Ipe decking is as long lasting as it is beautiful. Many contractors, homeowners, architects and design professionals love the uncluttered look of hidden fasteners with Ipe decking. The sleek look of no visible fasteners on an Ipe deck is a beautiful deck design option for an Ipe hardwood deck project.
The cost of an Ipe deck built with hidden fasteners may be a little more expensive than a typical screw-down Ipe deck installation but many discerning clients believe it is well worth it.
There are two primary methods that are most effective for installing Ipe decking with hidden fasteners; 1.) The biscuit shaped hidden fastener method and 2.) Pre-drilling the Ipe decking, screwing it down and covering the head with an Ipe hardwood plug to conceal the screw head. These methods are often used together to complete an Ipe deck project beautifully.
We find that hidden fasteners work best when used on decking in residential and other lower traffic areas that are adequately ventilated and at least 18" above grade (ground level). Using deck boards too close to the ground, with inadequate ventilation, can create excessive moisture that may lead to ‘cupping’ of deck boards. Please keep ground clearance and proper ventilation in mind when planning and designing your deck.
Over the years we have tested a wide variety of hidden fasteners for Ipe decking installation, including under-mounted options that are truly cumbersome.After years of field testing and feedback from construction professionals, we have found that a few of the hidden deck fasteners for use with pre-grooved decking work well. But none of them worked great. That's why we developed the Mataverde Hidden Deck Fastener. It is the best and most effective hidden fastener for Ipe decking and other high density hardwood decking materials.
The Mataverde Hidden Deck Fastener is made of stainless steel for greater strength and a black color for lower visibility, that combines with a stainless steel screw for secure fastening through the Ipe decking.
You can use the Mataverde Hidden Deck Fastener with standard decking material and cut ‘biscuit joint’ saw or router kerfs on the Ipe decking at the job site. It is usually much more efficient, however, to buy Ipe decking that is pre-grooved. Using pre-grooved Ipe decking speeds up the installation time considerably and often minimizes decking material waste.
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This Ipe decking installation method takes a lot longer than using a hidden deck fastener. Using a countersink drill bit, the Ipe decking boards are pre-drilled. After the Ipe decking boards are screwed down, an Ipe hardwood plug is installed to conceal the head of the screw. The plug is then sanded to blend in with the rest of the Ipe decking. Thismethod of Ipe deck fastening is very time consuming compared to the hidden deck fastener method, but is often used together with hidden deck fasteners to complete beautiful Ipe hardwood decking installations, especially for 'picture framing' the outside deck boards.
Pre-drilling and screwing Ipe deck boards is also a great technique to install Ipe decking as stair treads, a landing tread or stair nosing. Experienced decking contractors will often use this pre-drilling and plug technique on the outside edge of last decking board even when using hidden fasteners on the rest of the deck. By using this combined hidden fastening installation method, the last decking board is securely attached with no visible saw kerf marks on the outside edge. This same technique can also be used to "picture frame" a deck so the ends of the kerfed boards will not show.
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