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I'm screwing down a deck of 5/4 x 4" cedar, over joists 16" O.C.

It's a covered deck, so it won't get very wet.

Is 1 screw per joist/plank intersection enough? Or 2?

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Rather than create a new question can I add - what screw type, what about cedar deck on treated frame? –  mgb Apr 23 '12 at 21:15
    
@mgb: Are you asking me what I'm using? Or you want to expand the scope of the question? –  Jay Bazuzi Apr 23 '12 at 23:39
    
I was expanding the question –  mgb Apr 24 '12 at 1:58
    
@mgb Maybe that should be its own question. –  Jay Bazuzi Apr 24 '12 at 19:06

1 Answer 1

It would be best to use two. If you make sure your deck boards are cupped down you would think that only one screw would be fine, to stop the board from cupping up in the center. I have seen wood cup in some extremely odd ways so this is not always the case. Two per board/joist intersection will ensure you do not need to mess with it in the future. Or you can always just use one and wait for the weird boards to cup :) I prefer low maintenance and the screws shouldn't be too pricey. Good luck!

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Also, cedar is a tangly mess of fibers. Chaos in it's most brilliant. This would be another vote for two screws. Just be sure to pre-drill to avoid splitting it. I am sure it is not cheap. –  hurricaneMitch Apr 23 '12 at 18:33
    
Pre-drilling is only necessary near the ends. –  Chris Cudmore May 4 '12 at 17:23
    
Pro-tip: Snap a chalkline over the joists so the screws line up. Amateur tip: Just put those babies anywhere. –  Chris Cudmore May 4 '12 at 17:24
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Since it is cedar, the preferred method for chalk lines is to use water instead of chalk. Just dunk an empty chalk box in a 5 gal of water. Lessens the chance of staining some pretty cedar. Good idea @ChrisCudmore ! –  hurricaneMitch May 5 '12 at 18:21

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