Man assembling composite deck using cordless screwdriver

When it comes to building a deck, choosing the right deck fasteners is crucial for both the structural integrity and the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space. Deck fasteners play a vital role in securing the decking boards to the underlying joists, ensuring a durable and long-lasting deck. In this guide, we will explore various types of deck fasteners, each offering unique advantages and considerations. Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a professional contractor, understanding these deck fasteners will empower you to make informed decisions for your deck project.

Traditional Deck Screws

Traditional deck screws are one of the most common and widely used deck fasteners. These screws are made of corrosion-resistant materials like stainless steel or coated steel. They come in various lengths and diameters, allowing you to choose the appropriate size based on your deck's requirements. Traditional deck screws offer excellent holding power, ensuring that the decking boards remain securely attached to the joists.

One key advantage of using deck screws is their ease of installation. With a power drill or screwdriver, you can drive the screws through the decking boards and into the joists quickly and efficiently. However, it's important to note that screws can cause splitting or cracking in certain wood types if not pre-drilled properly.

Hidden Fastening Systems

Hidden fastening systems provide a sleek and seamless appearance to your deck by eliminating visible screws or nails on the surface. These systems typically consist of specially designed clips or brackets that attach the decking boards to the joists from below. Hidden fasteners offer several benefits, including improved aesthetics, reduced risk of snagging, and increased safety for barefoot walking.

There are different types of hidden fastening systems available, such as proprietary systems that are specific to certain decking brands or universal systems that work with various decking materials. Each system has its own installation requirements and considerations, so it's essential to follow the manufacturer's guidelines for optimal performance.

Decking Nails

Decking nails have been used for decades as a reliable deck fastening option. They are available in various lengths and materials, including galvanized or stainless steel, which provide resistance against corrosion. Nails are typically driven through the decking boards into the joists using a hammer or a nail gun.

While nails are generally less expensive than screws, they have some drawbacks. Over time, nails may loosen or pop out due to wood movement or exposure to the elements. Additionally, they may create visible holes on the deck surface, which can be a concern for those seeking a clean and polished look.

Hidden Deck Fastening Clips

Hidden deck fastening clips are another type of concealed fastening system that allows for a smooth and unblemished deck surface. These clips are designed to fit into grooves on the sides of decking boards, securing them to the joists without the need for visible fasteners. Hidden fastening clips work well with grooved decking boards and are available in different materials to suit various decking types.

The installation process involves inserting the clips into the grooves and then attaching them to the joists using screws or other specialized fasteners. This method provides a secure and uniform deck surface, while also allowing for natural expansion and contraction of the decking boards.