DC175 The Ultimate Deck Clip™ Hidden Deck Fastener
If you are installing quality hardwood, soft wood, composite or synthetic decking of any kind you now have a choice between face screws and our hidden Deck Clip. The Ultimate Deck Clip™ (Patent Pending) is the only hidden fastener that combines incredible holding power with incredible ease of installation. The ultimate solution in hidden deck fasteners. Finally a hidden deck fastener that requires no pre-drilling using Marine Grade Aluminum, a strong T20 Star Drive Black Oxide stainless steel screw which holds the decking much tighter than the plastic clips and allows for the inevitable movement all deck materials experience. As a bonus our unique fastener installs in about the same time as pre-drilling and face screwing! Should a board need replacing….no problem. Our system allows you to get to the screw from the top. Not the bottom or at an angle as most competitive systems do.
Each unit contains:
- (175) Clips
- (175) 2-1/4" Star Drive Stainless Steel screws,
- (10) 2-1/4" Star Drive Stainless Steel starter and finisher screws
- Hardwood Hole Plugs
- (1) T20 driver
Each unit will install 100 square feet of 5.5" wide decking on 16” centers, or 150 square feet on 24” centers.
(Patent Pending) Extruded out of 6063T5 marine grade aluminum, The Ultimate Deck Clip's™ unique shape allows it to grab both sides of the decking and actually hold it down like a miniature spring keeping your deck boards tight forever. The unique design works with all types of hardwood, composite or synthetic decking, whether pre-grooved or in biscuit jointer slots. Add in a T20 “Star Drive” stainless steel screw that virtually eliminates stripped heads and you have a combination that can't be beat at a cost that is no more than the plastic clips.
The Ultimate Deck Clip™ installed in a biscuit slot. [see photo] Note how the clip bends down after the screw is tightened, like a spring, to hold the deck down tight. You can forget about your deck boards ever squeaking or coming loose.
Installing hardwood, composite or synthetic decking with blind fasteners presents plenty of challenges. With The Ultimate Deck Clip™ there is no pre-drilling, messy adhesives, screws pulled thru the clips, or broken screws and drivers. The Ultimate Deck Clip™ delivers great strength. Rounded edges ease installation and the lobes on the bottom grip the board and allow movement both ways. You will be amazed at how tight The Ultimate Deck Clip™ holds your decking.
Tauari decking installed
with The Ultimate Deck Clip™
Anyone can install The Ultimate Deck Clip™. No special tools are needed if using grooved decking, only a good drill with an adjustable clutch. If your decking is ungrooved, you will need a biscuit jointer to make a slot in the edge of the boards above every joist to accept The Ultimate Deck Clip™. One clip is installed on every joist. We installed a 12 x 20 grooved deck with inexperienced help in 5 1/2 hours. Two persons installed decking and one person cut boards to length. No screws stripped out, no messy adhesives were needed and the only drilling was on the starter and finisher boards ! The end result? One beautiful deck! In fact, if you are a contractor, you can expect The Ultimate Deck Clip™ to install about as fast as drilling and face screwing every board!
Tauari decking installed
with The Ultimate Deck Clip™
As with all blind fasteners you will need to get the first board down along one edge or the wall of the house. Use our 2 1/4” “Star” drive screws to accomplish this. Pre-drill with a 3/16 bit and install a screw every 16 to 24 inches along the edge. This screw is strong so you can drive it just slightly below the surface of the deck board or you can screw it down 3/8 of an inch or more and plug the hole. On composite decking do not drill a pilot hole and run the screw below the surface about an eighth of an inch and hammer the fibers over the screw and it will basically disappear.
If you are using a biscuit jointer you need to make sure the bottom of your biscuit slot is about 3/8 of an inch from the bottom of the board on 5/4 material and 5/16 of an inch from the bottom on 4/4 decking. You don't want the leg to touch the joists and keep the clip from doing its job. If you are using slotted decking you should have plenty of room for the leg. We recommend using a top gauge on your biscuit jointer to set your slot instead of using the base plate.
Insert a clip in the slot and slide in a screw and drive the screw in till it just touches the top of the clip. (see picture) The clips should be just level, do not over tighten or they will tip down and you will have a devil of a time sliding on the next board. After a few you will get the feel of it and they will go fast.
Slide the next board onto the clips at least halfway up or so and tighten the screws down. Don't worry about the gap yet. Just make sure all the clips are in the slot. Tighten the screws enough so that The Ultimate Deck Clip™ actually bows down some. On most clutch drills this is about 2/3 of the way up. Now just tap the board over with a mallet till you get the gap you want and The Ultimate Deck Clip™ will hold it right were you want it! The screw head will nest right into the slot. Please review info on spacing on the back of this page.
Continue this procedure till the deck is finished. On the last board you will need to drill and screw it down like you did the first board. That's all there is to it! No pre-drilling, messy glue, or stripped out screws! You now have a beautiful deck installed with the best hidden fastener on the market.
The Little Things
A couple of things that could save you a bunch of time. If some of your boards are bowed more than 3/4 of an inch, we recommend using a BoWrench Deck Tool to straighten them. Set the bow so it is out in the middle, not on the ends, and use a 3/8 spacer to hold the boards apart while screwing down the clips. The Deck Clips will hold the board after tightening the screws unless the board is really, really bowed. Just pull the spacers and tap over the board till you get the appropriate gap.
Additional Installation Instructions: Know your Wood and your Environment.
For all this to work and work well, there are a few things you need to know before you start.
#1 - Your wood specie and it’s reactivity during changes in the environment. There are a lot of specie choices out there in the hardwood decking market and most of them are good. Ipe, Cumaru, Massandubra and the Meranti’s are the most common. All of these are good choices and they will perform well if you know what the moisture content of your wood is and if you take your local environment into consideration when you install the product. All wood moves with moisture changes and it starts the day you install your deck so you have to allow for this throughout your project.
#2 - Is it green, air dried or kiln dried? First thing you need to know is the moisture content of your decking. Ask your supplier if it is air dried or kiln dried. It is unlikely that it is green because it probably came over on a boat from somewhere and at least was out on the deck on drying sticks. This may be sold as air dried and the moisture content can vary widely! Air dried lumber can be anywhere from 15% to 45% moisture. There are no real standards. If your decking is air dried ask your supplier if they know what the moisture content is. Hopefully they can give you an idea. Most air dried decking is about 20 to 30% moisture. If it has been kiln dried it should be about 12 to 18% moisture for outside uses. The reason you need to know this is so you can choose the correct spacing for your decking.
#3 - Now that you know the moisture content you can choose your spacing. If your decking is air dried and the moisture content is above 20% you can just set the boards as close as the deck clips will allow, about 1/8 of an inch. If they do anything they will shrink a little bit and you will be fine. There will be enough room for the boards to move a little during normal seasonal changes in the moisture content of the wood. If your wood is kiln dried or it is below 18% moisture we recommend you space the boards about 3/16 of an inch. Your boards may shrink a little but they may also grow a little during wetter periods. If your wood is very dry, 8 to 12% and you get periods of wet weather or wet snow you may have to space your boards as much as 1/4 inch apart. Cut a few scraps of wood at the spacing you need and use them as spacers for about 2 or 3 runs and move forward as you go.
#4 - Last but not least-the variations in the species and your local environment. Of the above woods Ipe is the most stable followed closely by Cumaru and the Meranti’s. Massandubra will move the most in changes in moisture content but that does not mean it won’t work well, you just have to allow for the slight increase in movement. If your are installing Massandubra in a very dry climate and the wood is very dry but you get periods of wet humid weather you may want to install it with at least 1/4 inch of gap. We will soon have a chart available that will recommend the correct spacing for different woods of different moisture contents in different climates. If your are not sure give us a call and we will try and help.
This information is provided as a guide only. For best results ask your lumber provider for explicit information about the particular specie you are purchasing.
Additional Installation Instructions: Facia, railings, and finishes for hardwoods.
Most of the time you can’t get the wide boards you need for facia. We recommend just using the decking boards and running them around to cover up your rim joist. Use the 2 1/4 inch trim head screws thru 3/16 pilot holes and you can plug them and they are nearly invisible. Miter the corners and screw and glue them with a waterproof glue. We have seen a lot of these cup out over time because of the moisture that gets trapped behind them. One solution we have had some success with is to coat the back side of the board with Anchor Seal. Does a good job of keeping the moisture out so the facia board does not cup.
Easy way if you can get 2 x 2’s is to use the 5/4 deck board for the top and split a 5/4 x 6 for the stiffener and the bottom rail. Screw the spindles on on with 2” trim head screws. If you can’t get the 2 x 2’s, rip a 5/4 board in thirds and rout the edges and use that for the spindles. Use a 1 5/8 screw for assembling the spindles to the 5/4 stiffener and stretcher. On railings for steps make sure you check with local codes as many restrict the width of the handrail.
We have had the best luck so far with Cabot Australian Timber Oil on tropical hardwoods. Goes on easy, looks great and lasts about a year. Regardless of all the hype out there this is the best we have seen in actual use. To keep your deck looking really, really nice I would apply a THIN coat twice a year after the initial full wet coat and your deck should look great. If you want to just let it go - let it go. It will turn a great silvery gray and will still be there for decades. If you are having better luck with something else please let us know. We are always looking for time tested deck finishes.
The Ultimate Deck Clip™ is manufactured out of the same grade of aluminum used on marine applications worldwide. 6063T5. The Clip is suspended above the substructure to keep the board tight but still allow the deck boards to expand and contract. There is no contact to the pressure treated wood below.