Part 3 - Hardware and Installation

Hardware for treated wood

  • For the best results, use building code-approved, corrosion-resistant fasteners and connectors for all exterior wood projects.
  • Hot-dipped galvanized steel is recommended and should conform to ASTM A153 for fasteners and ASTM A653 and G185 for connectors. Hot-dipped galvanizing is a process of coating zinc over bare steel to provide a protective layer. The bare steel is cleaned, pickled, fluxed and then dipped in a molten bath of zinc and allowed to cool prior to inspection and shipping.
  • For coastal installations, use code-approved stainless steel.
  • Stainless steel offers the best protection. Type 304 or higher stainless steel is recommended for very wet environments such as poolside deck. Type 316 or higher is recommended for exposure to salt or saltwater.
  • Caution: Do not mix metals: Use stainless-steel fasteners with stainless-steel connectors and galvanized fasteners with galvanized connectors.
  • Ecolife can be used in direct contact with aluminum products, even in continuously wet applications.
  • Direct contact of Preserve®CA treated wood with aluminum products is not recommended.
  • For permanent wood foundations and corrosive environments, such as areas with saltwater spray, stainless steel fasteners are recommended.
  • Avoid the fasteners that are labeled “electro-galvanized,” or are marked “G-90” or “G-60”. They were designed to be compatible with the old CCA preservative, no longer permitted in residential applications and will not hold up to ACQ, or CA treated wood.You can use nails or screws when you build your deck. However, screws are more secure and don’t pop out of the wood like nails do, making them the superior option for securing the deck and for safety. Additionally, nails don’t fasten the deck as securely or for as long a period of time as screws do.

Deck Board Installation

installing deck boards
  • Always use the best-looking side of a deck board for the deck surface.
  • Butt boards tightly together during installation as they will shrink slightly in width and length as they dry out.
  • This will create acceptable gaps between the boards for water to drain off the surface. How much a board will shrink will be dependent on how much moisture remains in the in the wood after it was installed.
  • Pre-drill holes at the ends of boards to help prevent splitting.
  • Use screws to improve holding performance.
  • Install fasteners flush to the wood surface. Do not overdrive fasteners.
  • Install the un-cut end of support posts in ground contact applications.
  • If the wood is allowed to dry prior to installation, a small gap should be left between boards.
  • Ultimately, your deck boards should have an edge gap between ¼ inch and ⅜ inch to allow for proper ventilation, draining and for debris to pass through. Wet or dry, boards should be installed tight end-to-end.
end cut treatment

Treating End Cuts

  • For exterior project applications, treat all field-cut ends of boards and drilled holes with a brush-on wood preservative.
  • Treating the ends will also help prevent the end of the deck board from checking.
  • Copper naphthenate formulations are available from home centers, lumber dealers, and hardware stores.
  • Deck stains and sealers do not provide adequate protection.

Removing the Grade Stamp

In most cases, a light sanding will remove the grade stamp.

The American Wood Council - Design for Code Acceptance (DCA 6) Prescriptive Deck Guide

grade stamp

Click here for the Presecriptive Residential Wood Deck Construction Guide

Topics covered in our 10-part series

Part 1. AWPA Category uses of pressure treated wood and end tags explained

Part 2. Common treated wood sizes in nominal and actual dimensions plus popular project plans

Part 3. Hardware and installation tips including field treatment for end cuts

Part 4. Staining treated lumber

Part 5. Care and maintenance

Part 6. Tips for shoveling snow and ice removal on wood decks

Part 7. Safe handling

Part 8. Research on treated wood used in raised garden beds

Part 9. How wood is pressure treated

Part 10. How to interview contractors and check references

If you have have questions, or have suggestions for other treated wood related subjects, let us know.

For quick answers and more tips, click here.