How To Create a Beautiful Deck Without Visible Screws

It’s no secret that deck­ing projects take mul­ti­ple fas­ten­ers to keep the deck intact and safe years to come. When it comes time to pick screws for the deck, we find that some home­own­ers don’t mind the look of vis­i­ble screws while oth­ers pre­fer hid­den options for a more clean look. While both options pro­vide qual­i­ty per­for­mance, it comes down to what home­own­ers want aes­thet­i­cal­ly from their deck­ing design. 

Because your cus­tomer prob­a­bly doesn’t know all the ins and outs of com­pos­ite deck screws and com­pos­ite deck­ing fas­ten­ers, it’s up to you to ensure all your deck-build­ing mate­ri­als are top-notch.

If your cus­tomer wants the look of hid­den fas­ten­ers, we have ideas for the best screws for com­pos­ite deck­ing, so you don’t have to deal with vis­i­ble screws and cus­tomer call­backs. These also save you time and allow you to cre­ate more beau­ti­ful­ly fin­ished prod­ucts, sat­is­fy­ing you and your customers.

Below, we eval­u­ate com­pos­ite deck­ing hid­den fas­ten­ers com­pared to face screws. Com­pos­ite deck­ing hid­den fas­ten­ers offer var­i­ous ben­e­fits — from a vari­ety of col­ors match­ing the deck­ing mate­r­i­al to the Cor­tex screw with plugs, these hid­den fas­ten­ers are a great solu­tion for pro­fes­sion­als, and at Fas­ten­Mas­ter, we work with you to make the process even more seamless. 

A man in an orange t-shirt over a dark long-sleeved shirt, hat with sunglasses, and khakis is talking to a guy in jeans and a dark grey long-sleeved shirt. They are crouched down near a deck in the process of being built.

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The Benefits of Building Decks Without Visible Screws

When you cre­ate a deck with­out vis­i­ble screws, you’re able to cre­ate a beau­ti­ful, seam­less look. Choos­ing a hid­den fas­ten­er that ful­ly cov­ers the joist can give clients who want it a stun­ning deck that meets all their expectations.

Build­ing a deck with hid­den deck fas­ten­ers, in com­par­i­son to reg­u­lar screws, also comes with the addi­tion­al ben­e­fit of easy instal­la­tion. Hid­den fas­ten­ers may seem like an extra step, but in real­i­ty, the right tools make it even eas­i­er and faster so you can get more projects done in less time. 

An addi­tion­al ben­e­fit is increased deck lifes­pan. The screws are pro­tect­ed from the ele­ments that often con­tribute to their dete­ri­o­ra­tion. A hid­den fas­ten­er that ful­ly cov­ers the joist below it helps keep water from seep­ing into the wood, increas­ing the lifes­pan of the entire struc­ture and pro­tect­ing its struc­tur­al integrity. 

How To Create a Deck With Hidden Screws

You can cre­ate a com­plete­ly hid­den fas­tened deck eas­i­ly — mean­ing no fas­ten­ers or screws are vis­i­ble to the customer’s eye. First, you need to ensure you have a great hid­den fas­ten­ing sys­tem that works with the prod­ucts and type of deck you are going to build.

Choose a fas­ten­ing sys­tem that can be used with grooved boards. Some hid­den fas­ten­ers don’t work with cer­tain deck boards that have a groove on their sides. The fas­ten­er also needs to be approved for the exact type of deck­ing you’re going to uti­lize (com­pos­ite, PVC, cap­stock, etc.). 

Because mis­takes some­times hap­pen, try to choose fas­ten­ers that allow for the removal of an indi­vid­ual board ver­sus requir­ing all pre­vi­ous­ly installed boards. If it is a high deck (like a sec­ond-sto­ry deck) or a very low-sit­ting deck, look for fas­ten­ers that allow for top­side installation.


First boards, last boards, perime­ter boards, stairs, break­er boards or decks with intri­cate designs are all areas where fas­ten­ers and screws can be a lit­tle trick­i­er to hide. You can com­bine a Tiger-Claw TC‑G Hid­den Clip Sys­tem and a Cor­tex Hid­den Fas­ten­ing Sys­tem to cre­ate a com­plete­ly hid­den fas­tened deck with no vis­i­ble screws.

Hidden Fastening Solutions

A picture on a white background of the Cortex hidden fastening system: an easy way to hide fasteners in composite, capstock, and PVC decking boards. There are two screws, three plugs and a setting tool.


The Cor­tex Hid­den Fas­ten­ing Sys­tem is per­fect for areas that are close to the house, like the first board of the deck. Many times, clips or oth­er hid­den sys­tems don’t work in this area due to the lim­i­ta­tions in the design (the house sim­ply gets in the way!). The Cor­tex sys­tem has three com­po­nents to com­bat these issues: a screw, a set­ting tool and a plug from the same board material.

Using the Cor­tex screw and a set­ting tool, you can dri­ve the fas­ten­er with­out predrilling. The dri­ve sys­tem has a sta­bil­i­ty but­ton to keep the fas­ten­er straight through­out the entire instal­la­tion. Then, set the plug for a clean, fin­ished and seam­less look — there is even a vari­ety of col­ors avail­able to ensure these match your deck­ing mate­r­i­al. You can hard­ly see the screw on the surface. 

On first boards, last boards, stairs and perime­ter boards, we sug­gest uti­liz­ing two Cor­tex screws and plugs for every 12 – 16-inch­es on cen­ter. Break­er boards are used as a way to elim­i­nate seams around the cen­ter of the deck or around cer­tain design fea­tures, like her­ring­bone pat­terns. The Cor­tex screws are insert­ed on the boards to con­nect to the joist, and you can fin­ish up the field of the deck by using Tiger Claw TC‑G clips in between the boards for a secure fit.

A picture on a white background of the black Tiger Claw TC-G clip system: a fast and easy way to hide fasteners on grooved decking.

The TC‑G clip works in pre-grooved deck­ing planks or non-grooved deck­ing planks with a TC-150 slot cut­ter. The TC‑G clip’s sharp prongs embed into the upper por­tion of the groove for strong hold­ing pow­er. Paired with a stain­less-steel Cor­tex screw, it ensures a long-last­ing con­nec­tion between the deck­ing board and joist. 

The TC‑G reduces wood split­ting, wood rot and board cup­ping and comes with a 25-year war­ran­ty. The set­ting tool on the Cor­tex sys­tem is opti­mized for extreme pro-con­trac­tor use. The stronger bit mate­r­i­al and indus­tri­al grade felt will enable you to install 350 fas­ten­ers on one Cor­tex Set­ting Tool.

With these two solu­tions, you can achieve a com­plete­ly fas­ten­er-free sur­face on your next deck project.

How FastenMaster Can Help

A man with brown hair in jeans and a black Nike polo is drilling screws into a new brown wooden deck near the stairs. There are building materials, pine trees, deck furniture, and power tools surrounding him.

The peo­ple and prod­ucts of Fas­ten­Mas­ter pride them­selves on improv­ing the lives of pro­fes­sion­al con­trac­tors. With every­thing we do, we deliv­er on the promise of cre­at­ing long-last­ing val­ue for our customers. 

Fas­ten­Mas­ter has all the hid­den fas­ten­ing sys­tems you need in order to cre­ate a gor­geous, seam­less deck for your next project. From hid­den clips to col­or match screws, Cor­tex plugs and fas­cia match, Fas­ten­Mas­ter has an entire sys­tem to suit your needs. Check out FastenMaster’s hid­den deck­ing sys­tems offer and wow your clients with every deck built. Plus, this sys­tem allows your cre­ative mind to design beau­ti­ful projects while sav­ing you and your team valu­able time.

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