Choosing an Ipe or Cumaru lumber for a deck is becoming more popular by the day. These wood types are beautiful with the added benefit of durability, and decks made from these lumbers draw attention year after year. However, some DIY deck builders have difficulty determining how to fasten their Ipe decks. Securing a deck happens in one of two ways, either with a hidden fastening systems or with face screwing. McIlvain Company, a lumber industry leader for over 200 years, has found that either fastening method is acceptable as long as it is installed properly.
Out Of Sight (Hidden Fastening)
Building a deck from tropical hardwoods lends an added degree of stress because of the wood’s density. Although this density is wonderful for durability, it can make installation somewhat tricky. Drills, drill bits, and screws have all been known to bend or break in these woods, and as a result, many craftsmen find the idea of a hidden fastening system and the less direct drilling that accompanies it very appealing.
Drilling a fastener clip through a small portion of the decking wood into the softer sub-structure will save time, and this system also lets the wood move more naturally, resulting in less stress on the wood over time. The clip will fit into a pre-cut board, and a screw is placed at an angle into the substructure leaving one side of the board free to move while still held to the joist. Ipe Clip, a hidden fastening systems company, has a helpful animation on their website.
Straight Through (Face Screwing)
Face screwing is a more traditional securing method, and as such, it is preferred by some craftsmen. There is nothing wrong with this method in and of itself, but with Ipe, the results of face screwing can sometimes be unsightly. Drilling directly through the board to the joist below with one screw on each end of the board still allows movement, just not as much as the hidden fasteners. However, improper installation could lead to wood movement pulling the deck apart down the road, so taking into account the natural flexibility of the wood is important to secure it properly.
Proper installation is the key to a beautiful, long-lasting deck, regardless of which fastening method you use. Choosing between the two is essentially a matter of personal taste. Once the choice has been made between face screwing or invisible fasteners, the more important decision is ahead: choosing a supplier. In order to have the best quality deck, your supplier must be top-notch. Trust J. Gibson McIlvain to provide high quality Ipe (or any other hardwood) for your next project, and that trust will be rewarded with quality and service unmatched throughout the entire industry.
McIlvain will work with you to help you determine the best type of wood for your project, and thanks to their vast inventory of domestic and exotic hardwoods and softwoods and their nationwide shipping program, they can have your order delivered to your project site in record time. For more information and to see McIlvain’s full inventory, visit their website today.
Want to learn more about the lumber industry?