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Composite Deck Screws vs Wood Screws [One-Stop Guide]

Setting up a whole deck is a costly process. So no one would want to compromise with such an expensive thing. That’s why even putting the right screw on the deck is a big concern.

Because choosing the wrong screw can destroy the deck particle or surface. So to avoid this hassle, the right screws need to be used.

And if you’re wondering which one to choose – composite deck screws vs wood screws?

Then let’s start with the surface, if your surface is composite, go for composite screws. Consequently, for wood, the surface goes for wood screws. And if you’re looking for the one with the highest grip, composite screws are the one. But if the price is an issue then just go for wood screws.

Well, that was just a glimpse of what we have for you. But to know in detail, just scroll down.

Composite Deck Screws or Wood Screws? Quick Trailer

Before diving into the in-depth differentiation, why not give you a sneak peek at what’s waiting for you next?

Screw Type





Composite/wood deck

Firm grip

Relatively high


Wood deck

Smooth grip


So it was just a trailer on the basic differences. But if you have some time, just go through our broad overview for a better understanding. 

3 Differences Between Composite and Wood Deck Screws

Sometimes it’s difficult to find the right deck screws to attach your deck board. So in this situation, it’s common to be confused between composite and wood screws.

But it’s time to put that aside and dive deep to find the best alternative.


First things first, we guessed that you might want to know what purpose of both these screws. So we’ve got the answer that you’ve been searching for. To understand the purposes of composite deck screws and wood screws, just see below.

Composite Deck Screws

So we’re assuming that you already know what’s a composite deck screw. And its purpose is quite understandable by its name. If you still haven’t understood, then let us explain.

Composite deck screws are designed specifically for composite decking. Its tight grip is just perfect for composite decking as it retains corrosion resistance. And the head of these screws is not unsightly either. Thus, it does not harm the composite surface.

Nevertheless, you’ll hear people use composite deck screws on wood decking as well. Though it can be used on both surfaces, some failings still remain.

Because wood decking tend to be softer than composite ones, the wood particles need a light grip. Otherwise, there’s a high chance of the wood deck breaking if a composite screw is spun too hard.

So it’s advisable to use the one which best serves the purpose. Just like how you should always use the best wood for stair risers.

Wood Screws

Just like composite screws, wood screws are used to fix and set decks. But these can’t be used on every surface. Their light grip on the wood surface is what differentiates them from the composite deck screws. To be more specific, these screws would work wonders on the best floorings for pier and beam house.

So, considering the purpose, it is advisable that if yours is composite decking, then go for composite screws. And if your deck is a wood one, wood screws would be the right choice for you.


Well, you might know which one to pick between m7 vs m42 drill bits. But still can be confused between composite deck screws and wood screws. 

And you know what, we’ve analyzed these two alternatives to put an end to your confusion.

And to ease that up for you, we’ve curated the following table where you’ll find everything that you need to know.


Threading Height


Threading Pattern

Composite deck screws

2 inches or > 


Full body

Wood screws

1 inch or <


½ body

So if the deck surface is firm and hard then you need to drive composite screws. Because it’s entire body threading helps it to drive deep into the surface. It even has a  deeper threading height that works as an advantage for it.

On the other hand, the half body threading is suitable for wood decks as they have thick and soft material. This helps them to drive easily inside the wood layers without breaking them.

So now, you know that if you’re looking for a firm and higher secured grip, you have to go for composite deck screws. However, to set the deck without weakening the inner particles of your wood deck, go for wood screws.


If you’re concerned about the budget then worry not because both screws are cheap. To be more exact, wood deck screws can range between $0.08 to $0.10 per screw. Whereas composite deck screw price ranges between $0.22 to $0.35 per screw.

So, if you’re on a budget, just go for wood screws.

The Verdict

So, it all comes down to what material you’re building with. 

If you’re constructing wooden basement stairs or a deck, go for wooden deck screws.

On the other hand, stick with composite screws if your deck is made up of composite material.

Now as we’ve shared the differences with you. Why not share our favorites when it comes to composite and wood deck screws. 

Wood deck screw 1

Composite deck screw 1

Wood deck screw 2

Composite deck screw 2

These products will come in handy when you’ve chosen one that’s best for you.

In case you were wondering about your deck stain to match your house exterior, you should do patch tests. Also, remember to have painting flexibility for your deck stain.


Which screw length is good for deck setting?

Well, no matter whether you are using wood screws or composite screws, a 3-inch length should be maintained for deck sets.

Are composite screws and metal screws the same?

Well not totally, composite deck screws are one among hundreds of metal screw options to work with.

Can wood screws be used in composite decking?

No, wood screws won’t be durable if used in composite decking. Because its soft grip won’t be able to hold the composite particles together.


That’s all from what we had to share on composite deck screws vs wood screws. Hope this knowledge helped you choose the right one for your deck.

Let us know which one you ended up choosing by commenting below.

Thank you & good luck!