Screws are integral to the structure and stability of your deck, but unfortunately, they don’t always look that great. What can you do to better incorporate them into the overall aesthetic of your outdoor space? Our readers shared a few ideas on how to deal with those unsightly, but critical, pieces of deck hardware.
Andre Kazimierski

Andre Kazimierski

Andre Kazimierski, CEO of Improovy.

Use Painted Head Deck Screws

Deck screws should either be intentionally placed and seen or hidden. The appearance of screws does not have to be a bad thing – simply make sure their placement is symmetrical and purposeful.

You can “hide” screws by making them blend into the boards. The easiest way to do this is with painted head deck screws. These screws are stainless steel, but their heads – the part that is visible when screwed in come in a variety of shades and colors. Use a color most similar to your boards to make the screws blend in, or you can choose a complimentary color if you want your screws to intentionally stand out.

Hidden Fasteners Work for Low-Traffic Deck

There are hidden screws/fasteners for decks. They are small and essentially slot in along the sides instead of being visible up top. These can work for any wood deck but there are lots of kits sold for Trex decks, too.

It’s important to understand that you’re giving up functionality for a more aesthetically pleasing deck. Face screws are stronger by far. You’d be better off getting screw covers to at least slightly minimize their appearance. Hidden fasteners work fine for a low-traffic deck, but if you have lots of people over, you may find they degrade very easily.

Jeremy Yamaguchi

Jeremy Yamaguchi

Jeremy Yamaguchi, CEO, Lawn Love.
Gregg Cantor

Gregg Cantor

Gregg Cantor, President & CEO of Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel.

Different Deck Screw Options

1. Square or star-headed screws available in different colors. They are designed to countersink themselves with a bit supplied and a screw gun.

2. Square-headed screws that countersink themselves with colored caps to match deck material.

3. Conventional deck screws. Holes are pre-drilled and countersunk. Then screws are installed with a screw gun. Caps are made out of the same material as deck planks and glued in place.

Use Nail Caps or Paint the Screw Heads with Oil Paint

In the vast majority of cases, my customers ask me to hide the fasteners to preserve the clean look of the deck. All classic deck designs require hidden screws and nails.

If you use screws as the main type of fasteners for your deck and want to hide them from your eyes, the best option is to use screw caps. You can get them on Amazon for just a few bucks. There is a wide range of colors so that you can select the one that matches the decking or railing color. A benefit of nail caps is they also slow down the screws’ wear-off.

Don’t use self-adhesive screw cover stickers outdoors as they can be easily removed by rainwater.

Alternatively, you can simply cover the screw heads with oil paint of the matching color or with a water-resistant finish and paint if you want to achieve a perfectly smooth finish.

Sean Chapman

Sean Chapman

Sean Chapman, Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Tools’n’Goods. He is also a professional carpenter with over 10 years of experience. He specializes in home improvement, woodworking, and remodeling.
Adrian Mason

Adrian Mason

Adrian Mason, Owner of Decking Perth.

Use the Right Color Combination Between Screws and Wood

Screws are a necessary part of building decks and also the ones we do not wish to show. In most cases, visible screws don’t go well with the overall aesthetics of the deck. Hence, people are [always] looking for ways to either incorporate the screws or completely hide them from sight.

One way to hide the screws is using a hidden fastener system. This system is used for grooved decks. The screws fit in the grooves and away from sight. They are available in plenty of sizes and colors to match your deck design.

If you wish to incorporate the screws in the designs, you can always go for a natural wood look. Designing a deck that looks natural outdoors can help the screws not steal the aesthetics. Use the right color combination between the screws and the wood and it might even work out.

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