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1 screw per joist on Ipe deck?

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  • 1 screw per joist on Ipe deck?

    Hi All,

    I'm curious if anyone has had any experience with installing 1x6 Ipe on 16" centers on decks with decks 4 ft or more above the ground with 1 ss screw plugged and sanded alternating sides of every joist along the length of the board. I know tradition is 2 screws per joist, but Ipe is relatively stable.
    builderjohn, Amherst, MA

  • #2
    Re: 1 screw per joist on Ipe deck?

    Well- here's the thing about that. Ipe is relatively stable, but it's also really rigid.

    When installing your decking Ipe can pretty easily pull the screw(s) to go back to it's shape. If you're going to do that, you probably want to be a bit more careful in pulling your material so you get straight boards.

    I would also think about what type of screw and possibly glue. If you're planning on sanding & plugging, then you can use a larger head screw that will hold a bit better. Another think I have done is to use a little polyurethane glue to help hold the boards. That was suggested by a local supplier in Portland, probably the best supplier of deck materials. That deck is lasting really well, and zero movement of any boards so far.

    "He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts; for support rather than illumination." -Andrew Lang


    • #3
      Re: 1 screw per joist on Ipe deck?

      I'm nervous about two screws per joist, frankly. I've seen an alarming number of snapped screws in Ipe decks I've pulled up. I don't know how many of them snapped during install or due to seasonal movement just shearing them off, but either way...

      Sounds like a cool look, but I'd want to try it at home before doing it for a customer.

      “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” - Upton Sinclair


      • #4
        Re: 1 screw per joist on Ipe deck?

        In Amherst? You're competing with lots of weather changes there. I'd love to see your method work, but I'd be too damn scared to try it myself. I see the plugs popping out after a bad winter and cupping or warping boards after a summer rain. If you try it, give us an update.
        "American political opportunities are heavily loaded against those who are simultaneously intelligent and honest" --Richard Dawkins


        • #5
          Re: 1 screw per joist on Ipe deck?

          What's wrong with using a proprietary system like Kreg's or the plastic biscuit, both of which are hidden from view? I've used both with success, the Kreg system on a deck which is totally exposed to the weather here in North Central New Jersey, and the plastic biscuits on a covered front porch. The biggest pain in the neck for us was the crooked boards we had to deal with on the larger job, which was the covered porch (about five hundred square feet). It was a "bear" to straighten out those boards while driving the screws, even with the tool devised to do that. It took one guy straightening and another driving the screws, and not easy.