Why PVC Door Trim is Better

Wood isn’t your only choice when fixing the trim around your home. Just as wood is easily painted, trimmed, cut and installed, the same is true for polyvinyl chloride (PVC). However, PVC  won’t crack or shrink and swell as much as wood does. You can use PVC for:

  • Window and door frames
  • Garage-door trim
  • Decorative crown molding


pvc-door-trimEase of Use

One benefit of using PVC door trim is that it’s easy to install. PVC is uniform and smooth because it’s shaped from composite cellular foam. You can work with it the same way you would work with wood. PVC is easily drilled, sawed and fastened like wood.

Unlike wood, your PVC trim won’t decay over time due to insect infiltration or water damage. Sunlight won’t cause it to blister like paint on wood does. If you need white door trim, you can install PVC and avoid painting. If you need a different color, just make sure to use primer first.


There aren’t any limitations to choosing PVC door trim. You’ll discover that PVC is easily:

  • Nailed
  • Screwed
  • Painted
  • Cut

This makes it a good choice no matter what type of job you need done. The fact that you can cut PVC into any needed shape or size means it can be used to replace trim on a wooden door, for example, without any noticeable difference in appearance to nearby wood trim.

PVC’s versatility is revealed further when you consider that it comes in a wide variety of sizes. Standard-sized boards range from 1×4 to 1×12. These options make for good choices coupled with rake boards, fascia boards or beam boxing.

Do you need PVC for larger areas? If so, you can choose panels that are as wide as four feet and up to ten-feet long. Thickness ranges from 1/4 inch to one inch. You can cut these panels to fit any needed area.

What About Cost?

It’s true that PVC costs more than wood. However, when you factor in long-term use, wood decays more easily than PVC trim. Weather and insects won’t have the same effect on PVC door trim either. It’s not uncommon to get 25 years of use out of PVC trim with limited maintenance. With PVC’s long-lasting quality, consider using it on crawl space or foundation access doors. These areas are susceptible to moisture.

Using PVC Door Trim

PVC can also be welded at the joints with PVC cement. The cement can be found anywhere you can buy PVC. This process helps keep the joints held tightly together to prevent water from penetrating the area.

Don’t be afraid to apply and manipulate PVC the same way you do with wood. The same power tools that work well with wood will do the job when working with PVC. However, we recommend using carbide-tipped or combination saw blades.

Plan your cuts well so that the factory edges face outward. This is important because your cut edges won’t keep the same shiny finish. Howver, a bonus is that you don’t need to worry about sanding PVC if you plan to paint it.

You Can Bend PVC to Fit Better

An interesting PVC quality is its ability to bend after being heated. This makes arched-window trim very easy to work on. You can bend PVC into almost any desired shape after it’s heated properly.

Be Careful of Temperature Differences

PVC has a tendency to contract in cold weather and expand when hot. It’s a good idea to fit your joints tightly when working where the temperature is typically 80 degrees Fahrenheit or more. For every 18 feet of length, leave a 1/16-inches gap when working in areas where the temperature ranges between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Make the gap 1/8-inches when the temperature often drops below 60 degrees.

Each type of PVC will differ in how it expands so it’s important to pay attention to the instructions that come with your choice. Paintable polyurethane or acrylic caulk should be used over the gaps. Don’t use silicone-based caulks.

Now that you know the benefits of using PVC door trim, use these tips to replace old, decayed wood trim with this versatile and long-lasting option.


Erin Emanuel