Are Metal Joists A Good Idea For Brazilian Decking?

Brazilian Decking like Ipe, Cumaru, or Tigerwood is some of the longest-lasting wood around. Not only do these woods make your deck look absolutely stunning, they also last decades longer than other alternatives. Many customers ask if we recommend an alternative framing material, since they want their framing to last as long as their deck.

We normally recommend using Pressure Treated wood for deck framing, but for customers that want long-lasting and better-looking alternatives, metal joists are a great option. Metal joists work very well with our decking when properly installed, and you will have both a deck surface and substructure that will look beautiful and last for many decades.

To install our exotic hardwood decking, make sure that you follow these very simple steps to ensure your investment pays off with little-to-no maintenance:

  • Measure twice, cut once. This piece of advice is very important when it comes to metal joists. Unlike wood, metal joists aren’t whole so it’s imperative to know exactly where screws will fasten in and the exact lengths that they will be spanning. Planning is key and any error can be costly when dealing with metal framing.
  • Use joist tape/ledger tape. These products are important in both regular wood framing and metal framing. Joist tape creates a barrier between the surfaces of the metal and the wood. This barrier prevents any oxidation of the metal from transferring onto the wood. It’s a small but important step to maximizing the longevity of your deck.
  • Use the correct screws. Whether you are going to use hidden fasteners like the Ipe Clip system or simply top screwing and plugging, when using metal joists you have to use the correct screws. The screws should be made with stainless steel to avoid corrosion and have a drill point that penetrates metal easily. Other screws may damage the joists or your decking.

Follow these three easy steps and you can successfully install your deck with metal joists to create an elegant deck without compromises. If you want to find joist tape and metal screws, take a look at the DeckWise® WiseWrap Joist Tape and DeckWise® Self-Tapping Metal Joist Deck Screws.

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