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How To Lay Trex Composite Decking How To Lay Trex Composite Decking

Outdoor Structures

How To Lay Trex Composite Decking

Written by: Ethan Hayes

Learn how to lay Trex composite decking for your outdoor structures with our step-by-step guide. Create a durable and low-maintenance deck that will stand the test of time.

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Welcome to the world of Trex composite decking, where beauty meets durability. If you’re looking to create a stunning outdoor living space that’s low-maintenance and long-lasting, Trex composite decking is the perfect choice. Unlike traditional wood decking, Trex boards are made from a unique combination of reclaimed wood and plastic, providing the natural look of wood with added resistance to fading, staining, and mold. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a first-time deck builder, laying Trex composite decking can be a rewarding and straightforward process when approached with the right tools and techniques.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the essential steps to successfully lay Trex composite decking, from preparing the area and installing the framework to the finishing touches. By the end of this comprehensive guide, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and confidence to transform your outdoor space into a stunning oasis that will be enjoyed for years to come.

Key Takeaways:

  • Trex composite decking offers unmatched durability, resisting fading, staining, and mold while maintaining its natural wood look for years. It’s a low-maintenance, long-lasting outdoor solution that withstands the test of time.
  • By choosing Trex composite decking, you’re making a sustainable choice that aligns with eco-conscious principles. It utilizes reclaimed wood and recycled plastic, allowing you to enjoy nature while minimizing environmental impact.

Materials and Tools Needed

Before diving into the installation process, it’s essential to gather all the necessary materials and tools to ensure a smooth and efficient workflow. Here’s a comprehensive list of what you’ll need:


  • Trex composite decking boards
  • Pressure-treated lumber for the framework
  • Joist hangers and fasteners
  • Composite deck screws
  • Gravel or stone for the base
  • Concrete mix (if using concrete footings)
  • String or chalk line
  • Composite shims
  • Plastic or landscape fabric
  • Composite deck cleaner
  • Protective finishing products (if desired)


  • Measuring tape
  • Level
  • Power drill with screwdriver bits
  • Saw (circular saw or miter saw)
  • Hammer
  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow (for mixing concrete, if needed)
  • Rubber mallet
  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses

Having these materials and tools at your disposal will streamline the installation process and help you achieve professional results. Additionally, it’s crucial to prioritize safety throughout the project by wearing appropriate protective gear and exercising caution when operating power tools.

Preparing the Area

Before embarking on the installation of Trex composite decking, thorough preparation of the installation area is crucial for the longevity and structural integrity of your outdoor oasis. Here’s a step-by-step guide to preparing the area:

1. Clear the Space

Start by clearing the designated area of any debris, vegetation, or obstacles. This includes removing rocks, roots, and any existing structures that may interfere with the decking installation.

2. Mark the Layout

Use string or a chalk line to outline the dimensions of your deck. This will help you visualize the layout and ensure precise measurements before proceeding with the construction.

3. Create a Solid Foundation

Depending on your local building codes and soil conditions, you may opt for concrete footings or a gravel base to support the deck’s framework. If using concrete footings, dig holes at designated intervals and pour the concrete mix according to the recommended depth and diameter. For a gravel base, ensure the area is properly leveled and compacted to provide a stable foundation.

4. Install Landscape Fabric

To prevent weed growth and promote drainage, lay down a layer of landscape fabric over the prepared base. This will help maintain the integrity of the substructure and minimize maintenance requirements in the long run.

5. Construct the Substructure

With the foundation in place, it’s time to construct the substructure using pressure-treated lumber. Install joist hangers and secure the framework according to the layout, ensuring proper spacing and alignment. This framework will serve as the support for the Trex composite decking boards.

By meticulously preparing the area, you’ll establish a solid groundwork for the subsequent steps of the installation process. Taking the time to complete these initial tasks will contribute to the overall stability and performance of your Trex composite deck.

Installing the Framework

With the area meticulously prepared, it’s time to focus on constructing the framework that will provide the structural support for your Trex composite decking. This crucial step lays the groundwork for a stable and long-lasting outdoor living space. Here’s a detailed overview of how to install the framework:

1. Positioning the Joists

Begin by positioning the pressure-treated lumber joists across the designated area, ensuring they are spaced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Utilize a level to guarantee that the joists are perfectly horizontal, as this will influence the overall stability and appearance of the deck.

2. Securing the Joists

Once the joists are properly positioned, secure them in place using joist hangers and appropriate fasteners. This step is crucial for reinforcing the structural integrity of the framework and preventing any shifting or movement over time.

3. Incorporating Composite Shims

If necessary, use composite shims to ensure that the joists are level and evenly supported. This meticulous attention to detail will contribute to the overall uniformity and stability of the deck structure.

4. Double-Checking Alignment

Take the time to double-check the alignment and spacing of the joists, making any necessary adjustments to guarantee uniform support for the Trex composite decking boards. Precision at this stage will streamline the installation of the decking and optimize the final aesthetic appeal.

5. Ensuring Proper Drainage

During the framework installation, it’s essential to consider proper drainage to prevent water accumulation and potential damage to the deck structure. Incorporate a slight slope in the framework to facilitate water runoff and enhance the longevity of the decking materials.

By meticulously following these steps, you’ll establish a sturdy and precisely engineered framework that forms the backbone of your Trex composite deck. Attention to detail during this phase will lay the groundwork for a seamless and visually appealing decking installation.

Laying the Trex Composite Decking

With the framework securely in place, it’s time to embark on the exciting phase of laying the Trex composite decking boards. This transformative step will bring your outdoor space to life, combining the beauty of natural wood with the durability of composite materials. Here’s a comprehensive guide to laying the Trex composite decking:

1. Planning the Layout

Before commencing the installation, carefully plan the layout of the decking boards to optimize visual appeal and minimize material waste. Consider the orientation, patterns, and potential seam locations to create a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing design.

2. Commencing Installation

Start by placing the first board along the outer edge of the deck, ensuring it is parallel to the framework and appropriately spaced. Utilize stainless steel or high-quality composite deck screws to secure the board in place, maintaining uniform spacing between each board for a polished finish.

3. Utilizing Hidden Fasteners

Consider using hidden fastening systems for a seamless and clean appearance. These innovative systems allow for discreet attachment of the decking boards, eliminating visible screws and enhancing the overall visual appeal of the deck surface.

4. Mitigating Expansion and Contraction

Due to environmental factors and temperature variations, composite decking materials may expand and contract. To accommodate these natural movements, incorporate proper spacing between the boards, as recommended by the manufacturer. This precaution will prevent warping and buckling over time.

5. Trimming and Finishing

As you progress with the installation, trim the decking boards to fit the designated area, ensuring precise cuts and a tailored fit. Pay attention to detail when approaching edges, corners, and obstacles, maintaining a uniform and professional appearance throughout the deck surface.

By meticulously following these steps, you’ll seamlessly lay the Trex composite decking, transforming your outdoor space into a captivating retreat. The combination of precision installation techniques and attention to aesthetic details will result in a visually stunning and enduring outdoor living environment.

Finishing Touches

As the installation of the Trex composite decking nears completion, attention to the finishing touches will elevate the overall appeal and functionality of your outdoor oasis. These final steps will add polish and refinement to the project, ensuring that your Trex composite deck is not only visually striking but also a functional and inviting space for relaxation and entertainment. Here’s a guide to the essential finishing touches:

1. Railing and Balustrades

If your design incorporates railing and balustrades, carefully install these elements to enhance safety and aesthetics. Choose from a variety of railing styles and materials that complement the Trex composite decking, creating a cohesive and visually appealing boundary for your outdoor space.

2. Lighting Solutions

Illuminate your deck with strategically placed lighting solutions to extend its functionality into the evening hours. Consider options such as low-voltage LED deck lights, post cap lights, or under-rail lighting to create a warm and inviting ambiance while enhancing safety and visibility.

3. Stair Treads and Landings

If your deck includes stairs, ensure that the stair treads and landings are meticulously installed to provide secure and stable access to the elevated platform. Pay attention to proper tread spacing, secure attachment, and uniformity to guarantee safety and convenience.

4. Fascia and Edging

Complete the refined look of your Trex composite deck by installing fascia boards and edging. These finishing elements not only conceal the exposed ends of the decking boards and framework but also contribute to a polished and cohesive appearance, elevating the visual impact of the entire structure.

5. Regular Maintenance

Establish a maintenance routine to preserve the beauty and integrity of your Trex composite deck. Regularly clean the deck surface with a composite deck cleaner to remove dirt, debris, and stains. Additionally, consider applying protective finishing products to enhance longevity and resistance to the elements.

By incorporating these finishing touches, you’ll elevate the visual appeal, safety, and functionality of your Trex composite deck, creating an inviting and enduring outdoor space that enriches your lifestyle and leisure time.


Congratulations on successfully completing the installation of your Trex composite decking! By following the comprehensive steps outlined in this guide, you’ve embarked on a transformative journey to create a stunning outdoor living space that seamlessly blends natural beauty with enduring performance. As you admire the fruits of your labor, it’s important to reflect on the key takeaways from this process and the enduring benefits of Trex composite decking.

Unparalleled Durability

Trex composite decking offers unparalleled durability, resisting fading, staining, and mold while maintaining its visual appeal for years to come. By choosing Trex, you’ve invested in a low-maintenance and long-lasting outdoor solution that will withstand the test of time and environmental elements.

Elevated Aesthetics

The installation of Trex composite decking has not only enhanced the functionality of your outdoor space but also elevated its aesthetics. The natural wood look, combined with precision installation techniques, has resulted in a visually striking and inviting environment that complements your lifestyle and outdoor activities.

Endless Enjoyment

With your Trex composite deck in place, you’re now poised to enjoy endless moments of relaxation, entertainment, and connection with nature. Whether hosting gatherings, unwinding with loved ones, or savoring solitary moments outdoors, your new deck will serve as a versatile and enduring backdrop for cherished memories.

Sustainable Choice

By choosing Trex composite decking, you’ve made a sustainable choice that contributes to environmental conservation. The use of reclaimed wood and recycled plastic in Trex boards aligns with eco-conscious principles, allowing you to revel in the beauty of nature while minimizing environmental impact.

As you bask in the satisfaction of completing this transformative project, remember that your Trex composite deck is more than just an outdoor structure—it’s a testament to your vision, craftsmanship, and commitment to creating a harmonious connection between your living space and the natural world. Embrace the countless moments of joy and relaxation that await in your newly enhanced outdoor oasis.

Thank you for joining us on this journey, and may your Trex composite deck be a source of enduring delight and inspiration for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions about How To Lay Trex Composite Decking

What tools do I need to lay Trex composite decking?

To lay Trex composite decking, you will need a few essential tools such as a power drill, measuring tape, level, saw, and safety gear. These tools will help you accurately measure, cut, and install the decking boards for a professional finish.
Can I install Trex composite decking on my own?

Yes, you can definitely install Trex composite decking on your own. With the right tools, materials, and a bit of patience, you can create a beautiful and durable deck for your outdoor space. Just make sure to follow the manufacturer’s installation guidelines for the best results.
How do I clean and maintain Trex composite decking?

Cleaning and maintaining Trex composite decking is relatively easy. You can simply use a mild soap and water solution to clean off any dirt or debris. Additionally, regular sweeping and occasional power washing can help keep your deck looking great for years to come.
Can Trex composite decking withstand harsh weather conditions?

Yes, Trex composite decking is designed to withstand harsh weather conditions. It is resistant to fading, staining, scratching, and mold, making it an ideal choice for outdoor structures. Whether it’s hot summer days or cold winter nights, Trex decking can handle it all.
How long does Trex composite decking last?

Trex composite decking is known for its durability and longevity. When properly installed and maintained, Trex decking can last for decades, providing a beautiful and functional outdoor space for you and your family to enjoy. Plus, it comes with a warranty for added peace of mind.

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