05th February, 2020

How is Plastic Lumber Used in Landscaping Applications?

Plastic lumber is a material with many possible applications. Made primarily from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic or low-density polyethylene (LDPE), which manufacturers then mix with wood or fiberglass, plastic lumber presents a variety of unique benefits over other building materials. For one, the HDPE and LDPE that compose it consist of recycling post-consumer waste, such as milk jugs and laundry detergent bottles. This means that we can save a lot of plastic from ending up in landfills and contributing to pollution. Since plastic lumber serves as a substitute for regular wood, using it also helps to reduce tree consumption and lessens the need for harmful wood treatment chemicals.

Plastic wood itself has advantageous characteristics as well due to its composition and the fact that manufacturers can add other materials to it to make up for potential shortcomings. So, how is plastic lumber used in landscaping applications? Here are the ways you can employ it and why it is an option you should consider.


Finding the right material for fencing can prove troublesome. Wood is arguably the most attractive, but it is susceptible to rotting and warping with temperature changes. Metal is sturdier, but it can make your home look harsher, as is often the case with chain link fencing. Here, plastic wood brings you the best of both worlds. It has the long-lasting durability of metal but the rustic look of wood. Further, small organisms do not eat away plastic lumber because it contains inorganic compounds, and moisture from humidity does not affect it. At the same time, you can mold it to mimic the patterns that wood boards have, and this product is typically available in any number of brown and beige shades. If you prefer the classic white fence, you can obtain plastic wood in white as well.

Retaining Walls

When it comes to landscaping a home that sits on a hill, this has its own unique considerations. This is because the ground that is not flat tends to shift as gravity pulls it downward. An effective countermeasure to this is to build retaining walls. These structures let you level the ground by separating slopes into flat steps. With a retaining wall, you will have a lower portion of your yard separated with a wall from a higher section. Normally, people go for stone or concrete when constructing retaining walls. However, they overlook the possibility of making them from plastic lumber. Stone walls are difficult to erect, and each stone piece may not fit exactly as it should. Concrete is more uniform, but it can crack under pressure. Plastic lumber retaining walls need fewer small components than stone walls since you can place the timber in long segments. Additionally, it does not readily crack, and fiberglass can reinforce it to make it more structurally stable.


Decks are not just for waterfront properties; they are also great for backyard patios. This holds especially true if your home stands elevated above the ground and you need a transition between the door and the rest of the yard. A nice deck will also become a comfortable area to relax on warm, sunny days. Wood decks may chip, splinter, and become scratched, but plastic lumber will remain largely unscathed under the same wearing forces. Moreover, plastic wood contains UV inhibitors that prevent it from discoloring due to sun exposure. Wood will often change color over time, and to prevent this, homeowners will need to periodically apply a chemical treatment. This process is both an extra hassle and can be potentially harmful to the environment. A trait that plastic lumber does share with traditional wood, however, is the ability to cut and shape it to the needs of the builder. This makes it perfect for decks of all shapes and sizes, according to your preference and the shape of your house and yard.


Plastic lumber can make up less visible aspects of your landscaping as well—namely the edging. Edging forms the boundaries between your lawn and garden areas where you plant bushes, trees, and flowers. You do not want grass growing into the open mulch or soil around your garden, and you also do not want that mulch and soil spilling over into the grass. Edging keeps your landscaping looking intentional by maintaining a neat, organized layout of the yard. By measuring the relevant perimeter dimensions, you can take thin plastic wood boards and create a low border around parts of the yard you want to section off.


Although outdoor furniture does not directly connect to the garden and yard, it can serve as a permanent fixture from which you can recline and enjoy some fresh air. Plus, it can further add to the look of your landscaping when crafted handsomely and is consistent with the surroundings. As plastic lumber can become outdoor furniture easily, this is a useful application to consider this material for. Plastic wood furniture comes in many colors, ranging from natural earth tones to vibrant hues such as red and blue. This eliminates the need for staining or painting. You can also choose whether its texture possesses grain patterns that make it appear closer to natural lumber or looks more uniform. Plus, because it does not house mold or insects, you do not need to worry about your furniture becoming irredeemably dirty or falling apart because it is outside all the time.

All its practical, environmental, and aesthetic advantages allow people to utilize plastic wood in so many different landscaping applications. Plastic wood not only works but excels over other materials that one could use for those same purposes it fulfills. Versatility in the shape, color, and texture accommodates the stylistic preferences of the individual. Simultaneously, material-mixing reinforcements and UV protection ensure that plastic lumber stands up to the functional demands placed on it. If this information has you considering plastic landscape timbers for your outdoor yard, contact Tangent Materials today. We supply the very best products in the industry, and we always keep in mind the many possible landscaping purposes it can fulfill.

How is Plastic Lumber Used in Landscaping Applications?