Trex Decking Review

Trex Decking Review

I think I can make the claim that I built one of the first Trex decks in Idaho. Maybe not THE first, but pretty close. The project I did was at my own house and it was photographed and written up on the front page of the Life section of the Idaho Statesman newspaper on May 11, 1995. That deck is still there and looks great.

Since then, I have built 3 others for myself and probably at least 200 for my customers. I have seen a lot of other products enter the market and disappear.

photo_trex

The Trex company has a problem. The product name. People are starting to use it somewhat generically for composite decking. I have been called out to repair a Trex deck only to find out that it is not Trex, but something else. I have been asked to add on to a Trex deck only to find out it was some other off brand. I have even seen Real Estate listings touting the Trex decks on a home for sale and it was anything but the Trex product. BE CAREFULL. If you go to your lumberyard and ask for Trex, make sure you are getting it. Same goes for a builder or contractor giving you a quote on a Trex deck. Know what you are buying.

I say this because although Trex had a warranty issue for a few decks a couple of years back, they have always stood behind their product and taken care of their customers. What good is a warranty if the company is out of business?


As a contractor, their support has been nothing short of great. They continue to expand the line with railings and accessories, even fencing now to make any design possible. I have been through their training and am a Trex Pro Contractor for my area. They keep me informed as to new products and they listen to my input as a contractor. Any company that does this much for me, a lowly installer, I know the customer is in good hands.

I like working with Trex. It is heavy, I’ll give it that, but you can mill it, rip, drill, route it, and carve better than wood could ever do. Of the three Trex decks on my house, the oldest faces East and other than give it a bath once or twice a year; usually before a party I am hosting, nothing has ever been done to it. In 10 years!

My current favorites of the Trex product line are the 5/4 x 6 “Accents” series, and the “Brazilia” series. Check them out on the web and see these.

For a Do-it-yourselfer, you will need to know a few details about how to build the proper supporting structure for Trex decking, spacing requirements, and how many, what size, and where to place the screws. It’s not much to learn, but critical to the performance of your Trex deck. Most screw-ups by homeowners come from one of these three areas. Any dealer should be able to help you design your deck or Trex has good instructions in their Installation Manual”. You won’t need any different tools than you would use for a wood deck. But I would suggest a good self-feeding screw gun. More on that tool in another product review.

27 Responses to “Trex Decking Review”

  1. Vanessa says:

    Hi Joe:

    Congratulations on your Trex decks! I wanted to say thank you for the post and let you know that you can also call 800-BUY-TREX as well as visiting trex.com for more information. Be sure to check out the New Trex Escapes as well as the ones you mention!

    Vanessa – Trex

  2. Teresa Seward says:

    Joe –

    You may want to google “Trex Decking Problems” to see if you are still willing to stand behind Trex. They have many, many problems with both there decking and their warranty. I, along with many, installed a deck in 2004 that has since rotted and flaked away. And if you are refering to the class action suit Trex settled (lost) in 2004 as a couple of deck problems, perhaps you have a monetary stake in Trex to write such a review.

  3. Cynthia La Pietra says:

    Good for you! I have had nothing but problems with mildew on my Trex deck. I have complained and sent pictures, but they tell me mildew is not covered on the warranty. No one showed me a warranty before I bought it. We have scrubbed and scrubbed the way Trex told us, to no avail. This product sould not be sold anywhere but in a desert – certainly not in the Northeast. I have discovered other people have the same problem. They are also a terrible company to deal with. They don’t return phone calls or emails.

  4. nanci nagy says:

    i currently have a trex deck and am looking for something to clean the mildew spots off…not sure if a power washer will work and with what solution…please email any recommendations thanks

  5. Pat A says:

    A small percentage of boards on my deck have rotted and are flaking apart. I’ve been navigating the hoops required to have Trex honor their warranty for months. Recently, they sent me a 14 page form for a class action lawsuit. I just want new boards to replace the rotten ones (~80 feet). If I had a way to haul 16′ boards the 50 miles from the nearest lumberyard I’d give up on the warranty fiasco. I can understand the poor quality issue and would be willing to forgive them for that but I will never forgive them for their lack of response to the poor quality.

  6. Joe says:

    Hi Pat, where are you located? Are you here in Idaho? I might be able to put you in touch with my Trex Rep and see what he can get done for you. I have had no problems getting issues resolved and although the warranty issue is a pain it the rear to get solved, it has always happened, and to my customers satisfaction. I have even had lumberyards deliver the products and Trex has covered any delivery fees. If you want to talk more, send me an email to joe@joeprin.com

  7. Tom DeBenedetti says:

    Unfortunately the Trex name is crumbling like their Accents line. We have had to replace the full deminsion boards each 3 years since we first installed them. The flacking and crumbling is chronic throughout all the boards, over 3000 feet. The first warranty claim was a hassle but complete including over $8k for installation. This time they only want to send more boards and blow us off. I would discourage anyone from using any more Trex material. The Fernly Nevada plant has been shipping junk for years. The class action suit they settled but is inadequate to cover the sizable cost. Do not use this product. I would be glad to discuss our frustration with anyone, including a Trex rep.

  8. Joe says:

    Hey Tom, I have been frustrated a few times since my original post too. The problems have continued and yes, they are willing to replace the bad product. This I am glad for. The labor side of the reimbursement is an issue. I have had to fight for my customers a few times to get it worked out. But, I can say that in two of three cases, Trex took care of me. I do hear that this has been stopped now and from here out it is just materials being covered if there is a warranty issue. I still like the product and have continued to use it and maintain my TrexPro status. I especially like the new grooved edges on the product and the hidden fastener system. I just pray that the whatever caused the problems has long ago been worked out and the industry, and especially Trex, does’nt have a permanent black eye from this. They shouldn’t, and perhaps covering the labor again would take some of the sting out of it for you and me.

  9. Scott says:

    Hi Joe – Appreciate the info and your candor regarding recent issues. Are you saying that Trex problems have been worked through and it’s “safe to go back into the water” with them again? I am replacing a 10-yr old (CCA / builder grade) deck … rails and decking. My research is producing one of two extremes: either people absolutely LOVE it, or they absolutely HATE it. Ours is south exposure, Missouri (100 degree summers, 0-degree winters with snow). As of today, is there any “line” (i.e., transcend, brasilia, accents, etc.) or color to avoid, or are they all good now? Appreciate the help.

  10. Joe says:

    I haven’t seen or been told about any product issues (problems) in a while. The new Trancends technology has my interest. The cap layer should take care of a lot of the past issues abd be very durable. I guess I’ll find out how it is to work with as I am building a Deck in April with it. Accents has been without problem for me the last several years. I think the “Corn Flaking” and loss of texture (wood grain) is behind us now. On a side note, I do like the new side groove lock fasteners. They take a while to get used to installing, but they do make it look nice.

  11. Erin says:

    I’m thinking about using Trex for my screen porch, however, I’m concerned about my two dogs scratching it? How well does it wear with pets? I’d hate for it to be scratched up in week? Someone recommended I use epay instead but it only comes in one color. The new Trex colors are great. Any help on this is appreciated!
    Thanks.

  12. Ron says:

    Erin,
    I have a Trex deck and a rough-housing young Lab. His paws do put a lot of surface scratches in the (gray) decking. They eventually “weather” away. But you’ll see them for a time. Not an issue to me, I guess. At least not in comparison to my spendy Trex boards completely disintegrating on their own (surface flaking) after only 5 years. If I was starting over, I would steer WAY clear of Trex.

  13. Dave says:

    Joe here- The new Trex Trancend line is VERY scratch resistant. Take a look at some sample of that product. Contact me directly at joe@joeprin.com if you want to talk more.

  14. Declan says:

    Trex is a bad product, my deck is covered in mold after two years. No help when I called Trex.

  15. Joe says:

    Since the original problem Trex had, which was several years ago. I have not had any problems. I have recently been using the Accents line of products without incedent.

    Joe.

  16. Bessie Sparks says:

    I am just sick…deck not even been finished yet and we had a shower of rain and mildew spots appearing…I pored plain water on spots where there was some mud from contractor feet and those spots stand out like sore feet! Am at whitts end…don’t know whether to continue or stop process now. Live in NC.

  17. Kerry says:

    I bought a home in Bend Oregon ( high desert) and the Trex deck is a mess.
    The boards are flaking and falling apart and are less than 10 years old.
    I contacted Trex, got 3 different stories from 3 different people.
    The third person I talked to was a man named Robert who was the “head honcho” or supervisor. He was rude, insulting, and implied I was lying to him about the treatment I got from one of his subordinates.
    I am retired now but own a real estate development company. This is the WORST company I have ever dealt with as far as customer service and customer relations.
    The builders I have talked to ( several ) have all recommended using wood instead of Trex.

  18. Anne Roth says:

    We have been battling for help with our Trex deck for 2 years. It started spotting a month after it was installed. The contractor said he had another install that same summer and they were having problems also. We sent pictures to Trex and were told it was mold due to where we live. Our neighbors put in a deck the year before with Trex and it is not molding. The Trex Product Specialist, Pat McCarthy, wrote the problem was environmental (not their product) and we should be washing it with special products twice a year. Nothing is making it better and Trex is NO HELP! We are telling all not to buy this product and anyone who comes to our house can see why!

  19. Terrt says:

    Joe.. A little confused about Trex..Is it composite or cellular PVC ..we are about to do a new deck and we are considering Trex.. What is best for Midwest .. My newest brochue does not even mention escapes. I do knwp cellular PVC is the best to use for a deck.. Sooooo, what do I use???? Confused in Chicago .. Mrs. Terry Satherlie

  20. Joe says:

    TO TERRT: The answer is both, sort of. Trex has a composite and a PVC product. Two different things. I like the composite but I have never tried installing the Escapes product. I understand the benefits of a PVC product but just can’t seem to get past the enviornmental issues of it at end of life and durring the manufacturing of it. Either should be fine in the Midwest, but if I had to make a choice, I’d go with the composite, Trex Accents. It is what I use here in Idaho, and it holds up really good. The hidden fasteners work great. Just alternate the direction of the boards as you install them so the grain is not all pointing the same direction. This bugs me when I see it NOT done this way.

  21. rhxmfxytlzi says:

    uEYBHnQnckaor [url=http://www.toryburchflatsonlinesale.com]Tory Burch Shoes[/url] PAXggrNfEqSNvtwL

  22. gsamdltbj says:

    RrzzPYejFQW [url=http://www.mbtoutleteshops.com]Outlet MBT[/url] YsevaWbPNIbWptcbPJ

  23. Dale W says:

    I just purchased TREX Transcends railings to replace my treated ones. I needed 6ft rails to replace 3 of the old ones that were 69?. Or so I thought I did. I got the rails home and removed my old treated rails. I began installing my TREX rails but ran into a problem when I got to the 69? rails. The Trex rails that clearly state “6ft” on the website and box are only 67 1/2? long. I called and asked for them to just replace the incorrect “6ft” rails with actual 6 ft rails or the 8ft version so that they would work on my deck. They said they would not do it. I am not a contractor and didnt realize I should expect the rails that clearly state they are 6 ft will actually be 4 1/2 inches shorter. After spending over $1800 already for just rails, I dont think I should have to eat the other $150 or so to get the length of rail that I should have gotten in the first place.

  24. Bob McCarty says:

    Stay away from Trex!!! It is the worst product of any kind that I have ever used. It cost three times as much as wood and it is absolute junk. We get mold spots all over it. I clean it with the cleaner that Trex recomended and the mold is back within three weeks. According to all of the reveiws that I read, I can look forward to flaking after a number of cleanings. I recommend using anything but Trex.

  25. Pat Robinson says:

    Stay away from Trex!!! We had our deck built in 2010 using Trex Accent(saddle color) decking. Had black mold spots all over it the next spring. I cleaned it with the cleaner that Trex recomended but the mold is back within weeks. I complained to Trex Customer Service that having to clean my decking every month with harsh chemicals is not my idea of low maintenance, or hassle free as their marketing promotes. Customer Service requested I fill out a 3-page “Concern Form”, provide proof that I own the property, proof that I purchased the decking and pictures of problem decking. After I do this they say the warranty doesn’t cover black mold but they will send me a complimentary cleaning product, gloves and a instructional DVD. All I need to do is sign the offer letter they included. How big of them. I wish I had taken my contractor advise and used real wood decking. What makes it worse is that according to all of the reveiws that I read, I can look forward to flaking after a number of cleanings. I recommend using anything but Trex.

  26. James D says:

    Really interesting comments on the website.
    We live in San Diego and were torn between ipe and Transcends for a 600+ sw ft deck. We had looked at others like TT and Fiberon, but of the man made stuff, we went with Transcends Spiced Rum and a Vintage Lantern picture frame with white rails.
    This was replacing a 20 year old Trex composite deck which was in great condition, except the framing had dry rot. We just decided to replace it completely due to the extensive damage done to the framing.

    Perhaps because its relatively arrid here in Southern California, we just never ran into mold issues like the ones I hear about over and over. The former was light grey so the weathering impact was not as dramatic either.

    So far the install has been going in incredbly well and just based on the former Trex which was there for 20+ years already, we had no problem going with them again.

    Of course time will tell how this works, but I absolutely trust the carpeneters doing the work and they really do stand behind the Transcend line. If it doesnt work out and we have problems, then I guess it will be just another bad review from me and we will go ipe.

  27. Darryl G says:

    Have never felt so poorly treated and unsatisfied. We had our house built in 2003 and after 5 years started getting flaking issues which I ignored for a few years…then things started getting worse. So I finally researched and saw how big the trouble was and filed a claim with Trex. They very kindly offered to replace the entire mess but “only” with the same “Fixed” product. I saw all the trouble people had with mold and had a bit of trouble on my existing board so I asked to get credit toward thier newer product Transcend. Trex absolutely shut me down. I was resonable and offered to pay the difference if they would just send me the new product instead of the old. They said NO I had to get a refund them buy Transcend at Retail. I explained to them that repaying retail as well as the demo and disposal and reistalation of “Trex’s problem” would cost me an extra $4K. In the end they said NO NO and I said See you later, NOT. I would never deal with these guys again. Stay away from Trex.