Have you heard of Trex fencing? What about vinyl fencing? To someone just passing by, these two types of fences can appear the same and even be mistaken one for another. Both options are a beautiful addition to any yard and provide plenty of privacy and security, so some might be surprised to discover that Trex and vinyl fencing are not the same at all. They have unique properties that set them apart from each other.
A Welcome Change
For decades, wood fences were the norm. Fences made of cedar, pine, oak, spruce, cypress, and redwood have stood the test of time and served a great purpose. You can find wood fences surrounding yards, gardens, homes, and even commercial properties.
Then, vinyl fencing grew in popularity. In the 1980s, this was an exciting, new option to replace the traditional wood fence. Up to this point there had been few alternatives on the market, and vinyl fencing offered a low-maintenance substitution to wood fencing.
In the late 90s, Trex fencing became available. Trex fences took off as an additional replacement to your everyday wood fence (or vinyl fence). Like vinyl, Trex is known as a low-maintenance fencing possibility, but also offers specific characteristics that set it apart from vinyl fencing.
Composite vs. PVC
Trex is a manufacturer of composite building materials for fencing and decks. Trex fencing materials are primarily made of recycled materials, including reclaimed wood, sawdust, and plastic. In fact, Trex is one of the largest plastic film recyclers in the United States. Who knew your fence could be made from the plastic wrap that goes over paper towel rolls and toilet paper?
Vinyl fencing is referred to as PVC fencing. PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride and is a type of plastic. There is an expansive scientific process behind the creation of vinyl fencing. To sum it up, a vinyl fence is a plastic fence made from a combination of PVC resin and other ingredients. Beware that some vinyl fencing is only vinyl-coated, while others are made with full vinyl materials. The construction does affect its longevity, so be sure you know which you are buying.
Color vs. White
Trex fencing comes in three different colors – Saddle, Winchester Grey, and Woodland Brown. These neutral and versatile color choices are a great accent to any outdoor space. It is important to note that each color of Trex fencing starts out darker and then fades over time. Saddle starts as a light brown and turns to a light maple tone. Winchester Grey begins with brown hues in it, then fades into a light grey color. Woodland Brown is a rich, dark brown color that gets slightly lighter, but remains a true brown color.
At one point, vinyl fencing was only available in white. Today, that classic white vinyl fence is no longer your only option. You can select tan, brown, and grey tones. You can even choose a vinyl fence designed to imitate wood or stone. Many homeowners coordinate their fence color to the color of their home. For example, a grey fence complements a home with white siding extremely well.
Matte vs. Shiny
Trex fencing has a matte finish to it, which gives it a more natural-looking and wood-like appearance. Vinyl fencing tends to have a shiny appearance to it, which makes it look more artificial. Some homeowners enjoy the clean look of a vinyl fence and report that the shininess lessens and turns dull with time. Others feel the shiny appearance makes the fence look too artificial.
Board vs. Panel
Trex wood is a board-on-board design with interlocking pickets. Trex fencing is a dense, solid material, making it sturdy and strong. The density and thickness help Trex fences withstand inclement weather, high wind speeds, and temperature changes.
Vinyl fencing comes in panels. While single panels make for easy installation, an entire panel must be replaced if any portion of a panel incurs damage. Also, most vinyl fencing panels are hollow in the center. This makes vinyl fencing lightweight and prone to fall over with large wind gusts.
A Wood Fence Alternative
When compared to a wood fence, composite or vinyl fencing is a low-maintenance option. No painting or staining is required to maintain its durability. Wood fences need to be treated and refinished every few years to ensure they don’t rot and decay. If not properly maintained, wood fences can warp, crack, chip, and break. Insects and bugs can also destroy wood fences, while a composite or vinyl fence is resistant to insect damage.
Trex fencing is an excellent option for a privacy fence. Its growing popularity is for good reason, and many homeowners discover it checks all their boxes. If you are ready to transform your yard, the benefits of Trex fencing may be worth the investment.