trex-hiding screws

Hi all,
I tried the trex-suggested method of screwing below the surface and tapping the trex down over the screw head with a hammer. I really think it looks bad. I'm looking for alternative methods for securing Trex decking. For the upper deck portions, I can screw from below, but the lower deck is only six inches off the ground. Suggestions? I'm also applying a 1x8 Trex facing material and I am thinking about making some Trex plugs and drilling out for the screw heads. Is this a good idea? Will I be able to sand these down when done? I see that sanding causes immediate discoloration, but will the color go back to "normal" in a few weeks?
Thanks in advance,
Tom
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Hi Tom,
I have a Trex deck and just drove the screws in (self tapping from McFeeley's) as Trex suggests. I did find that they look better if you don't drill the hole first. Then I just tapped down the raised portion with a hammer. I don't know where you live, but this will work better in warm temperatures. If you don't like the way this looks, try http://www.mcfeelys.com/ and look for concealed deck fasteners. These might do what you want.
Regarding the drilling and plugging.....this will be a lot of work and make it very hard to replace any boards if you need to. However, if you use the plugs and sand them, they will end up the same color as the decking over time. I don't know what color you have, but I have the darker color which turns a medium grey over time. Good luck.
Bill

tapping the

I'm
deck
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heads. Is

that
"normal"
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Tom, Home Depot has some screws which are specially made to solve your problem. The last inch or so next to the head has rings instead of threads. The rings suck the excess plastic back into the hole as they go in. Also, the head is flat on the underside with a lip around the edge. The lip cuts a recess for the head to drop into. They use square drive bits which don't slip as much as phillips. I installed about five pounds of them a couple of weeks ago and they work great.
DonkeyHody Even an old blind hog finds an acorn every now and then.

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I installed a "competitive product" and used SS trim head screws. It made a small hole with a small "mushroom" to tap back down. I was pleased with the results, but as an earlier reply commented, this was done in the summer in Kansas. The screws were about 8 cents each, but I figured since this is a "maintenance free" deck, the slight additional cost was worth it.
Good luck

tapping the

I'm
deck
off the

am
heads. Is

that
"normal"
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I really dislike Trex and the similar materials because they are not structurally very strong. However, my wife wanted some splinter free benches built along the deck on our ocean house ao I used Trex. The local lumber yard convinced me to stain the Trex with Penofin's "Kontwood" stain. It did a wonderful job of matching the Trex to the cedar that is used throughout out the deck and I would recommend it for restoring the color to your deck in those area where you have hammered over the screw holes. I believe, based on my one use that it will return weathered Trex to a pleasing color.
Boden
http://www.penofin.com/products_knotwood.shtml
ks_av8r wrote:

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Pykirk wrote:

I agree. It looks like exactly what it is - a munged screw hole.

I put my Trex deck down with 15ga, 2-1/2" finish nails and Liquid Nails. The tiny nail holes are essentially invisible, and the nails have plenty of holding power (the Liquid Nails was just for insurance). I used 3 nails into each joist. My deck is ~440 sq ft, has been up for 5 years, and is absolutely rock solid - not one piece has worked loose anywhere. Many have commented on how nice it looks to not have visible fasteners. I'd highly recommend this method.
My building inspector had no problem with this method, but if you're concerned you could check with yours before using it.

Again, I'd use some finish nails and be done with it.
An issue to be aware of is that Trex moves a LOT with temperature. Where I've done miters on railing tops they have opened up somewhat; my few glue ups (I laminated & routed pieces to make hand grips for stairs) have started to separate due to the expansion and contraction. I'd expect you might have similar issues trying to glue in plugs and keep them flush & snug.

Yes, use a fairly coarse belt on a belt sander. But see above.

Yes.
-Brett
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