Do we nail or screw the decking boards?

The importance of screwing the decking boards cannot

be stressed enough. Many carpenters have taken to

nail gunning the decking boards to the joist structures.

This is a “Cheap and Nasty” way to affix the decking.

As the sub-structure swells and contracts with rain

and heat, the nails are forced back up through the

Decking. Most coil nails used for decking do not meet Australian standards.

This process has a deleterious knock on effect:

Firstly the boards lift and the nails sit proud of the

decking, meaning that you essentially end up walking

on lose decking and a trip hazard. The nails then need

to be re-punched, usually every 3-4 months to keep

them down.

The looseness of the decking boards also means that

the sub-structure is not continually braced. This knock

on effect promotes movement within the sub-structure,

which in turn resonates throughout the rest of the

deck like a spring; which in turn loosens more boards.

In essence, the problem is compounded every time you

use the deck.

Rot is an additional problem caused by the nail gunning

of the decks. When the nails are forced out by the

moisture, they leave a cavity within the timber. This

cavity fills from the inside out with the moisture in

the sub-structure. However, if there is a firm fixing

within the sub-structure (ie a screw) the fixing displaces

the water in the joist outwards and thereby rot is avoided.

Original Decking screws all its decks!