Your Guide to Hidden Deck Fasteners for Composite Decking

November 25, 2020
HomeOutdoor Living IdeasYour Guide to Hidden Deck Fasteners for Composite Decking

If you’ve been thinking about building an enduringly beautiful composite deck, you’ve likely thought about the overall look and feel you want to achieve. If you’re seeking a seamless finish for your outdoor space, hidden deck fasteners are the solution you need.

Step 1: Learn What Hidden Deck Fasteners Are & Why to Choose Them

Pictured: TimberTech® PRO® grooved deck boards installed with CONCEALoc® hidden fasteners.

What: Hidden fasteners secure your deck boards from beneath the deck surface – either via collated plugs or with clips that fit into grooves along the side of your deck boards.

The result is a clean look reminiscent of hardwood flooring.

Why: Opt for hidden deck fasteners if you want:

  • Improved aesthetic appeal.
  • No fasteners visible from your deck surface.
  • A safer fastening finish for children and pets; no exposed fasteners to step on.

Step 2: Discover When to Use Hidden Deck Fasteners

Which hidden fastener you choose for your deck will depend on:y

  • The type of decking you choose.
    • Capped polymer boards: TimberTech AZEK® decking
    • Capped composite boards: TimberTech PRO® and TimberTech EDGE® decking
  • The shape of the deck boards.
    • TimberTech hidden fasteners apply to boards with either square or grooved shoulders

Why Deck Board Shapes Matter When Choosing Hidden Fasteners

TimberTech® capped composite and capped polymer deck boards come in several different shapes. This matters for your backyard build because certain hidden deck fasteners are only compatible with certain board shapes.

full profile
Pictured: A full-profile board.

Board Profile

  • Two choices: scalloped and full.
  • Depends on how the underside of the board looks.
grooved board
Pictured: A grooved board.

Board Shoulder

  • Two choices: square-shoulder and grooved.
  • Depends on how the board appears from the side.

Step 3: Choose Your Decking Line, Collection, & Board Shape

You have your choice of two different deck board profiles to choose from if you opt for hidden deck fasteners. Within the TimberTech fasteners portfolio, you’ll select between:

  • Hidden fasteners for grooved deck boards.
  • Hidden fasteners for square-shoulder deck boards.

All of the following decking collections come in both grooved and square-shoulder / full-profile board options:

  • TimberTech AZEK® Vintage Collection® – MAX (1.5″-thick) deck boards in Coastline® come in square-shoulder only
  • TimberTech AZEK Harvest Collection® – MAX (1.5″-thick) deck boards in Slate Gray come in square shoulder only
  • TimberTech PRO® Reserve Collection
  • TimberTech PRO Legacy Collection
  • TimberTech PRO Terrain Collection™
  • TimberTech EDGE® Premier Collection
  • TimberTech EDGE Prime+ Collection®

Choose Your TimberTech Decking Line

Southern Living Show Home TimberTech AZEK Vintage Collection Hidden Deck Fasteners

TimberTech AZEK® Decking

  • Superior-performance capped polymer deck boards.
  • Most advanced synthetic materials technology.
Hidden Deck Fasteners featuring TimberTech PRO Reserve Collection

TimberTech PRO® Decking

Choose Your TimberTech Decking Collection

TimberTech AZEK® Decking

TimberTech AZEK Vintage Collection Cypress Capped Polymer Decking
Vintage Collection®

Dubbed “The Designer Series,” this collection features highly realistic wood look with complex color blending.

TimberTech AZEK Harvest Collection Slate Gray Capped Polymer Decking
Harvest Collection®

The solid colors of this collection achieve a painted wood-look finish.

TimberTech PRO® Decking

TimberTech PRO Reserve Collection Dark Roast Hidden Deck Fasteners
Reserve Collection

Comes in four complex, rustic colors, including two contemporary grays.

TimberTech PRO Legacy Collection Espresso Hidden Deck Fasteners
Legacy Collection

Cascading color blending for a complex, artisanal wood look.

TimberTech PRO Terrain Collection Stone Ash Hidden Deck Fasteners
Terrain Collection™

Made up of both monochromatic and minimally blended colors for a variety of finish options.

TimberTech EDGE® Decking

TimberTech EDGE Premier Collection Tidal Sand Beachwood Gray
Premier Collection

Made up of monochromatic or solid colors that can be used to achieve an opaque or painted wood-look finish.

TimberTech EDGE Prime+ Collection in Coconut Husk
Prime+ Collection®

Offers moderate color blending for a subtle look and straight grain pattern.

Need Help Evaluating Your Board Aesthetics? Learn the differences in color blending, grain patterns, and finishes available across our composite decking portfolio. EXPLORE COMPOSITE DECK DESIGNS.

Choose Your Board Shape Within That Collection

Square-Shoulder TimberTech AZEK Harvest Collection Brownstone
TimberTech AZEK Harvest Brownstone Grooved-Shoulder

Since both square-shoulder and grooved deck boards offer hidden fastener options, you’ll choose your board shape based on several factors:

  1. Type of Hidden Fastener Preferred – Choose between screws with material-matched plugs, or hidden clips.
  2. Whether You’ll Use on Stairs, Perimeter – Only Cortex® and TOPLoc® fasteners work for the entire deck surface.
  3. Your Overall Deck Design – Certain hidden fasteners are better suited for tighter butt joints and miters. This is important for more complex elements, like a picture frame border.

Step 4: Find the Right Hidden Fastener for Your Project

Now that you know which decking line, collection, and board shape you’ll be working with, you can choose the hidden fastener option that best suits your needs.

Hidden Deck Fasteners for Square-Shoulder Boards

Cortex Fasteners
Cortex® Hidden Fastener
  • Works with: All TimberTech AZEK, TimberTech PRO, and TimberTech EDGE square-shoulder and full-profile boards.
  • Can be used on the entire deck surface, including stairs and perimeters, where other hidden fasteners cannot.
  • Strongest hidden fastener connection offered by TimberTech.
Cortex for MAX collated plugs hidden deck fasteners
Cortex Hidden Fastener for MAX
TimberTech-AZEK SIDELoc Fastener Pack
SIDELoc™ Hidden Fastener
  • Works with: TimberTech AZEK decking in square-shoulder/full-profile.
  • Fast, easy start and no pre-drilling.
  • Unique geometry to minimize “pig tail” on the side of the board.
  • Durable stainless steel.

Hidden Deck Fasteners for Grooved Boards

CONCEALoc screws for grooved deck boards
CONCEALoc® Hidden Fastener
  • Works with: All TimberTech AZEK, TimberTech PRO, and TimberTech EDGE grooved boards.
  • Hidden appearance between boards – matte brown finish.
  • Fastener-free surface.
  • Simple, one-step installation.
FUSIONLoc fastener for grooved deck boards
FUSIONLoc® Hidden Fastener
  • Works with: All TimberTech AZEK, TimberTech PRO, and TimberTech EDGE grooved boards.
  • Every clip provides 3 points of board-to-joist connection.
  • Resists deck frame racking (lateral movement).
  • Stronger hold for tighter butt joints and miters.

If you find yourself thinking: “There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the right fastener for my project…” – we couldn’t agree more.

Partnering with a TimberTech-registered contractor means you get the insight you need to build your ideal deck, all from an industry expert familiar with our product lines and application best practices.

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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