The beauty of wood composite decking is that is it strong and durable. It is also simple to install yourself. However, it is important to follow the manufacturers guidelines when fitting your new composite decking, as if installed incorrectly the strength and durability of your deck boards may be compromised. This is particularly important when choosing which screws to use when fitting your new decking.
What impact can using the wrong screws have on your composite decking?
Using the wrong screws can have a negative impact on the integrity of a deck board. Each of our deck boards require a different sized screw, so it is important to read the instructions very carefully before you start installation.
If you use the wrong sized screw – particularly one which is too large – you run the risk of cracking your boards. It is also very important to pre-drill your screw holes, as forcing a screw directly in your decking board can also lead to cracking.
Some manufacturers may void their warranties if damage caused to a board is your fault – and not theirs! This is why it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Damage the boards
By using the wrong screws or placing your screws in the wrong position you may inadvertently damage your deck boards. This is why – again – you should always read the manufacturer’s guidelines before starting your decking project.
How to know what screws to use on your composite decking
There are various sized screws available, so it is important to read your decking instructions extremely carefully before installing your new decking. For example, some of our ranges require 63mm screws, whilst others need 53mm screws. You may also need another size of screw for your substructure. Using the right sized screw will ensure your decking will be safe and secure.
How to screw composite decking
As well as using the right size of screw, it is also important to know how to fit your screws into your new decking. Below is a brief overview of how to install your Ecodek decking, with the corresponding Ecodek screws – but again be certain to read your manufacturer’s instructions:
- The best tool to use is an 18v or above cordless drill or impact driver.
- All screw holes must be predrilled using a smart bit.
- Screws must be placed in the second groove for the Olympic/HD/AT/ Essential Ecodek boards or 18mm from the board edge for the Heritage range.
- Two screws must be used opposite each other on each bearer.
- Screws must not be fitted in a zigzag formation.
- When driving the screw home, pressure must be placed on the top of the drill until the screw if fully driven home.
- When removing screws, ensure you keep the drill bit fully engaged in the screw head with downward pressures always applied whilst removing the screw.
- As mentioned above, never place or fix screws without pre-drilling.
- When building a composite-to-composite structure, pilot holes of 3.5mm diameter and at least 90% of the depth of the screw must be used. Composite is a very tough material, and the screws may shear if the pilot hole is not deep or wide enough.