Vinyl trim molding, also called cellular polyvinyl chloride trim, resists bacterial and fungal growth, and does not rot, absorb water or attract insects. Although it looks like painted wood trim, it lasts much longer.
Contractors can substitute vinyl trim for wood trim in any area of the home. Due to its durability and inability to rot, professionals often use vinyl trim in areas exposed to water, extreme weather and excessive sun. Also, if someone damages the vinyl trim, specialty bonding and filling products allow the homeowner to repair any dents or gashes easily. However, some homeowners miss the imperfections, such as knot holes and visible wood grain, that actual wood trim provides.
Homeowners do not have to paint vinyl trim if they like white trim, although many professionals recommend painting it with 100-percent acrylic paint to maintain a completely uniform appearance. Painting the trim can also prevent slight warping that sometimes occurs when long pieces of vinyl trim receive large amounts of sun exposure. As the vinyl trim ages, the paint does not peel. Instead, it gradually fades. By contrast, homeowners with wood trim may need to repaint it every four years.
Cost is the largest drawback for using vinyl trim. Vinyl trim costs roughly twice as much as wood trim, and labor to install the vinyl trim is also more expensive.