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Are Hidden Fasteners Right For Your Deck?

Hidden deck fasteners make your deck look great. They’re out of sight, so all you see is the clean, unmarked deck surface. It’s no surprise people love them so much. They also eliminate the problem of exposed nail or screw heads injuring a foot, or catching a chair. But hidden fasteners do have some limitations. While they make for a clean, unencumbered look for your deck, they don’t have the same fastening strength of a face screw.

Natural wood decks will move a bit once installed. An outside deck is exposed non-stop to a variety of weather: heat; rain; snow, and damaging UV rays. All natural wood decking- even kiln dried hardwood -will expand and contract slightly depending on moisture content. As hidden fasteners usually only attach through one edge of a board, the other edge “floats.” This is why they’re not as strong as other fastening methods.

This is not to say hidden systems don’t fasten adequately- they do. However, there are certain conditions when you should not use hidden fasteners. If any of the points below apply to your deck, use face screws or nails:

  • Your deck is less than 30” above the ground;
  • It has inadequate below-deck ventilation;
  • Your deck boards are 1” x 6” (nominal size) or wider;
  • If the area below your deck does not drain properly.

However, if aesthetics are at the top of your list, and your deck doesn’t require face nails or screws, hidden fasteners are definitely a great way to go.

There are a number of high-quality fasteners, clips, screw and plug systems and other options that provide excellent solutions. Some composite deck manufacturers sell their own proprietary systems, and others, like Camo, will work with virtually any deck board.

Here are some of the more popular systems we have at The Decking Superstore:

Trex® Hideaway

All Trex decking products come with a hidden installation option. Trex grooved-edge boards use a fastening system that installs between the deck boards and fastens them to the joists with no visible deck screw heads on the surface. Like many hidden fastening systems, the Hideaway system also evenly spaces the gap between each board for a flawless look across the entire deck.

The Ipe Clip®

The Ipe clip system is a patented deck fastening system that is up to 3X stronger than regular fasteners. These unique clips are polymer-molded and reinforced with a stainless-steel insert.

Simpson Strong-Tie®

The Simpson name is synonymous with quality testing. All Simpson products are rigorously tested by material and engineering experts to ensure longevity, durability, corrosion resistance, and installation efficiency.

CAMO® Fasteners

This is the one of the most popular hidden fastening systems available. CAMO works with virtually any deck material such as composite decking, Western Red Cedar, California Redwood, PVC and treated lumber, among others.

TimberTech® CONCEALoc

The extremely well-designed CONCEALoc system is designed exclusively for TimberTech and AZEK grooved boards. It creates a fastener-free deck surface and can be installed pneumatically with the FastenMaster TigerClaw gun or with a regular drill. CONCEALoc fasteners come with a 25-year limited warranty.

In addition to a wide range of hidden fastening systems, we also carry color-matched epoxy decking screws, stainless-steel screws and all the brackets, hardware and installation materials you need to get the job done right.

Come in and see us today, and we’ll get you set up with everything you need for a flawless looking deck.

For more information, contact us at The Decking Superstore.