My mom and pop have just fitted some Trex style decking, but they’re worried it might get scratched by their patio furniture set. Is this a common problem with Trex and other composite decking systems?
Trex decking is very durable, but it’s scratch-resistant, not scratch-proof. This means although it’s hard to damage it will get scratched by patio furniture. For this reason, it’s best to fix rubber or felt pads on the feet of your patio furniture legs, and avoid dragging it around your decking.
In this article, we’ll explore in greater detail the subject of Trex decking getting scratched by patio furniture, and discover what you can do to repair your deck when it does get scratched – and the steps you can take to ensure it doesn’t get damaged in the first place…
Do Trex Decks Scratch Easily?
Trex decks can scratch, but not easily. To understand how Trex works, it’s important to realize the difference between scratch-resistant and scratch-proof. Trex is the former, meaning it won’t stretch easily, but it will scratch.
So yes, you can put furniture on it, and you don’t need to worry about your dog’s claws on the surface. But, dragging furniture across the deck or getting a bit of gravel embedded in your shoe will cause some scratching.
How Do You Keep Trex Deck From Scratching?
There are some really simple measures you can take to prevent your Trex deck from scratching. The biggest risk to a Trex deck is patio furniture. So, unless the chair and table feet are already made from rubber, stick on those little felt pads to prevent scuffing.
When you’re moving furniture around, lift it, don’t drag it. If it’s a heavy table, get someone else to help rather than dragging its feet across the deck.
Of course, moving chairs around the patio is unavoidable. You can get outdoor, water-resistant rugs for patios. A (non-latex or rubber-backed) rug is an effective and attractive way to protect your deck from unwanted scrapes.
When it comes to maintenance, use a soft brush (check the bristles for grit) and don’t use a pressure washer. If your Trex deck gets a good layer of snow in the winter, clear it using a plastic, not metal, shovel.
What Should You Not Use on Trex Decking?
One of the biggest problems with decks like Trex is careless cleaning. Anything scratchy or abrasive will damage the surface.
Keep cleaning simple: a soft brush to remove debris, then a scrub with another soft brush and soapy water. Never use an acetone or solvent-based cleaner on a composite deck: stick to good old dish soap every time.
Can you use a power washer on Trex decking? It’s a bit risky, and you certainly shouldn’t on older generation Trex decks. If you decide it does need a power wash, make sure your machine is set to 3100 psi or lower. It’s probably safest to stick to a hose pipe, so you don’t invalidate any warranty or damage the deck.
How about stains? Remove stains immediately, especially greasy ones. You can get hold of commercial deck brighteners that will help remove stubborn marks.
How Do You Keep Furniture From Sliding on Trex Decking?
Those sticky felt pads that go on chair and table legs not only prevent scratching, they’ll also stop your furniture from sliding.
You can buy these handy little pads in most hardware stores, and they cost just a few dollars. They’re easy to apply, so you can fix this problem in a matter of minutes. You can also get anti-slip tape, which you can use for rugs and mats.
Will an Outdoor Rug Damage a Trex Deck?
An outdoor rug looks great on your Trex deck, and helps prevent everyday scuffs and scratches. However, choose your rug material carefully. A rubber, vinyl, or latex-backed rug could leave marks on the deck, and some cheaper rugs could even leach color.
The safest type of outdoor rug for composite decks is polypropylene. Check that it’s colorfast (don’t buy the cheapest).
The other thing to watch out for is housekeeping. Regularly lift the rug and brush under it. This will prevent any grit becoming trapped under the rug and embedding in the deck, or scratching it. Regular lifting and cleaning also stops mold and mildew from developing on the deck.
How Long Does a Trex Deck Last? (Does Trex Wear Out?)
A Trex deck lasts a long time. Trex sells its latest decks with a limited 25-year warranty against fading and staining. Obviously, you have to care for it to keep it looking fabulous for that long, but that’s still an impressive lifespan.
Please just bear in mind that this is the newer Trex we’re talking about. Like most manmade materials, composite deck has become more sophisticated with time.
Older generation Trex isn’t as robust, and is far more prone to fading and warping. If your Trex is starting to show its age, it could be worth investing in a new deck: this one should give you the 25 years that Trex promises.
Does Trex Decking Fade in the Sun?
The latest generation of Trex deck has a limited 25-year warranty against fading. Modern composite decks have that tough layer of hard plastic above the recycled materials, preventing the effects of UV on the natural materials.
Having said that, there will be some fading, even with the capped surface. But, this is barely perceptible to the human eye.
If you were to lay two planks side by side, twenty years apart, you may notice a very slight color difference, but we’re talking slight. Fade resistance means that any fading is limited to less than 5 Delta (CIE) units: in everyday speak, that means “barely any fading”.
Trex is open about how its older deck fades, and how they worked on the problem, coming up with this innovative new surface. Again, if you have an older deck, you will notice fading with time. This short film shows you how to rejuvenate an old deck.
Does Trex Decking Get Slippery When Wet?
Composite deck has a reputation for being slick when wet. Later-generation deck tends to be grippier than older boards, because it has a more realistic wood texture. This grain effect is naturally more slip-resistant than smoother surfaces.
However, it still can feel slippery when wet. Here are a few things you can do to prevent slips and slides on the patio.
- If you haven’t laid the deck yet, great: there are preventative measures you can take from the outset. Build the deck with drainage gaps between the planks, and try to achieve an ever-so-slight tilt, which prevents water from accumulating
- Again, if the deck’s not down, think about its location. Shaded areas will stay wet for longer as they’re not warmed by the sun
- Keep the deck clean. Mold, mildew, fungus, general debris, and dirt will make the surface slippier, especially when it’s wet
- Have a different surface for areas of high travel. Create a path to the door from slabs or slip-free mats: this is especially helpful if you’re worried about elderly relatives slipping on a wet day
- If you want to keep the same surface but want a grippier area, think about how you lay the Trex. Boards laid lengthways, in the direction you’re walking, are slippier than horizontal or diagonal boards, simply because of the direction of the grain
- Are you the proud owner of a 20-year-old deck? It may be time to switch up to the latest version of Trex, which is grippier than its predecessors
How Do You Fill Holes in Trex Decking?
Got a hole in your Trex deck? Don’t panic: this should be fixable… Firstly, we’ll be honest: if it’s a small hole, this can be fixed pretty easily; however, if you think the hole is large enough to still be noticeable after repair, you’re better off replacing the board (you did buy spares, right?).
To fill a small hole in Trex decking, you need some fine shavings, silicone caulk (as close a match to the board as you can find), a putty knife, and an old bowl.
- Mix the shavings and caulk. You’re aiming for a thick consistency: it needs to be malleable, but still dense enough not to run straight through the hole
- Press the mix into the hole using the putty knife
- Leave it to dry before walking on this area again
Summary: Is Trex Worth the Money?
Trex isn’t the cheapest way to cover your patio, but with that 25-year guarantee, it’s a good investment. Allow up to $30 per square foot for the best quality Trex decking, which includes fastening and substructure. If you hire a pro to install it for you, it’s closer to $50.
If you’re thinking of installing a Trex deck, there’s a useful decking cost calculator on the Trex website. This will give you an idea of how much your Trex deck will cost you.
When you’re buying a brand like Trex, it’s a trade-off between initial cost and longevity. Yes, it’s a more expensive way of covering your patio or porch floor than many other materials; however, it is built to last, and you will get that 25-year fade-resistant warranty. 🙂