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Screening Splines: Foam or Vinyl?

August 20, 2021

Usually made of vinyl and foam, screening splines are essential for keeping window screens in place.  The right screening spline tucks the screen to the window frame securely, ensuring the longevity of your windows and the ability to curb unwanted repairs. 

Like window screens, screening splines are also made from different materials. Two of the most widely used are foam and vinyl. Is one superior to the other?

In today’s post, let’s compare the two types of screening splines based on versatility, durability, and recyclability.


Polyethylene screening splines can bend and slide easily into spline grooves and fit tight corners. This greatly aids in getting window installation jobs done much easier and faster. They also work well with different types of window screens such as fiberglass, aluminum, and polyester. 

When it comes to aesthetic appeal, vinyl is preferable due to its sleek appearance lending a modern minimalist look. It blends well with window screens that have neutral colors. 


PVC contains many additives that make it denser and more durable than PE foam. This is also the reason why they are resistant to weathering and chemicals. 

On the other hand, PE foam is lightweight. However, its load-bearing resilience is remarkable. The closed-cell structure of PE foam makes it durable but at the same time flexible.

Recyclability and Reusability

While PE foam is recyclable, PVC is not. PVC has a high chlorine content and other hazardous substances resulting in a rigid quality. On the other hand, PE foam has a resin code of 4 and can be recycled with the appropriate recycling machines. As of now, the recycling rate of polyethylene products is 30%. Furthermore, as long as it is still intact, the foam screening spline can be reused. 

In a nutshell, both foam and vinyl screening splines have their pros and cons. As such, it is important to consider the scope of your applications as well as your budget. 

In need of screening splines for your next window installation project? Alcot Plastics offers a wide variety of splines for you to choose from–whether vinyl or PE foam screen.