A pergola is a gorgeous outdoor garden building that forms a shaded walkway or sitting area, but it will only last if installed correctly with the right pergola screws. We’re here to help you choose the best screws for pergolas, no matter the material or shape you choose.
Wood, metal or PVC: we’ll arm you with the right pergola bolts or screws alongside our tips for a smooth fastening process.
Pergola Material Options
Before you choose your pergola nails or screws, you need to choose your pergola material. You have three main options: wood, metal or PVC. When choosing your material, you should consider your geographical region, existing architectural style, budget and landscape.
When building a pergola, it can either connect to the existing exterior wall of your home or it can be freestanding. Wood, a very popular material, is a great option that can accommodate either choice. It offers a natural look but can also be painted if you prefer another color. You have plenty of species options to choose from, including teak, cedar, mahogany, redwood and more.
Higher-priced woods have natural oils that can make them resistant to insects, rot, shrinking, warping, decay and termites. However, some cheaper options may be susceptible to these problems and require higher maintenance.
If you’re looking for a rustic, natural look, metal may not be your first choice. But if you’re looking for something modern and highly durable, a metal pergola is a fantastic option. Metal is robust and highly resistant to common problems other materials face like rotting, warping and pest damage. However, it can rust from moisture if not properly taken care of.
We suggest galvanizing the metal to safeguard its protection or remembering to maintain it with proper sealers to stop rust from building.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a thick, plastic material that is highly resistant to the problems both metal and wood suffer from. Since a pergola is outdoors, a PVC pergola is one of your best options when it comes to protection from the elements. The best part of using PVC is that it doesn’t need very much maintenance. However, critics call out PVC for its unsustainability, so if you’re searching for an eco-friendly option, PVC may not be your first choice.
Nails or Screws for Pergolas?
While this is ultimately a personal choice, we recommend screws. A big advantage of screws is they make it easy to replace damaged wood. If you install a pergola post by attaching it with screws, you can replace the post with little to no difficulty when it potentially gets damaged. Screws can be easily removed while nails are more difficult.
Screws also have more holding power than nails. They really grab the wood because the threads of the screw cut into the material, giving it a solid grip and more secured durability. Nails offer the advantage of a quick install, especially if you have a nail gun, but there has been a lot of innovation occurring in the screw industry to make the installation easier and quicker than in the past, allowing you to have both high install speeds and durability.
The Best Screws for Wood Pergolas
If you’re going for an eco-friendly, natural look, FlatLOK Structural Wood Screws are the way to go. This screw delivers a strong, code-compliant connection for multi-ply LVL, girder trusses and multi-ply lumber beams. It’s a multipurpose structural wood screw that’s approved for single-sided installation, making it easier to complete projects at ground level or in elevated applications.
Its flat head allows for easy finishing, has multiple sizes depending on your project needs and maximizes fit to reduce the potential for stripping. It also includes a stability button for maximum penetration into the fastener for a wobble-free drive. A free TORX® ttap® bit is included in every box.It works for any wood species, including ACQ or treated lumber.
The Best Screws for Metal Pergolas
If you’re seeking to build a metal pergola, you’ll want to go with the Cortex Driller Hidden Fastening System. The 1−5÷8” 410 stainless steel fastener requires no pre-drilling, and the TORX® ttap® Drive System is almost impossible to strip out. The stability button keeps the fastener straight through the entire installation. Simply drive the fastener to create a clean, cored hole. Then, gently tap in the plug made of the same metal material to create a fastener-free surface.
The Best Screws for PVC Pergolas
You have two great options if PVC is your material of choice. First, you have the Cortex Hidden Fastening System for PVC. The TORX® ttap® Drive System is almost impossible to strip out and the fastener is easily removed.
With a stability button, your fastener remains straight through the entire installation process. You get a stronger setting tool that is optimized for pro contractor use. It has stronger bit material and industry-grade felt to enable you to install 350 fasteners on one Cortex Setting Tool.
It has a shorter and faster trim screw, with 2” fasteners to deliver high levels of holding power and offer you versatility when it comes to applications such as pergolas, decks and trim. The dual thread design spins the fastener 50% faster, helping you achieve quicker install times.
Your second option is the Collated Cortex Hidden Fastening System for PVC. The Collated Cortex Hidden Fastening System is similar to the fastening system above. If you’re trying to cut down on your pergola project timeline and expedite labor, this is the screw for you.
It also has a shorter and faster trim screw, with fasteners offered in both 2” and 2 ¾” options to deliver high levels of holding power and even more versatility when it comes to applications you can accomplish. Just like the loose plug hidden fastening system, the dual thread design spins the fastener 50% faster compared to competitive screws, helping you achieve quicker install times.
These Cortex plugs come on a collated strip to minimize handling and save you even more valuable time on your project.
How FastenMaster Can Help
No matter the pergola material or the project in general, our vast product offering at FastenMaster makes it easy to find the right fastener for your next project.
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