A common question we get this time of year is, "What fastener should I use for deck boards?" Most contractors will give the short answer: a deck screw. But regional conditions and new decking materials may expand - or narrow - the list of suitable deck fasteners. Take a look at the questions and answers, below, then decide what works best for your decking project.

Quik Drive Decking

What type of fastener can I use for wood deck board?

Standard wood decking is pretty versatile in how it can be assembled to the deck frame. The least expensive option for installing wood deck boards is to use framing nails, though we don't necessarily recommend them. You'll see a lot of builder-grade decks assembled with framing nails, which remains the fastest installation method, but can lead to maintenance headaches down the road.

Over time, the nails will start to work themselves out of the wood board, which greatly compromises holding strength - and can even make the deck dangerous to walk across if nails begin to protrude. For decking boards, we recommend using a deck screw such as DuraSpin collated screws or Scrails. Both offer improved holding strength thanks to a threaded shank, which keeps the fastener locked into place - and can be reversed, allowing for easy removal if a board needs to be replaced.

Senco DuraSpin Deck Screw Diagram

What fastener coating, color, or material should I get?

Choosing the right type of fastener is only part of the process; you'll also need to figure out the size and variation of fastener. Collated deck screws come in several different colors, coatings and materials. If you're installing composite deck boards, we recommend color-matching yours with DuraSpin composite deck screws or BeckDeck Scrails.

In damp or coastal regions, or for decks that are regularly exposed to weather, opt for a stainless steel deck screw or Scrail to prevent rusting and corrosion over time. Most standard wood deck screws by Senco or Quik Drive fasteners by Simpson Strong-Tie feature a basic corrosion-resistant coating.

Deck Building Diagram

What are hidden deck fasteners?

A growing trend in designer decking, hidden deck fasteners and hidden deck screws are rapidly increasing in popularity. Hidden deck fasteners are more luxury than necessity, but for high end decks, they may prove worth the extra investment. The beauty to using hidden deck fasteners is that you get a flawless deck surface with no apparent blemishes or gaps.

Senco Mantis Hidden Deck Fasteners are held in place with a clip, which allows the fastener to be driven into the base of a deck board at an angle. CAMO also offers a hidden deck screw system, which eliminates the need for clips, and also installs the deck fastener at a similar angle. Hidden fastening systems create evenly spaced boards and a flawless looking surface, however, they typically command a higher price and require a longer installation time.

Senco Hidden Deck Fastening System

How many fasteners do I need?

Different fastening systems often require different quantities of fastener. On average, you can complete around 100 square feet of decking with approximately 450 deck screws, using two screws per joist. The true number of deck screws required ultimately depends on the width of your deck facing, and the spacing between your joists.

A 3-1/2" face with 12" on center joists will run closer to 700 deck screws for 100 square feet; whereas a 5-1/2" face with 24" on center joists will only require about 225 deck screws per 100 square feet. Knowing your joist spacing and facing width will help narrow the project estimate window tremendously.

Ready to get to work? Contact us if you have a question about deck fastening or decking tools.


~ The Nail Gun Depot Team