Choosing the right fasteners is one of the most crucial decisions in building a deck. It will ensure the safety and structural integrity of the deck. To most builders, screws are the best choice. Screws come in different types and sizes. But you may have wondered what kinds of screws can you use on a composite deck. After all, it’s different from a traditional wooden deck. Do you need special screws to install composite decking boards?
Screws for Composite Decks
Composite decking boards are similar to traditional wood boards. As such, you don’t necessarily have to use special screws on composite decks. You can use the ones that you use for wooden decks. In most cases, you will have to use 2 1/2 to 3 inches screws for your deck to ensure maximum stability.
While you can use wood decking screws, it doesn’t mean there are no special screws you can use for composite decks. There are several other fastening options that you can choose designed to hold decking boards better than traditional screws.
Special Screws for Composite Decks
There are a variety of special fasteners designed for composite decking boards. The most common are composite decking screws. These will work better than traditional wood screws. Composite decking screws specially designed threads and heads to make it easier to drive into the boards since composites are often denser and harder than most wood. You will also need to use the appropriate fastener system depending on the type of composite boards. There are two kinds of decking boards; solid and hollow. The decking boards can also be grooved or ungrooved.
Hollow boards differ from traditional solid decking boards due to their hollowed-out centre. Hollowing out the centre of the composites reduces the overall weight and the costs to produce the materials. But it also means you can’t drive any screws or nails on its surface. The good news is, these boards have grooves on their sides. To attach them to the decking frame, you will need to use hidden fasteners, which often make use of individual clips inserted into the grooves and screwed down into the joists.
Some solid decking boards also have grooved profiles. For these boards, you can also use hidden fastener systems. There are several fastener brands you can choose from, and each one has advantages and disadvantages over the others. For ungrooved solid decking boards, you will need to use wood screws or composite decking screws.
Follow Manufacturer’s Guidelines
While you have the freedom to choose what fasteners to use for your deck, it’s always best to consider what the manufacturers have in mind. Many decking brands will include detailed instructions and guidelines when it comes to choosing the right screws. They can also suggest special fasteners that are compatible with their products.
Another reason to follow them is because of the warranty. Some manufacturers will void the warranty on their products if you somehow managed to damage them with incompatible fastening systems. If you have questions, it’s best to contact them right away.
In conclusion, it’s perfectly fine to use traditional wood screws for your composite decking. But for better results, consider using special screws specifically designed for the materials you are using. Ask your decking supplier or manufacturers or check their guidelines and instructions right away if you need help choosing the best one.