Case Studies — Plugging into Perfection

Starborn's Smart Bit Pro Plug Decking System Combines Beauty and Long Term Durability

For a new high-end Ipe wood deck, this New Jersey homeowner selected the Starborn Smart Bit Pro Plug System for its proven strength of face screwing and its finished “no visible screws” aesthetics.

Alain Bagagem began learning his craft as an eight-year-old working with his father to build and renovate homes throughout New Jersey. More than 20 years later, Alain
Bagagem Contracting, Inc. of Wall Township, New Jersey is responsible for building everything from 3,500 square-foot luxury estates to high-end kitchen redesigns, decking, roofing and additions.

Recently, these services included the replacement of a 270 square-foot cedar deck with a 600 square-foot Ipe deck in Tinton Falls, N.J. “The existing deck was already warped when we first moved in,” offers Marc McKinley, the home’s owner. “So, we were not only interested in greatly increasing our outdoor living space with a high-end look for entertaining, we were also concerned about structural safety.”

For fastening the Ipe deck boards, Bagagem selected the Smart-Bit Pro Plug System due to its ability to install perfect and consistent wood plugs in half the time of other
plugging methods. Designed by Starborn Industries to combine the proven strength of face screwing with the aesthetics of hidden fasteners, the system includes the Pro Plug Tool for Wood and Pro Plug Plug & Fastener Kits, making it the ideal solution for perfectly
installing plugs in more than 20 species of wood used in both decking and flooring applications.

“Time is money and while most customers love the finished look of plugged holes, they’re reluctant to pay for the added time and energy it takes to do it correctly,” explains Bagagem. “With the Pro Plug System, it only takes about 20 seconds to drill and plug each hole, which in the end can greatly reduce the overall time to plug an entire deck. It is also incredibly easy to use since it includes everything you need.”

The Starborn Smart Bit Pro Plug system drills uniform holes for stainless steel decking screws that are the perfect size for their plugs. Glue in the plug, sand and seal the deck as usual and it is a seamless thing of lasting beauty.

The process begins with the Pro Plug Tool, which pre-drills and counter-bores the Ipe deck boards. Next is the installation of the stainless steel fasteners, which are included in the plug and fastener kits.

Once the screw is installed, the Pro Plug Glue Nozzle (also included in the plug and fastener kits) is used to coat the sides of the hole. Finally, Bagagem inserts the plug and then sands and seals the deck surface to provide “an even, finished look that doesn’t reveal screw heads.”

Starborn offers a wide variety of screw types including Cap-Tor XD, Deckfast Epoxy and Headcote 305/316 painted-head stainless steel.

“The only people that enjoy the results of the Smart-Bit Pro Plug System for Wood more than me are the customers,” says Bagagem. “The system provides beautiful aesthetics in less than half the time it takes to do plugging the traditional way, which means I can also charge less for the same great finished project.”

“Plus, face-down screwing is the only way to go for long-term strength and durability. This is an ideal system for combining high-end professional looks with the durability and integrity that every exterior structure in this area of the country requires.”

“We couldn’t be happier with the finished product,” adds McKinley. “It looks like a finished wood floor without the screw heads. The plugs blend so well with the deck boards, you can’t even see them.”

For more information on the Smart Bit Pro Plug System for Wood, please visit the website or contact Starborn Industries at 800- 596-7747.