Shopping Checklist: Trex Signature Aluminum Railing
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!
Table of Contents
- Everything You Need For A Level Railing Section
- Everything You Need For A Stair Railing Section
- Required & Optional Installation Accessories
- Everything You Need For An Angled Section
- Other Notes:
- How To Measure Your Deck For Railing Sections
- How To Cut A Railing Section To A Smaller Size
- What If I Want To Use My Existing Wood Posts?
- Can I Cut Down One Railing Section Into Two Smaller Sections?
- What If I Want A Deck Board Drink Rail?
- Can I Fascia Mount My Trex Signature Railing?
- Optional Upgrades:
- Other Twists On The Trex Signature Railing Look
- Free Planning Help
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
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:
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.
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.
Everything You Need For A Trex Signature Stair Railing Section
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.
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.
The main required piece is Trex's Post Mounting Plate kit, which attaches your posts to your deck surface. The mounting plate goes underneath your deck frame. 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.
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.
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.
Everything You Need For An Angled Section of Trex Signature Railing
- Same as level or stair rail section above
- Swivel Brackets
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Instead of the traditional post kits in the checklists above, use Trex's specially-made fascia posts and fascia mount L-bracket:
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
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.
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:
Like post caps, post mount lights run off of the same easy plug and play system and are easy to install.
Trex Signature Aluminum Gate
Keep your deck safe and secure with an aluminum gate that perfectly coordinates with your Trex Signature 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!
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Free Planning Help
If you need help making sure you've got everything you need to complete your deck railing project, just give our team a call. We've got a staff of experienced deck project planners available by phone to help you get everything you need in one order - no over-buying or needing to come back for a second order.Call Us: 1-888-824-5316
Learn more about the basics of deck framing and building in our Deck Framing Guide and learn deck parts and terminology in the DecksDirect Glossary of Deck Terms and Lingo.
Browse more deck design and railing style notes to upgrade your backyard space and deck in the DecksDirect Railing Style Guide: the quickest way to learn if your home is more suited for a classic aluminum deck railing or a showstopping cable rail setup.
The more you know, the better your deck and backyard projects will be! Whether you're looking at a brand new project, a deck update, or a style refresh, give our deck project planners a call at 1-888-824-5316 or send us an email at email@example.com. Our experienced team will help you get the information, products, and tools you need for an awesome deck completely personalized to your needs!