Do I need stainles steel bolts for ipe deck posts?

tadrJune 19, 2013

I am in the middle of building an ipe deck. Decking and railing are both ipe. I understand that I generally must use stainless steel fasteners with ipe, due to the staining that HDG fasteners will cause. That makes sense for the decking screws and railing screws.

But does that extend to the railing posts that are mounted inside the framing, where nobody will ever see the connection? Is there any structural reason I need to use stainless steel? I assume the stain won't creep up the post, correct?

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Hey tadr,

Besides the staining or streaks standard screws / Fasteners will give they will also rust out and weaken over time. You want your Screws / Fasteners to last as long as the Ipe will i.e. Stainless Steel.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 3:37PM
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Thanks, Builder-Bob.

In that case, any ideas where to buy stainless steel bolts? I searched around online all morning (looking at both the usual online sources and websites of local retailers - e.g., home depot, lowes, etc) and came up pretty much empty handed.

I'll need 1/2 x 6 and 1/2 x 7 1/2 hex bolts for my railing posts... lots of them. I found a few sources online that had them for $6-10/bolt, but I find it hard to believe that people actually pay that much. Am I crazy?

I already used HDG fasteners and hangers for all of the pressure treated framing, so I am not too concerned about the corrosion problem of the hardware itself, just the staining/discoloration on the ipe. This is not my "forever" house.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 3:41PM
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If your using pressure treated for the posts and framing hot dipped galvanized will be fine. Just do not use electro-galvanized nails.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 4:20PM
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No, I am using 4x4 ipe for the posts, which is why I am concerned about staining. The framing is all PT, the railing posts, railing, and decking are all ipe.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 4:21PM
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Definitely use SS then. A good hardware store or a real lumberyard should be able to get them for you fairly reasonably priced. Stay away from the box stores for anything deck related in my opinion.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 8:02PM
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