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AZEK Deck Installation with Screws
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Because AZEK Deck is a lifetime product you should only use stainless steel deck screws such as our Color Matched Deck Screws. These provide attractive, cost effective, permanent installation of your AZEK Deck Boards.
1. Basic Deck Substructure
The deck substructure shown here is appropriate for installation of decking without border boards (see #2 just below). Because AZEK Deck is a lifetime product you should only use treated framing and posts.
Joists should be no more than 16" on center and no more than 12” on center when deck boards are not going to be applied perpendicularly (90º angle) to the joists or for commercial applications. Substructure must be square and true if Deck Boards are to be installed properly.
2. Substructure for Border Boards
You deck will appear more finished if you install mitered border deck boards. This professional decking technique (also known as picture framing) hides the cut ends of your boards. It requires a modified substructure, as shown here, but is not difficult to build. (Also see drawing of picture frame substructure at AZEK Deck Installation).
When ready to install your decking, set the first deck board on the substructure and square the board to the framing. The ends and edges of the border boards should overhang the edge of the framing by an amount sufficient to also overhang the Rim Joists Covers (fascia trim boards - see Step 11) once these are installed on the exposed joist faces.
NOTE: If you cut the deck boards to exact length prior to installing, fasten boards immediately after cutting to limit expansion and contraction. (See Expansion and Contraction section of AZEK Deck Board Installation.)
3. Pre-drilling NOT Required
AZEK Deck Boards will not split, crack, or mushroom when penetrated by fasteners. Therefore, screws can be installed without pre-drilling. This is huge time saver! Use two screws per joist to secure boards properly, as detailed below.
4. Screw Depth
For best results, screws should slightly penetrate the Deck Board surface, similar to installing dry wall. If your driver has a depth adjustment, it should be set to drive the screws 1/32” to 1/16” below the top surface of the deck board.
5. Screw Spacing
For best results, position screws 3/4” to 1” from each side of each board. However, AZEK Deck Boards should not split or crack if screws are needed closer to the edge, such as when butting boards together over a joist.
6. Butting Boards for Mitered Corners or To Extend a Longer Run
Ends should fit tightly together. Use 2 screws per board end. Place screws within 1/2” of board end, countersinking slightly. Screws should fully penetrate underlying joists.
7. Board Spacing
Use a spacer, such as the edge of a framing square, as shown, to create a gap of 1/8” to 1/4” maximum between each deck board to allow proper drainage. Ceramic tile spacers (available at home supply stores) also work well. Space and fasten deck boards until surface is covered.
Create cutouts to accommodate obstructions such as posts that will support railings. Use a jigsaw to complete the inside corners of your cutouts. Be sure to add framing support below the deck boards to support the cut edges of the deck boards.
The remaining steps assume you do NOT have a Picture Frame border (see Step 2). If you HAVE a Picture Frame border, it will be necessary to cut each deck board to final length just prior to fastening each to your substructure. You should fasten the boards as they are cut to minimize contraction or expansion.
9. Cutting Preparations
Check to make sure each board is fastened securely along it's entire length. Use a chalk line to mark for cutting the boards to length. After the boards are cut they should overhang the structural rim joist no more than 1/8”. This will ensure proper fit of Rim Joist Cover (see Step 11).
10. Cutting Deck Boards to Length
Use a circular saw with a finetoothed, carbide-tipped finish trim blade to cut off edges of overhanging boards. A 20-grit diamond-tipped blade with a miter saw can also be used.
HINT - To ensure a straight cut across the entire deck you can temporarily nail (in the cracks between Deck Boards)a straight board to guide the shoe of your saw. You will need to set this board back from your chalk line by the distance from the edge of your saw shoe to the saw blade.
11. Fitting Rim Joist Cover
Use AZEK Deck Rim Joists to cover the faces of the outermost support joists. If you have cut the Deck Boards flush with the joist, as described in Step 10, you will want the Rim Joist to also cover the ends and edge of the deck boards for a more finished look.
If you have "picture framed" to create a border for your Deck Boards (see Step 2 above), the Rim Joist Cover should fit snugly beneath the overhanging Deck Boards. Miter cut the Rim Joist corners to eliminate exposed edges.
12. Final attachment of Rim Joist Cover
Apply an exterior grade construction glue to the back of the Rim Joist Covers. Care should be taken not to get glue on the deck surface. Attach Rim Joist Covers with screws approximately every 12”.
YOUR NEXT STEP
If you haven't already done so, order a Sample Kit and take the AZEK Double Dare Challenge! Prove for yourself that AZEK Decking is your best solution now and for the future!
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