If you’re planning to install composite cladding on your home or have already installed it, you may be wondering how to conceal the exposed edges. Fortunately, composite cladding is very durable, and exposed edges don’t necessarily need to be covered up.
However, to increase the aesthetic value of your home, it is often a good idea to add the finishing touches to your composite cladding by adding some sort of edging to it.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at the best ways to conceal the exposed edges and expansion gaps of your composite cladding.
What Is Composite Cladding?
Composite cladding is made from a mixture of reclaimed wood and recycled plastic. During the manufacturing process, this material is melted down through a process called co-extrusion and is then passed through a die to shape it into composite cladding panels.
Due to the use of these materials, composite cladding has many benefits and advantages when compared to other cladding materials such as timber. It is very low-maintenance, eco-friendly, slip-resistant, UV-resistant, and long-lasting.
Like our high-quality composite decking, our composite cladding is built to last and comes with a 25-year warranty. It’s far more eco-friendly than wood cladding and is made with 95% recycled materials.
Our composite wall cladding is also really low-maintenance and doesn’t need to be sealed, treated or stained to maintain its durability or longevity. It simply needs to be cleaned around once every 3 to 6 months.
As it’s so low maintenance, once you install composite cladding, you will save money in the long term. This is partly due to the fact that you won’t need to buy expensive sealants or paints.
Due to its amazing quality and durability, our composite cladding also won’t need to be repaired and won’t need to be replaced for a very long time. This is another way in which it will save you money.
How To Finish Composite Cladding
One of the many benefits of composite wall cladding is that it doesn’t require much finishing once it’s been installed.
Due to the quality of the panels and boards in our composite cladding range, you won’t need to worry about providing them with extra protection against the elements.
However, if your composite cladding has exposed edges or expansion gaps, then there are some edging solutions that you can use to cap these off. The best way to do this is to use composite cladding trims.
There are two types of composite cladding trims that are used to cover expansion gaps, cap exposed edges, and cover the returns on doors and windows. These are skirting trims, and corner trims and both types of trims are secured using screws.
So, let’s take a look at how to install corner trims and skirting trims to edge your composite cladding.
Corner Trims For Windows & Doors
When installing corner trims for windows and doors, the first thing you’ll need to do is cut the trim to the required size. You’ll then need to make sure that all of the trim lengths are mitred to a 45-degree angle at the point where the trims will meet at the corners.
Once you’ve done this, take the trims and fix them onto the exposed corners around the windowsill. Make sure that any of the exposed edges of the composite cladding panels or boards are fully concealed.
The trims should be pre-drilled to reduce the risk of them cracking when the screws are fixed into them. Then, take the trims and securely fix them at 300mm intervals with the trim screws.
You can use the exact same method of installation for any exposed composite cladding edges around doors as well.
Skirting Trims For Windows & Doors
Installing skirting trims around windows and doors is very similar, except you’ll be using skirting trims rather than corner trims to achieve a similar result.
Before you begin, make sure to pre-drill the skirting trims so that the screws won’t damage them when they’re inserted. Then, take accurate measurements of the doorframes or windowsills where you plan to install the skirting trims.
Using these measurements, cut the skirting trims to the correct size and ensure that each trim is mitred to a 45-degree angle at the points where the corners of the trims will meet.
Now, making sure that the exposed edges of the composite cladding boards or panels are neatly concealed, fix the skirting trims on the internal sections of the doorframe or windowsills.
Then, secure the trims at 300mm intervals with the trim screws.
Corner Trims For Exposed Edges & Expansion Gaps
When installing any type of cladding materials, such as wood cladding or composite cladding, it’s highly likely that you’ll be left with some exposed edges or expansion gaps. The best way to finish this is to use a fascia solution.
One way of doing this is to use corner trims. The easiest way of creating a fascia solution for exposed edges and expansion gaps is to use L-shaped corner trims.
To do this, you’ll first need to ensure that all of the L-shaped corner trims are pre-drilled to avoid cracking. Then measure the exposed edges or expansion gaps that you need to cover.
Once you’ve done this, cut the L-shaped corner trims to the right size so that they will properly conceal the edges or expansion gaps. You’ll then need to securely fix the corner trims at 30mm intervals along the lengths of the edges.
Skirting Trims For Exposed Edges & Expansion Gaps
Once you’ve installed the final board or panel of your composite wall cladding, there will be some exposed edges where the final board or panel ends. Although it’s not necessary to protect these exposed ends, you may want to conceal them for the sake of appearance.
You can do this by using composite cladding skirting trims which will nicely cap-off these edges and bring a finished feel to your project.
To do this, you’ll first need to drill an oversized pilot hole into the skirting trims so that they don’t crack or split when the screws are attached. You can then fit the skirting trims at 30mm intervals and secure them with trim screws.
It’s important that you leave at least a 2mm gap between the ends of the trims to allow for contraction and expansion. If they’re too close together, this could cause friction during temperature fluctuations. This may damage the trims and the composite cladding.
Should I seal the ends of composite cladding?
Composite cladding panels and boards are water-resistant and aren’t prone to rotting. This means that there is no need to seal the exposed ends once your composite cladding has been installed.
However, if you do want to seal the ends, then it’s best to use lumber wax. This will add an extra layer of protection to the composite cladding that may slightly enhance its durability.
Do the ends of composite cladding need to be stained?
Unlike timber wall cladding, there is no need to stain the exposed ends of composite cladding. The plastic content in composite cladding boards means that they don’t absorb water in the same way that timber does.
If you prefer to stain the ends for aesthetic reasons, then you can. However, this means that your composite cladding won’t be as low-maintenance as usual. This is because you’ll have to re-stain it fairly regularly.
Does composite cladding provide good insulation?
Composite wall cladding provides effective heat and sound insulation for your home. It’s been proven to be more insulating than other cladding materials such as timber, steel, concrete, and aluminium. This will save you money on your energy bills.
Having a better-insulated home will also make your property more energy efficient which will reduce the amount of energy that is wasted. This is another way in which composite cladding is a more eco-friendly option than timber cladding.
Is composite cladding easy to install?
Our composite panels and slatted boards are both very easy to install. They both come with hidden aluminium clips that make installation straightforward and also eliminate the need for unsightly screws during installation.
Our website has helpful links that will show you the entire installation process for our composite cladding.
Order Your Free Samples & Quotes From Ecoscape Today
If you’re ready to enjoy the benefits of installing composite cladding then take a look at our amazing range of cladding panels and slatted boards. All of our composite cladding is low-maintenance, scratch-resistant, UV-resistant, eco-friendly and much more.
Our range comes in 6 contemporary and classic colours, so we’re certain you’ll be able to find a look that perfectly complements your home. So, browse our composite cladding range today and order your free samples or a free quote to get started.