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Written by Steel & Tube
on December 12, 2023

When it comes to building a deck to withstand the test of time while adding beauty to your outdoor space, choosing the right materials and fasteners is crucial. In New Zealand, one name has been synonymous with quality fasteners and dependable service since 1980 – Fortress Fasteners. As one of New Zealand's leading fastener suppliers and a subsidiary of Steel & Tube, Fortress Fasteners has been instrumental in providing top-notch fastening solutions for various industries. With summer approaching fast and those DIY projects looming, now is the time to choose the right decking screws and learn to install them properly for a long-lasting, stunning deck.

The S&T Advantage: A Trusted Name in Fasteners

With nearly 70 years in the business, Steel & Tube has grown dramatically to become a market leader in New Zealand. It’s extensive network of branches offers a vast range of fasteners, with over 300 million items and 17,000 product lines available. It’s one of the largest fastening wholesaler and distributors in the country. What sets Steel & Tube apart is its commitment to delivering on time and in full, catering to manufacturing industries, the building trade, and building supplies merchants.


Choosing the Right Decking Screws

Building a deck is a substantial investment, and the choice of fasteners plays a pivotal role in its longevity and aesthetic appeal. Here are some key considerations when selecting decking screws:

Material: For longevity, stainless steel decking screws are highly recommended. Steel & Tube recommends 304 stainless steels for most applications, but when working with hardwoods high in tannins or in coastal areas, opt for the more corrosion resistant T316 stainless steel to prevent timber reactions.

Head Type: Choose between countersunk (csk) and raised countersunk (raised csk) heads. Both can be flush-mounted, but raised head screws can be used to create a different visual effect.

Diameter: Most opt for 10-gauge (10g) screws, but 12-gauge (12g) screws are more common for wider decking materials.

Length: The most common length is 60mm, suitable for most decks. Ensure a minimum of 40mm embedment, leaving a maximum of 20mm of decking material exposed. Use longer screws for thicker decking material.

Proper Pilot Hole Drilling

To prevent wood splitting, it's crucial to drill pilot holes of the correct size for the screw's diameter. Consider using a Starborn depth-setting Smart bit for this purpose. Drill pilot holes approximately 20mm from each end of the decking board. While wood may not split immediately, it can occur over time due to the natural expansion and contraction of wood with changing temperatures.

60 second tip: Use a driver bit compatible with your chosen decking screws. When driving screws, avoid overdriving them. It's advisable to use a drill with a clutch instead of an impact driver to ensure precise control. Install screws at consistent intervals, securing them into each joist for optimal stability.

Choosing the right decking screws is essential for a successful deck-building project. Steel & Tube, with its extensive experience and commitment to quality, is a trusted partner in this endeavour. By following the guidelines provided here, you can ensure that your deck is not only sturdy and long-lasting but also aesthetically pleasing. Whether you're a professional builder or a DIY enthusiast, the right decking screws are a vital component of a deck that you can enjoy for years to come. With Steel & Tube’s expertise and a little know-how, you're well on your way to creating the deck of your dreams.


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