How to Install Square Edge Composite Decking

Square-edge decking

Square-edge decking boards are solid, ungrooved composite decking materials. These decking boards are usually cheaper than grooved composites. Because of this, many still choose this type of decking. If you’re building a deck with edge-boards, you may have wondered how to install them. Here is how you install these boards to build your perfect backyard patio.

Choose a Fastening System

You have to select which type of fastening system to use on the boards. Unlike grooved decking boards, you have a few options that you can choose from. Here are some of them:

  1. Stick with the classic  One of the most common methods of installing solid-edge decking boards is through the use of nails and screws. While this one is the most-used way of setting down the boards, it has a few disadvantages. The screws and nails may push back up due to the movement of the boards. If this happens, you will need to fasten them again. While it may not be a problem for many, there will be exposed nail and screw heads. 
  2. Plugs – If you’re not a fan of exposed screw and nail heads, one way you can go about it is by using plugs. For this, you will need to use countersink screws on face-mounted boards. After you drilled the screws, plug the holes using the same material as the board you’re using. While you can do this all by yourself, there are purchasable kits with complete sets of screws and plugs. One example is the Camo Hidden Fastening System.
  3. Get a Hidden Fastener – Another way to install your solid-edge composite boards is by using hidden fasteners specially designed for ungrooved boards. However, your options will be rather limited compared to ungrooved decking boards.
  4. Make the Grooves yourself – If you have the time and necessary equipment, you can create the grooves on the boards yourself. By doing so, you can use the various hidden clipping systems available for grooved decking boards.

Installing the Deck

How to install square edge composite decking

Now that you have chosen the fastening system for the boards, it’s now time to build the deck. Here are the steps on how to build a deck.

  1. Ready the land – First, you need to design and plan your deck. Then, you will need to prepare the area where you will build the deck. Part of the preparation is measuring and marking the area and cleaning the area from debris and grass. You’ll also need to mark the height of the board on the base wall of the house.
  2. Build the Foundation – Next, you will need to dig holes for the foundation of the deck. Most builders also cover the land with landscaping fabric and gravel. Part of this preparation is installing post footers. 
  3. Build a Frame – After setting the post footers, you’ll need to install the beams and joists. You may want to secure them in place by using reinforced brackets. Observe proper joists spacing as this affects the overall deck performance.
  4. Install the decking boards – Starting from the side nearest the house, install the boards using the fastening system of your choice. The process will be different depending on what fasteners you’ll be using. Continue installing until the last board. Install a fascia if necessary or desired. 
  5. Deck railings and other accessories – Lastly, install the deck railings. The process can be different depending on the type of railings that you chose to use. You can also add different accessories on your board, such as pergolas and stairs.

 When to Use Solid Edge Decking Boards

While grooved decking boards are a fan favourite, some times using solid edge composite decking materials are better. For instance, if you’re building a deck on a higher floor, you may want to use solid edge boards. It’s because solid edge decks don’t have wide gaps between the boards as grooved decks have. So liquids will be less likely to pour down. And because of the tinier gaps, it’s safer for some families, especially if you have kids or pets.

Tags: install decks, square edged decking

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