Hidden Fixings

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  • #180
    Holland Landscapes

    Hello, its been a while since I have been on here!

    I Saw Karl at the FutureScape event in November and I was really impressed with the tongue and groove effect decking with the stainless steel hidden fixings.

    The one concern I have and also a few other people is that we are fixing lighting either to the deck or beside the deck. We might need access to underneath the deck once in a blue moon! My opinion of these fixings is that you can not just take a board up from the middle, you will have to unscrew all the board from the edge inwards until you get the correct place.

    Am I right in saying this?


    Hi Paul

    Great to see you at the show, good discussion point.

    If you consider that most deck light fitting are dropped in from above the deck and the cables tracked underneath to junction boxes. It is also usual to have access panels near down pipes, inspection covers and for other items under the deck so best to have your connections in this location and you can then access these at any time.

    In accordance with part P and the 17th edition, you are required to have access at all times to all electrical connections in any circuit.

    In a normal surface fixed decking installation you would have to still take up a number of boards, not to lift the light out of the deck but to get to the connections. In all side fixed decking structures without a removable hatch you are then faced with the same issue.

    I suppose on a deck that the designer or client doesnt want a hatch for any reason, perhaps a small section of fascia panel can be fixed as a removable panel and still provide good access to electrical connections.

    We have had one project where the planters on the deck have a plinth that is removable for access, the electrical items were in there.

    Hope this helps


    Hardydeck Outlet

    yes you got exactly the biggest disadvantage of this tongue and groove decking. The same is true for camo hidden fastener and the ipe clip extreme (double groove system).
    The second issue is the ‘working of the wood’, if it extends, where does it go to? Therefore you should always use regular decking with stainless steel screws and between the boards a spacing of 4 – 5 mm

    Holland Landscapes

    Yes Karl it was good to meet you at the show and good to see some of the products on offer.

    The lights will have junction boxes but they will be low voltage so I do not think they come under part p regs (correct me if I’m wrong I leave my sparks to that part).

    I think the client will go for screws visible now but thanks for the advise.

    We will be using Balau for this deck, what screws do you recommend using?

    I think you Are right Harry. This is a fair sized deck 80m3 so I wouldn’t want to take any risks.

    Out of interest is there a minimum standard for decking ie frame off the ground by x amount, joists must be 6×2 etc?

    Hardydeck Outlet

    by the way, narrower deck (90 / 120mm wide) is not only more stable, but also cheaper!


    Balau, certainly a timber to get you called back, this has caused most I know in the trade to have movement issues, There are many cost effectice solutions that would be a much better bet, better stability too.

    Always best never to any substructure touching the ground and the bigger the void under the deck the longer it will last. This is because a larger space under the deck will allow greater air circulation and thus the understructure will dryout quicker after rain.

    Screws would be best in stainless, carpenters mate number 10 Bugle head, 63mm x 4.8mm.

    If you mail me a plan of the deck I can advise upon EC5 spans for the substructure.

    basics here https://deckingnetwork.com/decking-substructure/

    spec’ here https://deckingnetwork.com/decking-resources/


    Holland Landscapes

    Thanks Karl I will do. We always use 6×2 at 450mm centres. Will be interesting what you think. What’s your email?

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