Choosing the Right Fasteners For Your TimberTech Decking Installation

TimberTech decking pairs the durability and low-maintenance quality of wood-alternative decking with gorgeous looks, unmatched in the deck board industry.

A beautiful, unblemished deck surface made from properly-installed TimberTech deck boards

But getting that widely-desired TimberTech looks requires some specific planning and hardware. Let DecksDirect make that part easy with this guide to (1) picking the right fastening method for your TimberTech deck boards and (2) getting the right fasteners to complete the job.

How To Install TimberTech Decking

Table of Contents

Choose Your TimberTech Decking Installation Method

There are three distinct ways to fasten TimberTech PVC or composite deck boards to your deck frame. The fastening method you choose will affect both the fasteners and the deck boards you need.

TimberTech deck boards come in two edge profiles: square and grooved. You can see the difference below.

A comparison of square edge and grooved edge TimberTech deck boards

If you already have your deck boards, check out the fastening methods below to find one that works with the board profile you have. If you're still planning your project, you can pick the finished look you want, then buy the right deck board profile to deliver it.

One more note: with TimberTech PVC decking, you can mix multiple widths of deck boards to create stunning patterns. If you choose to use narrow-width or extra-wide deck boards, though, keep in mind that they are only available in square edge profiles. That means if you're attached to the multi-width look, you'll have to pick a fastening method that works with square edged boards.

A visually striking deck using different widths of deck boards to create a pattern

Without further ado, let's explain the three ways to fasten TimberTech deck boards, with two recommended fasteners for each method:

TimberTech Hidden Fasteners

Benefits of Hidden Fasteners:

  • Smoothest, blemish-free deck surface
  • Doesn't puncture deck board capping
  • Easy to replace boards if needed

Traditionally, deck builders attached deck boards by screwing directly through them into the joists beneath (we'll get to some methods like that below). Hidden fasteners take an innovative approach: fastening deck boards down from the sides of the board.

There are several compelling reasons to fasten your boards this way. The main draw to hidden fasteners is that they keep the tops of your deck boards looking pristine and new.

How to install a TimberTech CONCEALoc Hidden Fastener

Traditional face fastening can leave unsightly screw heads in your deck surface. If you don't line up your fasteners perfectly, you'll get a distracting, crooked line of screw heads. If you don't sink your screws to the perfect depth, you'll have screw heads sticking up - a tripping hazard and an annoyance if you're sliding furniture or other accessories across your surface.

Hidden fastening prevents all of those issues and gives you the best-looking deck surface - your smooth deck boards can be the star, unbroken by fasteners or screw holes

TimberTech Deck Boards with hidden fasteners

Because you don't have to screw through the top of your boards, you'll keep the protective capping on your TimberTech boards' surface intact. One huge benefit of using TimberTech decking is the tough, protective capping on all four sides of the board - using hidden fasteners maximizes the impact of that capping.

There are two different hidden fastening options you can use with TimberTech deck boards - and each one requires a different edge profile on your deck boards.

For Grooved Boards: TimberTech CONCEALoc Hidden Fasteners

A close-up of an installed TimberTech Hidden Fastener

TimberTech's CONCEALoc Hidden Fasteners work like most decking hidden fastener clips. They're small pieces of metal that attach directly to your deck joist, reaching out to either side to hold down the decking via grooves cut in the sides of the deck board.

That means you'll need grooved edge TimberTech decking to use CONCEALoc Hidden Fasteners. Fortunately, all 6 lines of TimberTech AZEK PVC and TimberTech PRO Composite decking come in grooved edge options.

A close-up of grooved edge TimberTech decking

Installation is easy. The stainless steel fasteners come with compatible screws

A TimberTech CONCEALoc Hidden Fastener

Fasten down your first board using an L-Bracket. After that, each CONCEALoc fastener will screw directly to your joist with one arm holding down the board beside it:

How to install a TimberTech CONCEALoc Hidden Fastener

The next board slides into place, as shown below:

Adding another board to the other side of a CONCEALoc Hidden Fastener

The result is a gorgeous, unblemished deck surface that highlights the unmistakeable colors and textures of your TimberTech decking.

Shop CONCEALoc Hidden Fasteners

Square Boards: TimberTech SIDELoc Deck Screws

SIDELoc Screws work a little differently. Like CONCEALoc fasteners, they attach the board from the side, keeping a completely clean deck surface. But unlike most hidden fasteners, they do actually screw into the board itself and then into the joist.

TimberTech's SIDELoc fastening system is a hidden fastening system that uses square edge boards:

A close-up of square edge TimberTech decking

SIDELoc Screws attach boards using a technique called toenailing, or driving the screw at a 45 degree angle through the side of the board.

Installing SIDELoc Screws with the SIDELoc install tool

The SIDELoc install tool lines up each screw perfectly to catch enough of the board without puncturing the top of the board. As shown above, set up the screw, then drive it in with your power drill:

Screwing a TimberTech deck board down from the side

Shop SIDELoc Hidden Screws

TimberTech Decking Plug Systems

Benefits of Plug Systems:

  • Strongest holds
  • Smooth, unblemished deck surface
  • No risk of screw heads sticking up
  • Protects screws from corrosion

Plug systems are a bit of a hybrid option. They're sometimes lumped into the hidden fastener category, but they use a more traditional face fastening method and are used with square edge deck boards.

A close-up of square edge TimberTech decking

The advantage of face fastening is that it provides the strongest hold possible for your deck surface. Plug systems combine that superior holding power with a smooth deck surface by hiding screws underneath small round plugs that match the deck board.

Deck screws and matching plugs for hidden installation

When using a plug system, you countersink your screws - that means driving them below the deck surface and leaving an empty space above them. The plugs fit into that space, hiding the screw beneath.

Decking plug systems come with specialized installation tools that drive the screw to the perfect depth and create a hole perfectly-sized for the plug. No matter what line of TimberTech decking you're using, there's a plug system with plugs made from the exact same PVC or composite material as your deck boards - right down to the unique texturing on the surface.

When installed correctly, the plugs virtually disappear into the deck surface - you'll never notice them, and guests won't even know there are fasteners concealed underneath your deck board's surface.

FastenMaster Collated Cortex Hidden Fastening System

FastenMaster's Cortex system is a widely-known and trusted decking plug option with color-matching plugs for just about every deck board manufacturer. Their system typically comes with screws, plugs, and the specialized driver bit you see below:

Everything you need for a TimberTech decking plug fastening system

Just drive the screw, letting the install tool guide how far you countersink it.

Installing a screw with a specialized bit for a decking plug system

The plugs come in collated strips that make it easy to quickly line them up over the screw hole.

A hand fitting TimberTech decking plugs into place

All that's left is to tap the plug into place, and your deck surface looks untouched:

Collated Plug System Installation

Make sure to get the plugs that specifically match the finish of your deck board. If you're using TimberTech AZEK decking (which is made of PVC), check out the PVC plugs below. If you're using TimberTech PRO (which is made of composite material), you can find composite plugs by following the second button:

Shop Cortex PVC Plugs Shop Cortex Composite Plugs

Starborn PRO PLUG System For TimberTech Decking

Starborn's PRO PLUG system works the same way. The specialized installation tool sinks screws to the perfect depth:

Everything you need for the Starborn PRO PLUG System for TimberTech decking

The plugs are perfectly designed to fit in the hole created. Made from the exact same PVC or composite material as your TimberTech deck boards, the plugs are a perfect match, even carrying the same distinct texture as your boards - for example, Brownstone plugs will have the cathedral-grain pattern of Brownstone decking, while Coastline plugs will have the textured ridging that Coastline deck boards feature.

Starborn color-matching plugs for TimberTech decking

As always, make sure to get the plugs that specifically match the finish of your deck board. If you're using TimberTech AZEK decking (which is made of PVC), check out the PVC plugs below. If you're using TimberTech PRO (which is made of composite material), you can find composite plugs by following the second button:

Shop PRO PLUG PVC System Shop PRO PLUG Composite System

Color-Matching Composite Screws For TimberTech Decking

Benefits of Face Fastening Screws:

  • Strongest holds
  • Easy installation

Even if you opt for the most traditional fastening option, TimberTech has a way to make your fasteners blend in. You can use composite deck screws with colored heads so that while the screw heads remain visible, they won't stand out visually.

Composite deck screws designed to match the color of the deck board

Unlike the shiny chrome heads you might see on an older deck, these face fastening screws have brown, gray, or tan heads in varying shades to blend in with your specific shade of deck board.

Composite deck screws drive directly through your deck board's surface and work with square edge deck boards.

A close-up of square edge TimberTech decking

They feature the same strong holds as plug systems, but also streamline your installation because you don't have to insert plugs into each connection point. If you're looking to save time and money, color-matching composite deck screws are a great choice for fastening down your TimberTech deck boards.

TimberTech TOPLoc Face Fastening System

TimberTech's TOPLoc Face Fastening system is designed to match TimberTech's huge range of deck board colors. There are 7 colors available to match AZEK PVC decking and seven more colors for TimberTech PRO or EDGE composite decking.

A TOPLoc screw with a colored screw head

Sturdy metal screws provide an incredibly tight hold. And TimberTech's color-matching is outstanding - just look at how the screw blends right in with the deck surface below:

A color-matching TOPLoc screw installed into a deck board

Shop TOPLoc For TimberTech AZEK PVC Shop TOPLoc For TimberTech PRO Composite

CAP-TOR Xd Composite Deck Screws By Starborn

Starborn's CAP-TOR Xd Composite Deck Screws are another great option for color-matching deck screws. Made from epoxy-coated steel, they come in 15 color options that cover any shade of TimberTech decking you can find.

CAP-TOR Composite Deck Screws with colored heads

You can see how well the screws blend in with a variety of deck board colors below:

CAP-TOR Screws installed into various colors of deck boards

Starborn CAP-TOR Xd screws work with both composite and PVC decking. The only major difference is that if you're using TimberTech AZEK PVC decking, you'll have to pre-drill holes, while the CAP-TOR screws don't require pre-drilling with any composite deck boards.

Shop CAP-TOR Xd Screws

More TimberTech Decking Resources

A smooth, unblemished deck surface featuring TimberTech Tigerwood decking

More resources:

Shop TimberTech AZEK PVC Decking Shop TimberTech PRO Composite Decking

Learn more about the basics of deck framing and building in our Deck Framing Guide and learn deck parts and terminology in the DecksDirect Glossary of Deck Terms and Lingo.

Browse more deck design and railing style notes to upgrade your backyard space and deck in the DecksDirect Railing Style Guide: the quickest way to learn if your home is more suited for a classic aluminum deck railing or a showstopping cable rail setup.

The more you know, the better your deck and backyard projects will be! Whether you're looking at a brand new project, a deck update, or a style refresh, give our deck project planners a call at 1-888-824-5316 or send us an email at hello@decksdirect.com. Our experienced team will help you get the information, products, and tools you need for an awesome deck completely personalized to your needs!