Best Fastening Methods for Hardwood Decking

By Bill Christou, 04/10/17

Welcome back to the Nova USA Wood blog, the most in-depth hardwood decking series on the web. Decking season is now in full swing, so today's blog is taking a look at what is the best method to use when fastening your hardwood deck?

Several different options are available for fasteners and for fastening systems.


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The traditional method of face fastening with screws offers the best holding power while allowing for expansion and contraction. The additional benefit of face fastening screws is that, if/when necessary we can easily replace boards or can flip boards over and still utilize the unblemished face. We recommend stainless steel screws through the face of every board, two screws per joist. Self-tapping stainless steel screws are available but may require pre-drilling. Pre-drilling is always required on the ends of the boards. We do not recommend the use of non-stainless fasteners since they will cause discoloration near the fastener. Do not use carbon-steel screws


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While deck clips and hidden fastening systems provide a more seamless installation and offer more uniform spacing we have determined that despite manufacturers' claims, these products do not provide adequate anchoring of hardwood deck boards to the substructure. Do not use deck clips, hidden fasteners, or any other mechanical fastening systems, including those which fasten from the underside or edges of the boards.
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Most deck clips and hidden fastening systems have been created for use with dimensionally stable composite decking and are not designed for the particular physical properties of the most popular species of hardwood decking. Wood decking is subject to dimensional changes as the moisture content in the wood fluctuates with humidity in the air. Swelling, shrinkage, checking, and other movement of individual pieces are normal occurrences in wood decking and clip and hidden fastner systems simply do not perform as advertised when it comes to hardwood decking.
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The only hidden fastener accepted for use is the Wood Screw and Plug system, as it still achieves face screwing for maximum hold-down and the use of stainless steel screws. Two of the more popular plug systems are from Starborn Industries and from DeckWise
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Any other hidden fastener system will usually void the manufacturer's warranty.

Please follow decking installation instruction and consult local building codes when building an exterior deck. Most counties require building permits.

Nova USA imports Cumaru/Brazilian Teak, Batu / Red Balau and Angelim Pedra decking and distributes to customers throughout North America.

If you have any questions regarding these species and/or their proper installation on your project, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Additional Reference: here

By Bill Christou, 04/10/17

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