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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    4,663

    Default Hidden Deck Fastening Systems

    I'm getting ready to build a treated deck (framework) with Trex decking. I will be using some type of hidden fastening system, so I hope you guys can give me some ideas relative to your experience with them. I have used eb-ty's on Ipe`, but I didn't really care for them.

    What products do you use with good results that you would recommend?

    Thanks for the help.

    Tom
    1) Unconsciously Incompetent: He knows not, and knows not that he knows not. He is a fool. Shun him.
    2) Consciously Incompetent: He knows not, and knows that he knows not. He is simple. Teach him.
    3) Unconsciously Competent: He knows, and knows not that he knows. He is asleep. Wake him.
    4) Consciously Competent: He knows, and knows that he knows. He is wise. Follow him.

    May we all endeavor to progress from not knowing that we know not, to knowing that we know.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    570

    Default Re: Hidden Deck Fastening Systems

    Back when I used Trex all I used were the Simpson Deck Board Ties.
    http://www.strongtie.com/products/ca.../deckcons.html

    very easy and quick to install!

    They wouldn't work with 5/4 decking though because you'd see them too easily.

    They are visable though between 1.5" boards so we'd dump them into a bucket of black paint then spread them out on screening to dry.
    Last edited by Joe Wood; 10-25-2006 at 08:22 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Portland, ME
    Posts
    6,297

    Default Re: Hidden Deck Fastening Systems

    Tom - are you using Trex specifically? I don't think you can get it grooved out, can you? We recently did a big job with Correct Deck, got it grooved and they sent their own hidden fasteners with the decking, worked out very well.

    My only (unrelated) warning would be to make sure you order all the decking you'll need at once - we built some benches out of it a week later out of a different batch and the hue was totally different.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Lancaster County, PA
    Posts
    653

    Default Re: Hidden Deck Fastening Systems

    I've had good luck with construction adhesive and 15ga Stainless finish nails. No callbacks, minimal fastener heads showing, no expensive fasteners.

    Back in the spring I used Eb-Ty's with Weatherbest. I ended up using construction adhesive anyway because when the screw went into the Eb-Ty, it just pulled the bottom piece of decking apart. I don't like the look of the trapease or composite decking screws in the decks, especially gray. Looks too much like the side of a battleship or airplane. I'd rather have the decking mushroom and pound down the guts, but IMO that doesn't look too swift.
    Contact us for all you mailbox post installation needs!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Hidden Deck Fastening Systems

    I too would be eager to hear others input on Hidden Deck Fastening Systems. Having spent a fair amount of time checking out the 15 different systems on the market, I can't really get excited about any of them. Whenever I first talk with potential customers about designing and building a deck, I stress the importance of deck structural integrity vs. visual appearance. To me it is important to keep in mind that a deck is much like a box composed of X, Y and Z planes, where the Z plane is the deck surface. Most all of the hidden systems don't really provide integrity in the Z plane because the decking members are not directly attached to the substructure. I feel it is important that the deck surface or Z plane provide resistance to shear. Hidden systems that utilize screw on clips, cutting kerfs or impaling with spikes don't provide the attributes of direct attachment. Most of the decks I build are Ipe and on those I use surface fasteners (#8 trim head screws) directly attaching the decking member to the underlying joists, 2 fasteners per joist. If the customer insists on concealed fasteners and is willing to make the addtional investment, I will plug them, but only grudgingly.

    Having said all that and if the customer is set on wanting a composite material and wanting concealed fasteners and willing to invest the additional money, then I would recommend using the pre-grooved Correctdeck or Timbertech with their own fastening system in conjunction with an adhesive (what a mess I know).

    Bill

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    5,832

    Default Re: Hidden Deck Fastening Systems

    Hey Tom,

    You might also want to check into protecting the tops of the joists with a peel & stick membrane (I use 6" moisture wrap by Tamko which I cut into half the size & stick that to the tops of the joists prior to decking installation

    It seals the fasteners & prevents water from pooling on the tops of the joists which can cause rot.

    I remember reading about it years ago & have been doing it since, although I don't do more than a deck a year.
    Chuck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Bergen County, NJ
    Posts
    4,410

    Default Re: Hidden Deck Fastening Systems

    Quote Originally Posted by DeckCreations View Post
    I would recommend using the pre-grooved Correctdeck or Timbertech with their own fastening system in conjunction with an adhesive (what a mess I know).
    Uhhh....you use adhesive with composites? Don't you void the manufacturer's warranty by doing so? As far as I know, you must follow installation specs to the letter or else you void the warranty. Even though I install composite decks most of the time, I have little faith in most of the manufacturers as it is, let alone if I DON'T follow their specs.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Lancaster County, PA
    Posts
    653

    Default Re: Hidden Deck Fastening Systems

    Greg

    Before I did the first deck with adhesive, I called their tech department to find out what type of hidden fasteners they made/remcommend. Their response was 'What are hidden fasteners?'. After some lengthy discussion, and a few transfers, the rep I spoke to stated that they only rate their product for 2 1/2" deck screws, but other methods may be used. When I suggested glue and finish nails, he asked me a few more questions and then said "That will work".

    I got started on this when I wanted to use Eb-Ty's which state to use adhesive along with the fasteners. Then I thought why use those expensive little things just to space and hold the decking in place til the glue is set?

    The LP rep basically said that whatever method I used wouldn't void the warranty, because that is based on factors that I can't alter anyway. All I had to worry about was correct framing spacing and gapping the boards properly.

    As to the Z plane or sheer that Bill is talking about, I have cut in some let-in bracing with pt 1x4 to take care of that problem.
    Contact us for all you mailbox post installation needs!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Telford, PA
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: Hidden Deck Fastening Systems

    I used Tiger Claw hidden fastners on a 12x20 Trex deck over the summer. It took myself and a helper either 6 or 8 hrs just to deck it. Its a slow process.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Colorado Springs, Colorado
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: Hidden Deck Fastening Systems

    I use Correct Deck almost all the time. I have also used deckmaster for a 5/4 timbertech. I used to glue them down but have gone back to just using the HFS and either letting in a metal brace from simpson or a 2x4 under to give it shear.
    I would highly recomend Correct Deck for any project, I think it is a much stronger and superior product to Trex and Weatherbest. Only drawback is they dont make post sleves... But I make my own with fascia boards wrapped around 4x4 posts.
    Robert Shaw

    Colorado Deck and Framing - When Perfection is Demanded
    www.cdfcontracting.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    570

    Default Re: Hidden Deck Fastening Systems

    Robert, could you explain this a little better por favor ..

    "just using the HFS and either letting in a metal brace from simpson or a 2x4 under to give it shear".

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Central New York
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Hidden Deck Fastening Systems

    I have used tiger claw and eb ty and don't care for either. I have gotten hooked on Certainteed Boardwalk HFS. They're system is great - easy and fast and holds the decking down firmly. The only drawbacks are limited colors - only two (I think) and they don't have a woodgrain.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    4,663

    Default Re: Hidden Deck Fastening Systems

    Thanks to all for the responses/suggestions.

    Joe, I looked at those in the catalogue, but I'm not sure they're quite what I'm after.

    Dan, I am using Trex specifically (not my call), so thanks for the tip about the hue.

    Jeremy, veto on the construction adhesive idea by the builder.

    Bill, yours is the 2nd vote for CorrectDeck, but I'm not familiar with it. I'll pass on the recommendation. If you used a let-in brace like a Simpson TWB, would you still feel the need for adhesive?

    Chuck, do you really have to worry about water? Maybe on top of the dropped girder, but on each joist it seems a bit overkill to me, imo.

    Greg, I second that!

    dcross, was it slow because of your first time, or is it just a poor design?

    Robert, I like that 3rd vote for CorrectDeck. And the shear brace. I'm looking in the Simpson book and see TWB and RCWB that let into the framing. Either one of them your preference, or just the 2x4 from underneath?

    tj, I'm with you on the eb-ty's. I'll also look into the Certainteed product you mentioned.

    Tom
    1) Unconsciously Incompetent: He knows not, and knows not that he knows not. He is a fool. Shun him.
    2) Consciously Incompetent: He knows not, and knows that he knows not. He is simple. Teach him.
    3) Unconsciously Competent: He knows, and knows not that he knows. He is asleep. Wake him.
    4) Consciously Competent: He knows, and knows that he knows. He is wise. Follow him.

    May we all endeavor to progress from not knowing that we know not, to knowing that we know.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Posts
    3,764

    Default Re: Hidden Deck Fastening Systems

    Tom

    The hidden fastener system is defiantly worth more money due to increased time
    I did a big deck out of mangaris using the Eb Ty
    Construction adhesive and all, what a pain
    http://www.ebty.com/eb_ty_installation.html

    Greg
    Eb Ty requires the glue
    Most people don't read the installation instructions. I almost didn’t see it in the ones they sent me.


    Here are a couple of pictures of the deck I am refering to
    cost $77/sf

    Mark
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Colorado Springs, Colorado
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: Hidden Deck Fastening Systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Wood View Post
    Robert, could you explain this a little better por favor ..

    "just using the HFS and either letting in a metal brace from simpson or a 2x4 under to give it shear".
    I like to use the CWB if I have oversized joists. I will put a kerf cut in it and nail it off in every joist bay. You can also use the WB/WBC either from the bottom or the top. When I use these I usually make it into a V pattern. Run from rimboard to ledger and the back to rimboard. Last one I did this way is almost 20' in the air. Prevoius deck would sway when you walked... Current deck (small too) does not move at all.
    Robert Shaw

    Colorado Deck and Framing - When Perfection is Demanded
    www.cdfcontracting.com

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