If you are unfamiliar with composite decking and wondering whether or not you can screw into your composite decking then don’t worry as this article will help you. Of course, the last thing you want after investing in your decking is to damage it or install it incorrectly which will not only end up costing you down the line but can be dangerous and cause injury. 

Do not screw directly through composite

It is never advised to drill or screw directly through a composite decking board, as this can damage its structural integrity which will affect its lifespan and strength. Due to the way composite material is designed, screwing into the board will weaken it which is unsafe to walk on or utilise.

Second-generation or capped composite decking boards have a protective layer surrounding the board which provides additional protection against the elements which in turn makes the board more durable and last longer. If you drill through this layer, you compromise its protection and it is no longer sealed which means moisture can get in.

The only board which potentially could be structurally sound enough to withstand drilling into would be a completely solid board, which even then is still not recommended. 

Please note that screwing directly through your decking boards can void your warranty. Always check with your supplier and read any terms and conditions on the installation process to avoid this. 

Hidden fastener system

One of the many advantages of composite decking is its hidden fastener system. With composite boards you do not have to screw into the board but through clips into your subframe below. Hidden fastener clips simply slide into the grooved channel running along the side of your boards which are screwed into your composite or wooden subframe below.

This method is more aesthetically pleasing as it hides the screws which provides a flush, seamless finish. With wood decking, you have to screw into the board’s surface which over time can come loose and pop up which is unsightly and dangerous. 

Different sized clips can be utilised with composite decking that affects the replacement process if need be. 3mm hidden fasteners are more aesthetically appealing and more popular with customers as they are more flush than larger clips which leave a wider gap.

However, 4-6mm clips leave a larger gap side to side which usually causes fewer issues when it comes to thermal expansion and drainage. Additionally, larger clips are easier to replace if need be, as you can remove one board that is affected rather than having to pull up the entire decking. 

Type of Composite Deck Screw 

Composite decking is not like wood decking that can be installed with wood screws.  As composite decking boards are stronger than wood, they require a screw that is designed especially for securing the decking boards to the subframe. The different types of screws are:

Carpenter Mate Screw

The Carpenter Mate screw is a popular type of screw. One good thing about Carpenters Mate screws is their corrosion resistance. In most instances, after driving the screw down into the material, the screw head is left exposed. If the screw is not of a high-quality similar to that of a Carpenter Mate screw, the head will rust, giving your composite decking a poor appearance.

Carpenter Mate screw is highly durable and will not rust with long service life. Also, the screws are made with thick steel to increase performance. 

Trap Ease II Composite Decks Screw

This screw is designed in various colours so that it will match the colours of any composite decking available. An advantage of the Trap Ease II composite deck screw is that it solves the problem of colour inconsistency.

Most composite decking owners do not like using screws because the head of the screw will show a different colour from that of their composite decking. Trap Ease II screws are available in red, grey, light grey and dark brown.

Fasten Master Screw

Another screw that is used for composite decking is a Fasten Master screw. This screw is perfect if you want to utilise it for any type of composite decking. It can withstand all types of weather because its head has an anti-corrosion coating and is long-lasting. After selecting a suitable screw, you can start thinking of how to install your composite decking.

How to Install Composite Decking with Screw


Step 1: Build Your Composite Decking Subframe

The subframe is the structure where the composite decking boards are laid on top. Ensure the subframe is strong enough to withstand the weight of the decking boards. 

Step 2: Lay the Composite Decking

After you have laid your composite decking boards in place, proceed to secure the boards with suitable screws to the subframe. Pay careful attention to ensure the correct expansion gaps are left between the decking boards and any fixed objects, such as walls or fences. 

Check with the manufacturer or supplier for the correct spacing between boards to account for thermal expansion. This will prevent any splitting or lifting of the boards. 

You can repeat the method until you have completed fastening the decking.