How to Install TimberTech AZEK® Decking
With TOPLoc Color-Matched Screws

Looking for guidance on how to install TimberTech AZEK® decking? You've come to the right place. Before jumping in, make sure you've properly blocked and spaced your deck joists and that your deck's substructure is healthy. It's also important to note how TimberTech AZEK® decking differs from other building materials.

BEFORE YOU BEGIN
Make sure to consult all appropriate installation guides.

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU BUILD

Design Details >

This guide assumes the use of standard 5.5" deck boards and 1/8" spacing in a straight, edge-to-edge pattern.

Fascia Details >

The fascia boards will be installed flush with the deck boards to cover the ends and polish the look of your build.

Railing Details >

Install any railing on top of the deck boards after the decking is installed.

Understanding TimberTech AZEK Decking Material

  • It’s best to keep the decking products stored in a cool, dry place, with packaging on if possible.
  • Keep decking as cool as possible during attachment. Full, direct sun exposure will increase board temperature, board length, and can lead to increased gapping at the ends.
  • When you install TimberTech AZEK® decking, expansion / contraction / gapping will be most significant where extreme temperature change may exist.
  • Fasten the deck boards as soon after cutting as possible. Do not leave boards unattached for long periods of time or overnight, as the board length will change with temperature changes.
AZEK Vintage Coastline Dark Hickory Premier scaled

TimberTech AZEK Decking Installation Guide

Estimated based on a 12' x 12' deck; time will vary depending on the size of deck and complexity of the build.

ESTIMATED TIME

1 Hour


RECOMMENDED MAN-POWER

1-2 People

PREREQUISITES

• Secured framing, properly
attached to the house

• A confirmed deck design

OVERVIEW

Step 1: Use Best Practices for Cutting AZEK Deck Boards

Step 2: Use Best Practices for Fastening AZEK Deck Boards

Step 3: Confirm Your Spacing & Deck Size

Step 4: Determine Where to Start Laying Boards

Step 5: Install TimberTech AZEK Decking

Step 6: Install TimberTech AZEK Fascia Boards

Step 7: Prolong the Aesthetics of Your Deck

Tools You'll Need

Once you've done the prep work, it's time to get your hands dirty. First, you'll want to assemble all the tools needed to properly install TimberTech AZEK decking and fascia boards.

  • Safety glasses
  • Miter saw
  • Jig saw
  • Cordless driver
  • Measuring tape
  • Carpenter square
  • Deck spacer or spacing tool
  • Recommended color-matched TOPLoc screws or an alternative that meets specifications below:
    • Stainless steel
    • Minimum screw size: #7
    • Face screws at minimum length of 2 ¼”

Many other tools are available that can be used for installation. All tools should be used per applicable manufacturers’ instructions.

CHECK YOUR DECK
Do not move forward until you've confirmed your deck frame is structurally sound.

Step 1: Use Best Practices for Cutting AZEK Deck Boards

For cutting TimberTech AZEK deck boards, make sure to use an appropriate saw. NOTE: Do not use cordless saws.

Cutting Tools for Installing TimberTech AZEK Decking

Deck-Building-Power-Miter-Saw

Sliding Power Miter Saw

BEST FOR CUTTING AZEK BOARDS:
Use a miter saw with a fine-toothed, carbide-tipped finish trim blade (12” 100-tooth or 10” 90-tooth minimum).  

Deck-Building-Jig-Saw

Jig Saw

FOR NOTCHING AROUND RAIL POSTS:
Use a fine-tooth finish blade.

How-to-Install-TimberTech-AZEK-Decking-Deck-Building-Electric-Circular-Saw

Electric Circular Saw

OTHER METHOD FOR CUTTING AZEK BOARDS:
Use a minimum 60-tooth finish blade.

Cutting TimberTech AZEK Deck Boards

  • Use proper saw and blade.
  • Cut boards one at a time.
  • Cut deck boards with the grain facing upward.
  • While using any saw, use slow cuts or chipping can occur.
  • Do not use battery-powered saws, as chipping can occur.
  • As with any wood or alternative decking product, always be sure to cut the factory ends
    of your board for a clean and square finish.
  • Make sure the face of the deck board is protected from the bottom of the saw during cutting
    with a circular saw or a jig saw.
  • If using a circular saw, be sure to use a saw guide for clean, square cuts.
  • For best results, cut boards before installing / fastening or chipping can occur.
  • As always, measure twice and cut once.

Step 2: Use Best Practices for Fastening AZEK Deck Boards

Due to the durability of TimberTech AZEK deck products, we recommended color-matched TOPLoc screws. You may also use a high-quality fastener that meets the following specifications:

  • Stainless steel
  • Minimum screw size: #7
  • Face screws should be a minimum length of 2 1/4”

For salt water coastal applications, we suggest using the minimum fastener requirements in 316 stainless steel.

Avoid using flathead screws. Trim head screws typically provide a better result. As always, you should try the fastener in a sample board before using on your deck.

When fastening TimberTech AZEK deck boards with screws, NO PRE-DRILLING IS REQUIRED.

Fastening Tools to Install TimberTech AZEK Decking

Cordless Drill

Cordless Drill

AZEK-TOPLOC-TTAP-DRIVERBIT

T-Tap Driver Bit

AZEK-TOPLOC-COLORMATCHED-DECK-FASTENERS

TOPLoc Color-Matched Fasteners

NAIL THE PROJECT, NOT YOUR DECK
Do not use nails to fasten TimberTech AZEK deck boards.

Deck Fastening Best Practices

Deck Building-Top-down-fastening-2-screws

ALWAYS: TWO FASTENERS AT ENDS, INTO JOISTS

Be sure to fasten all ends of boards, splices, or abutments securely into the framing  structure using two fasteners.

How-to-Install-TimberTech-AZEK-Decking-Deck-Building-Fastener-Position

FASTENER POSITION

Fasten ¾” from a given side's edge and within 1/2” (3/8" recommended) from the end of the board (remember: no pre-drilling required). 

How-to-Install-TimberTech-AZEK-Decking-Spacing-Between-Boards

SPACING BETWEEN BOARDS

Spacing between boards should be 1/8” to 1/4”. The use of a spacer can add efficiency and help maintain proper spacing.

How to install TimberTech AZEK Decking butt joints

BUTT JOINTS

For butt joints, be sure to trim cut factory ends to ensure squareness. Be sure to keep butt joints tight. Do not leave a gap at butt joints, splices or miters. Install fasteners within 1/2" from the ends of each board.

DO NOT SCARF-CUT BUTT JOINTS
Butt joints should be tight and secure, with all edges square.

Proper Fastening for How to Install TimberTech AZEK Decking

PROPER FASTENING

Drive fasteners perpendicular to the deck board straight into the joist. Do not install fasteners at an angle.

Step 3: Confirm Your Spacing & Deck Size

Determine Your Deck Size

Your actual width will need to incorporate both the deck boards AND the spacing.

Start with your initial estimate for the width of your deck.

Then, think about the deck boards themselves. Confirm the width of your deck board (in this project guide, we use 5.5” boards).

Understand the manufacturer spacing requirements and choose your preference (in this project guide, we use 1/8” spacing).

Follow the calculations in the table below.

AZEK-Brownstone-ImpressionRail

Calculate Your Updated Deck Width Using Full-Width Boards

Use this calculation to understand what the adjusted width and spacing of your full-width deck boards.

DECK WIDTH = 5.5" WITH 1/8" SPACING
1.) DESIRED DECK WIDTH ____ ft.
2.) DIVIDE DESIRED DECK WIDTH (1.) BY 0.46875 ____ ft. / 0.46875 = NUMBER OF DECK BOARDS NEEDED
3.) ROUND UP OR DOWN AS NECESSARY ____ DECK BOARDS NEEDED
4.) MULTIPLY DECK BOARDS NEEDED (3.) BY 5.625 ____ DECK BOARDS / 5.625
This result is the width of deck frame needed based on board width with 1/8" spacing.

Step 4: Determine Where to Start Laying Boards

The design and size of your deck will determine the number of boards required to install
TimberTech AZEK decking.

Deck-Building-Fasten-FirstBoard

Scenario 1

Deck plan includes all full-width boards (no partial / cut / ripped down boards). You may want to start at the house and work outward for ease. See above calculation for help.

Deck-Building-BoardSpacing2

Scenario 2

Deck plan will require cutting / ripping down a board or boards. You may want to start away from the home and work inward so the off-sized board is closer to the house/hidden.

RIPPING OF BOARDS MAY BE REQUIRED
Cutting a board along its horizontal, or "ripping” a board, may be required to achieve full coverage of the framing.

Step 5: Install TimberTech AZEK Decking

Install TimberTech AZEK Decking Deck-Building-First-Board

Check Squareness to House & Frame

Measure from the edge of the deck board to the outer edge of the rim joist at each end of the deck board and strike a line. Once the line is struck, attach the first deck board along the line to ensure that it is straight. Or, strike a chalk line on top of the joists at the desired position of the first board and attach the first board along the line.

Install TimberTech AZEK decking deck board spacing
Tools For

Installing TimberTech AZEK Deck Boards

  • Spacer tool
  • Cordless drill
  • T-Tap Driver Bit
  • TopLoc color-matched fasteners for AZEK decking

Drive the fasteners straight down into the deck boards. Be sure your deck boards are spaced appropriately. We recommend leaving 1/8”- ¼” space between boards for proper drainage.

How to Install TimberTech AZEK Decking

Deck-Building-FastenJoist

First, Place Fastener...

Be sure to install two fasteners per joist on each deck board. Drive fasteners straight down and do not angle fasteners toward the joist. Remember: Fasten within ½” from the end.

Deck-Building-FastenJoist2

Then, Drive...

Be sure that fasteners are driven to a minimum depth of 1 1/4” into solid wood framing below the bottom of the AZEK deck board. This will enhance holding power and uplift resistance.

Confirm-Fasteners-Deck-Building-Fasten-FlushX

Then, Confirm

Use the proper bit and drive the screw at a slower speed until it is flush or slightly below the deck surface.

Step 6: Install TimberTech AZEK Fascia

Install-TimberTech-AZEK-Decking-Deck-Building-12inch-MAX
Tools For

Installing TimberTech AZEK Fascia Boards

  • Quality exterior-grade construction adhesive
  • Cordless drill
  • T-Tap driver bit
  • TopLoc fascia fasteners
  • Level (4' minimum)

Measure the length of the outside rim joist to determine the length of AZEK fascia board needed. It may be necessary to rip cut the AZEK fascia board to fit the outside rim board of the deck. A slight overhang is permitted, with the goal being to hide the wood rim joist.

How to Install TimberTech AZEK Fascia Boards

How to Install TimberTech AZEK Decking Fascia Adhesive

First, Apply Adhesive...

Apply a good-quality exterior-grade construction adhesive to the back (smooth) surface of the board. Do not get adhesive on the grained surface of the rim joist or decking.

Install TimberTech AZEK Decking Fascia Board Flush

Next, Position the Board...

Position the board so it is flush with the top of the deck boards.

Install TimberTech AZEK Decking Fascia Board Spacing

Then, Fasten

Install three fasteners from top to bottom, with top and bottom screws positioned no more than ½” from the end. The third screw should be approximately centered in the board. Repeat this configuration every 12”.

NOTE

The techniques shown should be used for best results. Results may vary, as expansion and contraction could still occur. AZEK Building Products Inc. claims no liability or responsibility for the improper installation of this product. Since all installations are unique, it is the sole responsibility of the installer to determine specific requirements in regard to each decking application. AZEK Building Products recommends that all designs be reviewed by a licensed architect, engineer or local building official before installation. Please contact AZEK Customer Service prior to installing if you have question or concerns.

Step 7: Prolong the Aesthetics of Your Deck

While TimberTech AZEK capped polymer decking is specifically engineered for enduring beauty, it's always wise to keep your backyard build free of dirt, debris, and spills. To maximize the aesthetics of your deck, we recommend using TimberTech® DeckCleaner™.

deckcleaner resize

NOTE: Take care to use the appropriate brush when cleaning with TimberTech DeckCleaner.
For TimberTech AZEK decking, use a stiff, natural-fiber brush.

For full details on keeping your capped polymer deck looking as great on day 1,000 as day 1, read more over on Care & Cleaning



Invest in Your Deck's Beauty

Keep surface buildup at bay with TimberTech® DeckCleaner™ featuring our effective, non-toxic and bleach-free formula. Makes cleaning a breeze for small spots or entire deck surfaces.

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