Vinyl fences are attractive and durable, making them a popular fencing choice for many homeowners.
When shopping for these products, you may come across fences made using either mono-extrusion or co-extrusion techniques.
Although the end products are almost the same, it’s a good idea to know what these terms mean and what you can expect when a vinyl fence company installs one or the other on your property.
What Are Mono-Extruded Vinyl Fences?
All vinyl fences are produced using the extrusion process.
This is a method of forming materials with an extrusion machine that forces the base material through a die that forms and molds it.
Using this technique, mono-extruded fences are produced by forcing the materials through one single machine that forms a single layer product.
Mono-extrusion is the primary technology with which vinyl fencing is produced.
It requires one machine and one type of material to produce the formed fencing so it is ready to be installed by a vinyl fence company.
The extrusion process produces a finished material that is UV-resistant, strong, and solid all the way through.
What Are Co-Extruded Vinyl Fences?
Co-extruded vinyl fences are those made using the same extrusion process but with a slightly different technique.
Instead of a material composed of one layer, co-extrusion produces a material composed of two different layers of material that are chemically bonded during the process so they cannot be separated.
It involves two machines that produce co-extruded fences and two types of base material.
The finished product looks the same as those made using mono-extrusion and is just as strong, durable, and UV-resistant.
What Are the Differences?
Mono-extruded and co-extruded fencing installed by a vinyl fence company is almost the same, except for the process.
Needing only one machine, mono-extrusion costs less in production equipment; however, the UV-resistant vinyl production materials used throughout do cost more.
Co-extrusion has higher equipment costs as it requires two machines.
The production materials consisting of one layer of higher-quality, UV-resistant vinyl and one layer of lower-quality, non-UV-resistant vinyl costs less.
Is One Better Than the Other?
The strength of the lower-quality vinyl used to form the center of the fencing pieces in co-extrusion is just as strong as the higher-quality vinyl that forms the outer layer.
The main difference between the two qualities is that the lower-quality material cannot be produced with as nice of a finish as the higher-quality material and lacks UV-resistance.
The two materials can be bonded together and combined.
This action produces a solid material that is less expensive than the mono-extruded while retaining its UV-resistance on the outside where it’s actually needed.
So, which should you buy?
Considering that both mono and co-extruded vinyl fences offer almost identical qualities and warranties, it makes little difference from a consumer standpoint.
The main difference is that co-extruded fences made using this newer technology may be slightly less expensive than a mono-extruded version of the same product.
In addition, not all products may be available in both types.
You'll have to discuss all of your options with a vinyl fence company and let them help you choose the right product for your installation plans!