Which deck screws to use?


Old 09-03-08, 12:14 PM
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Which deck screws to use?

Hi, I'm almost ready to install the decking on the 450 sq ft deck I'm building... it's PT 5/4x6 clear (no knots), and will be installed diagonally - two levels, each installed the opposite way. I really wanted to use hidden fasteners but my better half doesn't wanna go the extra $650 for them. So screws it is.

I want to hide these screws as much as possible... I'm thinking colored heads since next spring I'll finish the deck with a solid clay color stain and cream trim (matching the house and fence).

I've looked at Scorpion 8x2.5 stainless steel screws which are rather shiny, and ceramic coated HeadCote in clay, but the only ones I can find anywhere have trim heads, which I apparently can't use on PT. I need the bugle flat head, which are not to be found anywhere around me. All are square drive.

I really don't wanna use philips heads from Lowes or Home Depot... they seem cheap and strip out.

Any thoughts on other brands/types to use or look for? Is one better than the other (Scorpion vs. HeadCote, assuming I could find the HeadCotes in bugle head)?

How about counter sinking and back filling with wood putty? Will this work, or do I end up seeing a bunch of putty 'holes' on the deck? I live in the NE so winters can get rough sometimes.
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Old 09-03-08, 12:25 PM
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Go for the T-25 Torx heads. Have used Phillips, square drive, and Torx. Torx is the best, hands down. Good luck with your project.
Old 09-03-08, 02:59 PM
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But isn't that just a head type? My question is more about what type of screw to use more than what type of head... I'll look for Torx, but right now I'm wondering what types of screws others have used... Stainless Steel, which gives you row after row of shiny screws across the deck... or ceramic coated colored heads... how good are they at hiding the screw?
Old 09-03-08, 03:19 PM
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The screws Ken is referring to have a T25 head and are ceramic coated in colors. You will want to use at least a 2 1/2" screw. Stainless steel screws are not really "stainless", as they are weak in the head area and will strip out too quickly. A good hiding screw is the ones made for Trex type decking. Although they are #2 square drive, they have multiple pitches and pull down extremely well and countersink the oval pan head very well without boogering up the wood or trex.
Old 09-03-08, 06:06 PM
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The Box stores here have started carrying the newer DeckMates with the Torx head. You may have to get them to pull down a new box, the old stuff was still on the shelf a few weeks ago. They come in 3 or 4 colors...sounds like tan might work for you.

I had soooo many stainless screws either strip out or snap off its ridiculas...

btw..any putty or filler wont last, and won't stain the same...forget it.
Old 09-04-08, 07:30 AM
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Who makes this T25 head ceramic screw in colors? Sounds like just the thing I'm looking for. :-) I've looked at screws meant for Trex, but they all have the 'trim head' and I've been told by several folks that trim head screws pull out when used on PT wood. As it dries and shrinks, the trim head just won't hold.

Thanks for the info on stainless steel... everyone I've talked to around here says they're the best... but hearing the flip side tells me they're aren't all what they're cracked up to be.

And thanks for the info on using fillers... I thought they might fall out or look weird, but figured I'd ask anyways. Last thing I want on this deck is to look out and see row after row after row of shiny heads or small filler circles.
Old 09-04-08, 08:14 AM
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I know they are actually made for composite decking like Trex, Evergrain, Timbertech, and so on... but I like the head on Trapease screws. They come in various colors and I like the way that they look when they are driven flush with the surface. The don't have a bugle head like most deck screws, (it's more like a cap with a sharp edge that bites in cleanly)- as such they seem easier to drive flush than bugle heads.

No matter what type of screw you use, I think it helps to predrill the holes slightly smaller than the screw is... not something a contractor would do, but when you are working on your own deck and you want it to look perfect, that's something I'd recommend you take the time to do. You'll also strip out less heads on the drill driver if you do, and it will be a little easier to drive the screw flush every time. If your lumber is twisted at all, it should also help to pull it down tighter.

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