Choosing the Right Steel Edging Thickness Made Easy!

Choosing the Right Steel Edging Thickness Made Easy!

Choosing the Right Steel Edging Thickness Made Easy!

When installing steel garden edging, one of the most important decisions is choosing the right thickness, or gauge, for your unique needs. The thickness impacts the edging's durability, look, and cost. In this article, we'll examine the key factors in selecting thickness along with an overview of common options. We'll also provide tips on matching thickness to different landscaping applications.

Key Factors to Consider When Selecting Edging Thickness

When selecting the thickness of steel lawn edging, there are several key factors to consider:

  • Weight and durability requirements: Thicker steel stands up better to heavy use, foot traffic, weather, and time. It resists dents, bending, and warping much more than thinner gauges. Prioritize thickness for high-traffic areas needing lasting durability.
  • Aesthetic goals and visual weight: Thicker edging makes a bolder statement with a defined separation between lawn and garden. Thinner edging provides a more delicate, graceful refined appearance. Match the thickness to your desired landscape design style.
  • Function and purpose: Will the edging outline ornamental beds or retain driveway pavers? Using it for decoration or security fencing? Purpose affects ideal thickness. For example, thinner edging works for flower beds, and thicker for gravel retention.
  • Cost considerations: Thinner steel gauge edging is generally the most economical while thicker steel costs more. Compare pricing and the need for durability to find the right balance for your budget.
  • Ease of installation: Thinner gauges are easier for DIYers to cut, bend, and install. Heavier thicknesses usually require professional-grade tools to manipulate and install properly.

Steel Edging Thickness Options

Gauge sizes for edging vary depending on the manufacturer, but generally, you will find metal edging offered in 11-gauge up to 18-gauge metal. When it comes to gauges, as the number gets higher, the product gets thinner. 11-gauge may be a thicker metal than 14-gauge. Our two sizes for mild steel garden edging are 11 gauge (3mm ) and 10-gauge (6mm).

Here, we'll explore common thickness options for metal edging:

1-2mm (18-16 Gauge)

This is a very thin gauge that is not recommended for most applications. It provides a delicate outline but compromises severely on durability. It is best suited for decorative purposes.

3mm (14 Gauge)

3mm steel garden edging is a mid-range thickness option. this lighter gauge is Versatile and suitable for a wide range of landscaping projects. It works well for ornamental beds with minimal foot traffic. Provides refined outline at lower cost.

5mm (11 Gauge)

This medium gauge handles moderate traffic for garden beds, patios, and walkways. Good durability-cost balance.

6mm (10 Gauge)

This heavier gauge works well for securing pavers, gravel, and high-traffic zones. Thanks to its thickness, it can provide long-lasting sturdiness in many outdoor applications.

How to Match Edging Thickness to Your Landscaping Needs

The appropriate thickness of steel edging depends on your specific landscaping needs. Here are some guidelines:

Flower beds and gardens 

For most residential flower beds and gardens, 3mm steel edging provides a good balance between durability and cost.

Driveways and pathways

Where cars and heavy foot traffic come into play, thicker 5-6mm edging is needed. The durability withstands vehicle bumps and scrapes while boldly defining the border.

For sloped areas, thicker gauges such as 6mm are less likely to buckle or bend when containing materials. The durability also better retains position against erosion.

Heavy traffic areas

In high-activity zones such as commercial properties or public parks, substantial 6mm edging is best. It stands up to running, jumping, and equipment moving without compromise.

Climate and Soil Conditions: Impact on Edging Thickness

Cold climates

In areas with extreme winters, frost heaving can loosen thinner edging and disturb boundaries. Thicker edging, such as 6mm, is essential to resist ground movement and potential damage caused by ice and frost.

Wet/Humid Climates

Where heavy rainfall is common, thinner edging can warp and bend with moisture exposure. Choose 5mm or thicker to resist water damage.

Soil conditions

In loose, sandy soils, thinner edging is prone to sinking, tilting and shifting. In rocky soil conditions, thicker gauges such as 6mm are recommended to prevent damage from rocks. In clay soil conditions where soil movement is common, thicker edging provides better anchorage and structural support.

In conclusion, choosing the right steel edging thickness involves careful consideration of various factors, including durability needs, aesthetic preferences, function, cost, ease of installation, and climate and soil conditions. When in doubt, it's always a wise decision to seek expert advice, especially if you have unique landscaping challenges or specific project requirements.