Category Archives: Commercial

The Safety of Vinyl Lattice vs. Wood Lattice

The Safety of Vinyl Lattice vs. Wood Lattice

You have a lovely area that needs a finishing touch. What can you use? Lattice! Lattice has become one of the most used items for enhancing landscaped areas, creating privacy and hiding unsightly things such as air conditioners and trash cans.

When looking for lattice, the two most common options are vinyl and wood. There are many things to take into consideration when choosing between vinyl and wood lattice products. You will probably consider things like longevity, maintenance, and ease of installation to decide what lattice option is best for you. One consideration that often gets overlooked is the safety each lattice type provides. Of course safety is a concern during the installation of the lattice but also consider where the lattice will be installed and that it is a safe choice for that area.

Several things to consider when looking at the safety of lattice products are as follows.

Fire Ratings

Some lattice projects are connected to directly your home or outdoor structure. If either of these places were to catch fire, would the lattice contribute to the destruction?


The DuraShell® vinyl lattice has passed several fire tests and ratings. The DuraShell® lattice passed the Surface Burning ASTM E84-95 with the highest possible rating. DuraShell® lattice has also passed the following test: ASTM D635-91 – Rate of Burning and/or Extent and Time of Burning test, ASTM D1929-91a – Ignition Properties, and ASTM D2843 – Smoke Density test.


You will be hard pressed to find what, if any, fire rating tests a wood lattice has had done and passed. Consider this, to get the results of the burning brand for boards; a piece of lit wood lattice is put over the board to see how long it takes the board to catch fire.

Cutting/Splintering and Cracking

With a vinyl lattice, the splinter rating comes into effect when cutting the lattice.
With a wooden lattice not only are splinter ratings related to cutting the lattice but can also have to do with the charter of the lattice as it ages. Safety first: always wear eye and ear protection when using power tools.


Permalatt Products, Inc. recommends the use of fine tooth blade installed backwards on the saw when cutting the DuraShell® lattice. Make slow cuts to ensure a nice clean cut. You can also use a large pair of metal snips. The snips will also provide a clean cut. Of course, you can also use a vinyl cutting blade. When a nice clean cut is made to the lattice sheet, there is no need to worry about what the ends of the lattice sheet will look like. The cut edge will have a nice appearance. You won’t have to worry about getting splinters or scraps off the edge and surface of this lattice either. After installation, you will not need to worry about the DuraShell® lattice cracking or splintering.

The Safety of Vinyl Lattice vs. Wood Lattice


Wood lattice is fastened with metal staples. In order to prevent personal injury, you will need to remove the staples along each cut line before you can cut the lattice. In addition to this issue, the thin strips of wood lattice are somewhat fragile. If you use a saw that causes a lot of vibration, the stapled joints can pop loose. A table saw with a fine tooth plywood blade works the best. You may have sprinters and cracks left on each slat of the wood lattice after cutting it. This will not give you a clean edge or nice appearance and can also mean the lattice piece you just cut cannot be used. Also as the lattice ages you will notice that each strip can crack and splinter. As the strip deteriorates, it can break and let go from the rest of the sheet. Thus leaving nails heads or staples sticking up from the surface. If this is in an area where pets, children and guest may be, there’s the opportunity of bad scrapes, pokes or even cuts occurring.


Consider the long-term strength and stability of vinyl and wood when choosing which one you want for your project. Neither vinyl nor wood lattice can be considered structural products. So when we are looking at strength, we are comparing the strips used to make the lattice sheet.


Permalatt Products, Inc. lattice is manufactured with solid cellular foam strips. We use a strip over strip method. We do not staple or nail the strips to each other but use a glue bonding technique. The DuraShell® lattice is made with a strip thickness of ¼”. Where the strips cross in the pattern, there is a total thickness of 1/2”. This is a very sturdy product. With the ¼” thick cellular foam strip, it will take a high impact, and an amount of force to break it. While we have not performed any impact testing, the strip strength is substantial. The strength of each strip and lattice sheet will remain the same over time. The DuraShell® lattice will not rot, and it is insect resistant.


This type of lattice is also manufactured with a strip over strip method. The strips are stapled where the strips cross. Most of the wood lattice available will have a strip thickness of 7/32”. The lattice is advertised as ½” thickness. As with any wood product, the thinner the piece the less strength it possesses. This type of lattice does not offer any information regarding impact testing or strip strength. The wood lattice can snap or break easily as the individual strips do not offer substantial strength. This type of lattice becomes susceptible to twisting and bending as the sun and rain rot the wood, and will cause it to become unstable. Wood lattice is not insect resistant. The insects will add to the deterioration of the lattice.

The Safety of Vinyl Lattice vs. Wood Lattice

As the manufacturer of the DuraShell® vinyl lattice, we have compared several attributes of Vinyl, HDPE (plastic), Hollow PVC and Wood lattice. The Comparison Chart sums up each product per category and is included for your convenience.


Click on the image to download a pdf of the chart.

In summary, what is the best as well as safest, vinyl or wood lattice? The decision of which product to use is ultimately yours.

Permalatt Products, Inc. manufactures a high-quality premium lattice and is ready to enhance any project you have. Contact us today at 888-457-4342 for more information!

Please note, the statements regarding vinyl lattice are based on our DuraShell® solid cellular core product.

How to Sell Your Client on Permalatt Lattice

How to Sell Your Client on Permalatt Lattice Logo

As you can see, the lattice deck skirting adds the finished look to this outdoor space.  When enclosing a deck, mobile home, or porch, consider using the DuraShell® lattice as the skirting.

It will be a great product to work with and ensure lasting beauty. How can you sell your customer on a high quality, premium lattice product that’s easy for you to work with?

First let’s look at who Permalatt Products, Inc. is and what makes us stand out from the rest of the lattice manufacturers.


Permalatt Products, Inc. has been manufacturing solid core 3-D lattice for over 15 years.  Originally we started out manufacturing the DuraShell® lattice for the fencing industry.

We later introduced and included the Decorative 3D lattice for the fencer’s convenience. We catered to the fencers by offering several standard sheet sizes other than a 4’ x 8’ sheet.

As our popularity has grown, we still value and support the fencing industry, but we have broadened our horizons. Now you will find our lattice in  numerous applications.

From deck skirting to privacy screens our lattice is by far the ultimate lattice in appearance and  durability.  Our standard sheet sizes are: 4’ x 8’, 4’ x 6’, 12” x 6’ and 8’, 16” x 6’ and 8’.

We also offer custom sheet sizes. In a square opening lattice we can manufacture any custom sheet size less than 4’ wide and less than 8’ long.

In a diagonal opening we can manufacture any sheet size less than 4’ wide in lengths up to 12’ long. Any dimension within these parameters is available for your convenience.


Both products, DuraShell® and Decorative 3D, are manufactured the same way. We use a strip over strip manufacturing method.

Therefore they are true 3-D products. Each strip is solid.  This is not a pressed or molded product.

How to sell your client on Permalatt lattice 1

 DuraShell® is manufactured with ¼” thick strips, making the total thickness of ½”. Each strip has a scuff and scratch resistant coating on it.

While it is not considered structural it is a very sturdy and hardy product.

How to sell your client on Permalatt lattice 2

Decorative 3D is manufactured with 1/8” thick strips, making the total thickness of ¼”.

The great appeal for our DuraShell® and Decorative 3D lattice is:

  1. Both products have are 3-D construction
  2. Both include a Lifetime Warranty
  3. Both meet several fire ratings.
  4. Neither will splinter, chip or warp
  5. Both are virtually maintenance free

As a contractor/installer, you know the value of a product that is easy to work with.  We are happy to manufacture custom sheets sizes for you. Earlier in the article we listed the standard sizes, as well as the maximum sheet sizes available for custom sheets.

You can literally order the exact size sheet you need for the job. If you decide it works best for you to order one of the standard sizes, don’t be concerned with cutting the lattice down to size. The DuraShell® and Decorative 3D lattice cuts like wood. You can use a circular saw. Simply reverse the curve of the saw blade, and this keeps the strips from splintering.

The DuraShell® and Decorative 3D lattice handles like wood. The great thing is, our lattice will not rot or need replaced like wood.

When you’re ready to secure the lattice sheet, you can either screw the sheet on, or nail through it. You can also secure the u-channel to the post or deck board to use as a guide that doubles as a frame around the lattice sheet.

The feedback we’ve received from other contractors states; “you don’t need to oversize the screw hole to allow for expansion or retraction. The sheets are dimensionally stable”. Combined with the ease of installation and longevity of the product, it’s a win/win situation for you and your client.

We believe that once you work with our lattice, you’ll feel it’s the best lattice to use in all of your projects. When it comes down to why your client should go with the DuraShell® or Decorative 3D lattice, it’s simple. Permalatt Products, Inc. manufactures lattice that last!

No need to replace in a couple of years because it’s warped. No need to stain it year after year. And definitely not need to worry about deterioration.

A wise man once said; “you can pay a little more up front and be done with it, or you can continue to pay a small amount year after year until you realize the more up front would have been better.”

The quality and durability of our DuraShell® and Decorative 3D lattice products is above and beyond any other lattice product out there.

Contact us today to get your sample kit. Once you see the product you’ll understand the value of it.