Until the 1970s, most millwork was wood. However, improvements in the appearance and performance of PVC (vinyl) boards, sheets, and profiles helped vinyl begin to overtake wood as the preferred millwork for trim. The reasons for this are simple. Vinyl millwork is more durable than wood, requires less maintenance than wood, and can be manufactured in a wide variety of boards, sheets, and profiles. Growth in the use of vinyl siding and vinyl windows began the trend, and as building and homeowners saw the durability and easy maintenance of vinyl siding and windows, they recognized the potential of vinyl millwork.
Vinyl millwork has both interior and exterior applications. Inside, its uses include baseboard, quarter round, wainscoting, and crown molding. Because it is dimensionally stable, flexible and lightweight, builders use vinyl millwork in new construction. Unlike wood, vinyl millwork will not split as the building settles. Architects often specify vinyl millwork because it can be heated and shaped into custom designs.
Exterior uses of vinyl millwork include soffit, porch ceilings, and window and door surrounds. The performance characteristics of vinyl make it especially valuable as an exterior trim. Vinyl millwork does not absorb water, so it is often used at the transition between siding and brick or siding and stucco. In some areas, it can be used below the grade. Vinyl trim does not need to be painted. It will not absorb water, so it does not rot or split. When vinyl millwork is manufactured with special additives, it resists degradation from sunlight. It is also durable in areas with high humidity and/or salt air.
CertainTeed manufactures two lines of vinyl millwork: The Vinyl Carpentry™ brand, which is manufactured in styles, textures, and colors that match or complement the company’s line of vinyl siding,; and Restoration Millwork® Cellular PVC Exterior Trim. Restoration Millwork is supplied in a smooth and wood grain texture in natural white and in a wide selection of boards, sheets, and profiles. While cellular vinyl millwork does not need to be painted, home owners who prefer trim that matches or contrasts with the exterior of the house often request custom colors. At least one major paint manufacturers has developed a line of paints that is specifically designed to be used on vinyl. These paints have a light reflective value (LRV) of less than 55.
For more information please visit CertainTeed’s trim products page.