Re; Loft boarding screw question

Not a good idea to screw down floor boards - too slow, unsightly and a bugger (impossible) to remove once they have rusted in or lost their slots due to wear or heavy handling. Most zinc coated or other "corrosion resistant' screws will eventually rust in , or surface oxidise a bit, by virtue of moisture in wood. Lifting a board then means breaking it out and removing screws afterwards with a mole grip. I know this cos I've had to do it many times. A good basic rule of woodwork is to never use a screw where a nail will do. In this case round 'lost head' nails, skewed in at the board ends to meet the narrow joist.
cheers
Jacob
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jacob wrote:

Don't know the context of the above as it appeared on my newsreader unthreaded; however I have to disagree with this. Particularly if there's any likelihood of having to lift the same board (ever) again, screws are far better - less damage to the joist and board. Screwing boards down is an excellent way of curing creaking boards too.
Losing their slots? Who uses slotted screws these days?! TBH I would say that given a decent power driver and a box of Pozidrive screws, it would be well nigh as quick to screw boards as to nail them.
Admittedly, given a whole room to floor, I'd use nails, but if I'm pulling up boards here and there for plumbing/wiring purposes, then likely as not I'll replace them using screws.
David
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My preference for flooring these days is square-drive "decking" screws. They don't suffer cam-out, and in the context of Jacob's comments I think they're less likely to corrode than standard screws.
Nailing down a loft full of chipboard flooring (onto loft joists that are also likely to be under-specced compared with the floor joists in the rest of the house) is IME also likely to give rise to a certain amount of repair work to the ceilings below - more cracks if they're lath & plaster, or filling plaster where it's popped off the nail heads if it's plasterboard.
It's relatively quick with a mains drill for pilot hole & countersink drilling (combined drill/countersink bit) and a half-decent cordless for screwing.
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Richard Sampson

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Yebbut thats where the trouble starts - sooner or later someone who doesn't have the proper drive bit has a go at removing them by hammering away with the wrong tool. Either fails completely and knackers the head, or succeeds but puts them back in with knackered heads. Been there done it seen it done many times. Very common prob nowadays as they bring out another system every month - prodrive, posidrive, square head, slotted, hexagonal, star drive, allen etc and all with a range of different sizes. A cunning plot to make us keep buying more tools I think. Beat them at their own game by sticking to nails!
cheers
Jacob
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Who cares what others do? In a DIY group, this only concerns the DIYer - not some bodger who comes along afterwards.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Lobster wrote:

True - if you're screwing into dry timber that will stay dry it's not too bad, though - especially if you remove the screws sometimes.

I hate them for flooring, they've no grip. Why not use brads, if the floor's staying put?

If you pull up a floorboard properly, the nail will often pull through, or come out with the board.

Oi! I use slotted screws where they will show. "Cross-head" screws are unsightly, and you won't find them in quality work.

Yup. So would I.
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And will inevitably loosen in short order. The only nails that hold floorboards securely are cut nails - and you need decent timber to use them in otherwise it will split.
FWIW, I use screws in my place. And haven't had problems with them rusting, etc. Even some over 25 years old. Of course the conditions within the house will determine this. But I'd not like to live in one so cold and damp where this really was a problem.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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wouldn't agree with that ... screwed down sheets of wheyrock in previous house, square edge not t&g ... easy enough to lift when I wanted to get at some pipes.
Bashing in a load of nails is going to play havoc with ceilings of floor below.
If your left is dry, the screws should not rust badly. Use sheradized if worried.
Rick
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