Trex decking is trendy, tough, and not at all temporary
You don’t build a deck just to look at it. You build a deck to grill out with the family, sip a cup of coffee in the morning, lounge in the sun, and entertain alfresco. A deck that can live up to your expectations must be durable, easy to maintain, and, let’s just say it, pretty.
Traditional wood decks must be treated and maintained regularly to withstand dragging your lounge chair into the direct sun, among other things. Even with regular staining and sealing, your deck will eventually give in to the elements—if you have a wood deck, that is.
Composite decking like Trex gives you wood deck vibes without the hassle and expense required to maintain it. If you’ve been considering Trex decking, keep reading. This guide breaks down everything you need to know about Trex decks: their benefits, drawbacks, and whether the popular composite brand is right for your home.
What Is Trex Decking?
Trex decking refers to a brand of composite decking produced by the company Trex. It’s a closely-resembled alternative to wood, with a few prime upgrades. Trex advertises its decking as "high-performance" and "eco-friendly," and claims that the material will maintain its color even after years of abuse from the sun and elements. Additionally, the material can be made to mimic different kinds of wood, such as cedar or redwood.
What Are Some of the Benefits of Trex Decking?
Trex makes a strong case for its composite materials as an alternative to wood, with three main benefits standing out above all.
It Costs Almost Nothing to Maintain
The big benefit of Trex, and any other composite decking, is increased durability. All you need is soap and water to keep the boards looking like new. So while you will pay more upfront to install Trex (more on this below), you may recoup those costs when considering how much it costs to repair or replace a regular wood deck.
It Lasts Much Longer Than Wood Decks
While a standard wood deck eventually succumbs to the weather, Trex decking lasts for a very long time, more than 25 years. By comparison, a wood deck typically lasts 10 to 15 years. Trex decking won’t rot or warp as easily as wood, and you won’t need to paint or stain the material either. It’s also resistant to termites and damage from the elements.
It’s Made Using Mostly Recycled Materials
Composite wood is typically built from a blend of wood, plastic, and additives. However, Trex claims that they have "never felled a single tree," and that 95% of the materials used to make it are recycled. It’s truly an eco-friendly solution for homeowners who are concerned about their environmental footprint on the Earth.
What Are Some of the Drawbacks of Trex Decking?
Although Trex can claim some advantages, there are two main drawbacks interested buyers must consider before going all in.
The Price Is Pretty Hefty
Lumber used to construct a wood deck costs between $1 and $5 per square foot, while Trex decking costs can reach $9 to $16 per square foot.
In contrast, it costs $1,663 on average to repair a deck. Calculate the costs of common wood deck maintenance and repairs to decide if the high upfront Trex price tag is right for you.
The Boards Do Not Look Exactly Like Wood
Composite decking tries its darndest to mimic the look of wood, but it will never be perfect. Homeowners who crave that authentic wood look and feel may find composites too polished and refined for their tastes.
Is Trex Decking Worth the Price?
Deciding whether Trex decking—or any type of composite material—is worth the higher upfront price depends on your priorities. Here are a few things you should consider before making a decision.
Are you ok with the look and feel of composites? Are you a wood purist who would be disappointed in anything other than authentic wood boards, or does composite get it right enough? Rich colors and textured graining can go a long way in making Trex boards look the part, but you’ll need to study samples to be sure.
How important is the price? Are you more interested in long-term savings, or will upfront costs sway your decision? Trex offers low-maintenance decks at a premium price, so you’ll have to decide which feature is more important.
How handy are you? Weekends are valuable. While some love to take on projects in their spare time, others just want to kick up their feet and use the deck as intended. If staining your wood deck boards ignites more fear than joy, composite options might be your best bet.
A Professional Consultation Can Give You Some Perspective
If you're thinking about Trex decking, why not let a professional weigh in? A deck and porch contractor near you can inspect the site, consult with you on the best materials to use, and provide a quote. Ask their opinion on Trex and their experience with installing the material. Chatting with a knowledgeable contractor will help you design a deck you can enjoy for years (maybe even decades) to come.