How to Protect the Sides of your Low Deck with Terrace Board
Do you have a low deck, where the sides of the deck actually extend down below the level of your grass? If you do, you might be concerned about the redwood’s ability to withstand touching soil (not great, at least over time) or small animals’ access to below your deck floor. If this is the case, you might want to consider adding Terrace Board to the lower half of your deck edge to protect them.
Terrace board is sold in a few different colors and widths. Essentially, it is a flexible plasticky trim that is designed for outdoor application. This particular roll of Terrace Board is 5” wide.
Unroll your Terrace Board along the side of your deck that you want to protect. In this instance, we wanted the top of the Terrace Board to rest 2” below the top of the deck floor. This means that it would extend into the ground about 1-1/2”.
Use a shovel, trowel, or even a screwdriver or dandelion digger in any part of the ground’s edge that needs loosening in order for you to lay your Terrace Board flat against the side of your deck.
Lay the Terrace Board all the way along the side of the deck before you install any part of it, to be sure that it is lying flat – both flat against the side of the deck, and flat in reference to level with the top of your deck floor.
Measure the gap you want, all the way down the Terrace Board. (This example uses 2”, but you can use whatever distance fits your deck space best.)
With a triangle ruler to hold the top of the Terrace Board in line, install a short (1”) exterior wood screw through the Terrace Board into the side of your wood deck. Look for screws that are designed for exterior/deck use and that have a flat under-head surface, so that the screw head rests flush against the Terrace Board. Many exterior wood screws have angled heads, which we found to be not preferable.
You can space these screws however close or far apart that you want. This example opted for about a 9” spread from screw to screw. Be sure to have a helper hold the Terrace Board taut against the side of the deck before you install the next screw, as it might want to bubble out away from the deck due to its having been rolled up.
You can easily cut the Terrace Board with a pair of heavy duty scissors or tin snips. Cut it, then install other Terrace Board around the corners of your deck as needed.
Once your Terrace Board is installed (installation goes quickly, once the Terrace Board is dry-fitted into place), fill in any nearby gaps or holes in the ground to keep everything safe and pretty.
Here’s what the completed, installed Terrace Board looks like…before being cleaned up, of course. We like how it’s hardly noticeable (will be even less visible when the grass isn’t matted down for the winter), but even when you do notice it, it looks classy. Almost like a neat, crisp nail head trim on a lovely piece of furniture.
So, if you’re looking for something to serve as a buffer between your soil and the sides of your deck, we highly recommend Terrace Board. It’s super easy to install, looks well, and will protect your deck wood for years to come.