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Stuff We Love: Deck Products

If you're thinking about a new deck or re-decking your existing one, use these proven products that were tested and approved by the editors here at Family Handyman.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

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This week on Stuff We Love we have some amazing deck products that we’ve found to be essential for an efficient and lasting decking installation. Below assistant editor Mike Berner discusses these great decking innovations in the video, then read on for additional details and where to buy them.

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Azek Vintage Decking

The natural hardwood aesthetics of this line of Azek decking make it a great choice for any new deck or re-decking project. It comes in three widths that allow you to be more creative in your deck design. Other features include:

  • Scratch and dent-resistant;
  • Stays cool — Azek claims 30 degrees cooler than competitors;
  • Superior color retention, designed not to fade over time;
  • Mold and moisture resistant — no wood fillers in core, and full four-sided cap gives better moisture resistance;
  • Better traction — fewer slips and falls because of hard wood-grained surface;
  • Comes in 3-1/2-, 5-1/2- and 7-1/4-in. widths;
  • Available with grooved and non-grooved edges in standard board lengths.

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Azek Cortex Screws and Plugs

This is one of the best plug systems we’ve encountered. It’s easy to match the grain of the plug with your decking, and the Torx tap system bit puts the screw at the perfect depth to receive the plug. The collated plugs allow you to hold the plug in place and knock it in flush without your fingers getting in the way. This system perfectly conceals your screws. It’s great for those places where you can’t use deck clips and you need to face screw your decking.

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TimberTech Pro-Tac Joist Tape

If you’re investing in new decking, you want the framing under it to last. This Pro-Tac joist tape will ensure a lasting joist system under your deck and is so worth the time and investment to install it. It comes in five widths that will accommodate most joists and beams. The wider tape is also great for flashing ledgers attached to your house, or doors leading to your deck. This is a terrific product for any re-decking and new decking applications.

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If you want to invest the time and effort to create a lasting, well-designed, and beautiful deck, all these Azek products by Timbertech come highly recommended by our Shop Manager Josh Risberg. Using all of this great Azek stuff, Josh completed his deck which can be seen in this Stuff We Love video.

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Camo Lever

If you’re working with hardwood decking, this Camo Lever is a must-have. Even with more pliable composite or PVC decking, it still makes the job easier to have one on hand. It’s a great time-saver, especially if you’re working solo and want your decking courses to be placed accurately. The Camo lever is simple in concept but has some great features:

  • Compact size;
  • Heavier duty construction — the joist pins will not bend under stress;
  • Versatile — fits all joists and double joists as well as metal framing with simple adjustment on the tool;
  • The design doesn’t interfere with fastening on the joist. The cam and handle sit to the side of the joist, not directly over it when locked in position.

NOTE: The Camo Lever was incorrectly quoted at $200 in our accompanying Stuff We Love video. The actual price is about $110 online and at home centers.

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Camo Edge Clips

If you are installing grooved wood or composite decking, you’ll want hidden deck fasteners that are strong and easy to work with. The Camo Edge clips are both of those things and more.

These Camo clips perform above most other manufacturers’ clips in lateral movement tests and make for consistent one pass fastening. They create an optimal 3/16-in. spacing between deck boards and are easy to install, especially with Camo’s Never-Miss Guide or their stand up Camo Drive tool.  The Camo clips come in a few varieties that allow you to work with diagonal decking, metal framing and starter courses.

We did some decking recently using these Camo products and found them all to perform as promised. Thanks to Camo we had a productive afternoon of solo decking installation.

Bill Bergmann
“Bungalow” Bill Bergmann is an associate editor at Family Handyman. He’s been a licensed contractor/builder for more than 20 years. For him, there’s nothing better than taking out a few walls to make people happier in their homes.