Decking can be installed with hidden fasteners to create a clean looking surface that is smooth to bare feet. Hidden fasteners can be used with composite, vinyl, cedar, ipe or other exotic hardwood material. Many manufactured decking materials offer deck boards that are sold with a grooved edge for use with hidden fasteners. You can also router the edges of solid deck boards to create a slot to accept deck clips. It is important to note that pregrooved boards do not have a standard groove size. You should verify that hidden fasteners are compatible with your choice of decking boards before ordering.
Here are descriptions of the most popular hidden fastener systems.
Camo Hidden Deck Fastening System: This system uses the Camo Marksman tool to install deck screws at an angle into the side of the deck board to create a fastener free floor surface. The Camo system can be used for all types of composite, PVC or solid wood decking materials and come with a Limited Lifetime Warranty. You can purchase stainless steel or protech coated screws in 1-7/8" for 5/4 decking and 2-3/8" for 2x6 decking.
Eb-Ty: This oval shaped biscuit type hidden fastener is made from polypropylene plastic and is designed to fit in the slotted edge of decking boards to create a screw free deck surface. Eb-Ty is available in the following profiles: Original: Provides a 3/32" or 1/4" board spacing for Ipe, Redwood, Cedar and Correct Deck Composite. Mini: This profile has lower height for thinner deck boards. The live cylinder series can absorb up to a 5/32" expansion of deck material. This is ideal when working with composite decking in cold weather climates. The top screw series spaces decking at 1/8" or 3/16" for certain brands of composite decking. Swan secure #7 2-1/4" stainless steel screws are ideal for installation with the Eb-Ty system. Eb-Ty is manufactured in the USA.
Tiger Claw: Fastenmaster manufactures a variety of stainless steel clips that fit in between deck boards to create a fastener free decking surface. The TC-G Grooved Board Hidden Deck Fastener works with grooved deck boards and non-grooved deck boards using the TC-150 slot cutter. This clip works with Trex Select, Evergrain, ChoiceDeck, Fiberon Horizons, Pro-Tect, Paramount, Wolf PVC, Island, Moistureshield, Tuf-Dek, Veranda Armorguard composites and most pre-grooved exotic hardwoods. The TC-1 clip is made from hardened carbon steel and has teeth that can be driven into the sides of softwood decking in a 3 step installation process. The TC-2 is the same model except that is made with stainless steel. The TC-3 is designed to create a 3/16” gap for nongrooved composite and mahogany decking. The TC-4 offers the same design features but creates a 1/8” gap and is specifically designed to work with ¾” and 5/4” x 4” hardwood planks. The TC-120 clip has sharp prongs that is compatible with ¾” x 4” or 6” hardwood deck boards. The Tiger Claw Pneumatic Installation Gun holds the Tiger Claw clips in place while driving a screw to secure decking. You can install about 400 square feet per hour using this tool. Tiger Claw offers warranties on all of its products.
ConceaLoc: Timbertech manufactures this hidden deck clip to work with its XLM, Earthwood Evolutions and Twin Finish grooved deck boards. The stainless steel clip is brown and allows for a 1/8” to 3/16” deck board gap. The clips come with stainless steel screws. You can purchase ConceaLoc clips in 175, 900 or 1750 count containers and compatible drill and router bits. This product comes with a 25 year warranty.
Cortex Hidden Fastening System: This system is different from most other hidden decking fastening systems because it doesn’t involve clips installed between deck boards. Cortex uses a Torxttap drive system to drill screws below the deck surface that leaves a small hole that can be filled with special color matched plugs to creat a smooth floor surface without clips. Cortex is manufactured by Fastenmaster and is compatible with PVC, Composite and Capped Composite decking. You can purchase color matched plugs for all the lines of Azek, Evergrain, Trex Accents, Select, Transcend, Enhance, Clubhouse, Fiberon, Gossen, Kleer, Timbertech Earthwood Evolutions, Twin Finish, XLM, Wolf and Paralam brands. You can install about 350 fasteners with one Cortex Setting Tool Drill Bit.
Trex Hideaway Hidden Fastening System: This ¼” self-spacing connector clip with 1-5/8” screws is designed to install between Trex grooved composite decking boards. 1 Box covers 50 square feet and 1 Bucket can cover 500 square feet. There is a start clip that can be used along the house wall and at the front edge of your deck. You can purchase a groove cutter to router a slot on the side of solid composite deck board edges. This universal clip is made from glass filled nylon and is black. The clip is also designed to work with the Trex Steel Frame System.
Mantis Deck Clip System: This system manufactured by Suredrive USA and is compatible with Treated, Cedar, Redwood, Hardwoods and Composite deck boards. The mantis clip elevated the decking above the deck frame joists to allow airflow under the decking surface. Mantis clips have a black finish and are made from either powder coated aluminum or stainless steel. The clips can be installed with ballistic nail screws. Mantis deck clips are available in 3 groove heights and comes with a 30 year warranty against loose boards. This system also has start and finish clips for the outside edges of your deck.
Ipe Clip: This system is manufactured by DeckWise. The Standard Fastening System uses a round clip that fits between pregrooved Ipe hardwood or composite deck boards to create a 3/32” gap spacing a T9 star drive stainless steel screw. This clip is made from UV resistant fiberglass reinforced material and comes in Ipe Brown, Patina Gray, and Shadowline Black. The Extreme fastener clip has a square profile that installs from the top down similar to the Standard clip. The ExtremeKD is designed for use with Kiln Dried decking material. The Extreme4 fastener clip allows for more expansion and contraction between composite and hardwood boards. All of the clips are available in 175 clip kits that include drill bits and 100 clip kits.