Shopping Checklist: Trex Signature Aluminum Railing

Everything You Need For A Complete Trex Signature Deck Railing

When it comes to modern, minimalist deck railing, Trex Signature is an amazing choice. Carrying the proven reliability of the Trex brand name, Trex Signature is low-maintenance, long-lasting, and easy to install. If you're interested in adding Trex Signature railing to your deck, check out our easy-to-use checklist to help you determine exactly what you need for your space so you can ballpark your budget and installation time.

If you want help with this process, or more personalized project planning, call one of our experienced project planners at 1-888-824-5316. We are here to help!

A Trex deck with sleek, modern Trex Signature Railing

Table of Contents

Planning Your Deck Project

The first step in planning out your deck railing is to measure your deck space. It's helpful to draw out your deck's layout, measuring and labeling the lengths of each outside edge.

Most of your deck railing sections will fall into one of two categories: level sections for the edges of your deck or angled sections for stairs. We'll run through a checklist below to show what you need to create each one out of Trex Signature railing.

As always, we staff a team of experienced deck project planners to help you plan for all of your deck's unique features. Give us a call at 1-888-824-5316 for totally personalized project planning!

Everything You Need For A Trex Signature Level Railing Section

A bronze Trex Signature Railing

For the level sections around the edges of your deck, you'll need level railing sections. Fortunately, Trex makes it easy, breaking everything down into rail kits and post kits you can combine for a full section.

Rail kits include the top and bottom rail, plus the balusters that fill in the space between them. (You can choose between round or square balusters). Rail kits also come with mounting brackets and all the hardware you need to attach the rails to your posts. If you order the longer 8-foot rail kit, you'll also get a foot block to support the bottom rail.

You can choose between three different color options for your rail kits: bronze (shown above), white, or the charcoal black shown below:

Everything included in a Trex Signature Rail Kit

Post kits include the strong posts that anchor your railing setup. They also include a matching cap for the top of the post and a post skirt to cover the base of the post.

A Trex Signature Post, including post cap and post skirt

For even easier installation, Trex offers a railing panel that's already assembled into one solid piece. You can just cut the pre-assembled level rail panel down to the size you need and install it. If you're going with the pre-assembled panel, though, you will need to buy railing brackets to attach it to your posts.

A pre-assembled Trex Signature Rail Panel

Everything You Need For A Trex Signature Stair Railing Section

An angled stair section of Trex Signature Railing

For an angled stair section, the checklist is equally simple. Trex offers a rail kit designed specifically for angled stair sections. As you can see below, the brackets are set up to attach at an angle, and the top and bottom rail feature larger pre-cut baluster holes to accommodate balusters at an angle.

Everything included in a Trex Signature Stair Rail Kit

The rail kit comes with top and bottom rail, balusters, brackets, hardware, and the foot block, just like the level kit. Then finish out your project with a post kit, just like you would for a level section.

Required & Optional Installation Accessories

To install everything, there are a few accessory pieces you'll need, and a few that aren't required, but will dramatically simplify your installation.

You'll need to mount your deck posts to your deck frame. Trex offers a straightforward Post Mounting Plate Kit to make this easy - it includes four long lag bolts and a post mount plate that fits underneath your blocking. The long lag bolts run through the base of your post, through your framing, through the mounting plate, and secure with washers and nuts underneath for a tight hold.

A Trex post mounting plate and hardware

One optional accessory that's extremely helpful is Trex's bracket installation template, which fits squarely against your post to help you mount your brackets in the exact right spot every time. If you're installing a full railing, the template tool will save you hours of measuring and double-checking, letting you install perfectly level rails consistently and quickly.

An installation template tool to make it easier and faster to install Trex Signature Railing

In addition, you'll likely want to stock up on color-matching touch-up paint for your rails and posts. If you're cutting any railing sections down (and it's very likely you'll need to), the touch-up paint coats the cut ends, protecting them from the elements. The touch-up paint comes in perfect color and texture matches for any Trex Signature Railing system, and if any parts get scratched or scraped during installation, a little paint will make them look like new again.

A touch-up pen that perfectly matches the finish of Trex Signature Aluminum Railing

Everything You Need For An Angled Section of Trex Signature Railing

If your deck is a perfect square or rectangle with only 90-degree corners, the kits above are all you'll need! But if your deck has any unorthodox angles, it's easy to modify your shopping list to make your Trex Signature Railing fit.

A beautiful summer oasis on a Trex deck with a hammock

Get the same rail kit and post kit we mentioned above - but add a set of specialized swivel brackets that will allow you to attach your rails to the posts at a range of common angles:

A swivel bracket allowing Trex Signature Railing to install at various angles

The more complex your installation is, the more you'll want to invest in the bracket installation template we showed above to make sure you attach your brackets at the right place every time.

An installation template tool to make it easier and faster to install Trex Signature Railing

Other Notes

A deck sitting area flanked by Trex Signature railing

Here are a few other helpful tips and tricks as you plan your Trex Signature Railing:

How To Measure Your Deck For Railing Sections

Trex Signature's 6-foot AND 8-foot rail kits are all "true" dimensions. That means a 6-foot rail kit features rails that are the full six feet long. (Many other railing systems use "on-center" measurements which measure from the center of one post to the center of the next post). Keep in mind that when you actually install the railing, the posts at the end of each section will actually make the railing section longer than 6 or 8 feet.

Typically, you'll have to cut down your rails to fit your space. That's easy to do - we'll run through it below:

How To Cut A Trex Signature Railing Section To A Smaller Size

Most decks don't break down into perfect 6- or 8-foot railing sections. That means you'll likely have to cut down your rails to a shorter length to fit your space.

The good news is that they're very easy to cut. Just use a miter saw with a carbide-tipped blade that has at least 60 teeth. When you cut a railing section, you'll cut through the protective powder coating and expose a small portion of the underlying aluminum to the elements. Make sure to coat the cut ends in touch-up paint to protect them from the elements.

What If I Want To Use My Existing Wood Posts?

You can use Trex's metal posts for a full-metal system. But if your deck already has wood posts mounted, you can save the time of removing them and installing new posts by incorporating existing wood posts into your new metal railing.

Just use one of Trex's composite post sleeves, which slides over the top of an existing wood post to protect it from the elements. You can select from a wide range of earthy Trex colors to perfectly suit your space.

A composite post sleeve that can cover existing wood posts to complete a Trex Signature Aluminum Railing system
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Can I Cut Down One Trex Signature Railing Section Into Two Smaller Sections?

If you need two smaller railing sections, you can save on materials by buying one longer rail section and cutting it into two smaller pieces you can use in two different places on your deck. Use the same miter saw with a carbide-tipped blade that we mentioned above, and coat the cut ends with touch-up paint.

A few things to keep in mind if you plan to cut a long section down into two shorter sections:

You'll need an extra set of brackets. Each rail kit only comes with enough brackets to fit a single rail section. So if you're cutting one rail kit into two, you'll need to buy an extra set of rail brackets, as shown below:

Extra brackets for Trex Signature Railing

Allow for some lost length during cutting. Make sure you buy a rail long enough to fit both your sections, plus a little extra. As you cut the rail apart, you'll have to make sure the baluster holes are spaced properly from your posts - that means it's inevitable that some of the rail will have to be cut and thrown away. For example, you won't be able to buy a 6-foot section to cover two 3-foot sections - we'd recommend buying at least one extra foot. For example, buy ah 8-foot rail section to cut down into two 3-1/2-foot rail sections.

Include touch-up paint to cover your cut ends. Trex Signature railing is powder-coated to protect from corrosion. When you cut a rail, you'll expose some of the underlying aluminum. Fortunately, a quick coating of touch-up paint will cover that surface and protect your railing from corroding in the elements.

A touch-up pen that perfectly matches the finish of Trex Signature Aluminum Railing

What If I Want A Deck Board Drink Rail?

You can add polish and function to your deck when you mount a deck board on top of your railing to use as a drink rail. Trex Signature railing makes it easy to do.

Trex Signature Railing with a deck board drink rail adorned with flower pots

Just use Trex's custom cocktail brackets underneath your top rail. They'll allow you to mount the Trex deck board of your choice on top to match your deck surface or your home's trim.

A cocktail bracket allowing you to install a deck board on top of Trex Signature Railing
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If you love the drink rail look, consider planning your Trex Signature Railing with crossover posts instead of the traditional posts. Crossover posts allow your top rail to run continuously without being broken up by taller posts. It also allows you to extend an unbroken drink rail across your entire railing.

A crossover post for a continuous top rail on a Trex Signature Railing system
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Can I Fascia Mount My Trex Signature Railing?

Yes! Trex Signature is easy to mount to your deck fascia, rather than on top of your deck surface, if you want to maximize your usable surface area.

The diagram below shows how it works:

A diagram showing how Trex Signature railing can mount to the fascia boards on a deck

Instead of the traditional post kits in the checklists above, use Trex's specially-made fascia posts and fascia mount L-bracket:

A Trex Signature Fascia Post
A bracket to allow Trex Signature railing to install as a fascia-mounted system
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Optional Upgrades:

We've covered all the parts and pieces you'll need right away to install a Trex Signature railing system. But there are several other ways you can upgrade your Trex railing, whether right away or years down the road. Here are the favorites of our experienced project planning team:

Trex Deck Lighting

A beautifully-lit Trex deck at night

Lighting is the cherry on top of an amazing deck. To get a stunning, calming outdoor space like the one above, you can add some easy lighting pieces to your Trex Signature Railing.

Trex offers lighted post caps you can install in place of the standard post caps in the post kit. These lighted post caps match the color of your Trex Signature Railing and use easy plug and play connections to run off of a transformer plugged into any standard wall outlet.

Three Trex lighted post caps in various colors

Beyond post caps, you can install lights in other places, like recessed into stair risers, or mounted on the side of your deck posts. Check out this wedge post mount light below:

A deck post with a wedge light installed

Like post caps, post mount lights run off of the same easy plug and play system and are easy to install.

A wedge light for Trex deck lighting
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Trex Signature Aluminum Gate

Keep your deck safe and secure with an aluminum gate that perfectly coordinates with your Trex Signature railing.

A coordinating gate for Trex Signature Aluminum Railing

You can buy an easy gate panel and uprights in Trex's Gate Kit. Then add on a hardware kit featuring hinges and a latch and your gate shopping is complete!

How the pieces of a Trex Signature Railing fit together
Hinges and latches to complete a Trex Signature gate
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Trex ADA Handrail

Finally, you can make your deck easy to access for guests of all ages with an ADA-compliant handrail designed to run alongside your Trex Signature Railing sections.

A set of deck stairs with Trex handrail, including the looping handrail return

Trex's ADA Handrail is available with a range of modular pieces you can combine to cover the exact dimensions of your deck stairs. Below are two of those pieces: a long handrail section and an end return.

A round Trex ADA handrail
A Trex handrail end return
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Other Twists On The Trex Signature Railing Look

The Trex brand has been an industry leader when it comes to low-maintenance, amazing-looking deck products for years. If you love the easy installation and low-maintenance appeal of Trex Signature Railing, you might be interested to learn about some of the different Trex Signature looks you can create with some tweaks to this shopping list.

If you love any of these looks, give us a call at 1-888-824-5316 and we'll help you build your own shopping checklist for your space!

Trex Signature Rod Rail

Instead of traditional vertical balusters, Trex Signature Rod Rail uses long, round, horizontal balusters for a sweeping, ranch-style look:

A Trex Signature Rod Rail system with platinum balusters
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Trex Signature Mesh Railing

Trex Signature Mesh railing uses hog wire mesh panels instead of balusters for a look that timelessly blends the modern and the rustic.

A Trex Signature Mesh railing system
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Trex Signature Glass Railing

For the classiest luxury look, check out Trex Signature Glass railing, which uses full glass panels to give you the best deck view possible.

A Trex Signature Glass railing system
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