When it comes to composite decking, Trex is a name known the world over.
As one of the most popular and leading brands, Trex knows what it takes to build a deck.
Top Trex Composite Decking Lineups
- 1 Top Trex Composite Decking Lineups
- 2 Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Right Composite Decking Material
- 3 Trex Line Ups Reviewed
- 4 Trex Composite Decking Pros and Cons
- 5 Trex Decking Cost Estimates
- 6 Finding a Professional Trex Decking Installer
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions
- 8 Conclusion
Trex offers only 4 lines, but based on looks, maintenance levels, and price, there is a line for just about everyone.
- Trex Transcend composite decking. The top of the line. Transcend is the highest quality and most durable composite board offered.
- Trex Select composite decking. Low maintenance, lower price and beautiful color options.
- Trex Enhanced Naturals composite decking. An affordable and low maintenance option with natural wood color options.
- Trex Enhanced Basics composite decking. Same as the Enhanced Naturals collection with slightly different board sizes and more Earth tone color choices.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Right Composite Decking Material
Each board option is different in size, length and width are important, but it is also worth noting the height. When selecting your board styles, you can mix and match board sizes to create patterns.
However, it is important to note that not all styles or colors come in all sizes. You need to ensure that the pattern or design you want to make can be accomplished with the planks size that is available.
Composite decking comes in a variety of colors and style options. Unlike natural wood, there are more colors. But don’t expect an unending choice pallet. Even high end brands only offer 4 to 6 colors on average.
With Trex, Enhance Basics offers three colors, with Enhance Naturals and Select give you four and five options (respectively).
You also get eight options with Transcend. Note, though, that many of the colors are the same between series’ but some have different names.
Another factor to consider is how the decking project will be installed. Trex decking isn’t a difficult install. Once you have your posts cemented in place and the framing set, laying the boards is fairly straightforward. You can save a lot of money with a DIY install.
Composite boards come in several board types. The most common are square edge boards. These usually have caps on all four sides allowing you to use either the top or bottom without discrepancy.
Other styles include scalloped edged boards which save weight and cost. You can also find grooved edged boards that allow for hidden fastener systems. Trex has 4 different board styles, including 1 and 2-inch thick square edges boards, grove edged boards and scalloped boards.
The size of the project is also going to play a major factor in your final decision. Larger projects need more materials and will cost more. This also applies to decks built on second stories, in odd shapes or around other amenities like pools.
Cost & Warranty
Finally, the cost and warranty of the boards will come into play. Along with all the other factors here, the initial cost of the boards will be the biggest decision factor.
With Trex, you can expect to pay between $9 and $16 per square foot. This cost includes the boards, framing, stairs, fasteners and professional installation.
The Trex warranty is two fold. First, you get the 25-year warranty that covers damage, defects and other standard problems that arise with normal use.
Trex Select and Transcend also include a 25-year fade and stain warranty that protects your investment against stains or fading as long as you follow proper cleaning and maintenance routines.
Trex Line Ups Reviewed
Transcend is the top line of the Trex composite decking family. They are the strongest, most durable boards and come with plenty of options and sizes to choose from.
This line offers 8 color options, which is the most of any line. Among the colors are classic favorites like Havana Gold and Spiced Rum. It also includes more exotic options like Rope Swing and Lava Rock.
The Transcend series also offers a hassle free maintenance system. The boards clean up with soap and water and a little light scrubbing. You can also use a pressure washer and a broom, keeping clean up and maintenance to a minimum.
A 95% recycled content also makes these planks among the most green composite options in the market. If you are looking for a green solution, Transcend is among the best.
On top of all that, you get the Trex 25-year warranty. This covers normal wear and tear on the boards, manufacturer defects. It also includes 25 year protection against staining and fading, as long as you complete the proper cleaning and maintenance.
Trex Select is the second best line offered by the company. There are 5 options to choose from in vibrant colors like Pebble Grey and Madeira. The colors are deep and through-colored planks stand the test of time.
These boards have extreme fade and scratch resistance, like most of the other options. However, the capped planks are only capped on three sides. Trex does this under the moisture principle.
Trex believes that eventually moisture will get inside any cap and boards that are capped on all four sides don’t allow the moisture out. With an open bottom board, the moisture can naturally evaporate.
It is hard to argue with logic and the proof comes in the 25-year warranty against moisture retention, mold and other issues.
The Trex Select line is best for those looking for great composite decking but don’t want or can’t afford the best of the best.
For those on an even tighter budget, the Trex Enhanced line is a solid option. Being the most affordable, you can choose from four natural colors such as Foggy Wharf or Toasted Sand.
The colors themselves are more muted and natural looking, giving the planks and the finished deck a look that doesn’t scream plastic. While most of the competition gets shiny and plastic looking with their lower-tiered options, Trex does not.
The embossed caps have a grain pattern that repeats only every 39 inches. This is much longer between repeats than almost every other brand.
When looking at the cross-section, the boards are scalloped. While this means you can only use one side of the board. It also means the boards are lighter and easier to maneuver, making install faster and usually cheaper.
The second line of the Enhanced line is the Basic series. This line is the cheapest offered by Trex and comes in only 3 colors.
You can select between Saddle, Beach Dune and Clam Shell. The three colors are still embossed with the 39-inch repeat pattern. It isn’t as deep as the other lines and there is a slight plastic appearance to the planks in the right lighting.
Other than this slight variance and color choices, the Basic series and Naturals series are the same. They both come with the 25-year warranty against scratch and dent resistance.
There is a small chance of excess fading with the Enhanced line compared to the other series options.
However, with diligent upkeep and cleaning that won’t be a problem either. For a less expensive option that will still hold up to the test of time, Trex Enhanced is a viable choice.
Trex Composite Decking Pros and Cons
- Termite resistant. Composite boards are not good food for termite, so they aren’t attracted to the decking, either are any other wood-borer insects.
- Low maintenance. Trex composite decking doesn’t need much more care than a garden hose or a broom. While there is a bit more to it, general maintenance is much lower than traditional lumber.
- Easy installation. Trex decking allows for hidden fastener install or deck screws like lumber.
- Style and color options. Unlike other brands that only have one or two color choices, Trex offers up to 8 different colors and embossed, hand crafted or smooth finished caps.
- Longevity and durability. Trex composite decking can handle weather and foot traffic without complaint for at least 25 years.
- Scratch and dent resistance. Composite decking from Trex is highly scratch and dent resistant and backs up their claim with up to a 25-year warranty.
- Matching components. Trex offers many different aesthetics that match their decking. The list includes railings, fascias, cladding, fencing and even cornhole games.
As mentioned above, there are some downsides. Most owners can easily overlook them, however, some may break the decision.
- Price. The biggest downside is the initial cost. Trex does cost much more than pressure treated lumber, traditional lumber and most other decking materials.
- Color fast. Once you choose a color, that is it. Composite decking cannot be painted or stained.
- Treated lumber is still needed. Framing and posts for your new composite deck still need to be made from treated lumber.
- Doesn’t raise resale value. While a new deck of any material can (and usually does) raise the value of the property, composite, even with higher initial cost, doesn’t add extra value.
Trex Decking Cost Estimates
The cost of Trex decking will vary from state to state, and in some cases even between cities. It will also vary in availability, color options or board styles. The biggest cost variance will be on installation costs. Professional contractors will have different rates, and DIY installs will cost even less.
|Series||Lengths (feet)||Board Styles||Caps||Price (per board)|
|Transcend||12, 16, 20 (2×4 inch option 14 feet only);||1-, 2-inch Full, 1-inch Slotted||3-Sides||$70 – $120|
|Select||12, 16, 20||1-, 2-inch Full, 1-inch Slotted||3-Sides||$37 – 63|
|Enhanced Naturals||12, 16, 20||1-inch Scalloped, 1-inch Scalloped Slotted||3-Sides||$30 – 50|
|Enhanced Basic||12, 16, 20||1-inch Scalloped, 1-inch Scalloped Slotted||3-Sides||$30 – 50|
Finding a Professional Trex Decking Installer
If you opt for professional installation, you will need to find a contractor that is licensed, insured, well reviewed and professional. You also should find at least three such contractors to get quotes.
While this can be time consuming and frustrating, there is an easier way. If you don’t know any local contractors, we can help. Our free professional contractor finder will give you instant results of local professionals in your area.
Frequently Asked Questions
In this section we will answer the most common questions about Trex composite decking. If you have other questions, please use the comment section below.
Q. How long does Trex decking last?
- With proper care, routine maintenance and cleaning up spills, grease spots and debris, a Trex composite deck can last a while. Most normal wear and tear will begin to show in about 20 years. The average deck lasts 20 to 25 years with some reports having decks lasting longer than 35 years.
Q. Can I paint or stain composite decking?
- While it is technically possible to paint and stain composite decking, there is no reason to do so. The color of the boards is a through-color, meaning it is constant all the way through. Because of the composite material and capping, there is no need or benefit to applying sealants and stains.
Q. Will Trex decking mold or mildew?
- If wet leaves or debris is allowed to stay for long periods on the decking surface, it is possible for mold or mildew to take root. While it is uncommon, it can happen. However, a little scrubbing with a mold remover or vinegar and water can remove the mold spores and prevent further growth.
Q. Is Trex a “green” company?
- Technically no, By definition Trex is not a green company. However, they do produce a green product. With over 94% recycled content and no degrading over its life, the Trex composite decking material is considered green.
Trex composite decking is one of the best solutions you can make. If you are looking for an affordable decking option, with a material that lasts, composite decking is it.
Whether you choose Transcend, Select or Enhanced, you will get a 25-year warranty, scratch, dent and fade resistance.