How To Deal With The Ends of Composite Decking?

Last Updated on December 10, 2022 by Jason Nguyen

When you build your outdoor space with composite decking. What a beautiful material for a composite deck. It improves the look of your outdoor space and makes your home worth more. Composite wood decking, on the other hand, needs finishing touches because it doesn’t have enough scalloped ends. What should we do with the composite decking’s scalloped ends?

There are many ways to fix composite wood decking with scalloped ends. But each method has its own pros and cons that make it different from the others. Find out what’s really going on so we can choose the right method.

end composite decking

A picture frame’s edge

A deck with one or more layers of boards around its edge is called a “picture frame border.” Most of the time, the border deck is the same as the deck in the middle. A frame is one of the most common ways to finish the ends of boards made of composite material.

A picture frame border can be used for more than just covering the end of a deck that has been cut off. For example, you could improve the look of your deck. Whether you choose a frame with one, two, or three boards, it gives your composite wood deck a polished, elegant look. It can also give designers more ways to change the way their designs look. You can use boards of the same color for a subtle look, or you can use boards of different colors for a bold look.

The worst thing about a picture frame border is the price. At the edge of the deck, it needs an extra joist and blocking. This lets more decking run across the deck in a way that hides the ends.

Also, mitered cuts make it hard to work with the edges of picture frames. If the mitered joints aren’t joined correctly. Then, when the temperature changes and the board expands and contracts, the mitered joints will open up, ruining the look of the outdoor composite deck.

Raised composite fascia board

Lintels are also called “edge joist covers” or “deck lintels” from time to time. It is usually used to cover the holes at the ends of the deck frame and the edge joists of the board. It’s not too hard to put up lintels. During installation, the deck is placed on the deck and cut so that it fits right up against the edge joists. Just put the composite fascia board on the deck so that it is even with the top.

The problem with lintels is easy to see. Place the trim board so that it is flush with the end joists. Then, put the fascia board over it. Between the fascia and the joists, there is a good chance that water will get stuck. If water sits on the deck, it will rust.

Even though this risk is less likely because of the joist membrane, it is still a bad thing about the design.

The ends of the composite deck should be painted

The ends of composite wood decking don’t match the color of the decking, which is a problem. You can wrap the composite decking in any color you want. But the ends are the color of the plastic bags and sawdust you use. Which can be different between boards. The solution is to paint all of the ends and the polymer cap the same color as the decking. Getting the ends of the composite decking to look like the rest of the deck.

The best way to take care of traditional wood decks is to paint them. But painting doesn’t work as well on decks made of composite materials. If you paint the end of the deck, the colors might not match, making it look bad.

Glued-on cap of veneer

The ends of the decking boards look like paintings, but that’s not all they do. Place a thin veneer on the cut end of the decking. The decking has the same texture and color pattern as the top. It is also the same color.

Getting veneer caps isn’t easy. Even though trim can be used to cut a veneer, doing so takes a lot of skill and extra work. Also, extra care needs to be taken during installation, because if the glue fails, the finish will also fail. So, you have to use contact glue, which means you can only do it once.

Add end strips by screwing them on

A combination of framing and veneer. Cut a piece of composite decking that is about an inch thick and screw it to the ends of the composite decking. Round the decking boards’ edges to make them look nice and neat.

Without all the extra substructure work that comes with picture framing the deck or the trouble of attaching veneer to the ends of each deck board.

Vinyl stair nosing

Inside the house, you can see an older way of finishing off the ends of composite decking. The ends of the composite decking are finished off with vinyl stair nosing. Inside the house, similar vinyl stairs were used to finish off the edge of the deck.

No extra framing is needed, and the price is a small fraction of what it would cost to frame a picture on a composite deck.

The end of decks made of plastic boards

This is the only way to finish hollow-cylinder decking boards. Small holes are tapped into the cylinders with a rubber mallet so that the plastic end caps can be attached to the end of the deck board. Fill the holes at the ends of the decking boards with the same-colored plastic.

Most of the time, the scalloped ends of composite decks work well with the picture frame border. If you don’t have a lot of money, you can use raised composite fascia board. So, these are the two best ways to finish the ends of composite decking.

Should I seal the cut ends of composite decking?

The short answer to this question is yes! Sealing the cut ends of composite decking will help protect it from moisture, mold, mildew, and sun damage. It also gives the deck a cleaner, more finished look.

When sealing the cut ends of composite decking boards, use a high-quality sealant that is made specifically for composite decking and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Before applying the sealant, clean the cut ends of all debris and dirt, then let them dry completely before beginning.

Once sealed, be sure to re-seal your deck every 1-2 years or as needed for best results. Sealing the cut ends of composite decking will help you keep your outdoor living space looking great and lasting for years to come.

Can you stain the cut ends of composite decking?

The answer is yes, you can stain the cut ends of composite decking. While it can be difficult to get a smooth finish with these materials due to their texture, using a brush or roller and even sand paper will help achieve the desired effect.

It’s important to keep in mind that while staining may not be necessary, it is necessary to protect the cut ends from weathering and discoloration. A sealer or protective coating can help keep your composite decking looking new for longer.

Additionally, be sure to pay attention to any manufacturer’s recommendations when staining or sealing composite decking boards, as this may affect the warranty of the product.

Overall, with proper care and regular maintenance, you can stain the cut ends of composite decking to protect them from the elements and keep your outdoor space looking great.

Can you router the edge of composite decking?

Yes, you can router the edge of composite decking. Routing is a great way to create custom shapes and designs on your composite decking boards. It allows you to get creative with your outdoor space.

To ensure successful routing, it’s important to use sharp, high-quality router bits and take safety precautions such as wearing protective eye and ear protection. If you’re just starting out with composite decking, it can be helpful to practice on scrap pieces of material before working on the actual boards.

This will help ensure that you’ll get the desired result for your project. It’s also important to use a router bit specifically designed for composite materials, as it will produce the best results.

Finally, it’s important to work slowly and carefully to create a clean, smooth edge. With patience and practice, you can router the edge of composite decking with great results.

How do you hide the ends of composite decking on stairs?

There are several ways to hide the ends of composite decking on stairs. One option is to use fascia boards, which cover the edges and provide a finished look.

Another option is to use end caps, which fit over the end of each board and can be color-matched to blend in with the rest of your decking.

Finally, you can also use trim pieces, such as quarter round or L-shaped molding, to cover the ends for a more decorative look.