FastenMaster Cortex System for PVC Trim

By Todd Fratzel on Siding & Trim

Cortex Concealed Fastening System

Last week I had the pleasure of attending another building trade show. One of the products that really caught my eye was the Cortex Concealed Fastening System for PVC Trim from FastenMaster.

Anyone that’s been following this site knows that we’re huge fans of PVC trim on both residential and commercial projects. While PVC trim provides a long term low maintenance option the installation can be challenging. One of the challenges is installing the PVC trim with sufficient fasteners to prevent significant thermal movement.

In the past we’ve been successful using stainless steel ring shank nails. However, the nails then need to be painted so they don’t stick out like a sore thumb!

A Better Solution

Needless to say when we saw a demonstration on the Cortex System we were sold! FastenMaster offers two different products that are geared towards PVC Trim including the Cortex System and TrimTop. For this article we’ll just focus on the Cortex System but keep in mind they do offer two systems.

Using the Cortex System offers two major benefits over traditional nailing.

  • Screws offer better pull out resistance and shear strength.
  • Cortex comes with matching plugs that fit into the hole created by the screw. The Cortex System is available for PVC trim from AZEK, Kleer and Versatex.

Easy Installation

Installation of PVC trim using the Cortex System is really easy. Each box of Cortex fasteners comes with the setting tool and PVC plugs. The fasteners can be installed using a standard 18V impact driver with the supplied setting tool. The tool assures that the fastener is installed to the proper depth. After the screw is installed the PVC plug can be tapped into the hole with a hammer. Its really as simple as that.

Future Review

Be sure to keep an eye out for a future review. On our next project that requires PVC trim we’ll put the Cortex System to the test and report back to everyone. We’re fairly certain that we’ll be hooked based on the demonstration we saw last week.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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