Why Does the World Need Another Hidden Fastener for Hardwood Decking?

By Naomi Comstock, 10/27/21

Truly Beautiful Hardwood Decking

Hardwood is one of the most versatile materials available and used for many applications where both resilience and beauty are desired. One of the most widely used and appreciated applications is hardwood decking. When it comes to decking, truly nothing compares to the feeling of stepping out on a real hardwood deck. It's warm, it's rich in color, it's truly stunning – and its more environmentally friendly than any other "alternative" options out there.
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Stop Trying To Flatter Me, You Ugly Composite Deck

Many people have unsuccessfully tried to mimic the look and feeling of hardwood with plastics and composites, but to no avail. The truth is, nature continues to do it best. You know how they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? In this case, the attempt at imitation is just insulting.
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Yes, Hardwood Deck Boards Do Expand And Shrink

Since hardwood is a natural and organic material, it comes with some unique qualities that you must work with – not against. One of these qualities is hardwood's physical reactions to the amount of moisture in its environment. As moisture in the environment increases, hardwood expands tangentially to the ring growth, and conversely, as environmental moisture decreases, the hardwood shrinks tangentially to ring growth. A typical deck board can expand up to 1/4" across its width. Expansion in the other directions (radial and longitudinal) are mostly negligible to that of its width.

Simply put, your deck boards will mostly expand and shrink across their width with the changes in environmental humidity. Hardwood deck boards show almost no movement in length or thickness.
Nova Blog Photo
Nova Blog Photo

With this concept of the boards expanding and contracting in mind, how do we install deck boards effectively? We cannot simply face screw the boards because as environmental moisture fluctuates, all of the pressure and force from the expansion and shrinkage is taken on by the screws. Since screws are limited by their fatigue strength, over time it can lead to broken screws and damaged boards. With each hole created from face screwing, you are also increasing the chance of water entry, therefore increasing risk of mold and rot. We also need to provide adequate and consistent spacing between boards or with nowhere to go, the boards will buckle when they expand.

Not only does face screwing decrease the longevity of your deck, but it also disrupts the overall aesthetic by distracting from the naturally occurring fractal patterns of the wood.
Nova Blog Photo
Nova Blog Photo

There have been some "half solutions" introduced to the market in the form of hidden fastener systems but nothing, in Nova's opinion, that offers a full solution. The Ipe Clip may be a hidden deck clip, but it still requires you to drill through your deck boards. The EB-TY and the Black Talon may avoid drilling through the deck board, but neither clip offers any flexibility for the inevitable board expansion and contraction. With these key issues not addressed, it can result in rot, buckling, breaking, & ripping of your hardwood deck boards.

Eureka, We Have Discovered The Solution

The only hidden fastener decking system on the market that is specifically designed to work with the expansion and contraction of hardwoods, as well as maintain the overall beauty of your deck. The ExoDek® QuickClip® is Nova's new top of the line fastening system that allows you to achieve your best looking and longest lasting hardwood deck.
Nova Blog Photo

Stay tuned for more exciting information about our new patented technology!

By Naomi Comstock, 10/27/21

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