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,
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.
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.
Even an old blind hog finds an acorn every now and then.
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.
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.
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.
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