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Shopping Checklist: Easy Trex Transcend Railing Planning

Everything You Need For A Complete Trex Transcend Deck Railing

The timeless, traditional look of Trex Transcend composite deck railing is a match for nearly any deck. But how can you make sure you're getting all the parts and pieces you need for a complete railing system in one order?

That's why DecksDirect is here. Check out our basic shopping checklist below to get everything you need for standard deck layouts. After that, we'll run through some extra shopping lists you can add for unique layouts or specialized looks.

For even more personalized planning help, give us a call at 1-888-824-5316. An experienced project planner will work with you to create a perfectly-tailored order for your space.

Trex Transcend Shopping Checklist

Everything you need for standard level railings, stair railings, and traditional 90-degree corners.

More Planning Help

Some unique deck features might require additional parts. Follow the links for a supplemental checklist of items to add for your unique feature.

A length of Trex Transcend deck railing overlooking a pool on a luxurious deck

Planning Your Transcend Railing

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.

  1. Draw the layout of your deck
  2. Measure the lengths of each edge and label them
  3. Plan where your posts will go - Trex Transcend can span up to 8 feet from the center of one post to the center of the next post
  4. Fill in between the posts with rail kits

Then count up the various types of posts and the various lengths of rail kits you'll need. Your shopping list will consist of:

  • Posts and post accessories
  • Rail Kits
  • Installation tools

For unique layouts or looks, you can supplement this list with some specialized products.

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!

A bright Trex Transcend deck railing gleams in the sun

Step 1: Posts & Post Trim

Like most composite railing systems, the Trex Transcend line is often used to update and replace existing wood railings. Instead of installing brand-new posts, it's often easiest and most cost-effective to keep wood posts in place and simply slide a Trex post sleeve over the top to upgrade the look and protect the wood from weathering.

A brown Trex post sleeve

Post sleeves come in a whole range of colors to fit your style, and all the colors coordinate perfectly with the Trex Transcend decking line, if your deck uses composite boards.

To complete the look, add post caps and post skirts, which also come in the same Transcend color options. Instead of the basic composite post caps, you can instead choose to use lighted post caps, which we'll run through below.

A standard composite Trex post cap
A Trex composite post skirt

If your deck doesn't have existing wood posts (maybe you're building a brand-new deck or already removed your wood posts), you can mount a structural post to your deck instead, then slide the post sleeve over it.

A structural post to go inside of Trex post sleeves

Use a 4-inch or longer structural screw, like these Pheinox RSS Rugged stainless steel screws from GRK Fasteners to attach your structural post to a deck surface.

Use Pheinox RSS Rugged Stainless Steel Structural Screws to mount deck railing posts onto wood, pressure-treated, composite, or PVC decking

Lighted Post Cap Shopping Checklist

Instead of the standard composite post caps, you can choose from a wide range of decorative post caps, including many with lights built-in. Here are a few of our favorite lighted post cap options. You can use these on every post, or add lights to the corners of your deck with unlit post caps in between.

Flat Top Low Voltage LED Post Cap Light by Trex

A lighted composite Trex post cap with wires included
  • PVC material
  • Downward light projection for safe walking paths
  • Easy plug-and-play low voltage wiring - just plug into a transformer
  • Available in all Transcend colors

Ornamental Low Voltage LED Post Cap Light by LMT Mercer

A lighted metal Trex Transcend post cap
  • Vinyl material
  • Available with downward lighting, halo-style lighting, or a combination
  • Easy plug-and-play low voltage wiring - just plug into a transformer
  • Available in all Transcend colors

Solar Post Cap Light by Ultra Bright

A solar Trex post cap that changes colors
  • Composite material
  • Downward light projection for safe walking paths
  • Solar-powered - no wiring required!
  • Can change light color with included magnet
  • Available in all Transcend colors
A beautifully lit Trex deck set up for dinner by deck light

Step 2: Rail Kits

In between your posts, you'll need horizontal rails and the skinny balusters that make up Transcend's traditional look. Luckily, it all comes packaged in easy-to-shop kits that also include the brackets you need to connect the rails to your posts.

The contents of a Trex Transcend Rail Kit

Stair rail kits are designed to attach at an angle, including the baluster spacer inserts and the foot block.

An assembled section of Trex Transcend railing

When you pick your kit, you can choose whether it will include slim, round balusters that open up your view or standard square balusters for a more traditional look.

A Trex Transcend railing with view-highlighting round metal balusters
A traditional Trex Transcend railing with square composite balusters

Step 3: Installation Tools

An installation template for easier installation of your Trex railing

Trex Transcend is generally fairly easy to install, even for budding DIYers. And you can do it without many specialized installation tools.

The only really specialized tool we'd recommend is Trex's Install Template , which will make sure you mount every bracket perfectly level and at a consistent height. This simple PVC template will save you a ton of time measuring and marking each of your posts.

Supplementary Shopping Lists For Special Cases

If your deck has unique shapes or features, you may need to combine the shopping list at the top with one of these additional shopping lists.

What Do I Need For Angled Railing Connections?

What you'll need:

Not all decks are square. If your deck has a corner cutout or any angles that aren't a square 90 degrees, there's an easy way to adapt your Trex Transcend railing.

Trex offers a specialized set of brackets that attach to the corner of a post sleeve to create a 45-degree angle. Because of their unique shape, they're often called "birdsmouth brackets."

A set of specialized mounting gaskets for decks with 45 degree corners

Just cut a notch into your rails and attach it to the bracket:

A diagram showing how to attach a Trex railing at a 45 degree angle

There's another option, too, but it requires you to use Trex's larger 6-inch post sleeves. Just cut your rails at an angle and attach them using the Trex 45 Degree Gasket Kit.

A diagram showing a secondary way to attach Trex Transcend deck railing when using large posts

You can create gentler angles using the regular Trex Transcend Gasket Kit and choosing the 22.5-degree option.

Can I Cut One Rail Kit Into Two Short 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 a carbide-tipped blade and either a miter saw or jigsaw to cut through your top and bottom rails.

You'll need an extra set of brackets and gaskets. 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 a rail cut kit, as shown below, featuring an extra set of brackets and gaskets to hide the cut ends of each rail

An extra set of gaskets and brackets for attaching Trex Transcend deck 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 a 6-foot rail section to cut down into two 2-1/2-foot rail sections.

What Do I Need For A Deck Board Drink Rail?

What you'll need:

Trex Transcend looks dynamite with a deck board mounted as a drink rail. If that's the look you want, you'll need to adjust the original shopping list slightly.

A Trex Transcend deck railing with a deck board mounted as a drink rail

Instead of the traditional crown top rail, use Trex's Universal Rail, a long, flat, functional rail that allows you to mount the deck board of your choice. That means ditching the overall rail kit and instead shopping for the individual parts.

A universal Trex rail used for creating a drink rail

The list above will get you everything included in the typical rail kit, minus the crown top rail and with the universal top rail in its place. If you need help planning this shopping list, give us a call at 1-888-824-5316 and we'd be happy to build the complete list for you!

What Do I Need For A Safety Handrail?

What you'll need:

A Trex ADA handrail attached to a gorgeous composite deck railing

Trex makes a beautiful ADA-compliant handrail to add extra safety to your deck or deck stairs. It's made of smooth powder-coated aluminum and looks great with the Transcend system.

In general, you'll want handrail returns for the ends of your railing and long handrail sections to make up the graspable part of the handrail. The mounts attach the handrail to your railing, as shown above.

A return for the end of a Trex handrail
A section of Trex metal handrail

Depending on the length and layout of your railing, you may need internal connectors to link two long handrail sections, or elbows to accommodate a corner.

As always, we're here to help: call 1-888-824-5316 and we'll set you up with a personalized handrail shopping list!

What Do I Need For A Coordinating Gate?

What you'll need:

Trex is truly prepared for anything in the outdoor space. The brand offers a gorgeous deck gate that coordinates with any of its railing systems.

A Trex composite deck railing with a gorgeous metal gate attached

Just add an adjustable gate kit to your shopping list, along with a hardware kit that includes hinges and a latch to attach your gate to your preferred spot in your railing. The gate will fill an opening up to four feet (48 inches) wide.

More Deck Project Resources