Wood Vs. Plastic Lattice

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Lattice can be extremely beneficial in landscaping. As a fence, it provides privacy from neighbors, 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.

Benefits of Wooden Lattice

Wooden lattice and fencing can be painted or stained any color 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 colors 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, mold and can rot away or warp, requiring replacement. If not stained or sealed, wooden lattice can turn gray, 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 color 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 mold 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.


Jennifer Gittins

Jennifer Gittins began freelance writing in 2006. Her articles have appeared on the websites of "Wall Street Journal" and "USA Today." Gittins enjoys covering a variety of topics, including pet care, green living, interior design, architecture and gardening. She is pursuing a bachelor's degree in interior design and an associate's degree in architecture.