Why Trex Fencing – FAQs
WHY IS TREX® FENCING BETTER THAN WOOD?
Trex® Fencing offers superior durability and performance that you can’t get from wood. Trex® Fencing resists termites, won’t rot, warp, or splinter and never needs staining or painting. What’s more, Trex® Fencing is made from 95% recycled materials (reclaimed wood as well as recycled plastic), making it an environmentally-friendly choice you can feel pleased about.
IF TREX® FENCING IS MADE FROM RECYCLED MATERIALS, WHY IS IT MORE EXPENSIVE THAN WOOD?
While most of the raw materials used in making Trex® Fencing are recycled, these materials are carefully processed to ensure the highest level of quality and performance. The end result is fencing that performs better than wood, actually lowering your cost over time through less maintenance. To learn more, please review our Go Green page.
WHAT IS THE LIFETIME VALUE OF TREX® FENCING?
With wood fences, maintenance costs add up over time. Although Trex® Fencing costs more initially, you’ll never have to sand, stain or paint your Trex® Fencing. Over the life of your fence, those reduced maintenance costs add up to a greater value than wood – not to mention the value of all the time you get to spend enjoying your fence rather than working on it.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STOCKADE COMPOSITE FENCES AND INNOVATIVE HIGH-PERFORMANCE TREX® FENCING?
Understanding the differences between a stockade composite fence and an innovative high-performance Trex® fence is an important factor in distinguishing the benefits of Trex.
Stockade Composite Fences (Dog-Eared). These traditional types of fences use backer rails and pickets screwed or nailed to the rails. Fasteners are visible on these types of fences. True privacy is hard to obtain because the expansion of the material at higher temperatures requires the pickets to be gapped during installation. The gap becomes even more pronounced when the temperatures drop and the material contracts. A board-on-board (overlapping picket) design could be used but that creates additional expense and still won’t fully close gaps if the boards warp. Because backer rails are usually exposed on one side of the fence, determining which side will face the neighbors could lead to difficult conversations. The typical recommendation for stockade-style fences is to install them on 6′ post centers which adds costs for posts and causes extra time and expense for labor. Stockade composite fences are usually not tested or backed with product engineering.
Innovative High-Performance Trex® Fencing. The innovative design of Trex® Fencing includes a board-on-board appearance with top and bottom fascia rails, capped with an attractive shadow-line. The fence’s innovation isn’t just about appearance — it is easy for do-it-yourselfers or professionals to install. The form and function of the components were also carefully considered during development. For example, the brackets allow fasteners to be hidden and the interlocking picket system not only provides complete privacy, it eliminates warping and strengthens the fence. Trex® Fencing is installed on 8’ post centers reducing additional product cost and extra time for labor.
BEYOND USING RECYCLED MATERIALS, WHAT OTHER ENVIRONMENTALLY-FRIENDLY PRACTICES DOES TREX® EMPLOY?
The Trex® environmentally-friendly manufacturing process recycles factory refuse/runoff back into the manufacturing line. Within the manufacturing plants, the trailers that carry product run on vegetable-based oil hydraulics. Trex® is a member of the USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council) and Trex® products contribute to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) points. Review Always Green page for more information.
CAN YOU SEND ME TREX® FENCING SAMPLES?
Yes. You can order sample boards with brochures and color chips through our website: Order Sample.
WHAT MATERIALS ARE USED IN THE MANUFACTURING OF TREX® FENCING?
Trex® Fencing is made from 95% recycled materials, including reclaimed wood and sawdust as well as recycled plastic from many common household items, such as the plastic wrap on packaging for paper towels and toilet paper, dry cleaner bags, newspaper bags, grocery and shopping bags. Trex® annually keeps more than 400 million pounds of plastic and wood scrap out of landfills. That makes Trex® one of the largest plastic film recyclers in the U.S. In fact, 100′ of Trex® Fencing contains about 120,000 recycled plastic bags.
WILL TREX® FENCING WEATHER OR HAVE COLOR VARIATION (CHANGE COLOR/FADE)?
Yes. The weathering process is completely natural and doesn’t negatively impact the product. Typically, several weeks after installation, Trex® Fencing will fade to a lighter color. See Trex® Fencing Colors for more details.
Natural Weathering. The Trex product receives heavy pigmentation during manufacturer to allow it to settle into a lighter shade when weathered. Under normal conditions, twelve to sixteen weeks of exposure to sunlight and rain are typically required for Trex® to achieve its weathered color. This process is completely harmless to Trex® products and does not affect the durability. The post caps and top rail will fade the fastest because of their direct exposure to the elements. Because of their vertical orientation, the pickets and post faces may take considerably longer to fade. The “after-weathering” color of Trex® may be different from the colors shown on the Trex® Colors page.
Color Variation. Due to the nature of composite materials, it should be expected that color variation between individual components may occur and in some cases may be significant. Trex Fencing is produced from a variety of recycled plastics and wood fibers which absorb pigments differently. While all colors of Trex Fencing may contain variation, it is typically more pronounced with Saddle and Winchester Grey. The three colors of Trex Fencing will lighten over time and color variation may become less noticeable. However, weathering will not eliminate all variation. Where possible, extra care should be taken to install similarly pigmented pickets in a section to minimize the appearance of variation. Color variation and fading do not affect the integrity of the product and are not covered under the Trex Warranty.
DOES TREX® FENCING WORK WELL IN ALL CLIMATES?
Trex® Fencing can handle Any climate … hot, cold, dry, humid, or dry. The unique formula of Trex makes it a durable, long-lasting outdoor building material.
EXPANSION AND CONTRACTION
All composite material will expand and contract with changes in temperature. If properly installed, Trex components are manufactured in a manner to accommodate these fluctuations. Gate hardware is also easily adjustable and may require some fine-tuning as temperatures change.
HOW MUCH DOES TREX® FENCING COST?
As with many things in life, you get what you pay for. Initially, Trex® Fencing does cost more than wood and vinyl (PVC) fences; however, the payoff you get over time in decreased maintenance costs and increased leisure time provides compelling value — so much so that you’ll often see Trex® Fencing referenced in the listings of properties for sale as an indicator of quality and value that homeowners and real estate agents tout when selling a home. Of course, the real value is in the time that you enjoy spending outdoors secured by Trex® Fencing without all the time and expense of maintenance.
IS TREX® FENCING SUITABLE FOR USE IN COMMERCIAL SETTINGS?
A 10-year commercial product warranty is applied on all Trex® Fencing projects. Trex® Fencing also has been tested and proven with architectural engineering. The following list of municipalities and commercial entities are an example of some of the clients that specified Trex fencing. Trex is selected as the product of choice for a variety of reasons including low maintenance, durability and strength, aesthetics, and green values. For architects and engineers, please reference our Technical Support page.
Our commercial clients number in the hundreds. From dumpster or utility enclosures to privacy screens for commercial areas butting to residential properties to security barriers for government facilities, Trex fencing provides a solution that is far more affordable than masonry, and more durable and secure than wood or vinyl.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR HOAs TO CONSIDER TREX® FENCING?
Managing operating costs is a perpetual challenge for community association budgets. Reducing annual costs on fence maintenance will allow for property managers and association board members budget to allocate funds to more important items within the association. Homeowner Association CC&Rs are important for community aesthetics and to ensure the right products are installed. Because Trex® Fencing product composition is made of 50% wood / 50% plastic, it is a perfect alternative if the association restricts materials to wood-only or vinyl-only fencing. Its 25-year industry-leading residential warranty, stunning look, and innovative neighbor-friendly design will place value on communities like homeowner or condominium associations for years to come and almost eliminating recurring maintenance expenditures.
Considerations for associations:
- Over time, Trex requires less maintenance and product replacement than wood or vinyl
- More durable than competing materials
- 25-year non-prorated, industry-leading residential warranty
- True full privacy fence and available matching gates
- Enhanced curb appeal
- Rich natural colors
- Distinctive composite smooth finish
- Neighbor-friendly design popular for shared lines
- Board-on-board style provides aesthetic appeal
- Can be built to heights up to 12′ tall
- 96% recycled materials, “Go Green”
HOW HEAVY IS TREX® FENCING?
Trex® Fencing is 50-70% heavier than comparable lumber. The durability of Trex® Fencing provides a superior product that will last and maintain value for the next 25 years and more.
IS TREX® FENCING CODE-COMPLIANT?
Trex® Fencing when properly installed for approved applications, is code compliant. Trex® Fencing has been used on numerous residential, commercial, and government projects with fence heights ranging from 3’ to 12’ fence heights. As always check with your local codes for approved fence heights. Trex® Fencing engineering docs are available in the Technical Center.
IS TREX® FENCING STRUCTURAL?
Trex wood plastic composites are not structural and should only be used for intended design.
CAN TREX® FENCING BE ANGLED?
Trex® Fencing can be installed on straight runs, 90 degrees corners, and because of the angle adaptors, Trex® Fencing is capable of being installed at angle degress of 22.5 – 45. The angle adaptor attaches to the standard fence bracket for a 22.5 degree angle. When doubling the angle adaptors on back of the fence bracket, this allows for a 45 degree angle. Refer to the Trex® Fencing Installation Guide.
CAN TREX® FENCING MATERIALS BE CUT?
Just like lumber, Trex® Fencing materials can be cut to any length or height. Suggested blade type carbide tip metal. Recommended power tools to cut materials: skill saw and miter saw.
CAN TREX® FENCING BE PLACED ON A CONCRETE SURFACE/SLAB OR RETAINING WALL?
The Trex post is hollow and can slide over a support embedded in the wall. To ensure that the placement will not fail, it is important to evaluate whether or not the slab or wall is sturdy enough to support the fence. We do not recommend using a concrete mount that is anchored to a slab. This is not unique to Trex. A concrete mount is usually not sturdy enough to withstand the pressure from high wind or pressure against the panel without pulling up. The best way to install a fence on a retaining wall is to embed a steel post (a 2-3/8″ Schedule #20 galvanized steel post is best) directly into the wall and slide the Trex post over it. The post can then be filled with concrete to stiffen it. For ease, attach the brackets before pouring concrete into the post. See this simple drawing for more detail.
It’s not recommended to attach Trex® Fencing posts to a concrete surface./slab. If a Trex® Fencing post needs to be placed on a concrete surface/slab, then it’s recommended to core cut through the concrete surface or slab and set Trex® Fencing posts directly in the ground 30” min. post depth.
Trex® Fencing can not be used structurally as a retaining wall but Trex® Fencing can be installed on a retaining wall. Recommended retaining wall dimensions 8” wide min. with a 12” high min. stem wall and footer. A Trex® Fencing post is sleeved over a 2-⅜” Scheduled 20 chain link post. It’s recommended the chain link post is set in a 3” core cut with a 8” min. post depth. A chain link post can be set into concrete during the pour. Do not exceed setting chain link post centers over 96” on center. It’s recommended to set post centers shorter to eliminate any chances of setting post centers to far for Trex® Fencing rails. For additional information about attaching to a retaining wall refer to Trex® Fencing Drawing – Attaching to Concrete Wall.
CAN I PAINT OR STAIN MY TREX® FENCING?
Trex does not require painting or staining. However, if painting or staining is desired, the material is porous and will accept either when applied. Before applying completely, test the paint or stain on a small piece of material to make certain you achieve the desired result. Please note that applying paint or stain may void the warranty.
WHAT IS THE RECOMMENDED FASTENER TO INSTALL TREX® FENCING?
A standard Trex® Fencing section requires only 24 fasteners for the fence brackets, pickets, and top rails. The recommended fastener to use for these items listed is a 1-⅝” exterior wood screw. These types of fasteners can be purchased at any local lumber yard.
For non-standard Trex® Fencing sections (heights 9’,10’,11’, & 12’), a self-tapping fastener is required for attaching fence brackets because of the steel post insert. Refer to theTrex® Fencing Technical Centerfor required fasteners and materials for non-standard Trex® Fencing heights.
IS TREX® FENCING HARD TO INSTALL? DO IT YOURSELF (DIY) OR HIRE PROFESSIONAL?
Trex® Fencing has been designed as a fence system for anyone with basic construction understanding is able to install. ATrex® Fencing Installation Guideis available to read before making the decision to DIY or hire professional.
Trex® Fencing is recruiting Trex® Fencing Pros throughout the United States and Canada. Trex® Fencing Pros are trained on Trex® Fencing for product knowledge and installation methods. Go toHire a Fence Contractorto located a Trex® Fencing Pro in your area.
Remember, time is valuable and the additional expenses on labor are worth considering to have the project completed in a scheduled fashion with a professional.
CARE & CLEANING
Trex® Fencing is considered a low-maintenance fence not a maintenance free fence. Little annual maintenance will need to done. For additional information refer to the Care & Cleaning Guide.
Trex® Fencing can be installed by basically anyone. As long as you have basic construction knowledge, you can install this innovative fence design. If not, then Hire A Fence Contractor to help with installation. To know ahead of time how Trex® Fencing is installed, refer to the Trex® Fencing Installation Guide.
Welcome to the industry-leading product warranty that provides comfort and peace of mind. To register your Trex® Fencing warranty, go to the following link: https://www.trex.com/trex-owners/warranty/warranty-registration/
Anything and everything regarding Trex® Fencing can be found in the Technical Center. This is an excellent source for architects, specifiers, municipalities, HOAs, developers, builders, homeowners, and more. Trex® Fencing architectural drawings, specifications, engineering, and more can be found. If you can’t find what you are looking for about Trex® Fencing, then email [email protected]
You can have a fence… Or you can have Trex® Fencing. It’s time to plan how to get started with obtaining Trex® Fencing. Trex® Fencing materials can be purchase through a Trex® Fencing Dealer or obtained through a Trex® Fencing Pro. Go to Start Your Project for additional guidance to start using Trex® Fencing.