Category Archives: Deck Tools

How to Properly Use End Seal

Here you can see exactly what happens to your hardwood decking when you don't end seal the cuts.

Here you can see exactly what happens to your hardwood decking when you don’t end seal the cuts.

In the past there have been some miscommunications with how to properly use End Seal & Ipe Oil. These are two equally important deck protectants, and when used properly, they will prolong the life of your deck.

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Proper Installation will Prevent Decking Problems

Installing Ipe Decking

Learn how to Prevent Problems and Future Decking Maintenance

The best way to prevent decking problems is to ensure that your deck was installed correctly in the first place.

Here are five crucial steps that will prolong the life of your deck:

1) Buy decking that is premium grade. When shopping for exotic hardwoods like ipe, it’s important to know the difference between premium/clear grade and common grade.

  • Common/Select Grade – Contains sap wood and visible knots & worm holes. Common grade also can be poorly milled (called hit and miss planing). Common grade also has a huge color variance from very light blond to almost black wood.
  • Premium/Clear – Best grade, period. All heart and no sapwood. Carefully milled material which highlights the well-blended colors with some boards showing their natural accents. Continue reading

Ipe Deck Screws

ipe decking screwsWhat are the best screws to use on ipe decking? Star drive screws work great when installing ipe decking. Remember, with hardwoods as dense as ipe, we highly recommend pre-drilling. Trust us, it will save you loads of time and aggravation and will prolong the life of your deck.

We recommend Star drive screws for many practical reasons:

  • Excellent durability
  • Extreme holding power
  • Long-lasting corrosion resistance
  • Easily resists cam out & stripping

Another great reason to buy Star drive screws? You less of them and end up saving more in the long run.

Check out our selection of premium stainless steel deck screws.

Deck Calculator – Convert Square Feet to Linear Feet

Do you need to convert square feet to linear feet?

Check out our handy Wood Decking Calculator. It works perfectly for both standard & pre-grooved decking. You’re also covered covered when it comes to converting square footage of tongue and groove decking into linear footage.

When completing your deck design, having decking calculators and square footage converters at your disposal will save you time, and money.

At Advantage Trim & Lumber our goal is to always make your buying experience smooth and easy. This is why we provide the tools you need to build your deck successfully. If you can think of any deck tools that you’d like to see us create, contact us and let us know!

How to Install Deck Fasteners from the Ipe Clip ® Company

I’ve talked about deck fasteners before and why they are the best tool you can use to ensure a long lasting and clean deck for years to come. I have gotten some wonderful feedback emailed to me from people who wanted to learn more and to see a demonstration of how the Ipe Clip® brand of hidden deck fasteners work. The guys over at the Ipe Clip® have been kind enough to share with me a video they posted that shows just how one of their exclusive brands of deck fasteners, the Ipe Clip Extreme™, makes installing air-dried wood easier than ever before. Without further adieu…


If you’re getting ready to build a deck, I can’t recommend these hidden deck fasteners enough. They have helped a great number of deck builders and homeowners save time and money. Best of all, they all have a blemish free deck surface that looks clean and elegant.

Deck Fasteners Will Save You Time & Money

Building a deck is something that you want done right the first time without any regrets. One sure way to have a deck that you can look at years from now and still feel great about is through making sure that your initial deck installation is done correctly and efficiently.

Let’s face it…how awesome would it be to take that first step out onto your deck and see a clean

and smooth deck without any nails or popups?

If that’s the deck you want to have, then using deck fasteners are highly recommended. One of the most cost-efficient and effective deck fasteners systems on the market today is made by the Ipe Clip® brand.

Ipe Clip® deck fasteners have the following features: Continue reading

A Deck Tool That’s Easy to Use & Built to Last

If you’ve ever tried building a deck one of the most annoying and agonizing things to do is deck board straightening. This is why Advantage Lumber offers the best deck tool on the market, the  Hardwood Wrench™ Deck Board Straightening Tool. This deck tool has been designed to straighten bowed decking boards without any extra effort on your part. I think you’ll be hard pressed to find a deck board wrench that has been engineered to straighten even some of the toughest hardwoods like ipe not too mention decking such as pressure-treated lumber, cedar, etc.

The Hardwood Wrench makes installing a deck really simple since it speeds up installation for a more precise and clean installation process. Plus, because the hardwood wrench cam locks into place and allows you to fasten the deck board while the wrench holds the deck board straight, there is no need for a second person to hold the deck board. I’m sure you can agree that freeing up that extra set of hands is important because they can be off doing something more productive. So, if you find yourself short on manpower, the hardwood wrench can deliver true hands free “one man” operation.

The Hardwood Wrench is a deck tool that has the following features: Continue reading