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A truly flawless finish

No unsightly nails, the perfect gaps and no splitting – the ShadowDeck™ Nail Free Timber Decking System sets the standard when it comes to building the deck your clients will love

After more than 13 years as New Zealand’s leading decking system, ShadowDeck™ continues to set the standard for nail-free timber decks.

“With a proven track record of delighting customers nationwide, the ShadowDeck™ system is expertly designed and engineered to withstand the elements and create a better looking, longer lasting natural timber deck,“ says founder Darrel Grace.

“Landscape architects who specify, and landscapers who use, ShadowDeck™ construct award-winning and longer-lasting timber decks, with an unbeatable finish that amazes customers.”

Build it and they will come

However, the recipe for this flawless finish wasn’t drafted overnight. Thirteen years ago, after more than two decades in building, Darrel was completely over the traditional approach to decking – face fixing boards using nails or screws inserted at a 90-degree angle.

“For years, I was frustrated and annoyed watching quality hardwood decking deteriorating prematurely due to the traditional drill, nail and punch techniques of deck building,” he explains.

“Timber expands and contracts naturally, which causes nails and screws to pop and timber to split. Plus, the rusting of the nails mars decking timber and uneven gaps between the decking diminish the look of quality hardwood.”

When Darrel decided he wanted to build his own deck at his Titirangi home, the status quo wouldn’t do.

“This desire for an unbeatable deck finish using natural timber became a bit of an all-consuming passion for me,” he admits. “But, three years later, the Shadow Hidden Deck Fastening system made it a reality.”

The beauty is in the detail

Since introducing ShadowDeck™ to the New Zealand market, Darrel has been thrilled with the massive, positive response to the system and overwhelmed with demand by Kiwis wanting the perfect deck.

However, he says its beauty is more than grain deep.

“It’s the only BRANZ-appraised nail-free decking system in the country, which means a lot for client’s peace of mind when moving away from traditional methods,” says Darrel. “But it’s not only clients who reap benefits of using ShadowDeck™ – landscapers are pleasantly surprised at how easy the system is to install.”

The system uses FSC-certified, kiln-dried Kwila boards which are pre-grooved, 21mm thick instead of the standard 19mm, have a domed profile to help shed water, all of which helps increase durability, stabilises the timber and prevents cupping.

The system is fixed with hidden UV-resistant nylon side fasteners that slot easily into the side of the pre-grooved boards, creating a perfect 3mm gap between boards. The side fasteners are secured with high-quality German Spax screws at a 45-degree angle, which allows for a much stronger system than face fixing.

“With face fixing, you’ve only got the holding power of 4 to 5mm screw or nail. With this system, 60mm screws are fastened at a 45-degree angle, which gives you significantly greater holding power! Plus, water isn’t able to run down the screw and penetrate the wood, making it stronger and more durable over time.”

Make your life easier

Darrel says that, in the end, using ShadowDeck™ will make a landscaper’s life easier.

“No matter how good you are with a hammer, there’s always a chance you miss a nail and dent the wood, or don’t get them all in a perfect line. Given how much Kiwis love their decks, why not avoid the possibility entirely while ensuring they get the unbeatable finish they actually want?”

ShadowDeck™ is available nationwide at PlaceMakers.


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