You have decided to redo some floors in your home and are wondering which screws will be the best to secure the floorboards in place. You may have gone through multiple options already. You may already have some deck screws at hand from redoing the deck and you wonder if those are alright to use for your indoor flooring too. After all, we all know, home improvement can be quite costly so if you can save some money by using what you already have, why not? So, can you use deck screws for flooring?
You can use deck screws for the flooring inside your home. Deck screws are durable and resistant to rust and corrosion, making them a great screw for your floors as they will not need to be replaced for years and they will keep your floors form developing a squeak as they hold the wood in place well.
You may already have some deck screws avalible but you want to know what is the best screw to use for your flooring. Are there any alternatives to deck screws that may be better? Or are deck screws the best option for your floors?
What Are Deck Screws Designed For?
Although you can use deck screws for flooring, what where they originally designed for? As the name suggests, deck screws are used for decks. They are used for fastening decking or deck flooring onto deck joist systems.
Deck screws are designed to countersink to allow the tops to be flush or just below the surface of the wood flooring. These screws are similar to wood screws. Deck screws have a have coarse threads with an upper shank that is smooth. Deck screws are specifically manufactured to resist corrosion and rust.
Deck screws lengths vary from one to five and eight to four inches long. You need to ensure you are using the right size for your floor or the screw could go straight through the joist and hit wiring or plumbing in your house and cause a bigger problem. Most deck screws are self-tapping, and they come in star and Philips drive heads.
Are Deck Screws Good For Flooring?
Deck screws are defiantly good for indoor flooring too. As mentions above, deck screws are made to resist corrosion and rust, this allows them to withstand all the elements and anything that might be thrown at them.
This fact will allow you to avoid any squeaky boards in your house as the threads are not likely to fade or rust allowing for movement of the floorboards. You will not need to replace them for years, so they are a good option to use inside your house and outside your house. This is why many people choose to use deck screws over wood screws.
The deck screws will also sit flush with the floorboards in your house, this will avoid anything from catching on the screws, for example, rugs or automated vacuums. This will allow the screws to last longer in your home.
You can also get deck screws that have a painted head, this helps the screw to blend into the wood, it is not an exact match usually, but it helps hide the screw rather then have a silver head in the wood.
Difference Between Wood Screws And Deck Screws
Some people think that a screw is just a screw and that there is no difference between a deck screw and a wood screw. However, this is not the case, deck screws and wood screws are very different.
Like all components or fasteners, screws are purpose designed. Let us go through the differences between a deck screw and a wood screw.
The heads of the screws are different. deck screws usually have a flat countersunk head, this is similar to a wood screw. However, deck screws have a bigger surface area which allows for a greater load bearing capacity compared to a wood screw.
The head of a deck screw is usually shaped in a flare or bulge shape, this is to make sure that the screw does not sink into the wood you are screwing it into. Wood screws do not usually have this flare or bulge shape, which means that over time they sink into the wood causing it to crack or split at the screw site.
The deck screw has a shank, which is the space between the head and where the thread starts, this makes the screw designed for long-term durability. Deck screws tend to have a very sharp point and sharp threading, which allows the wood to be firmly secured in place.
This type of design in the screw makes sure that there is no space for movement for the wood, this aids in avoiding those squeaky floors down the line. Wood screws do not have this shank design which allows for movement in the wood and creates the squeaky floorboards.
The threading of the deck screw is sharp and deep, this allows the screw to easily and quickly cut into the wood, securing itself. Wood screws do have threads; however, they are not as sharp and tapered. This can affect their durability in the long-term.
For these reasons, the deck screw is probably the best option to secure your flooring both inside and outside of your home, without the worry of needing to replace it in a few years’ time.
What Other Fasteners Are Good For Flooring?
Even thought deck screws are probably the best option for long-term durability for the floors in your home, you may not have access to them, or you may want to try something else. Luckily, there are multiple other options that you can use to secure the flooring inside your house.
Masonry screws are one alternative to use for your flooring in your house. These screws are also called anchor screws as they do not have a sharp point. For these screws you will need to predrill holes for it as they cannot bore their own hole into the wood.
Some masonry screws generally have Philips heads, but this is not always the case. Some have a raised hex-head, this means that they will need to be installed with a matching hex-head bit.
Another option is MDF screws, these screws are not really made for flooring, however you can use them if you are in a tight spot. You will just need to be carful as these screws do have a tendency to split the wood. To help prevent this problem you should always predrill the holes for these types of screws or use self-tapping DMF screws.
Hidden deck fasteners are another alternative fastening method for the floors of your home. These fasteners are a new, visually appealing option that has come into the market. Hidden deck fasteners grip into the grooves that are on the side of the wooden boards to allow for a strong fastening system.
To use these hidden fasteners in your home flooring you will need to use a slot cutting router bit to cut slots into the sides of the wood boards. This will allow you to attach the fasteners to the wood.
This method will make the fasteners invisible from the top surface of the floor which is great for aesthetics. This may be great from a visual point of view, but the additional work required to prepare the boards to accept these fasteners may deter you from using them if time is not on your side.
Deck screws are a very useful screw to have in your arsenal of fasteners in your toolbox. They are great to use for both your indoor and outdoor flooring as they are extremely durable and are made to withstand the elements.
Deck screws are also resistant to corrosion and rust which allows the screws to last longer than the wood screws that are usually used in indoor flooring. They are also easy to use as there is no need to predrill holes for them as they have very sharp threads that bore easily into the wood.
For these reasons, it would be perfectly acceptable to substitute deck screws for standard wood screws for your next indoor floor-laying project.