Composite decking areas are a great place for relaxing, entertaining, and somewhere to play for the kids. They provide a safe, flat area that can be enjoyed for many years to come. One question you may have, is how do I finish the edges of my decking area?
If your decking area is on a slope, or is built up off the ground, the likelihood is that you will want to cover the sides to obscure the structure underneath. This will also mean you will have open edges to deal with, so in the article, I will go over the different ways to finish the edges of your decking area.
Most decking manufacturers and suppliers will stock a colour matching composite corner trim to go along with the decking. It is used where there is a vertical face or step to cover the unsightly gap between the vertical fascia board and the main deck board.
There are a couple of ways to install this product. We recommend using an outdoor waterproof bonding glue for building materials. Apply this generously on the interior surfaces of the corner trim, ensuring that you don’t go too close to the outside edge. Once applied, press firmly into place, and allow to dry fully before placing any force on it. This will give you a strong seamless bond that will ensure the deck looks great, with all visible edges covered up.
Another method for fixing corner trims is to direct fix them to the boards using screws. You will have to be careful when using this method as it could mean that the corner trim cracks if the screws are over-tightened. To avoid this, predrill your holes with a drill bit just smaller than the diameter of the screw. Ensure you predrill the deckboard as well to ensure that that also does not crack. Countersink the holes in the corner trim to avoid the screws sitting proud of the corner trim. When fixing the corner trim using screws, avoid over tightening them. We advise using a manual screwdriver to tighten the final part just to make sure you don’t over tighten them and crack either the corner trim or the composite decking.
Bullnose Deck Board
Bullnose decking boards are an even neater finish, and something we always recommend using where possible. It is great for steps and open edges where a vertical fascia is required. A bullnose deckboard is similar to a normal deck board, and usually has exactly the same finish, but has a rounded or square edge on one side. It is designed to overhang the edge of the subframe to give room for a vertical board underneath.
Most Bullnose deckboards are installed using the same method. They have a groove cut into the underside of the board which gives space for a starter/end clip. These are fixed to the subframe using a screw before the bullnose board is installed. We recommend spacing these at around 400mm centres to support the board sufficiently. Once these have been installed along the length of the open edge, the bullnose board can be slotted into place, and the remaining side fixed as all other decking boards are – usually with a hidden fastener of some kind like a ‘T-Clip’. Bullnose deck boards give a much better finish than corner trims, as they run flush with the rest of the decking, reducing trip hazards and giving a clean, contemporary look.
Vertical faces are actually quite easy to create and are a great way of covering up unsightly subframes. There are two main finishing materials to use when creating fascia’s. First up is the actual deck board that has been used on the main area. This is a sure-fire way of getting exactly the same finish for the fascia as the actual decking itself. This is the option that we recommend going with. The other option is to use an actual fascia board. This is much thinner than the deckboard itself so is weaker and is harder to match to the deck board.
To install vertical fascia on open edges of your decking, the process is similar to the main decking installation. Install vertical joists spaced at 300-500mm onto the edge of your subframe. Start by installing starter/end clips onto the bottom of the vertical joists and install your boards from the bottom up. Fix boards to the verticals using hidden fasteners. Once you come to the top board of the vertical fascia, direct fix at a 45-degree angle into the vertical joist, remembering to predrill the holes through both the deck board and the joist behind.
Still not too sure?
If you're still struggling to see what we mean, and maybe prefer to see a video demonstration, you can see below a quick animation that shows you how to install your full deck area including vertical fascia’s and corner trims.
Now that you've read more about how to finish off a composite decking area, you may begin thinking about using it as an option in your garden. With so many options available, we know it can seem like a big decision to make. Why not begin by ordering one of our free sample boxes to help you choose which style will best suit you? We can supply samples of our corner trims & fascia profiles on special requests, awell as our aluminium subframe joists.
You can also call us on 0208 159 2999 or send us an email to email@example.com to get quotes, guidance and any technical support with your plans. If you think you will require the help of a professional installer, we are happy to recommend one to assist.