Following up framing for ground level deck

I'm putting 2x8 for framing of the ground-level deck, it is a floating deck, i.e. not attached to the house. So, 2x8 joists will be sitting around perimeter of the framing.

What's best to use, nails/screws/bolts, for attaching together 2x8 with 2x8 ? There are many different products in hardware store, for instance galvanized nails/screws, lag screws (or bolts?), so I'm not sure what to choose.

1 Answer 1


Traditionally I would have just used 20d galvanized box nails, 4 per joist end.. Since you're nailing into end grain you need a substantial fastener. Hot-dipped galvanized nails have a rougher texture that grabs fairly well.

However, since your deck is floating I'd maybe want to use screws. This will keep any motion that occurs from working things loose. 3-1/2" Torx drive screws that are coated for exterior use would be good.

  • if the boards aren't old, don't you want them to have some slight range of motion to for allow expansion and contraction of the wood? I thought that overly-tight connectors lead to warping, but maybe that's only for furniture and not for decking...
    – dandavis
    Commented Oct 1, 2017 at 22:41
  • isherwood, thanks for comment. Are galvanized steel angles required, for instance homedepot.com/p/Simpson-Strong-Tie-12-Gauge-Angle-A33/100374962 or homedepot.com/p/… ?
    – Mark
    Commented Oct 2, 2017 at 3:28
  • @dandavis, no. Framing doesn't normally get that type of treatment (except for wall and roof sheathing).
    – isherwood
    Commented Oct 2, 2017 at 13:46
  • @Mark, if anything you could use standard joist hangers to carry the load. No corner bracing is warranted, in my opinion.
    – isherwood
    Commented Oct 2, 2017 at 13:48

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