Like most other wood composites, Trex Wood-Polymer® lumber is made from equal portions of reclaimed plastic, such as milk jugs and other items, and wood waste byproducts, such as saw dust. These items are then combined with adhesive to make the lumber, which can be milled for use in a wide range of outdoor projects, like planters and toy and tool storage boxes.
At Toronto Custom Decks, we’re the leading outdoor contractor in the area and have used the composite lumber for Trex decking projects for hundreds of residential and business customers.
Trex decking has many properties that make it an attractive alternative to traditional wood building materials, though it is heavier and more flexible than real wood and shouldn’t be used to frame structures such as full-size storage sheds. In the case of children’s play structures, Trex boards are used for surfaces, benches, and steps, while natural hard wood is used to build the frame.
A key reason Trex decking is so popular compared to a product such as 100 percent plastic lumber is because its wood content retains the advantage of thermal expansion and contraction, meaning the shape changes little if any when exposed to heat or bitter Canadian winters. Perhaps best of all is the fact it can be cut, drilled, and nailed using standard carpentry tools.
Key points to remember when working with Trex decking:
- When cutting or drilling, we recommend using carbide-tipped blades and drill bits, as they create fewer chips in the wood than steel blades or bits.
- To secure Trex decking, always start at least one inch from board edges and sink nails at an angle into the joist. For best results, choose Trex Hideaway® Hidden Fasteners directly from the manufacturer, though any hot-dipped, galvanized, ceramic coated and stainless steel fasteners can also be used. For outdoor projects, there are several brands of fasteners made specifically for wood composite lumber, but these may be prohibitively expensive depending on the project or size of the deck.
- Like traditional wood, Trek lumber is available in many “standard” sizes: 1×6, 5/4×6, 2×2 for balusters, 2×4, 2×6 and 2×8. Trek decking can be purchased in board lengths of 12 feet, with 5/4×6, 2×4 and 2×6 available in 16 foot lengths. 5/4×6 and 2×6 are also available in 20 foot lengths, and other dimensions can be purchased by special order direct from the manufacturer.
- The colour of Trek decking will change over time, as is the case with wood and other building materials. As such, the proper care should be taken when cleaning and finishing the lumber to ensure strength, durability, and colour over the years.
- Finally, please keep in mind the lumber will expand slightly, meaning Trex decking must be installed with the proper gapping at the end joints and side-to-side. If the boards are too close, they can be damaged upon expansion or allow for moisture to build on the surface. Conversely, boards that are too far apart will allow for vegetation to grow under the deck and make its way to the surface.
Thinking of having a Trex composite deck installed in your backyard?
Call Toronto custom decks today for the perfect Trex deck design and build in Toronto