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?

  • Rather than create a new question can I add - what screw type, what about cedar deck on treated frame?
    – mgb
    Apr 23, 2012 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, 2012 at 23:39
  • I was expanding the question
    – mgb
    Apr 24, 2012 at 1:58
  • @mgb Maybe that should be its own question.
    – Jay Bazuzi
    Apr 24, 2012 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!

  • 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. Apr 23, 2012 at 18:33
  • Pre-drilling is only necessary near the ends. May 4, 2012 at 17:23
  • Pro-tip: Snap a chalkline over the joists so the screws line up. Amateur tip: Just put those babies anywhere. May 4, 2012 at 17:24
  • 1
    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 ! May 5, 2012 at 18:21

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