Common Deck Installation Hurdles and How to Prevent Them

Posted by Brett McCutcheon on Sep 12, 2020 9:56:10 AM

Decking Hurdles

The outdoor living season is in full bloom, and it's the wish of every homeowner to have a functional outdoor living space, especially during the pandemic. Decks are a fun space to spend time outside and entertain guests. From the construction point of view, there are many deck installation decisions that can affect the durability and performance of the deck.

Here are some common deck installation hurdles that are completely preventable, especially when the right fastener system along with the right deck installation method is used.

Splitting of Deck Boards

Board cracks and splits are a common result of face screwing and nailing deck boards. To avoid the splitting and unsightly mushrooming of your deck boards, choose the right fastener. For many years, deck builders have been using traditional fasteners like screws to attach decking to the support framing boards. Screws are notorious for splitting deck boards as they tend to push the wood fibers apart.

With advancement in screw technology, BECK has developed a fastener called Splitless SCRAIL® which has improved the ability to be installed without causing harm to, or splitting of, the wood fibers. Additionally, Splitless SCRAIL® also features a blunt diamond point in combination with patented Diamond Coating, which helps ensure it can be inserted with ease, causing less friction and damage.

Unsightly Screw Lines

Screw lines can be unsightly, especially for clients that love a "naked" decking. Instead of using screws and nails, you can use hidden fastening systems that create a clean, smooth surface that offers a solid, stable connection to the deck frame.

The SCRAIL® InvisiDeck® Hidden Fastening System secures the deck boards from beneath the surface, delivering a spotless finish with no visible fasteners. It also helps ensure that the deck boards are always spaced correctly using the self-gapping InvisiDeck® I-CLP Clip, which spaces the boards via deck board grooves.

Joists are Spaced Too Far Apart

Another mistake to watch out for when installing decking is setting the joists too far apart. Just as a house is as strong as its foundation, a deck is only as strong as its frame. If the floor joists are set too far apart, the boards on top will sag. On the other hand, if you put them too close to each other, it can pose a challenge during installation as certain areas will be hard to reach. Further, if the joists are not aligned, it will result in an uneven floor.

For proper installation, decrease the joist distance to secure your boards in more locations, and prevent them from warping and cupping. Most composite and PVC decking brands usually recommend a minimum joist spacing distance of 16 inches OC. For additional stability, set small pieces of decking materials in between the joists. Besides that, follow the guidelines and instructions that are supplied by the manufacturers.

Poor Quality Decking Materials

On top of all these things, it's important that you choose the most suitable deck building materials. Decking materials come in different forms. Find high-quality options that prevent deck board cupping while ensuring that you don't have to rework the project in the near future.

Decking Installations Made Easy

Prevent issues in your deck installation with the use of the new Splitless SCRAIL® from BECK. The Decking SCRAIL® is specially designed for fast installation of high-end decks. To find out more about our products, call us at 800-239-TOOL (8665), search our website for the latest SCRAIL® systems for your decking needs.


Topics: Deck Fasteners, Deck


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SCRAIL®, Fast like a Nail, Strong like a Screw, are incredibly versatile collated fasteners that can be driven with a pneumatic nailer at a rate twice as fast as collated screws and eight times faster than bulk screws. You can rely upon SCRAIL® fasteners to hold strong, without callbacks to fix a squeak or a nail pop.

Give SCRAIL® a try, and enjoy 10% off your first order.

  • Use SCRAIL® almost anywhere ordinary screws are used
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  • Easily adjusted, quickly removed
  • Dramatically increased holding power vs. nails
  • Making projects easier since 1998

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