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Wood Vs. Plastic Lattice

Updated November 21, 2016

Lattice can be extremely beneficial in landscaping. As a fence, it provides privacy from neighbours, marks property lines and can also help camouflage unsightly necessities such as an air conditioner. When it comes to lattice materials, the two most common and readily available choices are plastic lattice and wooden lattice.

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Benefits of Wooden Lattice

Wooden lattice and fencing can be painted or stained any colour desired. It can be used as a trellis for climbing plants, which can make an outdoor space more attractive and, if flowering plants are involved, more fragrant. Decorations can also be easily nailed to wooden lattice. Wooden lattice and fencing tend to be relatively inexpensive. It is also a natural product, making it more environmentally friendly than plastic lattice. Many manufacturers also treat their wooden lattice products to make them more durable outdoors.

Benefits of Plastic Lattice

Plastic lattice can be made to mimic the look of real wood. It is commonly available in many neutral shades including white, green, clay colours and wooden hues. Plastic lattice does not require regular sealing to protect it from moisture. It is rot resistant and insect resistant. Some plastic lattices are made from recycled plastics, making them an green choice in some instances when compared to pressure treated wood or newly manufactured plastics.

Negative Aspects of Wooden Lattice

Wood lattice is thinner and not as strong as fencing. Therefore, for pet owners, lattice fences are fine for smaller dogs or for curb appeal, but not for larger dogs that can easily damage the fence. Wooden lattice can also become damaged from the sun or other elements, resulting in cracking or breaking. Wood materials are also prone to damage from insects, mould and can rot away or warp, requiring replacement. If not stained or sealed, wooden lattice can turn grey, which some people view as appealing. Furthermore, wooden lattice that is pressure treated is not as environmentally friendly as untreated lattice because of the use of chemicals.

Negative Aspects of Plastic Lattice

Unlike wooden lattice, plastic lattice may not hold onto paint as well, making colour choices limited unless a special spray paint that adheres to plastic and is specified for outdoor use. The spray paint can make the overall cost of installing the plastic lattice more expensive. Though plastic lattice is rot resistant, mildew and mould can grow over the top, requiring regular cleanings and additional maintenance. Over time, plastic lattice can become damaged and crack. Lastly, newly manufactured plastic lattice is not as eco-friendly as wood or recycled plastic lattice.

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About the Author

Jennifer Gittins
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