Hidden deck fasteners are gaining popularity today because they offer an aesthetic solution to decking designs. However, there are pros and cons to using these systems, and the materials you use to build your deck will determine your project’s success.
Technology has caught up with the demand for more stylish yet durable decking systems. You might just be surprised about the hidden deck fasteners available today.
A Review: Hidden Deck Fasteners
Oftentimes, the appearance of fasteners can be a detriment to the look of your exterior design. Hidden fasteners offer a smoother surface to the deck, which builders, architects and homeowners everywhere have employed in some inspiring ways.
If you’re looking for a fastener product that won’t detract from the aesthetics of your deck, there are a few types of hidden systems available. Some manufacturers offer clip systems that are installed under the boards so the fasteners are completely tucked away from sight. Screw and plug combinations can also offer a cleaner surface appearance.
There are several types of hidden deck fasteners out there, but not all perform at the same level. Let’s take a look at a few of the pros and cons behind hidden fasteners and which products might deliver benefits to your project.
The Not-So-Great News
Hidden fastening systems offer many solutions to homeowners who want a space for entertaining and enjoying the outdoors. But these systems aren’t always an option for every type of deck.
There are requirements and codes around building decking systems onto the exterior of a home, and there are climates where the system could require early repair or replacement because of severe conditions and moisture. Here are a few things to consider before you start building:
Decking has more than a 30-inch minimum clearance, from the bottom of the deck boards to the ground. The ground below the deck should be pitched and drained, and installers will have to ensure that under-deck ventilation meets local requirements.
If you’re working in a climate that’s storm or flood-prone, you’ll need to watch out for wood shrinkage, which can leave large gaps between deck planks. A screw and plug system might not be the best solution. Since the plug that’s installed on top of the screw is often made of the same material as the boards — usually, this is wood or a wood composite material — it won’t be really effective.
If you’re a DIYer, installing a hidden fastening system can involve a learning curve, and often comes with a higher price point. It’s best to use a fastening system that’s code compliant, that you’re comfortable with and that fits in your budget.
Because their installation process may be more complex for some builders, many use traditional fasteners because they’re more familiar with how they’re installed, which simplifies the process. Those that want to use a hidden fastening system need to do some research and take time to learn how to properly work with the system.
There are pros and cons to weigh out on every project, but the fastening system you decide on could help you get the job done more efficiently. Some manufacturers have developed hidden fastening systems that are quick and easy to install. If you work with the right manufacturer, they can help you determine which products can deliver the best budget-friendly, code-compliant results — and long-term success for your project.
Now, the Good News
Hidden deck fasteners offer many benefits to the look of your home’s exterior design. The clean, no-screws look can create lots of modern appeal in your outdoor space. There are quite a few other benefits that these systems offer, though — it’s not just nice to look at!
Stronger Joist Connections
Because your screws are drilled in at a 45-degree angle, this prevents your boards from lifting or warping and keeps the boards from splitting over time. The connection provided is strong and ensures a long-lasting joist fastening system.
Safer, Smoother Surface
Because there aren’t any protruding screw heads on the surface of a deck, hidden fasteners provide a safer deck solution to families with children and pets who might be running around.
Hidden deck fasteners from FastenMaster can be installed up to five times faster than standard installation methods and don’t require pre-drilling. If you want to see how easily a hidden deck fastening system is installed, see it in action here.
When you use a high-performing decking system with quality-tested steel, you can ensure a long-term connection that won’t degrade over time while saving time and allowing for an easier installation. Manufacturers like FastenMaster offer the TigerClaw system, which is approved for saltwater applications and ACQ or chemically treated lumber.
No matter what type of hidden deck fastening system you work with, checking the warranty on the products you choose can help guarantee the longevity of the design.
Durable Solutions for Deck Aesthetics
Hidden deck fasteners don’t just offer sleek aesthetic appeal; they can deliver high-performing durability so that you’ll enjoy the deck for decades. From hidden clips and color match screws to Cortex plugs and color match fascia , FastenMaster has a whole system to complete your design.
Check out FastenMaster’s menu of hidden decking systems to get started on your next project.
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