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Homeowners have tried different ways of installing decking in their back gardens. Some have used nails to build their outdoor patio. Others have used screws to install decking in their garden. The most recent method of installing decking is by using clips and fasteners. The decking installation method you choose depends on the kind of outdoor decking you want to install. While you can use nails and screws to install wood decking, you can use clips and fasteners. You can utilise clips and fasteners to install composite decking boards. But unlike timber, you have to be careful when choosing your composite wood decking installation method. So, should I use nails to install composite decking? 

Why Installing Composite Decking the Right Way Matters

When constructing your plastic wood decking, you have to ensure that you do it the right way. It implies that the lifespan of your wood-plastic composite decking depends on how well you install it. Note that another way to refer to composite decking is a plastic wood decking or wood-plastic composite. The latter is an engineering term for this decking because it is a synthetic material. 

As a synthetic material, composite wood decking is strong and will outlive other decking types. This does not imply that homeowners should not pay attention to the way they install their decking. Following the best practice regarding composite decking installation is a must. Else, the composite boards can split or crack during or after installation. Or, the composite boards can sag if you don’t leave the right space. 

Installing Decking with Nails

There are different ways of installing a decking. Using nails is one method homeowners have used to build their decking. Nails are easy to come by, and driving the nails down the decking boards is difficult. The best decking type to install with nails is timber decking. This method of building timber decking with nails is common. Homeowners have used nails because they existed before screws and clips. They just have to drive the nails down the wood decking boards with a hammer and ensure that the boards are solid. 

Installing a decking with nails is easy and requires no extra skills aside from the regular carpentry skills that will make you succeed. But with nails come its disadvantages. After installing your timber decking using nails, the top of the nails will appear on the decking. That is why installing composite decking with nails is not the best option. Also, your composite decking boards can split when driving the nails into them. 

The top of the nails appearing on your decking might distort the beautiful appearance of composite decking. Using nails to install composite decking is not the best option, and homeowners should consider other installation methods. The other two methods of installing a decking area, perfect for installing composite decking boards. 

Installing Composite Decking with Screws

screw to install decking

Installing composite decking with screws is the next option available for homeowners that have this decking. You can use screws to install wood and plastic decking also. After building the substructure of your decking, you can lay the composite boards on it and screw them down. To guarantee that you obtain the best result, you must predrill your plastic wood decking boards first to avoid splitting when driving down the screws.

 You can use a hand drill to predrill your plastic wood decking to make holes that the screws will pass through. Like nails, screws will appear on top of your composite boards and can distort the beautiful appearance. You can always paint the top of the screws so that they will match your plastic wood decking. The advantage of using screws over composite decking is that the chance of splitting is low. 

Installing Composite Decking Using Clips and Fasteners

install decking

Using clips and fasteners is the newest method of installing composite wood decking. But using this installation method depends on the kind of plastic wood decking that you purchase. To use clips and fasteners, you have to purchase grooved composite boards. Or, you can make your ungrooved boards grooved. The advantage of using clips and fasteners is that you will achieve a cleaner finish after installing your decking. Suppose you are contemplating using nails to install composite decking, don’t. Use clips and fasteners instead. 

Conclusion

Should I use nails to install composite decking? Using nails to install composite decking is not the best thing to do. It can make your composite decking split during and after installation, and it will distort the appearance of your decking. 

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