Trex Decking: Pros and Cons

Trex sets the bar for composite decking

The perfect outdoor deck should be high-performance and low-maintenance. You didn’t work hard all week long to spend your free time on the weekends staining, painting and repairing your deck. You no doubt want something you won’t have to replace in a few years either.

Of course, when it comes right down to it, looks are important. This means that first and foremost your deck should look beautiful. There are more good-looking decking material choices these days compared to the past. Wood alternatives like PVC and composite decking materials mean you have more choices now, and Trex decking is one of the most popular choices when it comes to composites.

People that want a functional and beautiful deck that requires very little maintenance and upkeep often build a Trex deck. If you are considering having your deck builder use this environmentally-friendly and long-lasting decking material, there are a few things you should know first.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Trex decking to help you decide whether it’s the right option for you and your deck.

Trex Decking Pros

Less Time, Money and Effort on Maintenance

This is a biggie. Go the traditional wooden deck route and you are going to spend more money every year on maintenance than with a Trex composite deck. The HomeAdvisor website tells us that it costs between $540 and $1050 to stain the average wooden dec. That’s a big investment you need to make over and over to keep that wooden deck looking good.

Considering that you should stain your deck every 2 to 3 years, you are looking at a sizable cost over the life of a traditional wood deck. You should also take into consideration the manual labor involved in pressure-washing, sanding, staining and painting a wood deck year after year.

You will never need to stain or paint your Trex deck, and cleanup is as easy as slapping on a little soapy water.

Trex Decks are Environmentally-Friendly

Trex keeps plastic out of landfills

If you build a Trex deck that is 50 square feet you save over 140,000 plastic bags from making their way to a landfill. This composite decking material is made of a combination of plastic and wood, and the Trex company is committed to using recycled plastic and wood materials so they don’t have a negative impact on the environment.

This ecologically-conscious decision means that your beautiful Trex deck is 95% recycled sawdust, wood chips and fibers, wood pallets and a number of plastic items. Each year Trex is responsible for keeping 500 million pounds of wood and plastic from making its way to local dumps and landfills.

Plastic is rarely biodegradable. When it makes its way into our ground and waterways it does immeasurable damage. Unfortunately, the toxic chemicals which leak out of plastic are found in the blood and tissue of nearly every human being. Plastic that makes its way into lakes, streams and oceans harms and kills the animals that live there.

The World Economic Forum and Ellen MacArthur Foundation believe that if we don’t do something about the amount of plastic that ends up in our oceans, there will probably be more plastic in the oceans than fish by the year 2050. Every time you step out onto your Trex deck you should feel a sense of pride, knowing that you have you done your part to cut back on harmful and unnecessary wood and plastic waste.

Industry-Leading 25-Year Warranty and Superior Durability over Other Decking Materials

Trex decking materials come with a 25-year guarantee that they will not fade or stain. Ask any Trex deck owner and they will tell you their deck looks as beautiful as the day it was built. Wood gives in to the elements and time, but the plastic/wood combination in Trex decking material does not.

While wood can chip, splinter, split, warp and rot, your Trex deck is not susceptible to any of those conditions. This brings us to our next benefit of this durable decking material.

Trex Decks Are Safe

Wood that splinters, chips and rots is unsafe decking material. Mother Nature and Father Time combine to break down the structural integrity of all wood. It’s just a matter of time and the elements. The special texture and construction of Trex decking materials means it can hold its own against most wood decking materials.

Additionally, a Trex deck is not as slippery when wet as 100% plastic decking material. A deck that won’t rot means nobody will step through the flooring of your deck and get injured.

Not As Hot As All-Plastic or Pressure-Treated Decks

You don’t want the floor of your deck, your railings and seats to be hot to the touch. You may build the most beautiful outdoor entertainment center you have ever seen, but if you can’t walk or sit on it because it burns you, what good is it? There have been extensive studies performed on Trex decking material to see how it compares to other options as far as conducting heat.

Comparing similar colors, Trex composite decking does not get as hot as a deck made of all-plastic materials or stained pressure-treated woods.

Big Selection of Colors and Materials

Trex realizes that all homes don’t look alike. Different people have different ideas of what color would complement their homes. This is why Trex decking materials are offered in 23 different colors. You also have plenty of choices regarding texture, grain and materials. The Trex colors have fun names that give you an idea of what they look like, such as Island Mist, Tiki Torch and Spiced Rum.

A Trex Deck Is Termite and Insect-Proof

Wood rots while Trex does not

The composite structure of a Trex deck makes it termite-proof and insect-proof. Bugs can’t burrow into it, lay their eggs and cause a lot of damage. This means you don’t have to spend money replacing wood that has been infested by termites or other insects.

We mentioned earlier that one big benefit of a Trex deck is that it is safer than some other options. Many times the first sign you have of termites in wood is that someone gets injured. You lean, sit or walk on termite-riddled wood and it gives way, leading to an injury. That will never happen with a Trex deck.

Trex Decking Cons

Higher Initial Cost

Trex decking materials are comparatively more expensive than many other types of decking materials in upfront cost terms. If you are cost conscious this may be a problem. However, remember that you will not be spending hundreds of dollars every two or three years to stain your deck.

You can expect at least 25 years of durability and beauty out of your Trex deck. That means saving between $4,000 and $12,000 that you would have to spend staining your deck every two or three years. That’s a lot of money.

Not All Deck Builders Offer It

Trex decking is a beautiful, long-lasting and low-maintenance product. The unfortunate truth is that not all deck builders have experience with this durable composite material. Someone that is used to building wooden decks may not understand the differences that exist concerning constructing a Trex deck vs. wood decks.

Ask your deck builder if he has Trex decking experience. He should be able to provide pictures of previous jobs as proof of his ability.

Fasteners are More Expensive Than with a Wooden Deck

Here we are talking about money again, and it needs to be mentioned. If you are building a traditional pressure-treated lumber deck, the fasteners, screws or nails your builder uses are going to be relatively inexpensive.

That is not the case with some Trex building components like their hideaway fasteners. Ask your deck builder about hidden fasteners that give your deck a clean, screw-free appearance. They cost a bit more than screws and some other deck fastening systems, but you aren’t staring at the heads of screws or nails every few feet.

Summary

Many times in life we purchase something because it’s inexpensive. That cheap price tag is very attractive, but in most cases, you get what you pay for. If you would’ve spent some more money and paid for features like durability and fewer headaches, you would’ve spent less money over time.

That’s the case with Trex decking. It will probably cost you more upfront than wood and some other decking material choices. However, the low-maintenance, long-lasting beauty, variety of color choices and eco-friendly nature of a Trex deck means it more than pays for itself over time.

A seasoned deck builder, like Custom Deck & Pergola, can answer any questions you have about the pros and cons of Trex decking, so you can decide whether you want this durable and beautiful decking material to complement your home.

If you’re ready to ask about Trex, give us a call.