When it comes to selecting your outdoor deck, there are many options. Firstly, you’ll need to determine whether timber boards or composite materials are best for your outside space. Then, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty details — screws and fasteners.
Deck fasteners and screws play an integral role in the installation and overall look of your deck. Here, we’ll discuss everything from which screws you should choose to secure your wooden or composite deck, to the best hidden deck fasteners.
Types of screws for your deck
Before your deck is installed, you’ll need to determine how all the pieces are going to come together. The tried and true method of deck installation has been to use screws. However, will that tradition continue?
Here are some common screw types for decking:
1. Composite deck screws
Composite decking is typically installed using hidden fasteners that connect the deck from the side or underneath. However, if you are using screws for your composite deck, make sure you look for screws that feature an auger tip, reverse thread, undercutting head or a six-point star/hex head. All of these features create a screw that will not get stripped or become trapped in your decking.
2. Wood deck screws
When fastening timber boards, wood deck screws are a perfect choice. If you’re buying all of your materials through a supplier, make sure they provide corrosion resistant screws, preferably stainless steel. Remember, your deck will most likely be exposed to the elements so you’ll need to ensure that you choose quality screws that will last.
You may also come across self-drilling decking screws. While these types of screws may cut down some preparation time, they may not hold as firmly as pre-drilled and countersunk screws. It’s always best to think of the long-term benefits rather than trying to save a few minutes of building time.
When it comes to the visibility of your stainless steel screws, it is purely a personal preference. Some people like the look of the silver screws against the wooden timber decking while others opt for a more seamless look. If you do want to hide the screws in your deck, you have a couple of options. Adding plugs to the end of the screws is a method that has been around for a while, however, it is not as widely used today. Some composite decking products like Trex and Azek have plugs available, but these can be quite pricey. A more affordable option is to use colour-matched screws.
No-screw decking options
Typically, no-screw decking involves hidden deck fasteners. Hidden fasteners are mainly used for composite decking whereas timber decking involves top fixing the boards with screws.
Choosing decking that doesn’t involve using screws is becoming more popular as it allows you to enjoy the look and feel of your decking without visible screws.
In addition to its aesthetic perks, hidden deck fasteners eliminate the potential of loose or exposed nails and screws, which require maintenance to fix.
Here are some of our favourite hidden fastener options for your decking:
1. AZEK fasteners
AZEK fasteners are a great option for PVC or composite decking. These fasteners provide a smooth deck surface and come in a variety of styles to minimise installation time and maximise the longevity of your deck.
2. Deck clips
Deck clips work great with grooved boards. They are made out of stainless steel and sit in the gap between two boards, helping fasten them together.
When using deck clips, ensure that your boards are grooved to match the fastener exactly. If there is a discrepancy between the size of the grooves and clips, the boards will not lock securely.
3. Hidden deck fasteners
All good composite decking brands produce their own fasteners. These fit perfectly into the grooves on the side of their boards and produce a seamless finished look. Some companies, like Klevaklip, Black Hawk and Fastenmaster produce their own fixings for particular decking brands that work extremely well.
For more information on deck screws, fasteners, and installation methods, check out our ebook, The Ultimate Guide to Selecting Your Deck.
Whether you’re still deciding on the look of your dream deck or you’re ready to install today, reach out. It would be our pleasure to help you with your search for the perfect deck.