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If you are skilled at installing things, you can install your composite decking yourself. Installing your decking is a good thing because it helps you save the cash you would have spent hiring a handyman. But installing composite decking is no easy task, although the installation steps are straightforward. This is because to install your decking; you have to master all the steps and know the right tools and accessories to use. Some of the accessories associated with composite decking are clips and fasteners. So, should I use clips and fasteners for composite decking?

What Are Clips and Fasteners?

Clips are composite decking accessories that you will use to hold or hook the composite boards to the joists or substructure. They play the role of screws, but unlike screws, clips are not driven down into the composite boards. There are two types of composite decking clips. The first is T-clips which is shaped like the letter T. 

The two t part of the top of a T-clip will hold down two composite decking boards. Another kind of clip is the starter clips. As the name implies, you will use starter clips to hold down the first sets of composite boards. Starter clips are not shaped like the letter T, but they look like L with a top that holds down composite boards. 

Fasteners are not clips in that they don’t hold down composite boards.  Instead, fasteners are screws that you will use to attach or screw down the clips to the joists or substructure. After putting the clips in between two composite boards, you will then use fasteners to attach it to the joists to keep it in place. Fasteners come in different lengths depending on the size of your joists. 

When to Use Clips and Fasteners

Note that you will use clips and fasteners with specific composite boards. There are two types of composite boards. There are the grooved and the ungrooved composite boards. If you want to use clips and fasteners, you have to purchase grooved composite decking. This type of composite board has hollows or channels on both sides.

 Clips will hook or hold the boards to the joists at these grooved sides. Ungrooved composite decking does not have the grooved side of a grooved board. This implies that you cannot install an ungrooved decking board with clips and fasteners. So, if you want to use clips and fasteners to install your composite decking, be sure to purchase grooved composite decking. 

How Clips and Fasteners Work

clips and fasteners for decking

When you are installing your composite decking boards, you will need the clips and fasteners. You will first lay the joists’ boards (the joists is the frame that supports your composite decking and lifts it from the ground) or substructure. 

After laying the decking boards on the joists, you will put the clips if it is a T-clip, between two boards. Then you will press the T-clip down and use the fasteners to hold or screw it to the joists. You will repeat these steps for all the boards you will install until you are done.

Advantages of Clips and Fasteners

Clips and fasteners have lots of advantages. 

Smooth Surface Texture

When you use clips and fasteners to install your composite decking, you will get a smooth surface. This kind of surface does not have the irregular appearance of a timber decking surface installed with nails or screws.

 Although you can cover the top of nails or screws with paint or stain, this is not a perfect solution because the surface will be irregular. This will add aesthetic value to your composite decking.

Safe Surface

Using clips and fasteners will not only give you a smooth surface but a safe surface that you can walk on. Timber decking is installed with nails or screws. These nails or screws sometimes pop out of the boards when you have used it for a long time.

 When this occurs, it might cause danger to anyone that walks on the decking because your feet or shoe can hook the nails and you will fall. Clips and fasteners solve this problem because they stay at the side, not the top of your composite decking board. So, no need to bother that the clips will stick out of the board top after you have used the decking for a long time.

Conclusion

Should I use clips and fasteners for my composite decking? If you are installing composite boards, you can use clips and fasteners. They give your decking a smooth surface and clips provide a safe surface that you can walk on.

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