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How To Install Deckmaster

Step 1.  
Apply DECKMASTER® Hidden Deck Brackets on alternating sides of all joists flat against the joist top. On perimeter joists, apply brackets end-to-end on the inside of the joist only. Fasten with DECKMASTER® Joist Screws through every other hole in the side of the bracket.
Courtesy WORKBENCH Magazine
Brackets are alternated to give equal support to the joist. Because the screws go in at a 60 degree angle there is some tension to pull the boards in one direction. Alternating the brackets allows the joist to have equal tension on both sides of the joist thereby equalizing the holding power from both sides of the joist.

Step 2.  

Working from the top of the deck, lay each deck board on the joist. Reach underneath the deck board and drive a minimum of two DECKMASTER® Bracket Screws through the bracket, up into the deck board. If you have sufficent space you can install from below.

A DeckMate® spacer is handy for proper spacing.

Step 3.  

Where deck boards end with a splice over the joist, fasten brackets to both sides of the joist. If a random splice pattern is used, cut a bracket the width of the deck board and attach to the opposite side of the joist from the full-length bracket.


Cut brackets the length of the deck board and attach to opposite side of joist.

Step 4.  
Continue to attach deck boards as in number 2 above, maintaining your desired spacing between boards. if there is no access underneath the deck, the last board(s) should be attached through the surface with screws. Countersink the screws and plug the holes to maintain surface appearance.

Required Materials

The DECKMASTER brackets are 22.5" long and are meant to be alternated on each side of the joist to give equal support to the joist as the screws go in at an angle.

ESTIMATING THE NUMBER OF DECKMASTER® HIDDEN BRACKETS NEEDED:

How Many Brackets Do I Need?
Deck Size Joist Spacing
Square Ft. 16" O.C. 24" O.C.
25 Sq. Ft. 10
Brackets
10
Brackets
50 20 20
75 30 30
100 40 30
200 80 60
300 120 90
400 160 120
500 200 150

Joists spaced 12 inches on center will require 100 brackets for every 150 to 175 square feet of deck surface.

Joists spaced 16 inches on center will require 100 brackets for every 225 to 250 square feet of deck surface.

Joists spaced 24 inches on center will require 100 brackets for every 325 to 350 square feet of deck surface.

To Determine Exact Count:

  • Measure the length of each joist.
  • Determine the total joist length in inches (mm) and divide the number by 22 (559).
  • Count joists where deck boards splice as two joists.
  • For random deck board splice pattern, include additional brackets to be cut into shorter pieces.
The following will calculate the number of DECKMASTER® Hidden Deck Brackets you will need in FEET.
Enter the length of all joists in feet:
(Press enter or click anywhere outside the form to update the Hidden Brackets Needed)
Number of DECKMASTER® Hidden Deck Brackets Needed:
The following will calculate the number of DECKMASTER® Hidden Deck Brackets you will need in METRIC.
Enter the length of all joists in mm:
(Press enter or click anywhere outside the form to update the Hidden Brackets Needed)
Number of DECKMASTER® Hidden Deck Brackets Needed:

Add a few more for splices, stairs, or special patterns and your ready to get to work.

Deckmaster Deck Board & Joist Screws

DECKMASTER® has made it easier for you to select your screws. Beginning in May 1999 we will be providing the screws you need with the brackets. Look for the red, green and blue boxes that show “brackets and screws now included.”

You will need the following for each application:
10 - 8x1" Joist screws are required for each bracket.
12 - Deck board screws are required for each bracket when using 4 inch wide deck boards.
8 - Deck board screws are required for each bracket when using 6 inch wide deck boards.

Selecting The Correct Color Coded Boxes

Blue Box For solid core composites having a true thickness of 1" to 1 1/2", Deckmaster recommends using the Blue Box Kits.
Green Box For solid core composites having a true thickness of 1 1/2" or more, Deckmaster recommends using the Green Box Kits.
Red Box For solid core and hollow core composites having a true thickness of less than 1", Deckmaster recommends using the Red Box Kits.

Click here to find out which DECKMASTER Product you should buy with your composite product.

The Size(s) Of Box(es) Needed

DECKMASTER® has two different boxes in each color:
* please see FAQs for ChoiceDek

Contractor 100 Pack

Includes 100 brackets, 1200 deck board screws, 1100 joist screws, and a pro bit tip. Use the 100 Pack for your large decks.

On large decks you will need several boxes.

Consumer 10 Pack

Includes 10 brackets, 120 deck board screws, 110 joist screws, and a pro bit tip.

Use the 10 Pack for fill-in, or on very small decks, stairs, or benches where you don't need an entire box of 100.

Helpful Tools

In addition to standard carpentry tools, the following is recommended:

  • KNEE PADS - installing the system from the top is fastest
  • SCREW GUN, DRILL - Screws are designed for "one stroke" installation. Higher volt cordless drill need to be fully charged. For most applications a standard screw gun or drill may be used. In tight areas, an offset drill or screw gun is recommended.
  • TIN SNIPS or 7" Abrasive blade for circular saw. Used to cut brackets where needed.
  • DECKMATE SPACER #DM60275 for 1/8" and 3/16" gap spacing - order now
  • 1/8" wood drill bits for pre-drilling for #10 DM screws - see FAQs for "hard to access spots"
  • 3/8" wood drill bits for counter sinking screw heads
  • 3/8 Plug cutting bits for making plugs
  • Exterior Glue such as Gorilla Glue or Titebond for plugs.
  • Additional #2 Square Drive bit tips - order now

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