Trex® Frequently Asked Questions

Top Four Frequently Asked Questions

Which type of decking do I own?

Unsure if your deck is made with Trex? Start by reviewing our decking product lines to compare your decking against our collection. If you still can't tell, then please contact us over the phone at 1-800-BUY-TREX.

How do I clean my Trex deck?

Trex decking is designed for a low-maintenance experience. A simple soap-and-water clean is all it takes. For more details, refer to our Care and Cleaning section.

How do I install my Trex product?

Our installation guide has you covered. Plus, you can explore Trex Academy for more tricks and tips along the way. Have questions or stuck with your install? Then give us a call at 1-800-BUY-TREX!

Why are Trex outdoor living products better than wood?

Trex products offer superior durability and performance that you can't get from wood. 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: That's an eco-friendly decking choice you can feel great about. To learn more please review our Trex vs. Wood page.


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

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 wood, lowering your cost over time through lesser maintenance. To learn more please review our Eco-friendly Decking page.

What is the lifetime value of Trex?

With pressure-treated wood 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 wood—not to mention the value of the added time spent enjoying your deck rather than working on it. If you would like to see the difference in maintenance costs for your deck of wood vs composite, visit our Decking Comparison page.

Can you send me product samples?

You can find Trex decking samples a number of ways. At, you can order 12-inch samples of Trex decking in every color. Samples are $5 each, including shipping, and will be delivered to your door. You also can find 3 1/2-inch decking samples free of charge at selected local Trex dealers and retailers and through your local TrexPro® contractor.

What is the difference between early-generation Trex decking and newer-generation decking and how can I tell which version I have?

If you've noticed any staining, scratching or fading over the years, it's likely you have early-generation decking. While our early-generation decking was groundbreaking for its time, spills and scuffs can still leave a mark. Newer-generation decking is easy to spot because of its resilience. Today's Trex decks resist blemishes with an innovative, high-performance shell that wraps around three sides of our deck boards.

Early Generation Trex Decking
Early-generation composite decking (Trex Origins®, Trex Accents®, Trex Profiles®, Trex Brasilia® and Trex Contours®) represented a breakthrough for low-maintenance and durability. While wood 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 wood. Periodic cleanings with a composite deck cleaner were far easier than the dreaded sanding and staining required to maintain wood decks. As the category evolved, this early-generation composite was offered in additional colors and with grain patterns that reflected a more natural appearance. Even so, all early generation wood-plastic composites, whether Trex or a competitor's product, were not stain, scratch or mold-free, and did fade slightly in color 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 Trex Decking
Newer generation Trex deck boards ( Trex Signature®Trex Transcend® Lineage™, Trex Transcend®, Trex Enhance®, Trex Select®, Trex Contour®) are manufactured with a high-performance shell that wraps around three sides of the composite board to protect it from the elements, providing resistance to fading, staining, scratching and mold. 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 wood grain patterns.
- Incremental warranty protection: 25-, 35-, and 50-year limited warranties for most products.

Is there an app to see what a deck would look like on my house?

Yes, our free deck AR visualizer tool allows you to virtually “build” a deck in your backyard space. You can download the app on the App Store or Google Play.

How long does composite decking last?

Trex materials come with specific warranties, but it doesn’t mean they won’t last longer. When Trex launched its original product in 1998 it came with a 10-year warranty. This product is still installed in many homes and looks great after more than 25 years.

There have been many improvements in our current products and our material now is a coextruded shell that protects the board from the weather, making them last even longer than our early materials.

Decking and Railing

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

Yes, a groove can be cut in the side of Trex decking by using our Trex Groove Cutter to accept our recommended hidden fasteners, 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 I build a firepit on my Trex deck?

Wood or gas fire pits should not be placed on top of Trex decking. However, gas fire pits may be installed beside or between deck boards with a protective wall made of stone or other fire-resistant material used for insulation. 

Wood burning fire pits should not be placed on top of Trex decking unless installed with DeckProtect™, a product designed to temper extreme heat and loose embers. For more information, please visit their website.

Can I paint or stain my Trex boards?

The unyielding shell of our high-performance decking—Trex Transcend Lineage, Trex Transcend, Trex Enhance and Trex Select—means it never needs painting or staining. The rich color and protective finish are engineered right into the shell, and the shell is designed to remain free of rotting, splitting, splintering and insect damage for the duration of the warranty. Not to mention, painting Trex decking may void your warranty.

Can I place rugs on my Trex deck?

Most area rugs aren't a problem with Trex decking, but we do recommend cleaning underneath them regularly. In rare cases, rugs made of plastic or viscose materials may bleed, drawing colorant out of the decking or making them difficult to remove. Always allow your decking to fully dry before fitting a rug into place.

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

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.

Can Trex decking and railing be curved?

Trex offers a wide variety of decking options and railing configurations capable of being custom curved. When considering a deck with these characteristics, utilize the Find a Builder tool to determine which professionals in your area work on curved profiles. When planning curved railing, visit our Trex Signature® Curved Railing page for design and ordering guidance.

Note: Due to the unique composition of Trex Signature® decking we do not recommend heating and curving this product.

Can Trex be placed over a solid surface?

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

Can Trex deck boards be glued?

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

Can you rip a Trex board?

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.

Does Trex decking get hot on a sunny day?

Trex has recently engineered a new line of composite decking, Trex Transcend Lineage, which is designed with heat-mitigating technology that makes it our coolest decking yet*. Like many other outdoor surfaces, such as concrete, asphalt, beach sand, wood decking, other brands of composite decking, etc., Trex decking can get hot due to weather and sun exposure. On such days, care needs to be taken to make sure skin does not have extended contact with the surface of the deck, especially with young children and those with special needs. If you are considering our traditional decking boards, please note that the darker the color, the hotter the deck will feel. For hotter climates, consumers should consider choosing a lighter color.

*Although Trex Transcend Lineage is designed to be cooler than most other composite decking products of a similar color, on a hot sunny day, it will get hot. On hot days, care should be taken to avoid extended contact between exposed skin and the deck surface, especially with young children and those with special needs.

Does Trex fade or change color?

Newer-generation Trex decking holds strong against potential damage. All of our current decking lines are scratch resistant, protecting your space against nicks, cracks and splitting. For more information, see our 2023 Limited Warranty.

How heavy is Trex decking?

All Trex decking weighs between 1.88lbs and 2.51lbs per linear foot with our scalloped boards weighing slightly less than our solid profile boards.

How much does Trex decking and railing cost?

On average, the estimated material cost for a composite deck runs from $15 - $30 per square foot (including substructure, decking, hardware and fasteners). We recommend using our online cost calculator tool and guide to get an estimate for your project's cost. For a true cost estimate, reach out to a Trex retailer or TrexPro deck builder.

*Average price range excludes Trex Signature® decking, our luxury decking collection. Trex actual material costs and install costs can and will vary based on geographic area, site location, seasonality, design complexity, whether the product is stocked locally, and additional features such as stairs, angles, curves, lighting, etc. For most professionally installed projects, materials constitute up to one third of the total cost. 

Is Trex code-compliant?

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

Is Trex fire resistant?

Nothing is more important than your safety outdoors. At Trex, we do everything we can to ensure it. Our Transcend and Select decking lines retain a Class B fire rating, while our Enhance decking lines retain a Class C fire rating; however, they are not fireproof. 

Is Trex structural?

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


Is Trex suitable for use in commercial settings?

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. Of course, Trex is more than just decking. The sleek profile of Trex Signature® railing works as well for commercial and multi-unit residential complexes as it does for your own backyard, while Trex Outdoor Furniture™ can be found in many coastal resorts under Trex Pergola™ installations.

What is the difference between your good, better and best product lines?

Trex high-performance decking and railing products combine low-maintenance upkeep and design-minded style—all backed by our 25-, 35- and 50-year limited warranties. The protective shell technology means all of our deck boards resist staining, fading, and cracking, are resistant to scratching with Signature decking our most scratch-resistant board. Beyond that, Trex offers a variety of high-performance railing choices to meet different levels of style, performance and affordability.

Decking Lines

Luxury: Trex Signature® Decking

Distinctively durable and luxuriously crafted with eco-friendly composite made out of recycled and reclaimed materials, Trex Signature decking sets a new standard for style in outdoor living. Offering homeowners and designers alike a new design material crafted with the most realistic wood grain that replicates the elegance of exotic hardwood, all backed by a 50-year warranty. Signature is Trex's most scratch-resistant decking board.

Best: Trex Transcend® Lineage™ and Trex Transcend® Decking

These decking lines offer the broadest range of decking colors and finishes. Engineered with a proprietary shell technology that protects against fading, staining, scratching, mold and mildew, our best decking lines are backed by a 50-year warranty. Plus, Trex Transcend Lineage uses heat-mitigating technology that makes it our coolest decking yet.*

*Although Trex Transcend Lineage is designed to be cooler than most other composite decking products of a similar color, on a hot sunny day, it will get hot. On hot days, care should be taken to avoid extended contact between exposed skin and the deck surface, especially with young children and those with special needs.

Better: Trex Select® Decking

A 35-year warranty backs our Trex Select decking line. The fade and stain protection, as well as enhanced mold and mildew resistance, make maintenance simple. The perfect pairing of price and minimal maintenance, Select is a simple choice. Note: Select boards are slightly thinner than all Transcend and Enhance decking. These decking lines should not be combined to avoid tripping hazards.

Good: Trex Enhance® Decking

With its nature-inspired, authentic wood-grain appearance and lightweight, scalloped profile for simple handling, this collection offers the beauty of wood with the ease of composite. Available in a variety of monochromatic and multi-tonal shades and backed by a 25-year warranty.


Railing Lines

Best: Trex Signature® Railing

Trex Signature aluminum railing offers a minimalist style with maximum strength. This railing is compatible with four unique infill options: glass, mesh, rod rail, and square balusters. Trex Signature also performs equally well in residential or commercial settings. Plus, aluminum is 100% recyclable. A 25-year warranty backs Trex Signature railing.

Better: Trex Transcend® Railing

Trex Transcend railing offers nearly limitless opportunities to mix and match profiles and colors for a customized look. Our highest-performance railing option offers more colors in more component profiles than any other Trex railing line.

Good: Trex Select® Railing

This railing line is our most affordable high-performance system. Available in two configurations, Classic and T-Rail, it is the simple choice for your backyard.

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

Trex decking is made from 95% recycled materials, including reclaimed sawdust and 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. Since its inception, Trex has recycled over 5 billion pounds of plastic film and become one North America's largest recyclers. To learn more, please visit our recent ESG report.

Can Trex decking be used around pools?

Yes, Trex decking can be used to make pool decks. Pool chemicals, such as chlorine and bromine, cause no fading or structural damage to the boards. Periodic cleaning, however, is advised.

Can Trex decking be used in dock construction?

Fiberglass-free Trex decking is approved for water contact applications. It is engineered to perform in splash zones. It can be submerged as long as the duration is intermittent for short periods. Our decking is safe for the environment and marine life. Decking should be gapped 3/8” (10 mm) width-to-width to allow for increased drainage. Stainless steel fasteners should be used. If the dock comes into sufficient contact with gasoline, we recommend grounding the dock. Saltwater can cause a haze/film over any decking surface, so periodic cleanings are advised.

Is Trex decking safe for marine life?

Yes, all of our decking collections, made from 95% recycled material and fiber-glass free, are safe for marine life.

How do you install deck railing kits?

Each deck rail kit will include installation instructions based on the product and application requirements. In addition to our written instructions, we have installation videos on Trex Academy as well as live representatives to assist with installation questions (Monday – Friday). Feel free to give us a call at 1-800-289-8739 so we can help get your project finished!

How much does it cost to redo a deck railing?

There are many variables that go into the cost of redoing a deck railing. Trex is here to work with you to turn your dream deck into a reality. Whether it’s talking through the different line options or what is needed to create a section of railing – we are here to answer those hard-hitting questions and provide our feedback on ways to keep your curated vision and your cost aligned. Use our cost calculator tool to get an idea of what the railing may cost for your next project.

What are the different types of deck railings?

We offer a wide array of railing options with varying levels of customization to create the outdoor space you've been dreaming of.

Trex Signature® railing is made from powder-coated aluminum. With this collection, you can choose square aluminum balusters, mesh infill, glass infill, or rod rails. These top and bottom rails and infills are also compatible with our composite railing posts.

Trex Transcend® railing is a composite crown-top rail with the option of using a square composite baluster or round aluminum baluster. Transcend has a variety of composite color options for the top and bottom rails to match any deck design.

Trex Select® railing is a composite rail in Classic White with two top rail options, as well as options for round aluminum balusters and square composite balusters. The Classic Select configuration features round, black aluminum balusters with a simple white top rail. The new T-rail configuration uses a T-shaped top rail and is available with round black aluminum balusters or square white composite balusters.

What are the pieces of a deck railing called?

Railings usually consist of a top and bottom rail, post cap, post cap, post, post sleeve, balusters, or an infill option like glass or mesh. Whether you are looking for more railing basics or for specifics about the Trex railing offering, we have you covered.

What is the average cost for a deck railing?

Railing costs vary significantly based on various deck plan details such as material, labor, and design extras (curving, cocktail rails, lighting, etc.). Use our cost calculator tool to get an idea of what the railing may cost for your next project.

What is the best railing for a deck?

The best railing for your deck is the one that will meet your aesthetic needs and practical requirements. Does the railing need to be a certain height for your local code requirements? Does it need to be a particular color for HOA standards? Do you prefer a more modern or traditional aesthetic? Still not sure? Give us a call so we can help talk through your application and find the perfect railing 1-800-289-8739.

What is the easiest deck railing to install?

With different levels of expertise, the easiest railing to install will be our Signature Assembled Panels and Signature Posts with Premounted Brackets. This system consists of pre-assembled parts that save you time and labor costs, without compromising the structural integrity or beauty of the classic Signature design. Watch our Signature railing install video to see the time savings the assembled panels bring to a project.

Care and Cleaning

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

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.

Can Trex decking be sanded or power washed?

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 Select) can be power washed. Use only a fan tip and up to a 3100 psi power washer to remove dirt and debris. The fan tip should be no closer than 8 inches (20.4 cm) away from the protective shell during use.

How can I clean my Trex Transcend or Trex Select railing?

For color transfer issues (color transfer can happen when baluster spacers rub against balusters during installation), use Mr. Clean®, Magic Eraser® Original or Magic Eraser® Extra Power for spot removal. For small surface scratches, marks or scuffs, try Plexus® Plastic Cleaner. Never use acetone or other solvents on Transcend or Select railing.

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

A pressure washer with no greater than 3100 psi that has a fan attachment/adjustment and soap dispenser may be used to remove dirt, concrete dust, or other types of construction dirt. 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 or hard water containing minerals is used for cleaning, a film-like surface may appear in spots after drying. Generally, these spots can be cleaned with white vinegar or a deck brightener product. On railing, they can be cleaned with Magic Eraser® or white vinegar. Refer to our Care & Cleaning Guide for more information on upkeep and warranties.

Is Trex decking maintenance-free?

Trex decking requires far less 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 Select) require less work - a simple soap and water cleaning is all that is necessary to maintain the beauty of the products. Refer to our Care & Cleaning Guide for more information on upkeep.

Is Trex decking scratch resistant?

Newer-generation Trex decking holds strong against potential damage. All of our current decking lines are scratch resistant, protecting your space against nicks, cracks and splitting. For more information, see our 2023 Limited Warranty.

How can I clean my Trex Signature railing?

Regular cleaning may minimize the effects of weathering and remove dirt, grime and other build-up. The best method of maintaining the appearance of your Trex Signature® railing is to occasionally wash it using a solution of warm water and a non-abrasive, pH neutral detergent solution. The railing surface should be thoroughly rinsed after cleaning to remove all residues. Use a soft white cloth, sponge or a soft bristle brush. DO NOT clean Trex Signature® railing with solvents such as thinners or solutions containing chlorinated hydrocarbons, esters, or ketenes.

The following cleaners are recommended for cleaning
Trex Signature® railing:
- Formula 409® Cleaner Degreaser/Disinfectant
- Spray Nine® Cleaner/Disinfectant
- Simple Green® All Purpose Cleaner
- Fantastik® All Purpose Cleaner
- Windex® Cleaner

For more details, explore our Care & Cleaning guide.

Trex® DeckLighting™

Can I install Trex® DeckLighting™ on my own?

Trex DeckLighting is easy to install, and even easier to enjoy. Our plug-and-play setup is one of the most intuitive and simple lighting systems on the market. Refer to this video for the basics, and if you have any questions feel free to give us a call. We're happy to help you add lighting to your new (or existing) deck.

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

Trex requires that you use only the Trex transformer supplied with our lighting.

Trex® SpiralStairs™

Are there any special spiral stair kit ordering considerations you need to make for children or pets?

For small children and pets, our code stair kits come standard with in-between spindles, which provide less than a 4" spacing between verticals. In addition, you may want to use a gate at the top of the stair.

Are there special building code requirements to consider when installing a spiral stair kit?

Many areas follow BOCA or UBC codes or variations of the BOCA or UBC codes. All Trex Spiral Stair products pass BOCA/UBC code requirements. We recommend that you contact your local building inspector to find out what code applies to your area and how that code is interpreted.

How long does assembly take? Do I need a contractor to help me install my spiral stair kit?

Installing a stair kit is a two-person job. For the typical do-it-yourselfer, the stairs can be installed without the help of a contractor. However, we do recommend that everyone (experienced or inexperienced) consult a qualified contractor. The contractor can help identify whether any additional structural support is necessary and required, and he or she can reroute pipes and electric lines. For two do-it-yourselfers, the spiral stairs can be assembled in about 6-8 hours. For all stair kits, you need basic hand tools and an electric drill. Before installing, we strongly recommend that you read the entire installation manual.

I want to paint my galvanized spiral stairs a custom color. Should I paint them before or after assembly?

Galvanized stairs must weather before painting. Once weathered, contact your local paint store for the appropriate primer and paint for something that has been galvanized.

What are Trex Spiral Stairs?

Trex Spiral Stairs offer all the space-saving advantages of traditional spiral staircases in two material choices and come with custom, high-performance composite treads made from Trex decking. Trex Spiral Stairs were developed by the leading spiral stair manufacturer in the country, The Iron Shop, under a trademark license agreement with Trex Company, Inc

What if I lose my installation manual?

A PDF of our installation manual is available here.

What if my building department or inspector asks for an ICBO number?

The following are available for Trex Spiral Stairs:
LA City Standard Plans for spirals:
  Std Plan 111-T City of Los Angeles for CBC/IRC Metal Spirals for all Trex Spirals
  Std Plan 111 has also been adopted for City of San Diego, Calif.

City of Los Angeles Licensed Steel Fabricator #1150 (City of Los Angeles conducts random inspections on our fabrication plant in Broomall, Pa.)
County of San Bernardino Licensed Fabricator

What if something goes wrong?

If you run into a problem, call Trex Spiral Stairs at 877-488-1906. Our kits are guaranteed for 25 years from date of purchase.

What measurements do I need to order a spiral stair kit?

You will need to measure the exact height within .25" between the landing area and the top of the deck, including the width of the decking to ensure that your stairs end on the correct side.

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