Screws & Fasteners

General Deck Screw FAQs

What Screws Do I Use On Decking?

Deck screws are designed specifically for deck boards, though you’ll need to pick the right deck screws for your decking material and fastening method. For composite decking, browse our composite deck screws. For wooden boards, check out our wood decking screws. Your project may call for the superior hold-down power of flat head screws or the visual appeal of trim head screws, or you can choose to hide your screws beneath your deck surface with hidden fasteners or plug systems.

Our team at DecksDirect has driven more deck screws than we can count. If you need to find the right deck screws for your project - or if you just want to learn more about your options - our project planners are available by phone at 1-888-824-5316.

Are Deck Screws And Wood Screws The Same Thing?

Not necessarily. Some deck screws are made specifically for wood, while others are designed for composite decking or structural components. To make sure you get the best deck screws for your project, let us plan your project for free - call our team at 1-888-824-5316.

How Many Deck Screws Do I Need?

Estimating how many deck screws to buy can be tricky - but it doesn’t have to be! For a very general estimate, figure out the square footage of your decking surface. You’ll need roughly 350 screws for every 100 square feet of deck space - though this is based on six-inch-wide boards and 16-inch spacing between joists.

At DecksDirect, we take the guesswork out of deck projects. We staff a team of knowledgeable estimators who will take your deck dimensions, sketch out a diagram, and build you a detailed deck project plan, including the perfect amount of fasteners based on all the tiny details of your deck space and your deck vision. Give us a call today at 1-888-824-5316 and see how easy we make it!

Why Do Deck Screws Have Reverse Threads?

Reverse threads help provide an even tighter connection between your deck boards and your framing. Screws with reverse threads also help prevent mushrooming, where a screw pulls a bit of composite material above the deck surface, creating an unsightly bump on the decking.

Choosing Your Deck Screws

How Do I Choose The Right Deck Screws For My Project?

It’s important to find screws that fit both your deck material and the final look you want for your deck boards. Here’s a brief look at some types of screws and their specific uses and benefits:

  • Flat Head Screws: these have the most holding power and are most often used with pressure-treated decking
  • Trim Head Screws: these screws tend to be the most visually appealing, sinking down until the head is flush with your deck surface.
  • Hidden Deck Fasteners: these handy devices sit between your deck boards and fasten them down using grooves in the side of your boards for a perfect, unblemished surface.

You can learn more in our Deck Screw Guide here. And as always, our team is available by phone at 1-888-824-5316 to answer any questions you need!

Do I Need Stainless Steel Deck Screws or Coated Deck Screws?

Stainless steel deck screws offer the most corrosion resistance. If you’re installing in a wet climate or near a lake or ocean, you may want stainless steel screws to prevent rusting over time.

On the other hand, coated deck screws are less expensive and more common. The coating helps protect screws from the copper in treated lumber, which will corrode uncoated screws. So make sure you select either stainless steel or coated deck screws if you’re using treated lumber!

What Are The Best Screws For Treated Lumber?

For pressure-treated wood decking, you’ll want to choose a coated or galvanized steel deck screw. Treated lumber has a copper element that can corrode uncoated screws over time.

Flat-head deck screws are most often used with treated wood deck boards.

What Color Deck Screw Should I Use?

Some deck screws come in multiple color options, allowing you to hide screw heads by closely matching the color of your decking. You can find color-matching charts on many of our deck screw pages. If you’re not sure what color will best match your decking, give us a call at 1-888-824-5316 and we’ll help recommend the best options.

Installing Deck Screws

Where Do I Attach Deck Screws?

Deck screws attach your deck boards to structural joists below the decking surface. Where you drive the screws will depend on your fastening method.

If you face-screw your decking, your screws will run straight downwards, through the top of your decking and into your joist. This is an easy and fast installation method that provides a strong hold on your deck boards.

Some fastening tools, like the Camo Marskman Pro Tool, allow you to sink deck screws into the side of your deck boards and down onto joists at an angle. This hides the fastener better and leaves your deck surface unblemished.

Hidden Fastening Systems fit into grooves in the side of your deck boards. They attach directly to joists, holding down the boards on either side by filling the groove. This creates a smooth deck surface, and is usually the best option for maintaining your warranty if you’re installing composite deck boards.

Do I Need To Drill Pilot Holes For Deck Screws?

Some screw installations need a pilot hole, or a small hole you pre-drill before sinking your screw. Whether you need to drill pilot holes depends on two factors: (1) the type of screw you’re using and (2) the material you’re screwing into.

If you’re drilling into hardwood, it’s usually a good idea to drill pilot holes before driving your screws. Composite decking, on the other hand, usually doesn’t need pilot holes. If you’re not sure whether to drill pilot holes or not, call our team at 1-888-824-5316 to get a free, personalized recommendation based on your project.

How Do I Hide Deck Screws?

There are a few methods to hide your deck screws and leave a smooth, unblemished surface on top of your deck. 

Hidden Fasteners fit between deck boards, fastening them down through grooves in the sides of your decking. If you choose a hidden fastener system, you’ll need to be sure you have grooved-edge deck boards. Our team can help you pick out hidden fasteners and deck boards that are compatible with each other.

Plug systems allow you to sink screws below the surface of your decking surface, then fill the holes created with a color-matching plug. You can find plugs made of the exact same material as your composite or PVC deck boards, creating a perfect match of color and texture and making your screws virtually invisible.