How to Finish the Ends of Composite Decking

Composite decking is a popular and durable choice for outdoor decks. However, the ends of composite deck boards are not capped like the sides, which can leave them exposed to moisture and weathering. Finishing the ends of composite decking with either vinyl edge trim or deck j-channel will prevent water from getting in between the boards and also give a finished look to the deck. Finishing composite decking ends will help to keep your deck looking great for years to come. It is also an easy project that most homeowners can do in just a few hours.

How to Finish the Ends of Composite Decking

Composite decking is an attractive and durable material for outdoor decks. It requires less maintenance than traditional wood decking, which makes it a popular choice for homeowners. However, one of the downsides to composite decking is that it often has unfinished ends, especially when you purchase pre-made pieces. In this blog post, You will learn in detail how to finish the ends of composite decking.

Step-by-Step Processes for How to Finish the Ends of Composite Decking

Step 1: Inspect the Boards

Before you begin installing your composite decking, it is important to inspect the boards and determine if there are any defects. This can help prevent future problems before they occur. Once all the boards have been inspected, measure out sufficient length at each end of each board. It’s best to measure the full length of each board, as some boards may be longer or shorter than others.

Step 2: Cut the Boards

Cut off the ends of the boards using a circular saw to ensure they are all even. Be sure you follow safety precautions when using power tools. Once all the boards have been cut, sand off any sharp edges with a belt or orbital sander to reduce splintering.

Step 3: Attach the End Caps

Once all the boards have been cut and sanded, it’s time to attach the end caps. This is an important step as it will ensure that moisture doesn’t seep in between the decking boards. Attaching end caps can be done with a drill and screws or nails. Be sure to pre-drill the holes and countersink the screws or nails.

 Attach the End Caps

Step 4: Seal the Decking

Finally, it’s time to seal the decking. This step will help protect your composite decking from moisture and UV rays and prevent staining or discoloration over time. Use a high-quality sealant specifically formulated for composite decking, and be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions. For best results, apply two coats of sealant. Once you have completed these steps, your composite decking is ready to enjoy.

Safety Tips for How to Finish the Ends of Composite Decking

  1. Make sure you wear safety glasses and gloves when working with composite decking material and tools.
  2. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific type of composite decking before starting the project.
  3. If possible, use a circular saw to cut off any excess material at the end of your composite decking.
  4. Don’t forget to use a protective face mask when using power tools on the composite decking material.
  5. Sand any rough edges left after cutting with medium-grit sandpaper or wood file to ensure smooth finishings and avoid potential splinters or sharp edges.
  6. Use a router to create an attractive-looking edge.
  7. Use weather-resistant sealant or paint on the composite decking material before installation and at least once a year afterward to protect the material from any harsh elements.
Use Weather-resistant Sealant

Following these safety tips will help you complete your composite decking project safely, efficiently, and beautifully.

How Do You Avoid Common Mistakes When Finishing the Ends of Composite Decking?

  • Measure the length of your decking and ensure you have enough material to complete the project.
  • Use a circular saw or miter saw to cut composite boards to size, leaving a small gap between each board for expansion in hot weather.
  • Take extra care when cutting around railings or posts, and make sure to use the correct blade attachment for your saw.
  • If you are installing a composite railing, cut the ends of the railing off at an angle so they can slide into place without gaps or overhangs.
  • To ensure that boards fit together tightly, consider using hidden screws or clips that attach to the framing of the deck.
  • Consider using a protective cap to cover any exposed edges and prevent splintering or fading over time.
  • After cutting, inspect all the composite boards for any signs of damage, such as warping or splitting.
  • Finally, apply sealant or waterproofing material to protect the composite decking from the elements.
Consider Using Hidden Screws

Follow these steps, and you’ll be able to avoid common mistakes when it comes to finishing the ends of composite decking.

How Long Does It Take to Finish the Ends of Composite Decking? 

The time it takes to finish the ends of composite decking will depend on a few factors, such as the size and complexity of the deck, the number of boards being used, and the type of tools available. Generally speaking, most decks require one to two days for installation. The process is relatively simple and straightforward if you have the required tools.

First, you must measure and cut the boards according to your deck measurements. Then, you will have to secure the ends of each board with screws or nails, depending on the type of fastener used. Finally, you can use a circular saw or router to trim off any extra material around the edges. The entire process should take between four to six hours, depending on the size and complexity of your deck.

If you choose to install a composite board over an existing wood surface, you will need to sand down the surface and make any necessary repairs before installing the boards. This process can take between two to four hours, depending on the required work. After the boards are secured, you can use an orbital sander to sand and smooth the edges of the boards.

How Much Does It Cost to Finish the Ends of Composite Decking? 

Finishing the ends of composite decking can be a great way to give your outdoor space a polished and professional look. But how much does it cost to finish those ends? The answer depends on the type of trim you choose and the size of your deck. Using traditional wood trim pieces is one option for finishing off the ends of composite decking.

Wood trim can be painted or stained to match the color of your deck and is easy to install. It’s also fairly inexpensive, with costs ranging from $0.50 to $2 per linear foot, depending on the wood you choose. Another option is to use PVC trim pieces, which are more durable and longer-lasting than wood. PVC trim pieces come in various colors and styles, so you’re sure to find one that matches your decking. Prices range from $2 – $4 per linear foot.

Are There Any Risks Associated With Finishing the Ends of Composite Decking? 

When finishing the ends of composite decking, it is important to take caution and be aware of potential risks. To ensure safety while completing this task, follow these steps:

  • Make sure to read all instructions before beginning any work. This step is important because if done incorrectly, the risk of injury could be heightened significantly.
  • Wear protective gear, such as safety goggles and gloves, to protect your eyes and hands from the sawdust that may be produced.
  • Cut the composite decking with a circular saw or jigsaw blade specifically designed for cutting composite material. This will help ensure a clean cut and prevent any splintering of material.
  • When drilling holes for screws or fasteners, use a drill bit specifically designed for composite material to avoid damaging the decking surface and ensure a secure connection.
  • Be aware of any hazardous materials, such as sealants, adhesives, or paints, that could be used when finishing the ends of composite decking. Use appropriate safety measures in accordance with the product instructions.

By following these steps, you can ensure a safe experience while finishing the ends of composite decking.

Use Appropriate Safety Measures


In conclusion, composite decking is an excellent choice for anyone looking to enhance their outdoor living space’s aesthetic and long-term durability. Finishing off composite decking properly can not only improve its longevity but also make it look more attractive and inviting. 

With a few simple steps, you can easily complete the ends of your composite decking, resulting in a stunning outdoor living space. If you have any questions about finishing the ends of composite decking, please consult a professional contractor for advice before beginning any project. I hope this article has been beneficial for learning how to finish the ends of composite decking. Make Sure the precautionary measures are followed chronologically. 

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Adrian Green

Adrian has been interested in woodworking since he was a child. His father had a woodworking shop, and Adrian would help him out and learn from him. He gained basic carpentry knowledge as well as an understanding of how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others. So he started this blog to spread his passion and knowledge to those interested in DIY wood-working projects. He knows that with a little guidance and practice, anyone can create beautiful pieces of furniture or décor from scratch.

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