Cellular PVC Trim

Cellular PVC trim is a maintenance-free, durable alternative to exterior wood millwork. Manufactured in sheets, boards, corners, beadboard, specialty profiles, and many custom architectural shapes, cellular PVC trim is often referred to by consumers as “plastic” trim.

PVC trim is manufactured from polyvinyl chloride—the same material that is used to manufacture vinyl siding. However, cellular PVC trim is manufactured by a “foaming” process followed by extrusion, whereas PVC siding is extruded. The “foam” is pushed through a die and takes the shape of the die. Unlike wood trim, which can absorb water or become infested with termites, cellular PVC trim is durable and stands up to the weather extremely well.  It does not rot, and it does not need to be painted. Like wood, cellular PVC trim expands and contracts; PVC changes in temperature, wood changes with moisture. Installers who are familiar with cellular PVC trim understand this and install the trim so that these changes in dimensions are not visible and/or limit with proper fastening and gluing.  Movement does not affect the performance of the trim.

Cellular PVC trim can be installed with regular woodworking tools. Installers use conventional carbon-tipped blades and standard woodworking drill bits. The edges of PVC trim can be finished with machine edging, sanding, grinding, or filing. Cellular PVC trim can be painted, although it is not necessary because the trim is manufactured in a natural white color. Oil-based paints and primers should not be used to paint cellular PVC trim; use acrylic latex paint.  Paint manufacturers sell paint that is specifically designed for PVC trim and other vinyl building products if the color is darker. Cellular PVC trim and molding can be cleaned with a soft bristle brush and soapy water.

Some cellular PVC trim is used functionally to cover the transitions between surfaces, as corners, shingle mould, rake board, window sills, and window and door trim. For example, trim boards are often used to cover the transition between the first row of siding and the base of a building or between different types or colors of siding. Brick mold is installed between vinyl siding and brick or stucco and the windows and doors.

Other trim is decorative in nature. For example, cellular PVC trim can be used to create crown molding, casing, lattice, and custom combinations. PVC molding is available as “plain” (with straight edges) and with routed edges.  Creatively combining manufactured PVC molding can result in custom decorative trim that replicates the look of classical architecture.

Some of the profiles available in cellular PVC trim are:   trim board, beadboard, beadboard panel, one-piece outside corners, inside corners, crown molding, rams crown, bed mold, quarter round, base cap, brick mold, drip cap, shingle mold, back band, sill nose, rake, sill, casing, and lattice. Architectural windows are often trimmed with cellular PVC trim that has been heated and bent to the shape of the window.

For more information please visit CertainTeed’s trim products page.

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