Installation & Maintenance

How to Choose the Right Fasteners

July 22, 2019

You can’t build a deck without fasteners: the pieces that secure deck boards to foundational joists. However, you can be particular about the fasteners you choose. Because the right fastener can mean the difference between a beautiful deck that lasts, and one that isn’t set up for success.

Here, we delve into different types of fasteners, and the impact they have on your deck.

Seamless Design

Design is rooted in the details, and fasteners are a crucial one in decking. The wrong fastener is obtrusive on a deck surface, drawing your eye to it immediately, while the ideal fastener is strong and unseen.  There are a few ways to accomplish this, to varying degrees, through hidden and color matched fasteners.

Hidden deck fasteners are either fasteners covered with plugs flush to the surface of the deck, or they are fasteners secured within board grooves underneath.

Color matched deck fasteners rely on screw heads that are the exact color of the deck boards, therefore making holes less noticeable.

Seamlessness isn’t only about aesthetics, either. When fasteners are secured under boards or flush to the surface, they are much friendlier to bare feet!

TimberTech Hidden Fasteners

For grooved boards blank FUSIONLoc blank A stainless steel, clip-based system that allows boards to be easily switched out
CONCEALoc blank A completely hidden and fastener-free surface
For square shouldered boards blank SIDEloc
A completely fastener-free surface with superior holding power that secures boards to the joist at the side
Cortex for PRO/EDGE blank The best hidden fastener for stairs and perimeter boards, using a specialized deck screw
Cortex for Azek blank The best hidden fastener for stairs and perimeter boards, using a specialized deck screw

TimberTech Color-Matched Fasteners

For grooved boards and square shouldered boards blank TopLoc for PRO/EDGE blank Engineered for strength to secure dense deck boards
TopLoc for AZEK Engineered for strength to secure dense deck boards
For Fascia blank TopLoc Fascia for PRO/EDGE
Designed specifically for TimberTech Fascia to prevent oil-canning effects
TopLoc for AZEK Designed specifically for TimberTech Fascia to prevent oil-canning effects

Lasting Quality

You put so much thought into choosing your decking materials. The same approach should apply to your fasteners. At TimberTech, we use steel—including stainless steel and carbon-coated—for our fastening systems and deck screws because its quality is unmatched by other materials, especially plastic. Steel also provides the necessary strength to secure dense decking boards and it lasts over time. Consider your deck investment holistically when choosing fasteners.

Compatibility Is Key

Just like decking, deck fasteners are not universal. That’s why the best fastener you can choose is one made specifically for your deck, ensuring its structural integrity, quality, and performance. Using the correct fastening system also affects installation efficiency and effectiveness. Many fastening systems include a drill bit or work best with a specialized tool. While this is something your contractor will usually worry about, it speaks to the fact that these systems are all designed to work a very specific way. All this, in turn, adds up to the overall design. In the case of TimberTech, our fastening systems are made to prevent an “oil-canning” or mushrooming effect that sometimes occurs when drilling. And, though it hardly needs to be stated, if it’s not made for your deck, it probably won’t look right it!

Ready to Buy?

Now that you’re well versed in the world of fasteners, you may be ready to delve into specific TimberTech products. Below, you’ll find a handy buying guide. You can view complete details on all of our fasteners and systems here.

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