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Installing your Decking

Not sure what fixings you should use to install your decking? Need some guidance on how to turn your garden makeover into a reality? Read on to find out what our expert advice is!

ThermoWood Ash Decking

Should I use nails or screws when installing decking?


We would always advice using screws when installing your deck and strongly advise against using nails. This is because, although nails are a quick option for some installers, they can actually damage the surface of the timber, which consequently would increase the risk of splinters and also create an unattractive appearance.


The screws that you should use to install your deck should be stainless. It is also important to consider that if you’re using softwood deck boards, that there is a risk they will expand and contract with the weather. To avoid this, you should let your timber acclimatise before installing. If your softwood timber does expand and contract, this could work the nails lose, making your deck unstable. Stainless steel screws will not move, they will hold the board and won’t allow the timber to move over time.


Can I install my own decking?


Yes, anyone can install their own decking. We have several customers that build their own deck with us supplying the materials for the project. However, if your project is complicated, and by the time you have cost in your time and everything you will need, it can often be much simpler to hire a professional company to do this for you.

ThermoWood Ash Decking

What should the spacing be between my deck boards?


Generally, the spacing between your timber or composite deck boards should be around 5mm between each board. Allowing any water collected to drain through the gaps. If you’re using a softwood timber, the gap will allow the board to expand and contract slightly without disturbing the framework. With this material we would suggest a 6mm gap. However with our ThermoWoods, a 5mm gap is more then adequate.


Should I face-fix with stainless steel screws or consider a clip system?


Depending on the type of finish you’re looking to achieve, your fixings will vary. If you are happy to have screws visible on the surface of your boards, we would advise being accurate about how you install those screws, as they will need to be pre-drilled and kept in line. Generally, when face-fixing you should place your screws an inch in from the outer edge of the deck board. When using a hidden fixing system you would not have to worry about this. This is because you can install the clips wherever it crosses the joists and simply screw them down. Allowing the project to be completed much quicker than when face fixing. With the finished result appearing much cleaner and neater as well. Personally, we would advise using a hidden fixing system.


Is it okay to nail together my decking framework?


At QTD Ltd, we would never advise our customers to nail their decking framework together, since the framework will be subject to a range of changing weather conditions which would move the nails making the framework unstable. You must ensure that your framework is properly held together and will not twist and move over time. To ensure this, we would recommend using rugged structural screws.


Planning a garden makeover? Call 0118 373 2211, our Sales Team are always happy to help and offer advice!