what are hidden deck fasteners


What Are Hidden Deck Fasteners?

Decking has become an essential aspect of many homes for its aesthetic and functional value. When installing a deck, one of the primary concerns is securing the deck boards. Conventionally, deck boards were fastened using nails or screws on the surface, but over time, this led to deck boards cupping, rotting, and warping due to exposure to weather elements. To overcome these challenges, hidden deck fasteners were introduced. This article delves deeper into what hidden deck fasteners are, their types, advantages, and factors to consider when selecting them.

What Are Hidden Deck Fasteners?

Hidden deck fasteners refer to a type of fastener that is used to secure deck boards from beneath the surface. These fasteners work by drilling a hole on the sides of the deck board and then inserting a clip into the hole. Using a screw, the clip attaches to the joist, holding the deck board in place. Hidden fasteners are concealed between the deck boards, ensuring the fasteners are not seen on the surface.

Types of Hidden Deck Fasteners

Hidden deck fasteners come in various types, each suited to specific decking materials, budgets, and installation methods. These include:

1. Inserting Clips

Inserting clips are common fasteners that comprise plastic or metal tabs or clips that are inserted into the sides of the deck boards. The clips are then attached to the joists using screws to secure the fasteners. Inserting clips are ideal for hardwood decking as they provide a tighter grip, making the boards less likely to split or crack.

2. Edge Fasteners

Edge fasteners are capped on both ends of the clips, creating a secure connection between the deck boards and the joists. Edge fasteners are ideal for composite decking, providing a clean look with minimal gaps between the boards.

3. Screw-Based Fasteners

Screw-based fasteners use screws that are drilled straight into the joist at an angle beneath the deck boards using a tool. This provides a secure connection, and the screws do not require pre-drilling.

4. Top-down Fasteners

Top-down fasteners are screwed using a deck fastener gun. These fasteners are suited for composite or PVC decking and provide a concealed connection with no visible nails or screws.

Advantages of Hidden Deck Fasteners

Using hidden deck fasteners has several benefits, including:

1. Aesthetics

The primary advantage of hidden deck fasteners is the aesthetics. They provide a clean, finished look with no visible screws or nails. This enhances the overall appeal of the deck, making it look more seamless and professional.

2. Increased Life Span

Traditional fastening methods such as screws or nails tend to cause damage to the deck boards, leading to rotting or warping over time. Hidden deck fasteners prevent such damage by keeping the screws concealed beneath the surface, improving the life span of the deck boards.

3. Safety

Using hidden deck fasteners prevents trip hazards that may be caused by exposed screws or nails on the surface.

4. Faster Installation Time

While hidden deck fasteners may require more effort and time during the installation process, they make up for it by reducing the time required for deck maintenance.

Factors to Consider When Selecting Hidden Deck Fasteners

When selecting hidden deck fasteners, there are several factors to consider, including:

1. Decking Material

The type of decking material influences the type of hidden deck fasteners to use. For instance, hardwood decking requires inserting clips to prevent splitting, while composite and PVC decking may require top-down fasteners.

2. Budget

Different types of hidden deck fasteners have varying costs. It is important to consider the budget before purchasing to avoid overspending.

3. Installation Process

The installation process also determines the type of hidden deck fasteners to use. Top-down fasteners may be faster to install using a tool, while inserting clips require more time to attach the clips to each board.

4. Climate

The climate in the decking area also influences the type of hidden deck fasteners to use. For instance, decks located in humid or wet areas may require inserting clips to prevent water accumulation on the surface.


Hidden deck fasteners provide a functional and aesthetic solution to securing deck boards. By keeping the screws or nails concealed beneath the surface, hidden deck fasteners prevent warping, rotting, and cupping of the deck boards due to exposure to weather elements. The selection of the type of fasteners to use depends on several factors such as decking material, budget, installation process, and climate. Choosing hidden deck fasteners ensures a tidy, durable, and safe deck installation.


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