Metal Edging for Hardscapes
Metal edging can be a great way to level up your hardscapes projects while easing maintenance labor. Learn more about the different metal edging options and how to install them.
March 24, 2022
Metal edging for hardscapes is an elegant, tailored way to elevate your outdoor living spaces. It looks clean cut and is a practical solution for keeping bulk materials like decorative rock and mulch contained. Metal edging also creates transition between lawn and garden bed. All these factors upgrade property value and style. While it is not the cheapest option, it is timeless and does a great job of guarding beds, protecting customers’ landscape investment.
Benefits to Metal Edging
Edging creates separation between landscape beds, grass, paths, and driveways without taking up valuable surface space. This prevents migration of materials like gravel, mulch, pavers, and stone. This barrier also stops grass from creeping over beds and paths.
The edging does not rot or chip, it is durable and strong. It fits into many landscape styles and is easy to install and maintain. Edging also resists ground movement from inclement weather such as frost or excessive rains, as well as damage from lawn maintenance like string trimmers.
Metal edging is flexible and can fit any new landscape bed changes. It is available in multiple heights for a wide variety of applications.
Steel edging is a strong and rigid option for your project. It is thin but holds its shape well under large loads. It won’t bend under pressure from car tires on a gravel driveway and has a very slow rate of corrosion.
While painted steel edging is a classic option, Corten steel is gaining popularity. When Corten steel is untreated, it looks silver at first, then develops a rust-colored patina. Many people like this color for the aesthetics. The oxidized “rust” acts as a protective coating of the interior of the metal strips. If this is not the desired aesthetic, painted options like enamel dipped or powder coated edging are available to prevent rust.
Typically, steel edging is available in 10’ and 16’ lengths. Col-Met and Border Concepts offer a variety of heights and widths. Most professional landscape installations use products 1/8” thick or greater.
Aluminum is a lighter weight material, and it’s easier to handle and transport than steel. Heavy gauge aluminum also does not rust. It is softer and bends easier than steel, so choose an option that is 1/8” to 1/4” thick to prevent unintended bending. This metal also needs to be installed deeper than steel. It’s recommended to leave only about a half inch above ground, or it could be damaged by mowers.
Most aluminum edging, like Permaloc, requires stakes to further stabilize the metal. This kind of metal is better for curvaceous installations. It is typically available in 8’ and 16’ lengths.
Metal edging is available mostly in long strips, typically eight to ten feet, that have overlapping connections. Strip heights vary, but typically run three to five inches high. The height chosen will depend on how much your customer wants protruding above the soil.
Some metal edging comes with built in anchors or slots for stakes for easier installation. Be sure to check manufacturer installation recommendations as steel and aluminum have slightly different recommendations for installation.
- Metal snips
- Protective gloves for installation
- Long-handled pliers
- Sharp shooter spade to dig a trench in hard soils
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If you have any questions or need help with your next project, stop in your local SiteOne Stone Center or branch. For more educational articles, visit the hardscapes section of our Learn page.