PVC is one of the most used plastic materials in the world in several fields: the automotive industry and protective devices (gloves…) by its strong resistance to chemicals. It is also a good solution for construction, renovation, and various equipment. PVC is the least expensive material for openings, partitions, and flooring.
In addition to its resistance to weathering, it is easy to install and maintain regardless of its use. It is suitable for all types of construction and even for electrical installations (equipment such as wire covers, etc.), pipes, ducts, and water drains. Because of its excellent thermal conductivity, it is compatible with specific installations such as underfloor heating, the installation of which requires a certain expertise.
The advantages of PVC carpentry
Concerning the openings of a house, PVC meets aesthetic and energy-saving requirements. It can be adapted to any type of decor. For aesthetics, regarding the windows, there are several shapes: square, rectangular, half-moon, or even round and has several colors. White is the most common, which brings a touch of clarity to the facades, but there is a wide choice, even patterns imitating wood, a wide range that satisfies all tastes.
Regarding the opening, it can be classic, sliding, or tilting. It all depends on the room in question. The material is suitable for double
nd triple glazing, excellent for thermal insulation (avoiding heat loss through the openings), and acoustic. Watertightness is assured if the assembly is welded.
PVC does not change color. It resists bad weather: cold, sun, rain, and even to the action of salt for constructions at the seaside. It is easy to maintain, and simple soapy water and a sponge are enough for cleaning.
PVC is much cheaper than aluminum and wood both in cost and installation. The price of PVC flooring, for example, costs between 5 and 30 € per square meter, depending on the quality. You can easily find it in DIY stores. As for the installation, it will cost you between 15 and 20 € per square meter, or between 20 and 50 € for the total cost, including supply and installation. Pay attention to the price, however, because the cheapest ones are of lower quality.
PVC flooring offers better thermal conductivity for underfloor heating and can withstand thermal expansion very well. But you need to call in the experts in the heating field for installation and maintenance. You should also know that PVC is more resistant to fire because of its high chlorine content. When in contact with fire, it softens and chars without contributing to the spread of the fire.
Mixed materials: what are the advantages?
Today, the trend is towards mixed windows made of two different materials. This mix combines the advantages of both materials and reduces the disadvantages.
Among the mixed materials, you will find wood/aluminum mixtures. In this type of model, the wood is placed inside the joinery for optimal thermal insulation, and the aluminum is on the outside to give it an aesthetic touch. As for the aluminum/PVC mixtures, they have the advantage of being less expensive and more insulating than an opening made entirely of aluminum.
Disadvantages of PVC carpentry
The material is very resistant, but it is not recommended for large glass surfaces, i.e., more than 5 square meters, such as bay windows. Remember that it is a plastic material. Although it is 100% recyclable, it has some disadvantages for the environment: it is not biodegradable. In addition, PVC can be very toxic and highly carcinogenic if exposed to fumes during a fire or combustion.
Although PVC offers an aesthetic aspect to the construction, it is a less noble material than wood and aluminum.
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