HomeOutdoor Living BlogYour Guide to Hidden Deck Fasteners

Your Guide to Hidden Deck Fasteners

December 3, 2021
Hidden deck fasteners and composite decking hidden fasteners by TimberTech

The fasteners you choose for your deck project do more than affect how you’ll install your decking; they’ll also affect the overall look and feel of your outdoor living space. If you’re looking for a clean finish for your deck surface, hidden deck fasteners are the way to go.  

Hidden fastenerssecure your deck boards from the sides and/or below, without being visible on the top surface of the deck. Hidden fastener systems do so either via screws hidden by material-matched plugs or with clips that fit into grooves along the sides of your boards. 

Hidden deck fasteners give you a polished deck surface

Why Choose Hidden Deck Fasteners?

Gives you a polished finish thanks to a fastener-free surface

No exposed nails to accidentally step or trip on, as is common with wood

Provides secure holding power for lasting performance.

What’s more, when you pair TimberTech® capped composite or capped polymer deck boards with a recommended TimberTech fastening system, you enjoy even more benefits: 

✓ Screws and nails do not pop up at the insertion point, when properly used, as they are prone to with wood decking.  

✓ Screws counter-sink cleanly with TimberTech AZEK® decking, even with pre-drilling.  

Hidden Deck Fasteners for Wood vs Composite: How to Choose

As far as hidden fasteners are concerned, your options for wood or composite decking are very similar.  

They are typically either: 

  • Screws hidden by plugs made of the deck material you choose, or  
  • Hidden clip fasteners used with grooved deck boards 

Keep in mind that hidden fastener options for wood are generally limited to premium hardwoods, whereas composite decking hidden fasteners are much more plentiful and versatile. 

And when it comes to deck material durability, there’s a clear winner: composite decking. 

Choosing hidden fasteners means you value a beautiful, refined deck surface — so why opt for wood which will inevitably discolor and deteriorate, despite rigorous maintenance?  

Composite decking hidden fasteners for a fastener-free surface

Composite Decking vs Wood? No Contest.

See how TimberTech composite decking outperforms wood in every way.  

Now that you know the superiority of TimberTech decking vs wood, it’s time to choose the right fasteners for your project.  

How to Choose the Right Hidden Deck Fasteners for Your Project

Follow these steps for deciding on the right composite decking hidden fasteners for your build:  

  1. Explore TimberTech decking lines and collections. 
  1. Discover your options for composite decking hidden fasteners. 
  1. Pair your favorite board with the recommended fastener.  

Step 1: Explore TimberTech Decking Lines & Collections 

TimberTech offers three decking lines, all of which offer options for hidden deck fasteners.  

Hidden deck fasteners for TimberTech AZEK decking

TimberTech AZEK® Decking

✓ Premium capped polymer decking 

✓ Made with the most advanced materials science for superior performance 

Hidden deck fasteners for TimberTech PRO decking

TimberTech PRO®

✓ 4-sided capped composite decking 

✓ Advanced capping technology for exceptional moisture-resistance 

Hidden deck fasteners for TimberTech EDGE decking

TimberTech EDGE® Decking

✓ 3-sided capped composite decking 

✓ A high-value, low-maintenance upgrade from wood  

Explore Our 3 Unique Decking Lines

To find the right fit for your (life)style.

Step 2: Discover Your Hidden Deck Fastener Options

Explore your hidden deck fastener options. Keep in mind that some composite decking hidden fasteners can only be used with specific decking lines and deck board shapes.  

Top-Down Hidden Deck Fasteners 

Top-down fasteners are those that run through the face of the board into the joist below. TimberTech offers one top-down hidden fastener option: Cortex®. Cortex fasteners are hidden by collated plugs made of the same material as your chosen deck boards.  

Cortex top-down hidden deck fasteners


COMPATIBLE WITH: TimberTech full-profile deck boards across all decking lines. 


✓ Easy, top-down installation.  

✓ Pairs well with TimberTech AZEK decking, as there is no need for pre-drilling (required for capped composite and certain wood decking). 

✓ Can be used on theentire deck surface, including stairs and perimeters, where other hidden fasteners cannot. 

✓ Strongest hidden fastener connection offered by TimberTech. 

View Cortex Hidden Fastener Installation 

See what it takes to install TimberTech AZEK decking with Cortex screws.

Hidden Clip Fasteners

These types of fasteners are clips that are installed into the sides of grooved composite deck boards.

CONCEALoc hidden deck fasteners


COMPATIBLE WITH: All TimberTech grooved decking with a full-profile or scalloped bottom.


Simple, one-step installation.

Long-term performance thanks to stainless steel clips.

Faster install time thanks to pneumatic installation with collated screws.

FUSIONLoc hidden deck fasteners


COMPATIBLE WITH: All TimberTech grooved decking with a full-profile or scalloped bottom.


Simple, one-step installation

Faster install time thanks to pneumatic installation with collated clips and screws.

Stronger hold than competitor clips for tighter butt joints and miters thanks to three points of contact between the board and joist.

TimberTech EDGELoc Deck Fasteners Installation Step 3


COMPATIBLE WITH: Only TimberTech EDGE grooved decking.


Easy-to-use with pre-set screws.

Faster install time with 12-clip collated strips.

Superior lateral hold thanks to serrated surfaces.

See Hidden Clip Installation for Yourself

Watch a video featuring TimberTech PRO decking with CONCEALoc hidden clip fasteners.

SIDELoc Hidden Deck Fasteners

These unique composite decking hidden fasteners are screws driven into the sides of square-shoulder capped polymer boards, pulling the board to the joist from the side.

SIDELoc composite decking hidden fasteners


COMPATIBLE WITH: Only TimberTech AZEK square-shoulder boards.


Fast, easy start and no pre-drilling.

Gives a clean finish to the edge of the board thanks to unique geometry. 

Durable stainless steel that resists screw sheer.

Step 3: Choose Your Deck Board & Fastener Pairing

Now that you know your decking and fastener options, you’re ready to pair them together for your project.

Factors to consider when choosing your deck board and fastener combination include:

Installation Preference

While all hidden deck fasteners offer straightforward installation, you may be more comfortable with top-down vs hidden clip installation, or vice-versa.

Use on Stairs and Perimeter

Cortex screws are the only hidden fasteners that work for the entire deck surface, including the stairs and perimeters.

Overall Deck Design

Certain hidden fasteners are better suited for tighter butt joints and miters, which is important for design elements like a picture frame border.

Easy Hidden Deck Fastener & Decking Pairings

Check out these deck board and hidden fastener pairings for a winning combination.

Cortex composite decking hidden fasteners

TimberTech AZEK With Cortex

Get step-by-step instructions for installing Cortex top-down fasteners with TimberTech AZEK full-profile capped polymer decking.  

CONCEALoc composite decking hidden fasteners

TimberTech PRO & EDGE With CONCEALoc

Learn how to install CONCEALoc hidden clip fasteners with TimberTech PRO or TimberTech EDGE grooved composite deck boards.

Hidden Deck Fasteners Done Right: Partner With a Pro

Composite decking hidden fasteners give you a refined fastener free surface

Rather have some help with your deck build? Partner with a TimberTech-registered contractor who can help you bring your ideal deck to life with the right composite decking fasteners for your project needs and personal preferences.

Bring the Beauty of TimberTech to Your Backyard

Work with one of our registered contractors for a build that transforms your outdoor living space.

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