Last Updated on January 7, 2021 by Marsh Fasteners
Hidden deck fasteners are a popular choice for homeowners looking to build a deck with a sleek hardwood finish, free of visible screws or nails. Concealed deck fasteners do result in beautiful decks, but there are a few things you should be aware of before you go for this option. Here are five things you should consider before installing a deck with hidden fasteners.
1. There are times where you shouldn’t use hidden deck fasteners
Hidden deck fasteners are not always the best choice. If your project involves any of the following, you should instead use traditional stainless steel fasteners, such as face screws:
- If your deck is lower than 30 inches above the ground.
- If your deck is not well ventilated on all sides.
- If you are using 1x6 decking boards.
- If the area below your deck doesn’t drain properly.
2. Hidden fasteners work best with narrower, thicker deck boards
When you use a hidden fastener system, only one side of each plank is fixed with a screw. This means that the side that is fastened will hold firm, while the other side will expand, contract and move. Narrower boards are thus more suitable for these systems as they provide more fastening power per square foot.
3. Hidden Fasteners are More Vulnerable to Natural Decking Movement Than Deck Screws
Following from the above point, it should be clear that decks with hidden fasteners are more susceptible to the natural movements that will result from changing weather conditions. As the boards expand and contract with the changes in temperature and humidity, they will be more likely to move as they are only fastened on one side.
4. There is a trade-off between strength and aesthetic
The main attraction to decks with hidden fasteners is that they are more pleasing to the eye. Without any visible screws, decks will have a sleek, smooth finish. However, this comes at a cost, because while the deck will look beautiful, it will also be slightly weaker than a deck that has been constructed with face screws.
5. Only some projects are suitable for hidden deck fasteners
Projects that are most suitable for hidden deck fasteners are ones where the deck is 30 inches or higher off the ground, where the ground is properly pitched and drained below the deck, and where there is adequate under-deck ventilation.
Whether you opt to build your deck with hidden deck fasteners or face screws, Marsh Fasteners has the right fasteners for you. Contact us to find out which fasteners are right for you.