Decks are terrific additions to any home but as is the case with many home additions, there are plenty of options to choose from. A popular choice among new deck owners is Trex decking. This eco-friendly deck option has been gaining momentum for the last few years and has replaced boardwalks at Mt. Rushmore, in New Jersey, and other popular tourist locations. To learn more about this unique decking material, including Trex decking prices, continue reading below.
What is Trex Decking?
Trex decking products comprise 95 percent recycled products. The recycled materials include sawdust, reclaimed wood and plastics from household packaging such as grocery bags or plastic wrappers. Trex is one of the largest recycling companies in the U.S., reclaiming over 400 million pounds of wood and plastic each year.
Fun Fact: An estimated 140,000 plastic bags are in a 500-square-foot Trex deck.
Trex Decking Prices
Overall, Trex decking is a bit more expensive to install than a standard wood deck. However, wood decks require much more maintenance, saving you both time and money down the road.
See the average costs of Trex decking below:
The total project cost for a Trex deck ranges from $1,500 to $2,200 for a 250-square-foot deck.
- Trex Select of basic quality averages approximately $7 per square foot.
- Trex Enhance of higher quality is approximately $8 per square foot.
- Trex Transcend, the highest grade, ranges between $9 and $9.50 per square foot.
Other than quality, there are other factors that can increase or decrease the overall price of your deck. Size is the biggest factor. The larger the deck, the more expensive it will be. Additionally, design plays a role. If you’re looking for something simple, such as a square or rectangle deck, your overall price would be cheaper than going with a complex deck design. Finally, there are extra features all decks offer. These, of course, do not come without a price tag.
Trex Decking Products
As you read above, there are three different grades when it comes to Trex decking, all offering their own set of advantages, styles, and price points. Trex Select is the cheapest and lowest grade available. Nonetheless, Trex Select does contain an outer shell that increases resistance to mold and mildew. The color of the decking material and railing can be modified to match your home’s style.
The second-tier products include Trex Enhance decking and Trex Reveal railing. While slightly higher priced than the Select grade, Enhance offers fade and stain resistance in addition to anti-mold and mildew properties. Trex Reveal railings are made of aluminum and can be used with any of the Trex decks.
The upper echelon of Trex decking is the Trex Transcend product line. While it is more expensive, the added benefits are surely worth it. As expected, Transcend decking is available in many colors and finishes, including tropical colors. There are a variety of railing styles to match your deck’s design and color. Transcend’s outer shell, that of which is very strong, protects your new and shiny deck from mold, mildew, fading, stains, and scratches.
Why Choose Trex Decking?
Unquestionably, the biggest benefit of Trex decking is its eco-friendly nature. As our world moves towards a greener state of mind, more and more homeowners will add Trex decking as opposed to the more common hardwood decks.
Other than going green, Trex decking offers a wide array of other benefits:
- Weigh as much as 50 to 70 percent more than lumber of the same dimensions, making Trex a very solid material
- Stays cooler than wood of the same color on a hot day
- Can be cut, routed and grooved just like wood boards
- Can be cut into uniquely curved deck designs
- Offers an eco-friendly option with the look of exotic wood
Added Trex Features
Like any home addition, there are always add-ons you can purchase to enhance the look, feel and safety of your new deck. Trex decking is no different.
Trex Elevations is a framing system made of steel. Most decks are made of wood frames, which, if installed correctly, are as safe as can be. However, Trex Elevations offer straighter construction and more structural stability than wood. Also, steel frames, as opposed to wood frames, are fire resistant. Finally, steel frames let the builder go longer distances between frames, saving you or your decking professional time and money.
Rain and gutters are two dynamics that can ruin and/or protect your deck. Trex Rain Escape creates a dry space beneath the deck that pushes water away from the deck rather than underneath it. Furthermore, Trex Rain Escape creates a dry space beneath the deck that is suitable for the installation of deck lighting, ceiling fans and finished ceilings.
How Trex Decking has Evolved
While composite decking has not been around as long as traditional wood decking, like any good product, there have been a few enhancements over the years. All early generation wood-plastic composites were not stain, scratch or mold-free, and did fade slightly in color as they weathered.
Trex sought to address these issues in 2010. Once altered, all newer lines came with the protective shell that offers mold, stain, and fade resistance. Fortunately, as of 2014, Trex no longer manufactured any early-generation composite materials.
Trex Decking Maintenance
Maintaining a Trex deck is not as expensive or time-consuming as maintaining a wood deck. This is where the overall costs start to even out.
Trex decks should not be sanded. In fact, the earlier generation of composite decks couldn’t even be power-washed. Now, the three Trex deck products mentioned above can be power-washed up to 3,100 psi. However, just know that most of the time, in order to clean your Trex deck, all you need is soap and water.
The same can not be said of most wood decks. Traditional decks will have to be sanded, stained, sealed and painted over the years to maintain a new look and feel. As a reference point, according to our deck sealing cost estimator, the average price to seal a deck is $729.
DIY vs. Professional
Building a deck is a time-consuming project, but one the average to advanced DIYer can accomplish on his or her own. Unlike plumbing or electrical projects, building a deck is not dangerous and can’t cause additional damage to your home (unless you really mess up). While the overall cost of building a deck yourself is of course cheaper than hiring a pro, just know that deck professionals are able to get discounts on lumber and other building supplies because they buy in bulk. Nonetheless, if you do hire a pro to build your deck, expect to pay approximately $6,100.
The world is going green, and every aspect of your home is following suit. While the upfront costs are higher, if you’re thinking of adding a beautiful deck to your backyard and want to go with an eco-friendly, low maintenance alternative, consider Trex decking.
More From Life Cheat Sheet: