to the substructure with screws has long been the preferred method. Not only is it a fairly simple and straightforward process for wood and composite decking, but screws also provide a strong and secure connection for fastening wooden boards, as well as being a cost-effective option.
They are preferred to nails because they do not rot or discolor wood, and the screw thread mechanics provide much greater holding power than nails. This is in addition to their durability.
The screw heads come in a variety of colors so that they can easily be matched to the hardwood or composite decking being used.
Stainless steel screws are one option, or coated steel screws can also be used. Therefore, holes for these screws should be pre-drilled when installing high quality hardwood products such as: Ipe, Cumaru, Tigerwood, Jatoba, and others.
Here at Brazilian Lumber, we have many options of stainless steel screws, such as:
- The DeckWise Bugle-Head Deck Screws: Available in 305 Grade stainless steel for decking, use for optimum performance with hardwoods, thermally modified softwoods, PT softwoods, and composite decking materials. Pre-drilling is not required except for exotic hardwoods.
- The DeckWise Self-Tapping Metal Joist Deck Screw is designed explicitly for metal joist applications. It can be used to attach most types of decking materials such as hardwoods, heat-treated lumber, softwoods, composite, and PVC.
To sum up, these are the reasons why some people prefer stainless steel screws for decking:
- Easy installation at a low cost
- Strong and secure bond
- Functional and strong construction with deeply recessed star drive head to prevent slipping
- Reverse threading to avoid mold and surface defects
- High holding power
If aesthetically you would prefer not to have visible screws, here are two solutions for you:
- Our line of 3 Signature Colormatch painted heads: Hardwood Brown, Cedar, and Outdoor Grey to match your decking material, plus a general purpose unpainted stainless steel head.
- The Master Plug Kit offers four species of hardwood plugs (plain or our grooved Extreme Plugs). Their function is to be placed over the screw so that it is hidden, making the board seamless.
They are made from real hardwood and tapered for easy installation; builders can perfectly blend into the rich tones of Cumaru, Garapa, or Ipe.
2.Decking Fasteners: The 5 Most Important Aspects Of Hidden Fasteners
Some hidden deck fasteners, such as the Ipe Clip and Deck Clip, are also very popular because your deck can be built without visible screws on the top of the boards.
The screws are visible looking down between the cracks in the boards, but hidden fasteners are much less visible than boards screwed on the front.
Also, there is the idea that with the use of hidden decking fasteners, a truly barefoot-friendly space is created, with a clean and smooth surface.
To use them, each wooden board is fixed to a clip, achieving a faster, easier, and more flexible method of assembly.
In summary, these are the properties that make hidden decking fasteners stand out from other materials:
- A seamless finish with no visible fasteners elements
- Pre-assembled clip enables quick and easy installation
- Easy removal of the boards if necessary (even in the middle of your deck)
- Great holding power thanks to the serrated edges on the clip
- Consistent board spacing along the deck
Here at Brazilian Lumber, we have some marvelous hidden fasteners options:
- DeckWise Hidden Siding Fasteners create a sleek, high-quality appearance. The entire system is designed to significantly reduce cupping, warping and mold growth due to water penetration.
They are manufactured from solid 304 grade stainless steel and are perfect for residential and commercial applications.
- The Ipe Clip is a plastic, coated stainless steel clip that slides into slots in the sides of deck boards. Stainless steel is an ideal material (over solid plastic clips) for concealed deck attachments.
These decking fasteners offer options with interesting features. For example, The Ipe Clip Hidden Deck Fasteners, 175 ct, is very useful for automatically spacing deck boards. Here are some other characteristics:
- Manufactured from polyethylene with black oxide stainless steel insert.
- The unique design allows for greater tolerance in the grooved side profile while increasing the hold down area.
- UV resistantç
3.Decking Fasteners: Coated Steel Screws
They can be installed without pre-drilling holes, have superior holding power over nails, and cost less than stainless steel screws.
Many prefer to drill a pilot hole when installing very hard Brazilian Cumaru and Ipe decking that makes screwing easier, but the strength of these screws is still a useful feature.
4.Decking Fasteners For Composite Structures
Regular deck screws are made to go through pressure treated wood only. Composite materials are much denser, so it can be difficult to drive a normal screw through them, and pre-drilling may be necessary before the screws can be inserted.
Alternative deck materials such as PVC and wood-plastic composites are much more stable than wood and therefore don’t need a large head to hold them together.
The smaller screw heads make the deck look much cleaner and elegant. But, this really depends on the brand and the products it offers.
We have 305 grade composite bolts made of stainless steel. They are strong and corrosion resistant.
Painted heads, in your choice of hardwood brown, rose brown, cedar, composite gray or composite sand, match the most popular composite deck colors.