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Installation Solutions: Select the right hardscape edging

May 7, 2021 -  By
Knowing the paver height and the base for the project are keys to selecting the right paver product. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Photography Imaging/Getty Images)

Knowing the paver height and the base for the project are keys to selecting the right paver product. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Photography Imaging/Getty Images)

As the temperatures rise, so do homeowners’ interest in their yards. As contractors start to work on design/build projects, it’s a good idea to understand the ins and outs of hardscape edging, which, at its most basic function helps restrain or contain a patio or hardscape space.

Cameron Maneri, store manager with Kurtz Bros., an Ohio-based landscaping supply company, helps us understand how to select the right hardscape or landscape edging for the project. Before you select an edging product, it’s a good idea to know your paver height and what base you plan to use for the project.

“I encourage them to consider what type of base it is on and what type of stone is being used,” he says. “Both will help determine the type and style of edging being used.”

Small budget

When it comes to a smaller budget project, Maneri says plastic edging is the most cost-affordable option. Plastic also offers a lot of benefits, including being suitable for high-moisture environments. He cautions there are some things to keep in mind.

When installing plastic edging and securing it with spikes, it’s important to understand where a client’s irrigation lines or utilities are. Make sure to consult the irrigation design before starting your edging installation.

“When using plastic edging, you could drive a spike into water lines or irrigation lines,” he says.

Another thing to consider with lower budget projects, Maneri says, is to understand the quality or grade of the plastic edging. That’s where working with a supplier can help you find the best solution for a budget, he says.

Mid- to large-budget projects

For a midsized budget, Maneri recommends using concrete edging with the use of an open-graded aggregate in the base preparation because it’s hard to drive a stake through that type of aggregate. Concrete edging offers the benefits of handling climates where freeze-thaw cycles are common.

“Concrete edging is new to the market,” he says. “It is no longer made up of just concrete; it has fibers embedded to strengthen it.”

Maneri cautions, though, to read the directions properly when mixing the concrete.

Otherwise, he says, “You could mix the concrete too wet or dry, and it will not cure properly.”

Plastic edging, which is also an option for a project with a midsized budget, is best suited for a traditional base, Maneri says.

“Due to the compacted base, it is easier to drive a stake or spike through the base to grasp the base. Over time, it will cause oxidation of the spike connecting the spike to the sediment underneath,” he says.

For a larger budget, contractors have many options, including aluminum edging with 90-degree angle brackets, concrete edging and plastic edging.

One thing to keep in mind with aluminum edging with angled spikes is that the edging is less resistant to movement and won’t expand or contract with temperature or moisture changes.

Installation advice

When it comes to installing the edging products on patios, Maneri says it’s critical to install the edging as closely as you can to ensure a proper bond.

“Make sure there is a tight bond against the pavers,” he says. “If not, the paver will shift, the patio could move, or the base could wash out.”

When installing a landscape edging project, ensure there is a clean edge by removing vegetation and roots in the installation area.

Above all, though, is choosing the right edging product, Maneri says.

“Don’t skimp,” he says. “Buy the best product for your project.”

Christina Herrick

About the Author:

Christina Herrick is the editor of Landscape Management magazine. Known for her immersive approach to travel from coast to coast in her previous stint as senior editor of American Fruit Grower Magazine, she uses social media (Twitter/Instagram @EditorHerrick) to share her experiences on the road with her audience. Herrick has a degree in journalism from Ohio Northern University. She can be reached at

1 Comment on "Installation Solutions: Select the right hardscape edging"

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  1. Dan Rios says:

    Edging helps to emphasize your hardscaping. When we did hardscaping, some of our clients prefer to use stones and then we paint them. As a result, it’s colorful and attractive.