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How to finish the ends of composite decking?

Saturday, August 06, 2022

Composite decking, unlike its wooden counterparts, is able to transform any outdoor space and hold strong against the elements even under extreme weather conditions. It’s lightweight, durable, and more resistant to termites and moisture thanks to its unique composition of wood and plastic. And it’s why more and more people all over the world prefer wood-composite to wood. As it has grown popular, many people ask us how to finish the ends of composite decking. Although WPC decking looks already stunning after the installation, adding some finishing touches will undoubtedly give it additional splendor. Additionally, it can also prevent moisture from getting through by sealing the ends off.

Here, we’re talking about some options to finish a composite deck. Each of them has its advantages and uniqueness. Let’s find out!

Finish the Ends of Composite Decking

1. Fish the ends of composite decking-Picture Frame the Deck

1.1. What’s Picture Framing?

The picture below explains it all. You run a border board perpendicular to the decking board around the deck’s premier. When you look back on the deck, the ends are all hidden behind the border boards.

One of its advantages is that it allows you to do some unique styles on your deck. For example, you can use border boards in a different color to mark a special zone, such as seating areas and grilling spaces. Also, the improved aesthetics are worth the effort of building it. More importantly, picture framing makes a deck safer by defining the shape and calling attention to stairs and deck edges.

1.2. How to Picture Frame a Deck?

First, let’s take a look at the required tools:

  • Safety glasses
  • Miter saw/circular saw
  • Screw gun
  • Tape measure

Before you roll up your sleeve and get into it, please make sure the substructure is structurally sound and meets code. Additional blocking is needed when picture framing a deck. Here’s what you need to know:

  • When the border boards run in the same direction as the joists do, additional blocking must be added to your existing substructure to make sure the border board is well supported.
  • Every decking board inside should be properly supported at each end.
  • No nails should be used to secure additional blocks. Use stainless screws.
  • The joist spacing for the blocking should be no less than 14’’.

2. Use Raised Composite Fascia Board

2.1. What’s a Raised Composite Fascia Board

Another way to cover the ends of composite decking boards is to install raised composite fascia boards. A deck fascia board is a board that runs around the premier of the deck, installed flush with the deck boards to cover the ends. Once it’s installed, decking ends will be hidden behind fascia boards, looking neat and sleek.

2.2. How to Install Fascia Boards

Okay, here are the tools you’ll need:

  • Miter saw/circular saw
  • Dill
  • Hammer
  • Jigsaw
  • Facia boards

Before installation, make sure the substructure is sound and meets code. An adequate substructure should allow for good ventilation and drainage.

Install spacers. Install spacers at an interval of 200 mm. The maximum spacing between fascia fasteners is 450 mm. Drill one hole in the middle of the spacer. Put a fastener in the pre-drilled hole of the spacer to fix the spacer to the rim joists. Do not over-tighten as it might cause damage to the spacer.

Install fasteners. Place fascia boards on the sawhorse and pre-drill pilot holes. Place fascia boards against the rim joists and use a speed square to check if the fascia board is flush with the top of the deck. Drive fasteners through the fascia board and into the rim joist.

3. Use Corner Trims to Cover the Ends

3.1. What Are Corner Trims?

Corner trims are L-shaped pieces that we can use to cover the ends of your composite deck. It’s lightweight and easy to install, suitable for low-lying decks. You can choose to use color-matched corner trims or corner trims in different colors to create a contrasting effect.

3.2. How to Install Corner Trims?

Measure the length of the area where you’ll install corner trims. Corner trims can be cut to desired sizes like timber. Once we’ve cut the corner trim cut to size, you can apply adhesive on one or both sides of the corner trim and attach them to the edge of the decking. To allow for expansion you may wish to only glue the top edge to allow for some movement.

That’s all about the ways to cover the ends of composite decking. If you wonder how to cover the ends of scalloped composite decking, click here.

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