Trex Masterclass: Complete Guide to Trex Decks

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About the Author: David Perrotti

Dave has over 20 years of experience in the construction industry, is a Bestselling Home Improvement Author on Amazon, and constantly seeks to reinvent the remodeling industry. As a veteran of the Army and Air Force, Dave operates his business, Fine Home Contracting, on the core army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage.
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If you’re looking at rebuilding a deck or porch, selecting the best deck material is no small feat: Especially considering the wide range of options available in the market. Despite the huge number of options, a few select materials stand out as the most reliable and common, one of those being Trex. In the world of decking, Trex has distinguished itself as a premier choice, redefining the expectations for both aesthetics and performance. In this guide, we’ll run through a quick explanation of what Trex is and how best to use it, as well as compare the other most common material options.

What is Trex?

Trex decking is a composite deck material designed as an alternative to wood. Originated in 1988, Trex is advertised as a high-performance, eco-friendly option compared to natural wood, and comes in a variety of aesthetic finishes that mimic real wood.  Unlike wood, Trex doesn’t warp, crack, or splinter, requiring minimal upkeep, all without losing the look of natural wood.

Benefits of Trex include lower maintainance, longer lifespan, better ecological impact, and a wider variety of choices in color and texture than natural wood. Trex is also protected by a manufacturer warranty.

Trex vs Other Common Materials

When it comes to decking materials, the competition is fierce. Trex faces off against traditional wood, PVC, and other composites. Unlike wood, Trex doesn’t warp, crack, or splinter, requiring minimal upkeep. PVC, while low-maintenance, lacks the natural look and feel of Trex. We’ve arranged this table to make it easy to compare Trex and other materials for your project.

Qualities \ Deck MaterialsPressure-Treated WoodCedar/RedwoodComposite DeckingPVCHardwoodAluminumModified WoodPlastic Decking
Price (Average sqft cost)LowModerateModerate to HighHighHighHighHighModerate
Maintenance (1-5)43-422-33-42-332-3
Durability (1-5)33-43-54-54-544-53-4
Resistance to RottingModerate to LowHighHighHighHighHighHighHigh
Resistance to SplinteringModerateHighHighHighHighLowHighModerate
Color Retention (1-5)33-444-54-54-54-53-4
Environmental ImpactLowModerateVariesModerate to HighModerate to HighLowHighModerate to High
Installation Complexity (1-5)33-42-32-33-43-43-42-3
Aesthetic Variety (1-5)34-54-53-44-53-44-52-3
Temperature Resistance (1-5)3-43-444-54-54-54-53-4
Longevity (1-5)33-44-54-54-544-53-4

Costs and Install Timelines

Investing in a Trex deck involves a balance between cost and long-term value. While the initial investment might be higher than traditional wood, the reduced maintenance costs and extended lifespan make Trex a wise financial choice.

Aesthetic Options

Your home is an extension of your style, and that should apply to your deck as well. Trex offers a myriad of aesthetic options to cater to diverse tastes. From classic wood tones to contemporary hues, incorporating your chosen colors and design themes is far easier with composite than trying to incorporate a matching natural wood to your scheme.

Trex Vs Pressure Treated Wood

While pressure-treated wood has its merits, and has long been the go-to product for new and replacement decks, Trex outshines it in terms of durability, maintenance, and environmental impact.

Pressure-treated wood, while a popular and cost-effective choice, is susceptible to rot over time, necessitating regular maintenance. Splintering is also a potential issue with wood decks, posing safety concerns and requiring vigilance in upkeep. In the battle against insects, pressure-treated wood offers some resistance, but the efficacy diminishes over years, leaving the deck vulnerable.

Trex stands out as more resilient against common concerns like rotting, splintering, and insect damage. Engineered with a blend of recycled wood fibers and high-performance polymers, Trex decks exhibit exceptional resistance to decay and insect infestations, ensuring longevity without the need for constant upkeep.

FAQs:

What is the lifespan of a Trex deck compared to a wood deck?2023-12-11T14:54:57+00:00

Trex decks typically have a longer lifespan compared to wood decks. While the exact duration depends on various factors, Trex’s resistance to rot, warping, and insect damage contributes to its longevity.

What are the most environmentally conscious deck materials?2023-12-11T14:54:36+00:00

Several deck materials are known for their environmentally conscious attributes, considering factors such as sustainability, recyclability, and overall environmental impact. Trex, a leading composite decking brand, utilizes a significant amount of recycled materials, including reclaimed wood and recycled plastic. Decking made from recycled plastic, often derived from post-consumer materials like plastic bottles and bags, is a sustainable choice. Some PVC decking manufacturers prioritize eco-friendly practices by using recycled PVC and incorporating technologies to reduce environmental impact during production.

What is Trex made of?2023-12-11T14:53:19+00:00

Trex is made of a combination of recycled wood fibers and high-performance polymers, creating a composite material that mimics the natural look of wood without the associated maintenance challenges.

How much does it cost to build a deck?2023-06-01T16:08:20+00:00

The cost of building a deck varies based on factors such as size, materials, and design. On average, you can expect to spend between $120 and $200 per square foot for a basic deck installation with labor and materials included. However, complex designs or high-end materials can increase the cost. Other costs include fees paid to designers and architects where drawn plans are needed, costs to pull permits based on your locality, and possibly overhead costs such as for a demolition dumpster or porta-potties for workers.

Can I install a deck myself, or do I need to hire a professional?2023-06-01T16:06:45+00:00

While it’s possible to install a deck yourself, hiring a professional is recommended, especially for larger or more complex projects. Professional deck builders have the necessary skills, experience, and tools to ensure a safe and well-constructed deck that complies with building codes. Depending on your location, your deck may require a permit to be pulled, which we would recommend hiring a contractor for.

What are some signs that indicate my deck needs repair?2023-06-01T16:06:01+00:00

There are several signs that indicate your deck may need repair. These include loose or rotting boards, wobbly handrails or stairs, visible cracks, or signs of water damage. If you notice any of these issues, it’s essential to address them promptly to prevent further damage and ensure the safety of your deck.

Can I renovate my existing deck instead of building a new one?2023-06-01T16:05:41+00:00

Yes, you can renovate an existing deck to update its appearance or enhance its functionality. Renovations can include replacing worn-out boards, upgrading the railing system, adding built-in seating or lighting, or expanding the deck’s size. Assess your deck’s condition and consult with a professional to determine the best renovation options for your specific needs.

About the Author: David Perrotti

Dave has over 20 years of experience in the construction industry, is a Bestselling Home Improvement Author on Amazon, and constantly seeks to reinvent the remodeling industry. As a veteran of the Army and Air Force, Dave operates his business, Fine Home Contracting, on the core army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage.

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