PVC Mouldings vs. Wood? 

PVC mouldings vs. wood? Doesn’t this debate sound familiar? Indeed, it is the million-dollar question today on every builder’s, homeowner’s, and contractor’s mind!  Driving builders and designers on an eternal quest to decode the ultimate building block that can redefine the construction space.

Echon takes you on a journey, deep-diving into the nuances of these two legendary materials to unveil the more innovative building block.

 

Decoding the Basics…

For ages, wood has always been one of the primary building materials used by mankind. Look around you and wood still seems to be one of the more popular building materials in most structures to date. In fact, wooden frames dominate the majority of residential construction in the United States, as most American homes still use wood as their primary construction material for interior and exterior decor. 

According to a study conducted by The Freedonia Group (Cleveland-based research group), it is observed that there will be high demand for wood moulding and trim in the non-residential market due to increased gains in the office and commercial construction spending and institutional building construction. With an expected growth rate of 5.7% annually, wooden moulding and trims demand will be valued at USD 7.8 Billion by 2025.

The Freedonia Group Cleveland Based Research Group

On the other hand, PVC is becoming more mainstream and paving its pathway as a preferred material for the interiors of homes. Most contractors and re-modellers are adopting alternative options such as PVC mouldings due to their sustainable nature.

In 2020, the PVC market’s projected value was USD 45 Billion and was projected to grow at a CAGR of over 4% from 2021 to USD 54.75 Billion by 2026. 

As a low-maintenance alternative for wooden mouldings, PVC building materials, are widely used for trim applications that include soffit, fascia, rake boards, columns, window surrounds, door surrounds, mouldings, window frames and flooring to roofing foils, wall coverings and cables. 

 

PVC or Wood? Which is a better building material for homes?

Like all excellent building materials, PVC and wooden mouldings have their own set of advantages and disadvantages that make them unique.

In a bid to help you make the right decision, we’ve curated a list of the pros and cons of both PVC and wooden mouldings.

 

Pros of using Wooden Mouldings:

 

        • Wide range of species: There are more than 60,000 different species of wood in the world, each having its distinct properties. From pine to oak, you can choose any wood that compliments your decor and enjoy the richness of nature at your home.
        • Easy construction: Wooden mouldings are easy and quick to cut to size on-site as no additional heavy equipment is required. Some wooden mouldings are prefabricated to allow for faster construction and more control over details.
        • Insulation: Wooden moulding retains heat due to its low thermal conductivity and keeps home space warmer. These trims can safely hold the hideous wires sticking out of the wall and beautify the space. 
        • Future investment: Adding wooden moulding is an investment as it can boost the overall value of your house. During resale, you can easily reap the benefit of designing your house with wooden mouldings.

 

Cons of using Wooden Mouldings:

 

        • Expensive affair: Premium quality wooden moulding will cost you more than its alternatives like PVC mouldings, and the maintenance might cost you even more than the initial investment.
        • Limited lifeline: Wood tends to have a limited lifespan­­ as it can easily be vulnerable to external factors. It can result in decaying and rotting of the material.
        • Infestation: Wood mouldings are an excellent food for termites and certain pests. These termites eat through the wood and cause massive deterioration. Frequent pest treatment is needed to prevent infestation, increasing the maintenance cost.
        • Fire: Wood is a highly combustible material and can easily catch fire. Unless protected and treated with chemicals, even engineered wood can easily catch fire and prove highly hazardous.
        • Weather Fluctuations: Wood is susceptible to climatic conditions

Let’s examine why builders and contractors are nowadays seen ditching traditional wooden mouldings and hopping on board the PVC bandwagon.

 

Pros of PVC Moulding:

 

        • Durable and long-lasting: PVC mouldings require little or no maintenance for decades. It is not reactive to external or adverse meteorological influences. Leading PVC manufacturers in the USA, offer 25 years of warranty on their products. Therefore, it is a more durable and wiser choice than any of its alternatives.
        • Hassle-free installation: PVC mouldings do not require special tools for installation. The installation process is straightforward, and no additional cost is incurred. For a complete step-by-step guide on PVC moulding installations, do check out this fantastic blog on How to install PVC Moulding at home. 
        • Chemical resistance: PVC mouldings are resistant to harsh chemicals 
        • Waterproof: PVC mouldings are waterproof and do not get affected or rotted by moisture in the environment. PVC has a 0.5% water absorption rate, unlike wood, which has an around 8%. Hence, PVC materials will never rot, swell or decay and will last you for years.
        • Fire Resistance: PVC as a material is self-extinguishing due to the high chlorine content in the material. The chlorine element in the chemical structure disrupts the burning process and acts as flame retardant agents, extinguishing the flame. That said, Echon’s PVC mouldings have a Class A flame spread rating.
        • No maintenance required: They require less or no maintenance as it is not vulnerable to any external factors like insects, moisture, harsh weather, etc.
        • Luxurious finish: PVC mouldings are naturally white, which gives a classy and luxurious finish to your space. It is not needed to repaint it, and it can stay intact for decades to come.
        • Versatile: PVC building materials are a hot favourite with home contractors, builders, architects, carpenters, and fabricators across the USA. Owing to its low maintenance and versatility. PVC mouldings can be customized, styled, reshaped and thermoformed like other polymers to fit any envisioned decor plan.

 

Understanding the Cons of PVC Moulding:

 

        • Can be Dented/ Gouged: In extreme and harsh weather, the PVC mouldings might take a hit and get dented. For example, if you were to experience a storm where a tree limb falls on your property, these mouldings might also sustain damages. These damages can be fixed by heating the board or using putty filling, which can be an added maintenance work. Having immersed ourselves in the pros and cons of both these materials, research and case studies have proved that the most innovative and beneficial building material for the construction space is …

 

Screenshot 23

 

The PVC Edge 

PVC mouldings have many physical and technical properties, which provide excellent cost-performance advantages. Thus, helping it maintain a consistent edge over other traditional construction materials such as wood.

Since PVC mouldings are almost indistinguishable from wood, they are often used for interior and exterior decorations in homes across the United States. The paint, too, sits beautifully and lasts longer on PVC mouldings as compared to wood. PVC mouldings are also available in various specifications (width, length, and thickness) to fit any application and decor preferences.

Owing to its seamless application in all spheres of the construction space and the many performance advantages it harbours, the demand for PVC mouldings has been increasing at an accelerated pace globally.

With so many of these key attributes and great features, it is indeed no surprise that PVC mouldings are the smartest choice of material for both exterior and interior decoration.

If you’re looking out for some fabulous design options for mouldings, check out Echon’s wide range of PVC mouldings guaranteed to redefine your space and give it a luxurious finish. 

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Most commonly asked question regarding Mouldings (FAQs)

 

Are PVC Mouldings a better option than wood?

Yes, PVC mouldings are better than wood mouldings, because of its many performance advantages like durability, weather resistance and cost-effectiveness

Are PVC Mouldings a good building material?

PVC mouldings are now becoming wildly popular, replacing age-old building materials such as wood, concrete and metal in many applications. Right from its use in mouldings, window frames and flooring to roofing foils, wall coverings and cables, PVC mouldings can be used for almost any requirement.

Are PVC Mouldings more expensive than wood?

PVC mouldings tend to be a one-time investment since there is no need for regular maintenance and repairing. Once installed, PVC mouldings can last for generations.

Are PVC Mouldings worth the investment?

can be used in all spheres of the construction space due to their cost-effectiveness and thus a tremendous long-term investment compared to any other traditional moulding materials like wood/ foam.