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Is Trex® Composite Decking the Right Material for Your Deck?

March 29th, 2019 | 4 min read

By Michael Flory

Trex composite deck with metal railing

Picture this - you're envisioning your dream deck, a space where you can bask in the outdoors, entertain friends, or simply unwind after a long day. Yet, as you venture into the world of deck materials, the choices seem endless.

Should you stick with the tried-and-true wood, with its rustic charm but susceptibility to wear and tear? Or should you explore newer, innovative options like Trex® composite decking, with its promises of durability, sustainability, and low maintenance? The deck material dilemma can be a perplexing one.

At Custom Built, we understand the intricate decision-making process when it comes to selecting the ideal deck material. With over 15 years of experience in crafting outdoor living spaces, we've seen the evolution of deck materials firsthand. We're here to provide you with the knowledge and insights needed to make an informed choice that aligns perfectly with your vision for the ultimate outdoor haven.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll embark on a journey through the world of deck materials, with a particular focus on Trex® composite decking.

From its impressive longevity to its eco-friendly attributes and stunning aesthetics, you'll gain a deep understanding of why Trex® has become a compelling choice for homeowners seeking the perfect deck material. So, get ready to explore the possibilities and discover if Trex® composite decking is the right fit for your dream deck with Custom Built:

Trex® Decking vs. Other Composite Decking

Among composite deck building materials manufacturers, the industry leader is Trex Company, Inc. Trex® is an innovator in the composite world and has won many awards and accolades over the years. In recent years, two of its product lines — Trex Enhance® and Trex Transcend® — were named to the “Top 100 Products List” by readers of “Professional Builder” magazine.  A 2018 article in “Pro Sales Magazine” titled, “Top Decking Products,” also called out the three top manufacturers of composite and vinyl decking products and stated Trex® was “specified or used most” and for deck rails, “Trex® was the first in all categories.”

Another attribute that gives Trex® an edge over the competition is the company’s dedication to environmental stewardship and sustainability throughout its operations. Among the company’s environmental accomplishments are:

  • Composite decking is made from 95 percent reclaimed wood fiber and recycled plastic film.

  • Protection against rot and insects is accomplished without chemicals.

  • Approximately 70 percent of the aluminum and steel used in commercial products is from recycled sources (as is 50 percent of the aluminum used in residential products).

  • One of the nation’s largest recyclers of plastic film.

  • Reclaimed wood fiber is locally sourced.

  • Nearly 100 percent of factory scrap is returned to the process.

  • Member of the U.S. Green Building Council.

  • Use of its products can add up to five points toward a building’s LEED certification.

All of these have been achieved while not sacrificing quality, and Trex® is known for warranties that are among the best in the industry. The company also provides live product support, literature and overall transparency when it comes to its products, its processes, and its history.

Trex® Decking vs. Wood Decking

composite vs wood decking

Wood decks are still the most common in Mid-Michigan, however wood has been becoming more expensive in recent years and a less readily available material option. So when you begin considering what material is best for your project, your home, and your budget, think both short-term and long-term.

In the short term, a new wood deck made from typical treated southern pine lumber is going to be economical and look pretty good. You may decide to paint the deck a color that reflects heat or stain it to help it weather our intense seasonal changes. For the first year or two, however, a wooden deck will appear new. Then gradually, the weather and use will begin to take their toll in warping and twisting boards, splinters here and there, chipping pain, fading stain, and other problems.

damaged wood deck


Then there’s the maintenance that must be done at least annually which includes sanding; power washing and/or mold and mildew removal; staining and re-staining; painting and repainting; waterproofing; board replacement; and other fixes.

For many homeowners, especially those planning smaller decks that are near the ground, a little elbow grease a couple of times each year is worth the savings. However, those considering large, two-story, or multi-level decks may want to take a closer look at the benefits of composite deck materials like Trex® over wood, unless they really want to handle the maintenance themselves or hire a company to do it.

Over the long term, the case for building with composite decking like Trex® gets stronger for the larger, elevated decks. In the first place, large decks, regardless of material, are complicated and costly to design and build. So, using composite materials could be considered an investment in your investment. Secondly, for larger decks, having a 25-year limited warranty on decking can provide peace of mind you can’t get with typically treated wood products, even if your maintenance is perfect.

Another attractive Trex® option is the company’s “Good-Better-Best” lineup of products for both decking and railing. With three different levels — Trex Select®, the top-rated Trex Enhance®, and Trex Transcend® — the color choices and railing options are designed to be compatible with different styles and tastes, and a range of budgets.


Choosing between wood and composite decking is crucial for your outdoor living space remodeling plans. With so many options available, finding the right decking option available can be challenging and confusing.

However, with the insights provided in this comprehensive guide, you've gained a deeper understanding of Trex® composite decking. You've explored its remarkable durability, eco-friendly attributes, and the stunning aesthetics it brings to outdoor spaces. You now possess the knowledge to make an informed choice, aligning your deck with your vision for the ultimate outdoor haven.

At Custom Built, we're not just about crafting indoor spaces; we're experts in transforming outdoor living areas too. With 15+ years of deck building experience, our team understands the intricacies of deck materials and can guide you through every step of the decision-making process. We're here to turn your vision into reality, addressing any challenges along the way.

custom built design and remodeling deck builders michigan

Now that you know the Trex composite decking basics, let's take a look at how to look for the right deck builder, how much your deck project will cost with Custom Built, and Trex's main decking lines:

Michael Flory

Michael brings over 2 decades of building and remodeling experience to his position as the Owner and Visionary of Custom Built. Michael’s passion to make an impact on the home building industry has led him to serve for over ten years at the local and state Home Builders Association, culminating as President of the HBA of Michigan in 2020.