Work Smart With PVC Trim
For good results with this rotproof material, you have to understand how it moves.
Synopsis: PVC trim has many assets, not least of which is that it is rotproof. Contributing editor Rick Arnold offers his advice on the best ways to work smart with PVC trim. The first steps involve the proper handling, cutting, and storage of PVC trim, keeping in mind that heat can cause the material to warp. It’s important to use the right number of fasteners; nailing schedules can differ from wood trim. Control movement in running trim by using the appropriate connection: shiplap joints, mitered corners, butt joints, or scarf joints. Casings are assembled either with pocket screws or biscuits. This article also includes a sidebar on additional gear for the PVC tool kit, including sealant, filler, PVC cement, antistatic spray, and cleanser.
Here in New England, it seems like we’re installing more and more PVC trim every year. And why not? It doesn’t rot or need paint, although paint is not a bad idea (more on that later). I typically recommend PVC trim for two particular applications. First, it’s the perfect material for a customer who wants white trim and never wants to paint. Second, it’s the best choice when there are unavoidable moisture problems resulting from the location of the house or the weather.
Installing PVC trim close to the ground, a deck, a roof, or a driveway doesn’t carry the same risks as doing so with wood or fiber-cement trim. When PVC is painted, the paint will last longer than when it’s applied to wood installed in moisture-prone areas.
PVC trim is available in many thicknesses, lengths, and profiles, and for the most part, it cuts and shapes like wood. Like other building materials, PVC expands and contracts with the ambient temperature. It’s important to know how to work with…