Aside from the fact that many people don't like to see them, visible deck fasteners invite problems. Splitting at board ends, corrosion and rust-stains, and water penetration leading to rot can all be blamed on face-nailing. Plus, nail pops and loose boards create unsafe conditions. So what's the best way to fasten a deck surface without making a feature of the nails or screws?

Hidden deck fasteners reduce or eliminate the visual and physical defects of face nailing by fastening the decking boards at their edge or underside. Whether you're using an expensive tropical wood or ordinary pressure-treated pine, a nail-free surface simply makes a nicer-looking job. Keep in mind that the following systems, although they vary...

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