How To Install Composite Decking Using Clips

If you're looking for a clean look on your deck surface with no visible screws, consider using deck clips.

Time

Multiple Days

Complexity

Advanced

Cost

$20-50

Introduction

If you're looking for a clean look on your deck surface with no visible screws, consider using deck clips.

Tools Required

  • Carpenter's square
  • Chalk line
  • Circular saw
  • Cordless drill
  • Jigsaw
  • Miter saw
  • Pencil
  • Safety glasses
  • Tape measure

Materials Required

  • Composite Decking
  • Deck Clips

Project step-by-step (7)

Step 1

Before You Get Started

  • Check the decking specifications and local building codes for joist spacing. Most common is 16 inches on center. For a more rigid feel, 12 inches on center.
  • Install blocking between each joist every four to six feet to reduce movement up and down and twisting of the joists, using exterior screws.
    • Pro Tip: Screw a straight 2x4 on edge to the top of each joists before adding the blocking. This will insure all the joist are level with each other.

Step 2

Starter Board

  • The first board you install, the starter board, is the most important one.
  • Depending on the shape of the deck, the first board can start at the house or at the outer rim joist.
  • Use starter clips to fasten your first board or surface screws and plug the holes.
    • Pro Tip: The last board may need to be ripped; it may look better against the house than on the outer rim.

Step 3

Installing Deck Clips

  • On the inside edge of the starter board, install deck clips at every joist into the groove along the whole length of the board.

 

Step 4

Installing Deck Board

  • Slide the next board up against the clips. Hold the board tightly, putting pressure against the clips.
  • If available, use a board locking tool to help you hold the board tight.
  • Fasten all the clips between the two boards securely using a drill (not an impact driver).
  • Repeat the same process for each board.
    • Pro tip: Let the boards hang over on both the sides of the deck.

Step 5

Expansion and Contraction

  • Composite decking will expand and contract in extreme climates.
  • Don't leave a gap when two board ends butt together.
  • Install double joists and use four clips, two per board, where you have a butt joint.
    • Pro tip: Stagger the joints every other row so no two seams are next to each other.

Step 6

Notching Around Posts

  • To notch around the railing post, slide a deck board up next to the post.
  • Place a square against the edge of the post. Draw lines on each side of the post on to the board.
  • To notch the depth, use a spacer or deck clip to create the gap between boards.
  • Slide the end of the deck board up next to the post.
  • Place a square on the end of the deck board against the post. Draw a line on to the board between your two other lines.
  • Cut out the notch using a jig saw.
    • Pro tip: Make the notch slightly bigger for a little wiggle room.

Step 7

Trim Boards

  • After all the boards are installed, snap a chalk line and trim the ends to the desired length.
    • Pro tip: As you continue to install deck boards, periodically take measurements to be sure the boards are parallel to the starter board.

FH18DJF_583_52_031_hsp dewalt cordless circular saw