IN DEPTH: DECK FASTENERS
Fastener preferences are changing as contractors look for more safety and low-visibility options to meet expectations.
BY: CRAIG A. SHUTT
Deck fasteners are moving more to the high end of the market, as contractors look to provide a long-lasting, secure connection while also offering a low-visibility look. Dealers need to be sure they understand the projects’ goals and the materials being used to ensure customers receive the best product for their job.
“As decking has evolved, the fastening industry has tried to keep pace,” says Scott Nowatzki, national accounts manager for Starborn. “Major deck manufacturers now have switched to capped composites, and fastener manufacturers had to change their designs to accommodate those materials.”
They also are adapting to the demand for low-visibility fasteners, regardless of the method used. “Low-visibility screws are the most popular, whether they’re hidden fasteners or painted head deck screws.” Jim Miller, president of Screw Products, adds, “Customers love color-matched screws, and decking manufacturers keep changing and adding colors.”
Hidden fasteners continue to grow, notes Bevan Wulfenstein, marketing director for Grabber Construction Products. “Hidden fasteners are definitely popular for premium-grade materials. People who spend money on a premium deck board want a better look than face-fastening systems can provide.” Adds Roderick Kabel, marketing director for DeckWise, “The popularity of hidden deck fasteners has definitely grown recently over traditional face-screwing and toe-nailing. Besides a clean look, a fastener-free surface allows for easier and quicker installations, making awkward under-the-deck fasteners a thing of the past.”