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What Size Nails For Deck Joists Framing?

Perhaps the most crucial step in constructing a deck is the framing process. Building the rest of the deck's elements, including railing and steps, will be difficult if you don't construct the deck joist framing structure properly to bear the needed load. We thoroughly researched the internet regarding the correct nail size to correctly build a deck joist framing.

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To construct deck joist framing, you must utilize 10d (three inches) and 16d (three and a half inches) common spiral nails. 

Getting the layout of a deck right from the beginning is a huge time saver. Aside from knowing the correct nail size for your deck framing, it would also be best to know the various deck nail options. So, we suggest you keep reading to learn and understand the construction materials better.

Closeup of Joists on New Porch Deck, What Size Nails For Deck Joists Framing?

How To Construct Deck Framing

Pile of small steel nails with white anti corrosion coating

The framework of a deck is often made of pressure-treated 2x6, 2x8, or even bigger 2by timber. And the appropriate nails to use should be hot-dipped or double-dipped galvanized or stainless steel. Additionally, you should take into account the length, width, and material of your nails.

When nailing pieces of timber together, you want to make sure that the heads of the nails don't peek through. The diameter also has a role in the connection's shear strength. Applying ring or spiral nails to timber that bends or pulls can increase the gripping power and secure the wood pieces.

In order to join 2 by timber for deck joist framing, you need to utilize 10d (three inches) common spiral nails made of:

  • hot-dipped (HD)
  • double-dipped (DD) galvanized
  • stainless steel (SS)

And for joining beams, you should use 16d (three and a half inches) common nails, HD, SS, and DD.

What Are The Various Types Of Nails For Decks

Heads of two big old slightly rusty nails against a pile of the small thin steel nails

It's crucial to choose the proper nail for the job and the right length and gauge. Nails have several names depending on their design, manufacturing characteristics, treatments, and intended purpose. Please see below:

1. Common Nails

These nails are from steel wire or iron. Common nails also feature a smooth one-inch or 2d to six inches or 60d shank, which also consists of a four-sided diamond-shaped tip.

The pole of common nails is thicker than the shaft of box nails of the exact length, resulting in increased shear length. Moreover, as an added safety measure, the shaft has between four and six ribs or notches below the head.

You can use a hammer or particular nail gun to drive these nails with a flat round head. Lastly, common nails are what workers commonly use in construction.

2. Box Nails

Box nails are another typical construction fastener like common nails but with narrower shaft diameter. The nail heads are flat and spherical, containing ribs or dimples close to the tip for better traction. Typically, the length of a box nail is between one to three and a half inches. A thinner shank is advisable to avoid breaking wood when constructing lighter, non-structural projects like boxes or frames.

3. Finishing Nails

Use finishing nails to put the final touches on a project. The shaft is between one and four inches in length, and the head is like a barrel that is only a bit broader than the shaft. Additionally, you can utilize nail sets to countersink the head below the surface, and the thinner shank reduces the risk of splitting thin wood.

4. Ring Nails

 A ring nail is a kind of nail where you can locate the rings or ribs along the bottom three-quarters of the shank, beginning at the tip. Wood fibers that flow into the grooves are what firmly keep the nails in place. It's much more challenging to hammer nails into wood and pull them out again. Roofing materials, underlayment, siding, and clapboard benefit from ring nails.

5. Spiral Nails

These nails have twisted or spiraled shafts. And we can drive them into the wood the same way ring nails do, but they are far more difficult to remove.

Because they have a more significant gripping force than most other types of nails and turn or twist as they are plunged in, these nails are famous for building projects.

6. Galvanized Nails

Galvanized varieties of several nail types made of steel or iron are commercially available. By heating and melting the zinc coating, galvanization permanently bonds it to the nail.

Furthermore, the metal's ability to resist corrosion depends on the thickness of its zinc coating. Also, a milled-faced hammer can chip the zinc coating; hence we suggest utilizing a smooth-faced hammer or nailer.

7. Stainless Steel Decking Nails

Stainless steel wire nails are expensive. However, they are incredibly durable and can resist corrosion. And because they do not cause the wood to deteriorate and change colors, they work wonderfully on cedar or redwood decks.

8. Hot-dipped Galvanized Nails

To give iron or steel nails a rougher but more uniform layer, zinc is fused to the nails by a hot dipping procedure. In order to prevent corrosion, double-dipped nails are submerged in the zinc bath twice. Compared to an electroplated finish, the thickness of a dipped nail can be up to ten times greater.

9. Electro-galvanized Nails

Utilizing an electric current, you can galvanize nails in a process known as electro-galvanizing. We can also refer to this procedure as electroplating or cold-galvanizing.

As opposed to dipped nails, their surface is smooth and glossy. Nonetheless, because the zinc coating is thinner, they cost less overall but are more prone to deterioration. We don't recommend them for use with cedar, redwood, or pressure-treated wood.

How To Read Nail Sizes

Size range of nails

Before buying any nail for construction, be sure to read the label thoroughly. Manufacturer, place of origin, and quantity are only a few of the details that you can find on a product's label. Moreover, you can see the nail's length, width, crown, and substance on separate labels.

Some packages use abbreviations to describe their contents; for example, 10d5HDG means that it is a:

  • 10d nail 
  • in a 5-pound package
  • and the nails are Hot Dipped Galvanized

You may see the indication for the nail usage, such as joist hangers and brackets on the packaging.

What Nail Sizes To Utilize For Decking

Pile of small steel nails with white anti corrosion coating, top view close-up in selective focus, background

As a means of fastening wood, metal, and other materials together, nails are a vital part of building and maintaining structures like decks. Superior nail quality means the erected structure will remain stable for extended periods. The choice of the nail is crucial to the success of any project.

Since we have already discussed above the correct nail size for deck framing, we will now tackle the other types of decking.

1. Deck Boards

Deck boards, which attach to the joists, bend under pressure, with the amount of bending reliant on the joist spacing. Decks with 12-inch joist have the slightest bounce, and those with 24-inch spacing have the highest. So, we suggest utilizing nails with ring or spiral shafts over those with smooth shafts because the latter prevents loosening over time.

Dipped galvanized, or stainless steel is the ideal choice for cedar, redwood, or pressure-treated boards since it is resistant to the corrosion caused by the wood's natural oils.

For a decking with two inches of thickness, it would be best to utilize a 16d spiral shaft or ring shank. And you must ensure that it is a common nail, hot or double-dipped. 

Moreover, you should utilize the exact sort of box nail to fasten 5/4 timber to joists. However, the length should be either 10d or 12d. Choose galvanized spiral or ring nails in the 8d or 10d size to attach plywood decking.

2. Deck Joist Hangers

We utilize joist hangers to secure and support joists by attaching them to the plate, ledger, or rim joist below.

Since shear strength is the primary importance, it would be best to use the nails below when attaching to single-thickness boards:

  • 16d (8 gauge) or 12d (9 gauge) ring or spiral nails with twice plank thickness
  • 4d (9 gauge) one a half inches, smooth shank

It would be best to utilize dipped or double-dipped nails. Also, use hangers made of the exact material as the nails or comparable hangers and fasteners made of stainless steel.

Once you finish the installation of the hangers, you should lower the joist into place, then drive a pair of 16d nails on each side into the plank that fastens the hanger. And you must ensure that you move it diagonally between the joist and hanger.

3. Railings

Because deck railings can consist of various materials and sizes, the sort and length of the nails will depend on it.

To stop the material from breaking, you might wish to predrill any tight or thin areas.

For caps, spindles, rails, and trim, and relying on the material, it would be best to use either of the following sizes in dipped galvanized or stainless steel common nails:

  • 6d
  • 8d
  • 10d

4. Stairs

Because stairs must be able to endure shear and vibration pressures, the ideal method for attaching the treads to the stringers and the stringers to the deck structure is to utilize 16d nails.

Additionally, it would be best to utilize stainless steel hangers and nails or those that have been galvanized dipped.

Wrap It All Up

In every construction project, the nail size is crucial to understand and use. You don't want to ruin the project, so as much as possible, follow the appropriate nail sizing of every decking task, especially the deck frame, which is the most critical structure mentioned above.

We hope you find this post helpful. If you want to continue reading, you can check these related posts out!

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