(See images.) I'm trying to temporarily remove this plank of the deck to access the space beneath. The plank is being held in place by a type of fastener I'm not familiar with. Do you know what kind of fastener this is and how I should remove it? Deck Fastener Closeup Deck Fastener Scale Deck Fastener Context Additional Details

I will need to put the plank back in it's current place after I'm done, so I can't damage the plank too much. I am willing to destroy the fastener, if necessary, and replace it with a new fastener of the same type or a different type. I don't yet know what is under the plank; it could be concrete, wood, brick, or something else. I tried cutting a slot in one of these fasteners and then I turned it with a slotted screwdriver. It just turns in place and does not come up, so I think it's either not a screw or it's completely stripped. Should I just grind the head off with a Dremel or is there a better way? Thanks in advance.

  • Are those cement fiber planks or wood planks? The fastener almost looks almost like a rivet. Shouldn't need to worry about re-using the fastener. Modern deck screws are probably gonna be far superior these days. Is it not possible/easier to access the underside from the side rather than going in through the top?
    – TylerH
    Oct 22, 2021 at 19:54
  • Looks like a solid rivet. Drilling/grinding/ or a big hammer and shearing are the ways to remove.
    – crip659
    Oct 22, 2021 at 20:10
  • My answer assumes the fastener is made of metal, but I guess I should have made sure. Looks like metal, and you suggested grinding so...
    – JPhi1618
    Oct 22, 2021 at 20:13
  • Underneath is the prefer location, don't usually need to be as careful about damage. If doing it from the good side, a drill will usually cause less damage than other tools, might only need to drill the head away and plank should come up.
    – crip659
    Oct 22, 2021 at 20:34
  • The planks are Trex or something similar.
    – Craig
    Oct 22, 2021 at 20:43

2 Answers 2


This looks like a type of concrete wedge anchor that you insert and then hammer down the "nail" to set it.

concrete anchor

These are not made to be removable. Cutting off the head is one option, or you can drill out the nail portion. You have to drill out the entire nail tho, all the way to the bottom to release the wedging force holding it in.

I'm not sure why these would be used on a deck. Maybe there is another version made for use with the engineered decking. Maybe there is brick or concrete block under this board.

There are several types of removable concrete anchors you can use to reinstall the board if there is concrete or brick under it.

  • Drilling till the head/big round piece is removed should be enough to remove the plank.
    – crip659
    Oct 22, 2021 at 20:38
  • @crip659, Thats true - I'm worried about being able to hold it still. He says it rotates with a screwdriver. Might have to get creative to stop it from rotating while drilling.
    – JPhi1618
    Oct 22, 2021 at 20:40
  • 2
    If the whole head is turning, fastener might not be holding well as it should. Very careful use of a ply bar might be enough
    – crip659
    Oct 22, 2021 at 20:47
  • This looks like it's probably the right answer. The distinct circle within the fastener head makes me think it is probably this type of wedge rather than a rivet. I'll mark this answer correct tomorrow unless other more plausible ideas come in later today.
    – Craig
    Oct 22, 2021 at 20:53
  • Good point about the rotating fastener potentially meaning it's not holding. Unfortunately, there are one or two more of the same fastener holding this plank. I haven't tried cutting slots in the other(s) yet. (It's hard to get the cutoff wheel in there without damaging the plank.) There are also some rusted screws that I need to drill.
    – Craig
    Oct 22, 2021 at 20:57

Remove the plank next to this one then use a saw or oscillating tool to cut the fastener below the plank.

  • Great idea if they aren't all fastened with these. That cut will be clean and easy.
    – JPhi1618
    Oct 22, 2021 at 20:28
  • it seems to be only this plank in the photo, possibly there is building foundation below it instead of deck joists.
    – Jasen
    Oct 22, 2021 at 20:31
  • I think there are pieces of metal locking the planks together, so I don't think I can (nondestructively) remove a central plank without first removing a plank beside it. In other words, I have to start from the one on the edge that's screwed down. Once that one is up, the next one should be trivial to remove.
    – Craig
    Oct 22, 2021 at 20:49

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