Sometimes individuals neglect to ask themselves this straightforward question. It’s frequently the last and most neglected choice when creating a new outdoor living area.

Making options about what color to use, what layout to use, and whether or not to have a border around my deck can be confusing. We have a fastening option for you regardless of the design, color, or style you choose.


Hidden Fasteners vs. Deck Screws

Both deck screws and hidden fasteners are contenders, and they both have niche applications. In the end, you, the judge, will have to choose based on your personal preferences.

However, hidden fasteners are dependably a wise choice for composite decking and can offer your deck the stunning appearance you’ll love for years to come. To suit the requirements of your particular project, there are stores online that provide a variety of hidden fastener pack alternatives

Trex Hidden Fasteners

Your composite deck will have a flawless surface thanks to hidden fasteners, giving it a special appeal.


Pros of Trex Hidden Fasteners

Systems Clip

Instead of inserting screws via the peak of each board, the clips are used in clip systems and are placed on the edges between boards. To preserve the deck’s surface, screws are installed between these boards.

As each fastener is set, the gap installation found between these boards aids the installer in maintaining a uniform gap throughout the whole deck. The spacing needed for air and water movement (3/16″ to 1/4″) is determined by the thickness of the clip.

Some installers and homeowners favor clip systems because they often hide the joist to build color continuity throughout the main deck surface. The clips from MoistureShield conceal the joist, unlike some other clip systems on the market.

Plug-in Devices

In plug systems, the screws are inserted with a good counter sink to make it possible to insert a tiny plug and fill up the hole with the main deck surface. Plug systems wouldn’t cover the joist, in contrast, to clip systems.

Cons of Using Trex Hidden Fasteners

For the installation circumstances below, hidden fasteners don’t stand as the best option.

  •  Lesser than 12″ of the deck are above grade.
  • There is inadequate ventilation or poor drainage in the area beneath the deck.
  • The main deck boards have a nominal width of 6″ wider.

While the hidden fasteners are perfect for a deck surface that has already been built, they might not be the best choice for stairs, boards, or picture frames with a radius curve.



Traditional composite and real wood decking fasteners have been deck screws for many years. In most situations, these venerable old standbys come in a variety of solid colors to assist match the head of the screw with the deck surface around, which helps to disguise the fasteners.

Pros of Using Screws Include

They are a budget-friendly solution. If necessary, broken boards may usually be replaced by simply removing the screws in place. This tends to happen more frequently as ancient wood decking ages.

Installation of the face screw is preferred in regions with harsh seasonal weather because they often offer better control over lateral movement brought on by construction and expansion.

Some Cons of Using Screws Include

Each deck screw has a hole bored via the peak of the decking so that the screw head will be visible on the board’s surface. Many homeowners find this unattractive because installation calls for two face screws per joist intersection with each board.

Installing deck screws takes a long time since each screw must be drilled into the board, and the installer must pay close attention to the consistency of the spacing between each screw and the board.

Inconsistent screw placement might contribute to the deck surface having a bad appearance. Additionally, certain composite decking boards might need holes pre-drilled before screws can be added, which might increase the project’s time and cost.

When Should You Use Trex Hidden Fasteners?

There are some instances where you have no choice but to consider Trex decking with hidden fasteners. Instances like when you need:

Corrosion Protection

In addition to being resistant to corrosion risks, hidden deck fasteners for composite boards also result in less detrimental water penetration because the board’s surface is never pierced.


Likewise, hidden fasteners provide deck boards with a stronger grip while remaining completely unseen. This can be a huge benefit for anyone hooked their toe on a nail because there are no unattractive screws or nails to look at or trip over.

Simple Installation and Removal

Similar to this, hidden fasteners provide deck builders with easy and speedy installation. This is accomplished by inserting the clip’s serrated edge into the board’s groove, where it bites down on the board to provide a secure hold.

Additionally, you can install the next board by simply sliding the deck board onto the clip’s opposite edge. This results in a quicker process with gaps that are precisely spaced.

When Should You Use Screws?

There are some instances where you just have to use deck screws for the best results. Instances liken when you need:


While screws offer great retention of these boards with threading to keep the attachment fully secure, nails can gradually creep up and pose a safety risk. This keeps decks smooth and flat underfoot and saves time pounding boards back into place.

Corrosion Protection

Screws won’t rust and will hold more solidly. Deck screws of stainless steel have a zinc epoxy coating for better corrosion resistance. This durability aspect will effectively support a durable deck, ensuring that it can withstand harsh weather conditions and heavy foot traffic.

Simple Installation

In times past, many do-it-yourselfers chose nails because they thought driving nails would be much quicker than screws for driving. In actuality, screws hold together better and need roughly the same amount of time for installation.

Which Option is Best for My Deck?

It’s simple to get bogged down in making the important decisions, whether you’re constructing a brand-new composite deck from the start or renovating an already-existing one. A fun and crucial element of the job is selecting the deck’s dimensions, shape, color, and finish of the main boards.

The choice between deck screws and hidden fasteners may seem dull and inconsequential in comparison. However, your choice will impact not just the deck’s visual appeal but also its structural soundness. Therefore, make informed decisions.

Editorial Contributors
Matt Greenfield

Matt Greenfield

Matt Greenfield is an experienced writer specializing in home improvement topics. He has a passion for educating and empowering homeowners to make informed decisions about their properties. Matt's writing focuses on a range of topics, including windows, flooring, HVAC, and construction materials. With a background in construction and home renovation, Matt is well-versed in the latest trends and techniques in the industry. His articles offer practical advice and expert insights that help readers tackle their home improvement projects with confidence. Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a seasoned professional, Matt's writing is sure to provide valuable guidance and inspiration.

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