Aluminum or vinyl siding trim, which is best?
Siding trim serves a variety of purposes. It completes the appearance of the rest of your siding project and keeps rain and wind from entering your home. Vinyl and aluminum are the primary trim materials used today. So how do they stack up against each other?
Vinyl siding trim
Made from polyvinyl chloride plastic, vinyl siding is thicker than aluminum, generally ranging in size from .40 to .50 inches in thickness, which makes it unlikely to dent. Although you can paint vinyl trim, it comes in a wide variety of colors that often make painting unnecessary. The built-in color also means that the vinyl siding trim resists scratching.
One potential disadvantage of vinyl trim is that it is not flexible, but must be extruded or molded to fit trim situations, making it sometimes less convenient than aluminum trim. Vinyl siding also expands and contracts according to the weather conditions, and it can become somewhat brittle during cold weather.
Aluminum siding trim
Made from 100 percent aluminum, aluminum siding trim is a formed material that is usually fairly thin at .19 inches thick. Aluminum has a baked-on enamel paint finish and generally responds well to repainting. Because of its thin nature and flexibility, aluminum siding trim is easily bent and can be molded to fit any trim situation, including tight trim corners. Aluminum trim also remains the same year-round in all types of weather, never expanding or contracting.
Disadvantages of aluminum siding trim include price--it is more expensive than vinyl--and because of its thinness, it can be prone to denting. Aluminum siding trim also tends to scratch, which can lead to exposed metal. Repainting the scratched trim entails labor and cost to restore its appearance.
Given the pros and cons of both materials, many experts recommend installing vinyl siding and trimming with aluminum. However, there are also vinyl-coated aluminum products available, and some manufacturers offer all-vinyl, bendable trims.
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