Ply Gem Trim Mouldings 101

Know Your Trim Options 

Trim is the element that ties your home’s look together—and choosing the right trim is a crucial step in enhancing your home’s exterior. Whether you’re giving definition to doors and windows, finishing out your siding or accenting a corner or column, it’s important to pick the right option. Not only will trim polish your home’s façade, but some options are also virtually maintenance free and will stand up to moisture and pests. With so many products to choose from, it’s wise to take a moment to learn what’s available so you can select the trim that’s right for your home and your lifestyle.

Ply Gem Trim molding home

Cellular PVC Trim

More builders and homeowners are choosing Cellular PVC for its versatility, good looks, and low maintenance finish. Most Cellular PVC trim products are engineered for longevity and durability, and are created through a Free Foam Extrusion process which creates many boards from a wide sheet of cellular PVC of various thicknesses. This gives the material a consistent cell structure and density, reducing the chance of imperfections and improving durability. It works with a variety of siding or exteriors, making it a versatile option. And since it’s easily shaped into architectural design flourishes like window arches or headers, Cellular PVC trim is incredibly easy to customize. Best of all, it does not contain or absorb water, so it won't rot, and is also dirt and pest resistant. Look for trim that carries a 30 year manufacturer’s warranty for guaranteed peace of mind.

 

Cellular PVC Trim Pros & Cons

          Strengths

          Weaknesses

Doesn't absorb water so it won't warp or rot due to moisture. An excellent choice for humid climates. When painting cellular PVC, dark shades can cause the material to expand in heat
Is dirt and pest resistant. Can be twice as expensive as wood, but its durability gives it a much lower life cycle cost.
Holds paint better than wood because no water is coming out.  
Looks like natural wood and can be cut and formed into unique design elements.  
Nails and glues without splitting or cracking.  
Doesn't require caulking or sealing upon installation--saving you time and money.  
Does not contain chemicals or carcinogens.  

 

Wood Trim Pros & Cons

          Strengths

          Weaknesses

Offers a traditional, natural appearance. Water will escape as the wood dries, causing the need to repaint in a few years.
Can be painted or stained to suit any color scheme. Susceptible to wood rot and insect problems.
Low initial material cost. Unlike engineered products, wood requires more maintenance, which can give wood a higher lifecycle cost.
  May crack or split during installation.
  Flammable unless treated with flame retardant.

 

 

Treated and Engineered Wood Pros & Cons

          Strengths

          Weaknesses

Low initial cost. Must be painted, sealed and caulked upon installation.
Offers some protection from pest infiltration. Not immune to pest problems.
Engineered wood handles expansion and contraction well. Water absorption can cause rapid deterioration.
  Must be painted and sealed regularly.
  Since engineered wood is composed of wood chips, it must be painted and the texture and appearance can be unnatural and irregular.
  Cannot be easily bent and shaped into unique shapes.

 

 

Fiber Cement Trim Pros & Cons

          Strengths

          Weaknesses

Termite resistant. Like wood, ends must be sealed and caulked during installation.
Holds dark colors well. Prone to cracking and splitting during installation.
Largely weather resistant. Not easily shaped for unique design elements like arches and headers.
  Because of its weight, may be more costly to handle and install
  Cutting and handling fiber cement releases silica dust, a known carcinogen, into the air.

 

 

Aluminum Trim Pros & Cons

          Strengths

          Weaknesses

Low cost option. Must be installed professionally to avoid problems with denting and bending.
A variety of colors and textures  are available. Aluminum trim which wraps around existing wood trim may be concealing problems like pests or wood rot.
Can be used with most siding types. Not easily shaped around sharp edges and corners.
Water and pest resistant. Does not look as much like natural wood as other trim products.
Handles extreme temperature well.  

 

Vinyl Trim Pros & Cons

          Strengths

          Weaknesses

Never requires paint, saving you time and money on upkeep.

Not a good choice for all home exteriors. Works best with vinyl siding.

Lightweight and easy to install.

Vinyl casing over existing trim may conceal problems like wood rot or pest infiltration.

Pest and water resistant.

 

Virtually maintenance free.

 

Does a better job than aluminum of mimicking a natural wood grain.

 

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