Concealed Fasteners?

mrpurpleApril 29, 2009


We're planning a IPE or similar deck in San Francisco. It will be less than 30" off the ground (but still with tight access below).

We'd like to use Concealed Fasteners. Can someone recommend a method (or explain why we should not go that route)? We've heard as has our contractor that there are problems emerging with the disk/ grooves (IPE extreme?).

Any experiences and recommendations would be welcome!



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We built a deck with those "hidden deck fasteners". We actually ended up using TigerClaw fasteners on the recommendation of a friend. Our contractor installed them from the top of the deck which made it easier on him and easier on our pocketbook. I've heard if your outside wall is not straight it's hard to adjust the space between the boards to compensate with any hidden deck fastener.

I also know some like, Invisifast have to be installed from underneath the deck and 30" could cause some extra labor charges.

Anybody else worked with these things?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 4:01PM
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Tried a couple of the systems; the ones requiring installation from below are total crap. The ones utilizing slots cut by a plate joiner end up being visible between the board gaps. Either way the decking is not being held directly to the joist- the best way to fasten it. Forget about the sales pitch line that screw holes introduce places for rot. You are using Ipe. It won't rot. If you want the hidden fastener system for aesthetic reasons, go with T&G material or screw and plug.

I live in Pacifica, right by you. In this climate Ipe will shrink considerably during the summer months and expand back to near its original width in the wet winter. The natural movement of the wood will wiggle loose from those hidden fasteners. I would never even consider them for Ipe.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 10:01PM
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John agrees with Aidan.

I have never been a fan of the clips,that info got around to the ipe clip guys, They sent me a big box of their clips several kinds wanting me to try the new extreame deal and I did not on a Wallets job but on a test deal out back of the shop.

The plan with the extreem is to run the screw thru the ss insert into the ipe. In order to do that a pre drill goes thru the insert as well so say your using # 1 ss screws that means an 1/8'' pre dirll that means the bit has to go thru the insert with a very small clerance not to burr out the insert X how ever many screws it takes to do the job the odds of not hitting that insert after a while..... worst than drawing on an inside straight.

Then there is the screw thing. Ipe Clips come with very small head screws they are just barley biger than the slot in the insert. Is everyone seeing the danger so far???

Say you dont go thru the ipe just run the screw straight down into the pt frame. Read Aidan's post again.

Say everything goes right,Perfect every time, No movement at all with the ipe. A person looks down and still sees the clip and the screw. They are not Hidden at all. So you have taken that big gamble,paid all that $ for the clips and the extra labor and you still see the fastening system.

Using the ipe wood Plugs is less money in labor and cost than the clips and Its a sure thing. This system is just not Marketed. Thats the bottom line.

T&G ipe install requires a few little tricks. Im pretty sure the adverage diy er should not try this on with his first project. Unless he/she talks to me first.
However.... a T&G ipe install goes faster,costs less and looks better if done corectley.

John Mon

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 12:23AM
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Hey guys, these plastic clip systems are getting old and just aren't the best solution for hidden deck fasteners for any type of wood. Especially in extreme changing climates. My suggestion is the cheaper solution. CAMO Hidden Deck Fasteners is the best...they are much cheaper, you get an awesome tool to do your spacing, hold your screws and help you counter sink them at perfect toenailing angles.

Here is a link that might be useful: The best place to buy CAMO hidden fasteners online.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 4:41PM
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