Frequently Asked Questions

General

Why are Trex® outdoor living products better than timber? Top

Trex products offer superior durability and performance that you can’t get from timber. Trex decking resists termites, won’t rot, warp, or splinter and never needs staining or painting. What’s more, Trex decking is made from 95% recycled materials, making it an environmentally-friendly choice you can feel great about.

If Trex is made from recycled materials, why is it more expensive than timber? Top

While most of the raw materials used in making Trex are recycled, these materials are carefully processed to ensure the highest level of quality and performance. The end result is decking that performs better than timber, lowering your cost over time through lesser maintenance. To learn more please review our Always Green page.

What is the lifetime value of Trex? Top

With pressure-treated timber decks, maintenance costs add up over time. Although Trex costs more initially, you’ll never have to sand, stain or paint your Trex deck. Over the life of your deck, those reduced maintenance costs add up to a greater value than timber – not to mention the value of all the time you get to spend enjoying your deck rather than working on it.

What is the difference between early-generation and the newer, high performance composite decking? Top

Understanding the differences between early-generation Trex decking and new high-performance Trex decking is an important factor in understanding what to expect from different kinds of decking. There is one benefit both products have in common. Each is made from 95% recycled materials. Everything else is different:

Early Generation Trex
Early-generation composite decking (Trex Origins®, Trex Accents®, Trex Profiles®, Trex Brasilia® and Trex Contours®) represented a breakthrough for low-maintenance and durability. While timber decking inevitably suffered splinters, warping and rotting, and required considerable maintenance, early-generation Trex never had to be stained and did not rot, warp or twist like timber. Periodic cleanings with a composite deck cleaner were far easier than the dreaded sanding and staining required to maintain timber decks. As the category evolved, this early-generation composite was offered in additional colours and with grain patterns that offered a more natural appearance. Even so, all early generation wood-plastic composites, whether Trex or a competitor's product, were not stain, scratch or mould-free, and did fade slightly in colour as they naturally weathered. To address these issues, Trex introduced a new kind of high-performance decking in 2010. As of 2014, Trex no longer manufactures any early-generation composite decking.

Newer-Generation High Performance Trex Decking
Newer-generation Trex deck boards (Trex Transcend®, Trex Enhance® and Trex Contour) are manufactured with a high-performance shell that wraps around the composite board to protect it from the elements, providing resistance to fading, staining, scratching and mould. In addition to improved performance, the shell technology offers:

  • Easier maintenance: requiring only an occasional cleaning with soap and water or a pressure washer.
  • Enhanced aesthetics: richer, long-lasting color palettes and natural timber grain patterns.
  • Incremental warranty protection: a 25-year limited residential fade and stain warranty

Beyond using recycled materials, what other environmentally-friendly practices does Trex employ? Top

Our manufacturing process recycles factory runoff and refuse back into the manufacturing line. Within our plant, the trailers that carry product run on vegetable-based oil hydraulics. Because of all these environmentally friendly practices, Trex is a member of the USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council) and Trex products contribute to a building’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) points. Review Always Green page for even more information.

Can you send me product samples? Top

You can find Trex samples at your local dealer.

Decking and Railing

What materials are used in the manufacturing of Trex® decks? Top

Trex decking is made from 95% recycled materials, including reclaimed timber and sawdust as well as recycled plastic from many common household items, such as the plastic overwrap on packaging for paper towels and toilet paper, dry cleaner bags, newspaper bags, grocery and shopping bags. Trex annually salvages and keeps more than 400 million pounds of plastic and timber scrap out of landfills. That makes Trex one of the largest plastic film recyclers in the U.S. In fact, the average 500-square-foot composite Trex deck contains 140,000 recycled plastic bags.

Will Trex products weather (change color/fade)? Top

Newer generation high-performance composites like Trex Transcend®, Trex Enhance® and Trex Contour – have a protective shell technology that provides superior fade and stain resistance.

Does Trex decking get hotter than pressure-treated timber under the sun? Top

On a hot day with a blazing sun, nearly any surface will get uncomfortably hot. Lighter colored boards tend to be slightly cooler than darker composite boards. In extensive studies, it has been found that the colour of the decking board, regardless if it’s made of timber-plastic composite or timber is the most significant factor in the “heat retention” of the board. In these studies, pressure-treated timber stained the same color as Trex was actually hotter than Trex in the same test conditions.

How much does Trex decking and railing cost? Top

As with many things in life, you get what you pay for. Initially, Trex decking and railing does cost more, board for board, than timber decking and railing; however, the payoff you get over time in decreased maintenance costs and increased leisure time provides compelling value -- so much so, that you’ll often see Trex decks referenced in the listings of homes for sale as an indicator of quality and value that homeowners and real estate agents tout when selling a home. Of course, the real value is in the time that you enjoy spending outdoors on your Trex deck.

Is Trex suitable for use in commercial settings? Top

The breadth of the Trex lineup means that there are Trex products to suit nearly any residential or commercial need. Trex decking is widely used in commercial and public projects throughout the U.S. and around the world, ranging from a landing at Mt. Rushmore and a resort in Dubai, to a pier in Philadelphia and New Jersey-shore boardwalks replacing those destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.

How heavy is Trex decking? Top

Trex boards are 50-70% heavier than comparable lumber sections.

Is Trex code-compliant? Top

All Trex products, when properly installed for approved applications, are either code compliant or are undergoing rigorous code compliance review for the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) and/or the 2009 International Building Code (IBC). Check with your local building code department for jurisdictional requirements.

Is Trex structural? Top

Trex wood plastic composite products are not structural and should only be used for intended design purposes such as walking surfaces and guardrail systems.

Can Trex be curved? Top

Dramatic curves are a hallmark of Trex decking and railing. Trex composite decking and composite railing can be curved using the Trex CustomCurve® system and still be covered by the Trex warranty.

Can a groove be cut in the side of a Trex deck board? Top

Yes, a groove can be cut in the side of Trex decking by using our Trex Groove Cutter to accept our recommended secret fixings, a system that enables deck installation without visible screw heads on the walking surface. More conveniently, Trex decking is also available in pre-grooved profiles, ready to install with our Trex Hideaway® Hidden Fastening System.

Can you rip a Trex board? Top

Trex products should not be ripped to reduce thickness, but can be ripped to reduce width. As long as the board can still be installed per the installation instructions, the warranty will be valid. Please use care when fastening ripped boards, as pre-drilling may be necessary.

Can Trex deck boards be glued? Top

Glue cannot be used as a primary fastener. When using Trex Fascia, glue can be used as a secondary fastener – see Fascia instructions in the Installation Guide for more details.

Can Trex be placed over a solid surface? Top

Trex can only be installed over a solid surface when using a sleeper system; see the sleeper system guidelines in our Installation Guide.

Can I paint or stain my Trex boards? Top

The unyielding shell of our high-performance decking–Trex Transcend, Trex Enhance and Trex Contour–means it never needs painting or staining. The rich colour and protective finish are engineered right into the shell, and are warranted to remain free of rotting, splitting, splintering and insect damage for 25 years.

What makes the Trex Transcend Tropical deck boards different from the rest of the Transcend product line? Top

The signature streaking of Trex tropical boards is achieved through a proprietary process, resulting in a beautifully unique, organic look for every tropical board we produce. This subtle colour variation offers the look of luxurious tropical hardwoods, like ipe decks, but without the environmental strain of harvesting endangered timbers.

Can I use a non-recommended fastener to install Trex decking? Top

Trex does not endorse the use of any non-recommended fastener. If any condition occurs which is attributable to the use of a non-recommended fastener, such conditions would not be covered under the Trex Limited Warranty. Please see our Installation Guide for more information.

Care & Cleaning

Can Trex decking be sanded or power washed? Top

Trex should never be sanded. Sanding will change the appearance and protective qualities of the Trex material and will void the warranty with respect to any condition caused by sanding.

For our early generation composite decking (Trex Accents, Trex Origins, Trex Brasilia, Trex Profiles or Trex Contours), Trex does not recommend the use of a power washer. Use of a power washer will damage the decking surface and will void the warranty with respect to any condition caused by the power washing.

Trex high-performance decking (Trex Transcend, Trex Enhance and Trex Contour) can be power washed. Use only a fan tip and up to a 3100 psi power washer to remove soil and debris. The fan tip should be no closer than 8 inches (20.4 cm) away from the protective shell during use.

Is Trex decking no-maintenance Top

Trex decking requires far lower maintenance than wood decking, but does require some maintenance to keep it looking good throughout the years, much like washing your car. For early generation composite decking (Trex Accents), periodic cleaning with a deck wash is required. Trex high-performance decking (Trex Transcend, Trex Enhance and Trex Contour) require less work – a simple soap and water cleaning is all that is necessary to maintain the beauty of the products.

How do I remove ground soil from construction of my Trex Transcend decking? Top

A pressure washer with no greater than 3100 psi***** that has a fan attachment/adjustment and soap dispenser may be used to remove soil, concrete dust, or other types of construction soil. Spray deck with soap, and then follow by gently scrubbing each deck board with a soft bristle brush. Spray/rinse each individual deck board using fan tip no closer than 8” from the decking surface. RINSE THOROUGHLY. If dirty water from cleaning is left to dry, this will cause a film to remain on the decking surface. ***** Use of a pressure washer greater than 3100 psi could damage the boards and void the warranty

Can I use rock salt to melt ice on my Trex decking? Top

Calcium chloride or rock salt can be used to melt ice and snow on Trex decking. Care should be taken to rinse off when the weather makes this practical. Use plastic shovels (never metal) to remove snow and ice. A metal shovel can possibly chip the decking surface and void the warranty.

How can I clean my Trex Transcend railing? Top

For colour transfer issues (colour transfer can happen when baluster spacers rub against balusters during installation), use Mr. Clean®, Magic Eraser® Original or Magic Eraser® Extra Power to help remove this. For small surface scratches, marks or scuffs, use Dupli-Color Scratch Seal® Clear Sealer Pen. Never use acetone or other solvents on Transcend or Select railing.

Trex® DeckLighting

Can I use a different transformer with my Trex® DeckLighting? Top

Trex requires that you use only the Trex transformer supplied with our lighting. Using any other transformer voids the warranty.