Trex Composite Decking – How to Cut and Install
As a homeowner, you are never short of a list of jobs to do, in and out of the house. If you have a decking area, maintaining it is often one of the big ones – and a job most of us hate! But there is a new solution to help solve the problem in the form of Trex Composite Decking.
This new decking solution is the perfect way to get ultra-low maintenance decking that has all the looks of normal decking. Plus, it is an environmentally friendly option for the sustainable conscious homeowners. Let's learn more about how to cut and install this decking material.
What is Trex Composite Decking?
Trex is made from a composite of wood fibre and polymer that creates non-structural surface material to use on decks. In other words, you couldn’t build a pergola with it, but it works perfectly as a floor for your outdoor decking area.
The clever thing about the product is the combination of materials means it doesn’t rot, splinter or even warp over time. It is tough and can resist insect damage as well as mould and mildew growth. It even stands up to UV rays from the sun and doesn’t fade over time.
And that’s not all. Trex is made to be cut into any shape or dimensions you need to cover your deck. Plus, it uses special fasteners that go between the deck boards, so the surface created is always smooth and without all those nails or screws sticking up.
How to cut Trex composite decking
The first step in creating your new decking area is to measure up and design where the decking will go. Then you are ready to start cutting the decking to fit into the space you have chosen.
The good news is that cutting Trex is very simple – it cuts much like soft pine. So, you can use a power circular saw to cut the pieces to the right size while a power mitre is ideal for accurate straight cuts. Just pause if the blade starts to get too hot as this can warp any material.
If you need curved cuts, then a router can be used. Again, work like you would with soft pine and you can get the shapes you need. Don’t use a sander on any edges as this will spoil the finish – instead just use a hand coping saw to smooth it.
How to install the decking
You can install Trex like normal decking, but the clever option is to use hidden fasteners. These are designed specifically for the product and hold it in place without that mushroom effect that we often see with normal decking. Instead, these fasteners don’t push the material out and keep a tighter fit.
Use a start hole around 1/8th inch deep then drill the rest of the hole with a bit the same diameter as the screw's inner core – but don't go too deep. Countersink the screws but no deeper than the screw head as this makes the fastener less effective. Make sure all screws are at a 90-degree angle, don't fasten from the side as this can spoil the finish.