Screws vary in style and size. Choosing the right one for your composite deck may be one of the most important decisions you will need to make. It can contribute to a safer, more durable, and more structurally stable composite decking. If you have wondered which types of screws and fasteners to use, here are some of your options.
Traditional Wood Deck Screws
In most cases, you can use traditional wood screws for decks. When it comes to installation, most composite decking boards are similar to wood boards. However, you will want to make sure you are using deck screws. Deck screws are more weather-resistant and corrosion-resistant than ordinary screws.
Screws vary in length. As a general rule of thumb, the screw should penetrate 2/3 to 3/4 deep into the base or bottom material. For composite decking, you will need at least 2 1/2 inch screws. Screws also have different diameters, from 1/16 inch (#0) to 5/16 inch (#20). For general decking purposes, you can use a 5/32 inch wide screw (#10).
Composite Deck Screws
While you can use traditional wood deck screws, there are better options that you can pick. Instead of using wood screws made for wood, consider using decking screws made for composites.
One of the issues of using wood deck screws is their larger heads. Wood decks tend to warp, bend, or cup. Larger-headed screws can cover more surface and better hold the boards in place. On the other hand, composites don’t expand as much, but they also shrink. Shrinking and expansion of the deck boards can pop out the screw heads. Not only are they unattractive, but they can cause accidents as well.
Composite decking screws are easier to drill into composites. They have smaller heads and have better threads for easier drilling. They countersink deep into the wood for a cleaner and smoother finish. Composite deck screws are often high-quality as well. They have the same superior weather and water-resistance as the composite boards themselves.
Special Fastener Systems
Composite decking boards come in different varieties. In some cases, you will need to use screws and fasteners, depending on the types of decking boards you will be using. Composites can either be hollow or solid. Hollowed-out composite decking boards are lighter and cheaper than solid ones. However, you can’t use traditional methods of screwing them into the frame.
Hollow boards have grooves on either side. To install them, you will need to use hidden fasteners. Hidden fasteners systems use clips inserted into the side grooves and drilled into the deck frame. There are several varieties of fastener systems that you can pick. In some instances, some fastener systems are specially designed for a particular brand of composite deck boards.
Always Ask the Manufacturers
If you are building a composite deck, it’s best to read through all the instructions and guidelines supplied with the boards. You may find out crucial information regarding what screws to use. Following the detailed instructions from your suppliers and manufacturers will ensure the best results. Some companies also have warranty policies regarding screws. If you use the wrong screws, you may end up voiding the warranty.
In conclusion, you can use traditional wood deck screws. But to get the best results, you’ll want to use composite decking screws or fastener systems specially designed for the boards you are using. If you are still unsure, never hesitate to contact your supplier or manufacturers.