Tiger Claw Hidden Fasteners FAQs

Tiger Claw Hidden Fasteners FAQs

Fastener Specifications

What type of metal is used in the TC Fastener?

  • TC-2 fasteners are made from .060 304 stainless steel. A black oxide coating reduces shine so fasteners hide between decking boards. TC-2 Product Specifications
  • TC-4 fasteners are made from .034 420 annealed stainless steel. TC-4 fasteners are post hardened and tempered with a Dacrokote 105 coating (magnetic). This black coating reduces shine so fasteners hide between decking boards. TC-4 Product Specifications
  • TC-P and TC-3 fasteners are made from .060 304 ¼ roll hardened stainless steel. A black oxide coating reduces shine so fasteners hide between decking boards.
    TC-3 Product Specifications
    TC-P Product Specifications

What is the fastest way to install Tigerclaw?
The Tiger Claw Installation Gun

Can the screw split the decking board?
No, the screw cannot spilt the decking board. With the TC-3, TC-4, and TC-P, the screw goes directly into the joist without penetrating the decking board. With the TC-2, the screw penetrates the bottom corner of the decking board. Any minor splitting caused by the screw will not jeopardize the hold the fastener has on the board.

What is the life expectancy of the TC fastener?
Tiger Claw fasteners are premium high nickel stainless steel and will typically out last the decking. Tiger Claw offers a 25 Year Warranty on all products.

What size and type of sledge hammer do I need?
An 8-12 lb long handled sledge hammer is recommended. The hammer should not be less than 8 lbs.

How do TC fasteners compare to nails and screws as fasteners?
Compared to nails and screws, Tiger Claw Hidden Deck Fasteners have the following advantages:

  • Virtually Invisible
  • Reduced potential for wood rot which typically begins around the screws and nails installed on the top surface of the deck.
  • Eliminates splits on the ends of decking board which are caused by screws and nails.
  • Reduced cuppping because Tiger Claw fasteners secure the edge of decking boards to the joist.
  • No damage is caused to the decking surface during installation.
  • More surface area holding the decking down vs. screw or nail installation.
  • Nail free surface is easier to maintain.
  • The deck surface will not be stained by corrosion that may occur with nails or screws.
  • Long term ownership costs are lower because of longer deck life.
  • Professional appearance shows off the beauty of your decking material.
  • Elimination of nail or screw pops means your deck is safer.

Are the fasteners visible?
All Tiger Claw Hidden Deck Fasteners have a black coating that reduces shine so fasteners hide between decking boards, making them virtually invisible.

Helpful Installation Tips

Difficulty installing deck board onto prongs
The first few decking courses are the most difficult to install. The first decking board must be solidly secured and have no movement. When using very dense composite decking, the following steps can ease the installation of the first 3-4 courses.

  • Position the next decking board to be installed against the fastener points.
  • While standing on the decking board, lightly tap the board against the fastener prongs to leave impression marks on the edge of the board.
  • Using a 1/8 inch drill bit, drill a 1/2 inch deep hole into each impression mark.
  • place the decking board back into position against prongs and continue normal installation.

The decking board is coming off the prongs
Start installation at the end of the decking board as shown in the instructions. Once the proper gap is achieved over the first joist, install the first fastener into edge side of the board and screw it down to the joist. This method will prevent the decking board from recoiling off the prongs as installation proceeds.

Two-person installation eases operation
To speed up installation, have one person install the Tiger Claw Fasteners and another person drive screws. With two people, have both installers stand on the deck board about three to four feet apart, standing on the board before it comes in contact with the fastener points will ensure a smooth even surface.

Railing posts inside the frame
Install railing posts inside the frame as decking installation progresses. The decking board must be notched and installed, and then the post can be placed into the notch and secured. After that, the next notched decking board can be installed to finish.

View Instructional Videos

Railing posts outside the frame
First complete the decking, then position the post in the desired location and mark its two sides. Remove the post, and between the marks, cut the decking over-hang flush to the framing. Next, insert the post into the notch, flat against the frame. Once the post is level, secure it to the frame.

45° Installation
When the deck is in the walled corner of a house, always start with a small triangular piece of decking in the corner and work your way out. Marking prong impressions and drilling is recommended when working with small pieces. When installing at a 45* angle on an open area, start in the center of the deck and work your way toward the corners. When using this method, start by screwing a 2×4 to the deck frame to be used as a solid starting point. After installing 5 or 6 rows of decking the 2×4 can be removed and decking can be run in both directions.

Offset the center of the Tiger Claw fastener ¾ inch towards the long point of joist so that the screw will not exit the side of joist when driven.

View instructional VIDEO clips

Butt jointing decking boards
Drive the first decking board onto prong with the butt-end centered over a support. When installing the second decking board, if you prefer a small gap in the butt seam, start installation at the butt seam and work toward the end. If you prefer no gap in the butt seam, start installation at opposite end of decking board and work toward the seam.

For TC-2 Only Before driving the TC-2 Fastener into the other side of the butt seam, turn the fastener around so that the outer prongs are driven into the decking first, giving the widest spread across the seam.

View instructional VIDEO clips

Let the decking extend over the edge
Once the decking is set, it can be marked with a chalk line and cut clean and straight.

Hammer board
Cut a beveled angle on the ends of the hammer board to help it slide across joists during installation. Make sure the hammer board is not over 4 feet long.

Replacing a decking board

  • Make two parallel cuts down the center of the board to be replaced and remove the center piece.
  • Using a small pry bar, remove the remaining pieces of decking from the prongs.
  • Using pliers, remove the prongs on the side of the board with now screw heads showing.
  • Position the new board into place and carefully drive it onto the remaining prongs. (pre-drilling prong impression marks on the board edge may be required for dense materials).
  • Once the board is set into position, secure the lead edge with
    finish nail or finish screw, or counter drill, screw and unplug.
Purchasing, Shipping & Literature

How many boxes of fasteners will I need?
To find the approximate number of fasteners needed for your deck use our Coverage Estimator — or — , simply multiply the number of decking boards times the number of supports. Divide by 100 to get boxes then round up to the next even box. If your project requires more than 1200 fasteners, you will save money by purchasing the contractor bucket. A bucket contains 1400 fasteners but retails for the same price as 12 boxes (1200 fasteners)

Where can I purchase TC Fasteners?
Click here to use our Reailer Locator.

Building My Deck

Click here to download instructions.

View Instructional Videos

Securing First Board
Position the decking board against the house, and install a screw every 16 inches through the decking and into solid support. This board must be solidly secured and without movement.

Trouble driving second board?
Make sure that your first decking board is screwed down at least every 16 inches along the house edge and that a Tiger Claw fastener and screw are installed at each joist. Using a sledge hammer and hammer board, begin installing your second board on the outer edge of the deck by fully installing the board on the outer fastener only. Next, install the first Tiger Claw fastener and screw into the board being installed; this will help hold the board in place, preventing the end from recoiling off the prongs as you move down the board.

Next, use the sledge hammer work your way down the full length of the decking board. Swing the sledge hammer only one time at each joist. Do not try to fully install the board onto prongs on your first pass. When you get to the other end of your board, once again, fully install the board onto the prongs of the outer fastener and install a second fastener and screw.

Now you should have the two ends of your decking board secure and the center of the board should be partially installed onto the prongs. At this point, work your way back across the center and fully install the rest of your board. Once again, only hit the board once at each joist and reduce the force of your swing. Continuing this method will make installation quicker and easier.

Installing the last decking board
There are several methods that can be used for installing the last decking board:

  • Usually, the last board can be screwed through the top of the
    deckboard since the screws will be hidden below the rails, out of
    visual range.
  • Another method is to counter drill, screw, and plug all holes.
  • If there is access beneath the deck, a screw can be installed
    through the framing and into the bottom of the board.

What type of screw do I need?
A stainless steel 2 inch #8 bugle head decking screw is recommended for TC-1, TC-2, and TC-3 hidden deck fasteners.

TC-4 fasteners for exotic hardwoods and TC-P fasteners for PVC decking materials include the screws needed for installation.

If stainless steel screws are not available, be sure to use a screw that is approved for use with ACQ treated material.

How do Tiger Claw Hidden Deck Fasteners Work?
Unlike screws and nails, Tiger Claw Hidden Deck Fasteners secure decking boards to framing in such a way that no fasteners are visible on the surface of the deck.

Tiger Claw fasteners firmly attach decking boards together by holding the edge of the decking board and solidly securing the decking boards to supports by use of common decking screws.

Tiger Claw’s patented design not only makes Tiger Claw Hidden Deck Fasteners virtually invisible, it also makes them quick and easy to install when compared to other hidden deck fastener systems.

Do I need special tools?
No, only standard tools are needed. Each retail unit of Tiger Claw hidden deck fasteners include instructions and installation block(s).

Tools Required:

  • 16-20 oz carpenter hammer
  • 8-12 lb long handled sledge hammer
  • Power screw gun with ratcheting torque setting
  • Scrap 2×4 about 48 inch long (hammer board)
  • Pliers
  • 1/8 inch drill bit

You will also need stainless steel 2 inch #8 bugle head decking screws for the TC-1, TC-2, and TC-3 fasteners. Retail boxes and buckets of TC-4 and TC-P fasteners include the screws needed for installation.

How much gap is there between decking boards?
TC-1 & TC-2 fasteners are designed to provide no initial gap. We recommend setting decking boards as tight as possible and letting boards shrink gap.

TC-3 fasteners automatically create a 3/16 inch gap between each board. However, we recommend spacing the decking according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

TC-4 & TC-P fasteners are designed to provide a gap of approximately 1/8 inch. Exotic hardwoods and PVC decking materials tend to have very little expansion or contraction. However, in very dry climates, some shrinking may occur to exotic hardwoods; allowing the boards to acclimate for several days prior to installing may be required. When using exotic hardwoods, check with your decking supplier for estimated reactions in your climate. When using PVC decking materials, we recommend spacing the decking according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Can you use Tiger Claw Hidden Deck Fasteners on deck stairs?
Yes, you can use Tiger Claw fasteners on deck stairs. Start by driving a fastener and screw into each stringer of your staircase. Next, install stair treads following standard installation procedures. To fasten the outer edge of the stair tread, install a 2 x 2 framing member between stringers. This will allow you to screw through this framing and into the bottom of the stair tread. Repeat this method for each step.

I’m cutting the decking flush with the frame; will this interfere with the Tiger Claw fastener?
Cutting the decking flush with the frame may interfere with the Tiger Claw fastener. To avoid this problem, attach a pressure treated 2 x 4 to the inside of the outer joist. Then, secure Tiger Claw fasteners to the inner 2 x 4 support.

Why do most other decks fail?
Most other decks are constructed with nails and screws that are driven through decking boards and into support joists. As the lumber dries on these decks, it shrinks, cups, and stresses nails and screws causing them to loosen and emerge above the deck’s surface. Not only is screw and nail pop hazardous to foot traffic, but it allows water to penetrate the deck planking and joists, causing wood rot. Decking materials are usually rot resistant; however, with time and accumulated stress, even the best woods succumb to decay. Using Tiger Claw Hidden Deck Fasteners is a measure that you can take to prolong the life of your deck by avoiding the problems that make other decks fail.

Durability in Harsh Weather Condition

How do TC fasteners cope with conditions of weather?
Tiger Claw’s nail free surface is a tremendous advantage in snowy climates. Tiger Claw’s strong holding power has been tested for years in New England’s harsh winters. With no emerging fasteners on the deck surface, snow removal is easier.

Are TC fasteners safe for use in windy areas?
Tiger Claw fasteners hold down decking boards with prongs that have more than twice the horizontal surface area of decking screws. Excellent hold down strength is one of Tiger Claw’s best attributes.

Will TC Fasteners rust?
No, Tiger Claw fasteners are constructed from stainless steel; this material ensures a long life, even in harsh environments.


Tiger Claw, Inc. Hidden Deck Fasteners
25 Year Limited Warranty

Thank you for buying a Tiger Claw, Inc. product. We are confident in the quality of our products and are proud to offer this warranty to you.


This non-transferable Warranty covers all Tiger Claw, Inc. hidden deck fasteners used in residential and commercial decking applications.

Tiger Claw, Inc. warrants its hidden deck fasteners to be free of defects in material and workmanship. Warrantor will replace any Tiger Claw, Inc. hidden deck fastener that has material defects resulting in steel failure or corrosion of the fastener within twenty-five years from date of purchase.

This warranty specifically excludes damage caused by misuse, abuse, alteration, modification, improper installation, and treatment in a manner other than as intended. Warrantor’s lone obligation is limited to replacement of the Tiger Claw, Inc. product, and Warrantor shall have no further liability or obligation except as purposely stated in this document. This warranty does not cover costs of installation, removal, reinstallation, decking materials, or installation tools.

Failure to follow the instructions, requirements and recommendations, or warnings provided with the product shall make the warranty invalid. Tiger Claw, Inc. reserves the right to investigate any claim. Decking applications using this product must comply with all local zoning and/ or building codes. Tiger Claw, Inc. does not assume any risk or liability associated with the use of this product. Wearing proper safety equipment and other necessary action should be taken to ensure the safety of everyone involved in the project.


To make a claim under this warranty to receive replacement product, simply do the following:

(1) Prepare a letter which Includes the following information:

  • A list of the type and number of fasteners for which the claim is made.
  • Proof of purchase of the product, or description of the purchase date and location.
  • Reason for claim.

(2) Mail the above information to:

Tiger Claw, Inc.
Warranty Information
400 Middle St., Unit J.
Bristol, CT 06010

Please note: This warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may also have other rights which vary from state to state. Some states do not allow exclusion or limitations of incidental or consequential damages or limitations on how long an implied warranty lasts, therefore the above exclusion may not apply to you.

This warranty is in lieu of all other warranties, expressed or implied. Tiger Claw, Inc. does not make any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness of its products for a specific purpose.

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