Homeowners face so many decisions when planning a new deck build, they can easily become overwhelmed. But one question that often remains unaddressed is the issue of deck fasteners.
Deck fasteners are the hardware that’s used to connect your deck boards to the structural framework. Most contractors will automatically use a certain type of fastener unless the customer requests an upgrade. This is fine, but as a homeowner it’s important to know the different options that are available to you.
Here’s a look at the three most common types of deck fasteners:
1. Nails. Nails are the least expensive option, and they can make for a good, sturdy deck. At Rick’s, nails are our “default” fastener — we like them because they’re the fastest to install. Use galvanized nails for best results. If you have a deck installed using nails, it’s a good idea to examine the boards regularly for splitting or popped nails.
2. Screws. Screws are more expensive than nails and take significantly longer to install. However, they make for a stronger deck in the long run as the screws won’t work their way out of the wood. Stainless steel screws are best for cedar, since they are resistant to corrosion and won’t attract stains.
3. Deck clips. When it comes to composite decks, deck clips are the new kid on the block. Instead of securing your deck boards from the top-down with nails or screws, deck clips are installed in between each board, snugly holding each one together. The clips are screwed to the joists themselves, creating a continuous floor surface that’s held tight to the structure yet maintains a smooth appearance. The unique deck clip design automatically spaces out each board for an even, consistent deck. Although they cost extra to install, the advantages of deck clips are well worth the price. They’re virtually invisible, they won’t pop out of the wood or cause splitting, and they make for a strong, long-lasting deck.
Read more about your deck fastener options.