When you’re installing a composite deck, there are many things to consider.
Will the deck be raised? What colour should it be? What type of decking pattern will look best in your outdoor space?
These are all important questions, but one of the best ways to really make your deck stand out is through the type of edging that you choose.
There are lots of different options depending on the look you’re trying to achieve. From traditional looks to more quirky and contemporary designs, edging gives you the chance to add personality and charm to your garden.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best ways to edge your composite decking to help you decide which is the best choice for you.
Top 10 Ways To Edge Composite Decking Boards
When designing a composite deck, many people overlook edging. However, edging is a really important element of any composite deck as it gives your decking area a sleek and finished look.
If you don’t edge your composite deck, it can end up looking incomplete and a little untidy. This is particularly true if the edges of the deck boards butt up against a fence or a wall.
Edging your composite decking is a great way to add extra character to your deck and create a seamless finish that will fit in with the rest of your outdoor space. You can also use it to give your decking area a unique flair that will make it stand out.
So, let’s take a look at 10 of the best ways that you can edge your decking boards.
One way to soften the straight edges of your composite deck is to use planters. You can use them to create a curved edge to your deck that will look more appealing than a square or rectangular edge and will give it a more organic feel.
You can either use several carefully placed planters around the edge of the deck or a large swathe of them to completely encircle it. If your deck is already curved, then planters are a great way to compliment this shape.
The best plants to use are evergreens with various shades of green. This will create a soft, undulating texture around the edge of your deck that will compliment your garden nicely.
Low-growing grasses are also a good choice and Japanese forest grass in particular works really well in deck planters.
2) Patterned Borders
Patterned borders can be very effective as edging around a swimming pool. Creating a defined edge that separates the pool area from the rest of the deck area will create distinctive sections of the deck.
The patterned, design detail could be as simple as using wide-grooved decking boards around the edge of the pool whilst using narrow-grooved decking boards for the rest of the deck.
This basic variation in textures can add a special touch to your decking area and swimming pool that will give it a refined and elegant look.
When designing edging around a pool, it’s important to remember that the decking you choose needs to be as slip-resistant as possible. All the decking boards in our Clarity and Forma ranges have a high slip resistance rating and are an ideal choice for swimming pool surrounds.
3) Plant Beds
Instead of using deck planters, you can also install flower beds around the edges of your deck area to create a natural flow in your outdoor space.
Ornamental grasses and herbaceous plants are a nice way to soften the corners and edges of the deck whilst adding an element of seclusion. This works particularly well for flat decks, but taller plants can also be used for raised decking areas.
If you choose dark-coloured deck boards, such as charcoal or graphite, the soft greens of the plants will create a charming colour contrast that will give your deck an inviting feel.
Plant beds can help your composite decking area blend seamlessly into the rest of your garden as the plants spill over the edges and hide the corners.
4) Light Panels
Glass roof light panels are a stylish way to bring a contemporary look to the outer edge of a roof terrace decking area.
They will flood the interior below with natural light during the day and will give each decking board a soothing glow during the night as light radiates upwards from below.
Your deck boards’ ends will be masked with a unique and eye-catching feature that will set your outdoor space apart. Light panels will also provide lighting for your composite decking area at night so that you can enjoy it comfortably during the twilight hours.
Any plants that are placed around the outside edge of your deck will also be given an enhanced appeal as they catch the light that gently emanates from below. This can add a touch of magic to your decking area that will give it an even more relaxed feel.
Using stone, brick, or metal pavers is another interesting way to create edging around your composite decking area. If you already have a paved area in your garden, then you can incorporate the decking area into this by extending the pavers to wrap around the edges.
Paved edging can look bold and neat whilst providing a flat surface that cleanly transitions onto your deck. The deck board area can serve as a focal point within the paved section of your garden in much the same way that you would use a rug for interior design.
The seamless flow that can be achieved with pavers can make small garden spaces appear bigger than they are. Rather than segmenting a smaller area into even smaller sections, this design can help create a cohesive space with an expansive feel.
6) Edging For Composite Decking Walkways
If you have a raised decking board in your outdoor space such as a walkway then you can use edging to give it a sleek look. A walkway shouldn’t simply be an access point to other areas of your garden but should also stand out as a feature all of its own.
Using a combination of different coloured stones is a good way to achieve this and can add extra framing to the walkway to enhance its visual appeal. Try using a variety of black, white and grey stones to contrast with the decking board colours that you’ve used.
You could even use a contrasting deck board colour that runs down the sides of your walkway to create a backdrop that offsets the colours of the stones.
Interspersing low-level planters amongst the stones will provide further edging to the walkway and help to obscure any exposed decking board edges.
7) Grid Pattern Edging
A quirky and distinctive approach to composite decking edging is to create grid patterns by mixing tiles and decking boards together. The layout should be designed so that the outer edge is encompassed by tiles with the grid patterns moving in towards the centre.
The grids can be comprised of one decking board colour, or you could mix things up further by using two different colours of decking boards. For example, one composite board colour could be spiced oak whilst the other could be walnut.
Our Clarity range of composite decking comes in 5 contemporary colours such as ash, autumn, and charcoal. Our Forma range comes in 6 colours including silver birch, Havana, and midnight.
Any of the boards from these two ranges would make the ideal choice for use in this grid pattern edging design.
8) Matching Seating
A simple way to create cohesive edging for your composite decking is to use a combination of seating, planters and boards that all have the same colour scheme.
If it’s a small decking area, then placing seating in each corner of the deck that matches the colour of the decking boards and the planters around the edge gives your outdoor space a coordinated look.
This will achieve a stylish aesthetic but will also bring an element of practicality to your deck area. You could even build the seating with leftover composite boards so that they complement the deck and the edging perfectly.
This means that you can customise them to have storage space underneath the seats to free up space. This is very practical for small gardens where space is at a premium.
Another perfect way to edge your composite decking area is to incorporate pergolas. Adding a pergola will partially enclose the space to give it a secluded and private feel whilst also providing shade in the summer months.
They can be easily installed directly into the deck by placing the posts on all four corners. This will help to emphasise a defined edge to the decking area and make it feel like a destination in your garden rather than simply another section.
When installed next to swimming pools, pergolas can also provide your decking area with shelter so that it can serve a similar function to a pool house.
Pergolas don’t require any advance preparation or foundations to be installed. They’re a fairly quick and easy way of adding extra character and functionality to your composite decking area.
10) Neat Borders
Instead of using planters or plant beds around the outside of your deck, you could try something a little quirkier. Adding planting beds into the structure of the deck can save space and also look very smart.
Rather than surrounding the edge of your deck, these beds will serve as the actual edge themselves. You can then plant a mixture of grasses and evergreen plants to create a luscious border for your composite decking area.
Other Ways To Edge Composite Decking Boards
Now that we’ve explored some creative ways to edge your deck area, let’s take a look at some simpler methods of edging that are most commonly used.
These edging techniques use methods such as picture framing or installing fascia boards to hide the ends of your composite boards. This will help to protect each individual deck board whilst also adding to the aesthetic appeal of the decking area as a whole.
Installing a picture frame using trim boards is one of the most popular ways to edge composite decking and is also fairly easy to do. You will need to install a trim board around the edge of the decking in the same way that you would install a deck board.
When using picture framing, you will need to install block framing to give added support to the trim boards along the edges where the decking boards are exposed.
Picture framing is one of the most straightforward ways to add a satisfying and defined border to your composite decking area and can be used on decks of all sizes.
Another simple way of edging your composite deck is to use fascia boards. It’s fairly similar to picture framing, but each fascia board will be installed over the rim joists and edges of the deck.
For raised decks, you can also install each fascia board vertically to create a vertical face that covers up the subframe. The fascia board colour that you choose could match the colour of the decking boards, or you could choose a different colour to create contrast.
Painting the exposed ends of the composite boards is a really easy way of covering them up and giving them some added protection. Although we wouldn’t usually advise painting our composite boards, applying some paint to the ends won’t cause any issues.
The best paint to use when working with composite materials is latex acrylic paint. You can apply it with a roller or paintbrush and the composite boards won’t require any preparation.
It can be a little tricky to find paint that will match the colour of your boards, so you may have to settle for something that’s close but not exactly right.
Although painting the ends of the boards is quick and easy, it doesn’t tend to be the most aesthetically pleasing option.
Corner trims are an excellent way to add a finished look to your deck and help to create smooth contours. They’re used when there’s a step in the decking or a vertical face. They can smooth over any gaps that are left between the main deck board and the vertical fascia board.
These trims are easy to install and there are two ways to do it.
The first way is to use waterproof bonding glue on the interior of each corner trim. Make sure that you don’t apply the glue too close to the outer edges. Then, simply press the corner trims into place and wait for the glue to dry.
You can also attach each corner trim using screws. The best way to do this is to pre-drill the holes into both the corner trim and the deck boards, which will reduce the risk of the corner trim cracking when the screws are tightened.
Vinyl Stair Nosing
Vinyl stair nosing is an older and more traditional way of edging composite decking. This is similar to the way a set of stairs inside the home would be finished and is fairly easy to accomplish. Vinyl stair nosing is also relatively cheap, and no extra framing is required.
Bullnose Composite Deck Boards
Using Bullnose deck boards is another straightforward way of edging your decking area. They’re ideal for open edges where a vertical fascia board will be installed or for steps. These boards are the same as normal composite boards, but one edge is square or round.
The square or round edge is designed to hang over the side of the subframe to provide room for the vertical fascia board to be installed.
Bullnose boards are also easy to install. The underside of the boards has a groove for an end clip to slot into. These clips are screwed into the subframe and the boards are installed on top of them.
The boards are then usually secured with hidden fasteners rather than with nails or screws. Bullnose boards give a nice finish to the deck and reduce any trip hazards by running flush with the rest of the deck area.
Decking Board Caps
Decking board caps are specially designed caps that fit onto the ends of hollow boards. They’re very easy to use as you simply slot them into the ends and then hammer them in with a mallet.
Should I seal the ends of composite decking?
As composite decking is very water-resistant, it’s not necessary to seal the ends of composite boards after they’ve been cut. If you edge your deck, then the ends of the boards will be covered anyway, which will give them extra protection.
However, if you’d still prefer to seal the ends, then it’s best to do so with lumber wax. This will provide additional protection against the elements and will make them even more resistant to moisture absorption.
Does cutting composite decking require a specialist blade?
Composite boards are cut in the same way as traditional timber, but you will need to use different saw blades. The blades you use must be flexible and sharp to avoid causing any damage to the boards when cutting them.
Generally, the best saws to use are mitre saws, circular saws or table saws.
How long will my composite decking last?
As composite decking is resistant to both rot and mould, it has much more longevity than other materials such as treated timber. On average, your composite decking should last between 25 and 30 years.
It requires almost no maintenance to reach this lifespan and doesn’t need to be treated, sealed or painted. It just needs to be washed every six months or so to keep it looking its best. This can be done with a power washer or warm, soapy water and a soft bristle brush.
Is it best to use screws to secure composite decking?
You can use nails or screws to secure composite boards in the same way that you can for wooden boards. However, hidden fasteners are also a popular choice as they are invisible once fitted and don’t detract from the aesthetic appeal of the boards.
If you use nails or screws to secure composite decking, it’s always best to pre-drill the holes into the boards first to reduce the risk of the boards cracking.
If you’re ready to revitalise your garden with a composite deck then take a look at Ecoscape’s range of composite decking and get started today.
Our Clarity range has a reversible finish and comes in 5 contemporary colours whilst our Forma range is available in 6 colours and has a 25-year warranty.
All of our composite boards are low-maintenance, long-lasting and eco-friendly. So, we’re certain that our products are the perfect choice for your decking project.