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Tips for Building a Trex Deck

Trex decking imitates the natural beauty of wood, but leaves behind all the rotting and splintering. You won't miss the splinters and neither will your feet. Trex is also a breeze to maintain, so you'll spend more time relaxing on your deck instead of working on it. Dolan's and Trex provide this Complete Installation Guide.

We also have a few tips below for you from the Trex experts, and remember. If you need answers to a question, call the Dolan's deck expert at your nearest Dolan's location.

We carry several Trex decking styles and colors in stock. And if we don't have it, we'll order it for you promptly. Find out more about TREX DECKING and RAILINGS in our Product Section.


Tool Tips: No special tools are required to install Trex, but here are some tips to help you get off to a fast start:

For best results, use carbide tipped blades and router bits.

Use rubbing alcohol to remove any visible printing on the sides of the boards.

When using a miter box saw, we recommend a 10 to 12” saw with 30 teeth or less. Saw blades with fewer teeth stay cooler and last longer.

Screw guns are a fast and easy way to fasten Trex.

Fastening Tips: Trex products can be assembled with most traditional outdoor fastening methods.

Trex has no grain and will not split as long as fasteners are started 1” from board edges and angled into the joist.Hot dipped, galvanized, ceramic coated and stainless steel fasteners resist rust and stains. We recommend using the following types of fasteners with Trex:

  • Trex Hideaway™ Hidden Fasteners — Trex offers hidden fasteners clips that offer easy and fast installation, automatic gapping, and a deck with a completely smooth surface.
  • Exterior Grade Deck Screws — Fewer threads per inch work best. You will need to flatten excess shavings after the screw is in place.
  • Composite Decking Screws — These screws are designed to pull the shavings into the screw hole. Some are specifically manufactured to coordinate with Trex colors.
  • Trim-Head Screws — These screws have sufficient holding power and their small heads decrease screw visibility.
  • Nails — Nails are equally effective.
  • Spiral shank nails have extra holding power.

Importance of Gapping: Trex decking must be gapped, both end-to-end and width-to-width. Gapping is necessary to allow for drainage, account for the slight thermal expansion and contraction of Trex boards, and enable shrinkage of the wood joist system.

What Not to Do:

Do not use chalk lines on a Trex deck unless it is white.

Remember that sanding will change the surface appearance of Trex material.

Trex routs beautifully to give extremely crisp edges, but avoid routing 2x2 or 4x4 profiles.