Hot-dipped galvanized, aluminum and stainless steel fasteners are all corrosion-resistant and can be used to fasten
Western Red Cedar. Other types of nails are not recommended. They can rust and disintegrate and react adversely with
the natural preservative oils present in cedar resulting in unsightly stains and streaks. Copper nails also react with cedar
and should not be used. Stainless steel nails are the best choice, especially if trim boards are to be finished with transparent
or semi-transparent stain. Use No. 304 stainless for general applications and No. 316 for seacoast exposures.
For best results use splitless fasteners designed for siding installation. This type of nail has a thin shank and blunt point
and is available with a ring or spiral shank. Fastener length should be adequate to provide a minimum penetration of
1 1/4” into solid wood.
Large members require timber connectors other than nails. Bolts, lag screws, split rings and shear plates, and custom
made hardware are commonly used in heavy timber structures where the joint’s strength must be greater than that
which could be achieved with nails. These types of connectors should be corrosion-resistant or suitably coated to
prevent corrosion and staining. Generally, the design of mechanically fastened joints must take into consideration
a variety of factors such as end- and edge-spacing distances, moisture content, service conditions, and the effect of
the number of connectors used. Because the cost of fabricating and installing connections may amount to a large
percentage of the cost of a heavy timber structure, it is important to engineer the details of a structure before designing
the timber members.
Screws can be used to fasten decks. Double hot-dipped galvanized screws can be used, however, stainless steel screws
are recommended. For most applications a 304 (18-8) grade provides adequate corrosion resistance. For decks exposed
to salt air, use 316 grade. Screws must be long enough to penetrate 1”. (25mm) into support members. Penetration of
1 ¼” is required for structural components.
Blind fastening systems create an attractive, fastener-free deck surface. They employ metal clips and/or joist top brackets
that fasten the sides or bottom of the deck board to the joists so that no fasteners are visible. Blind fastening
systems are the ideal complement to the beauty of Western Red Cedar decking.