PVC trim boards are by far the most versatile material used to accentuate home exteriors. They come in a wide range of colors, finishing, and patterns to add a dash of character to your home if installed properly.
The key phrase here is “installed properly.”
If you are a fabricator or a building contractor, or a carpenter, you should relate to what we are talking about. PVC trim can be such an all-around home exterior and interior product if one knows how to work with it correctly. In this blog, we explain in detail exactly “how.”
Even if you’re a homeowner looking for a DIY guide ( do it yourself ) to work with PVC trim, then this blog can come in handy.
So let’s dive right into this comprehensive guide on HOW TO WORK WITH PVC TRIMS.
1. Cutting PVC Trim Boards
If you are working with PVC trim for the first time, you will not find much of a difference between wood and PVC trim while cutting it. However, you need to be familiar with a few critical aspects of the cutting technique.
You can cut exterior PVC trim boards with the power tools you usually use while working with wooden trim. However, we advise you to use only carbide-tipped saw blades. The fewer teeth a blade has, the cleaner the cut edges would be as the material doesn’t heat up and stick to the blade. Thirty-two tooth blades are optimal for this purpose. We recommend standard hybrid saw blades. PVC trim boards have a cellular structure at the microscopic level. While cutting the trim boards, these cells open up, and dust gets accumulated on the surface. The best practice is to use 320 grit sandpaper to smoothen the surface and then wipe the dust clean with acetone.
If you follow the recommended process, you can easily cut the PVC trims and get an ultra-smooth rich looking finish.
Watch this video by Hffcom on how to cut PVC trim boards here:
You can easily drill Echon PVC Trim Boards by making use of standard woodworking drill bits. However, in this process, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:
a. The point angle should be -90°- 110°. The spiral angle should be approximate – 30°, and the relief angle should be 10°
b. Always remember to remove shavings from drill holes before filling them.
By remembering these simple tips, you can ensure that your PVC trims are drilled perfectly well and are ready for fastening and installation.
For routing, we recommend that you use standard working cables with carbide-tipped bits with multiple flutes. You can conveniently route decorative edges or grooves by using routers. The best way to go about this process would be with a newly sharpened tool.
It is best to use tools that operate with small radii rather than larger angles to ensure that there is no stress cracking on the edges. Also, keep removing dirt and build-up from your boards and equipment to reduce any possible damage.
Keeping the board clean and smooth as you go along will ensure that the routing is done well.
4. Fastening your PVC Trim Boards
When selecting your fasteners, stainless steel screws are the best options because they will never rust and prevent the board from bleeding if the PVC board is unpainted. Stainless steel screws with small finish heads are the best choice for your house trim exterior. You can also use galvanized hot-dipped nails, but there is a possibility that they may corrode and stain the PVC trim over time.
We recommend using 8d nails, which are usually used for wooden trim with a minimum strength of 12 gauge. These nails should have thin shanks, fully rounded heads, and blunt points. These boards should be fastened at least 2 inches from the end of the board for a stronger hold.
PVC trim boards tend to expand and contract with temperature changes, so you must fasten them well. Drive screws or nails into the framing, never just the sheathing.
To best control the movements of the boards, the recommended board widths:
|Board Width||Fasteners per Width With a maximum of every 16” on center|
|4” & 6”||2|
|8” & 10”||3|
5. Cementing PVC Trim board joints Together
One of the advantages of using PVC trim boards is that you can cement the joints together to keep the boards super secure!
We recommend a special type of PVC cement that you can purchase along with the trim. Before the cement sets, you will have about five minutes of working time to clamp and fasten the joints. For all surfaces, smear a little cement and either clamp or screw the joint together. The stronger the joints, the longer your boards will serve you!
We have reiterated that wood reacts to humidity changes and PVC shifts with temperature changes. However, wood primarily stretches and contracts in width (that is, perpendicular to the grain), the primary movement of PVC trim boards appears to be linear.
Due to this, fabricators and contractors often struggle to account for.
Watch this video to find out how you can deal with this issue appropriately:
6. Gluing PVC Trim Boards
Gluing the trim boards together correctly is crucial for them to stay intact for decades. The best option for sealing PVC trim boards is by making use of a polymer-based sealant containing solvents instead of a silicone-based one.
This is because solvents cause a temporary chemical breakdown of the PVC trim boards, essentially welding the boards to each other. PVC pipe glue or a substance specially designed for PVC material is the best choice
Our suggestion is to apply the adhesive to individual pieces of the trim boards and press the boards together to better bond.
For more details, you can watch this video on how you can glue PVC trim boards together by AdamDIY:
7. Pre-assembling PVC trims
To check the joints and lengths, cut the miters to fit and dry-fit your cuts. Measure carefully to leave a 1/8-inch gap when you apply PVC trim for windows around vinyl or aluminum-clad windows.
8. Filling Fastener holes
After you fasten the boards together, there will be some holes left over. Leaving them as it is will make your PVC exterior trim look unattractive. To ensure that does not happen:
- Fill small holes with an exterior filler. You can use the Cortex concealed fastening/plug system for that purpose.
- Sand it and smoothen it after it dries up.
- Fill larger holes with auto body filler or damaged areas, and sand it again after it heals. You can also buy cortex or starborn plugs to fill the holes.
9. Scarf Joints
A scarf joint is a way of joining two materials end to end, mainly used when a material is unavailable in the required size. Scarf joints overlap 45-degree joints, for example, what you see at the edges of PVC window trim. To prevent splitting, cut the first piece of trim to fall just short of a stud so that the second overlapping trim piece can be fastened to the stud an inch or so from the end. Proper scarf joints will ensure that your edges remain secure!
10. Painting PVC trim boards
Echon PVC trim boards do not need painting for additional protection. However, to add a bit of vitality to your exteriors, you should opt for paints that are 100% acrylic latex or paints with acrylic latex and urethane additive.
Note: You should paint your PVC trim boards with a light reflective value (LRV) of 55 units or more. Using dark colors may result in the deformation of the trimboard as it absorbs more heat.
To ensure that the paint sits on your boards perfectly, ensure that your trim boards are perfectly dry, clean, and free of any grit, mildew, chalk, grease, and dirt. A cloth dampened with acetone can be used to rub the surface gently to clean and dehumidify it. Once the surface is arid, the paint can be applied. The paint may take approximately 28-30 days to dry up entirely, depending on weather conditions!
With Echon’s PVC Trims, all these steps are easier than ever!
We hope these techniques help you in becoming a pro at working with PVC Trim boards. These tips will ensure that your home’s exterior will look stunning and reduce the wastage cost.
If you found this blog helpful, then do comment and let us know your thoughts. If you have any further questions that you would like us to answer, please feel free to ask them.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are based on our team’s knowledge and experience. The results from instructions provided in the blog may vary from case to case basis. We strictly advise our readers to verify all the information provided here through their sources. Echon, its employees, partners, distributors, or directors are not responsible for any consequences, good or bad, that may arise from following the instructions on this blog for an individual or a company from the USA or abroad. The information is being provided to help our readers and our community and is by no means official. We are not legally or morally liable for any damage, financial or non-financial, that may be caused by following the suggestions or information provided in our blogs.