Joist and Bearer Tapes are Essential, But They’re Not All The Same!

Today’s high-performance composite deck boards, like those from Trex Company, are warrantied to last for 25 years or longer. But what about the substructure supporting the deck?

If the posts and bearers are made of timber, they are likely to deteriorate long before a composite decking warranty has elapsed. In fact, builders have revealed that almost all timber foundations show signs of splitting, rotting or decay after just eight years*.

The solution lies in a deck protection tape that can effectively shield timber joists and bearers from the moisture that can lead to rot. Having a protective tape on hand when building a timber substructure is a must. However, not all deck protection tapes perform the same.

There is a range of deck protection tapes available, with most made with either butyl or acrylic. While butyl tape typically costs marginally more, there are some significant benefits when it comes to performance. Butyl tape is a rubber-based product that does not dry out as quickly, curl up or hold water like other deck protection tapes. Rather, it is a sealant that prevents water from penetrating the timber and holds deck screws in place longer. Butyl-based deck protection tapes also typically come with long warranties.

On the other hand, an acrylic tape starts to break down when exposed to water. It is not a sealant and when penetrated by a screw it allows water to get through the hole to the timber. When applied, acrylic tape does not adhere immediately to the timber and typically takes up to 72 hours to fully bond. Since acrylic deck protection tapes do not withstand water as well, they come with a warranty that lasts less than one year or with no warranty at all.

For a self-adhesive, skid-proof butyl-based tape, consider Trex® Protect™ Joist and Bearer Tape, which effectively shields the top of joists, rim joists, bearers and the ledger board from moisture. It is available in two widths – 50mm x 20m for joists and 100mm x 20m for bearers – and is backed by a 20-year warranty

Delivering the high performance of all products from the number one decking brand in the world, Trex Protect is a no-brainer for your next deck project. The Protect is available for RRP $40.99 (50mm) and RRP $74.99 (100mm).

*Based on a survey of 100+ builders conducted by Dri-Deck Enterprises, LLC. Find out more at

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