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What is Lattice Fencing?

By Kathy R
Updated May 16, 2024
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Lattice fencing is a good choice for people who want privacy, or just an attractive fence that is easy to put up. What makes a fence a "lattice fence" is the pattern in which it is built, not the actual materials in the fencing. Lattice consists of thin diagonal slats that are arranged in a crisscross pattern to form square holes with the points of the square at the top and bottom and the middle of the right and left sides. In most cases the slats are secured to each other and to the frame of the fence with staples.

Popular materials used to make lattice fencing are cedar, redwood, and birch. You will rarely, if ever, find lattice fencing made of metal. The fencing can be stained or painted to appear to be nearly any color. It's best to do this before putting up the fence so there is no worry that these materials will drip into the yard and damage plants.

While it is easy to find lattice fencing at most home improvement stores, it also possible for people with the time and inclination to make their own. Before they get started, they should cut the slats from a very thin piece of wood or wood lath using a miter saw. The ends need to be cut at angles since the wood will be arranged diagonally.

Once that's done, all the builder has to do is staple the slats together at their meeting points, and add the square or rectangular frame. The most important thing is to take very precise measurements to avoid wasting wood. It can help to build the frame first and then fit in the pieces of lath.

In addition to serving as the backbone of lattice fencing, lattice can be used for garden trellises, gazebos, arbors, and railings. It can also make attractive skirting for under steps or below mobile homes. It's especially good for this, because it screens off areas while still allowing a person to see through if the space is used for storage.

Lattice fencing can add a homey feel to almost any yard, especially when it's covered in vines or other climbing plants. Once a person starts a plant growing up the lattice, it will provide supreme privacy after a fairly short amount of time. All it takes is regular watering and a little bit of pruning to make sure the plants don't get overgrown and become a challenge to the lattice's structure.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By kylee07drg — On Jan 18, 2012

My cousin has lattice fencing panels along the bottom of her back deck. She loved the look of lattice, and she liked the idea of lining the underside of her deck with it, because it would keep large animals out from under her house.

She had experienced problems with skunks going under her deck before she got the lattice panels. Once a skunk wandered under the deck, her dog would start barking at it, and it would spray. The smell would get into the house and she would have to do some major deodorizing and ventilating, and her poor dog would stink for a month!

The spaces in the lattice panels are only big enough to allow insects through. She hasn't had any more skunk issues since having them installed. I think it adds a lot to the appearance of her deck, as well.

By seag47 — On Jan 17, 2012

I would advise everyone to stay away from honeysuckle vine when choosing a climber for your lattice fence. Honeysuckle vine cut into my nice wooden fence. The wood of the vine grew so thick and strong that it penetrated the wood and left deep marks in it.

Honeysuckle can be great if grown in a contained area. My dad used to grow it inside of a square mesh fence, and once it covered the whole thing, it could not spread any further.

However, if you plant this stuff in an area where it can spread and climb up on things, you will have a hard time getting rid of it. Once I saw that it was destroying my fence, I decided to dig it up. I found that those roots go about a foot deep in the ground in every direction!

By orangey03 — On Jan 17, 2012

@StarJo – Starflower vine does wonderfully well on a lattice fence. The vine itself and the leaves are somewhat frail and pliable, so they won't cause your fence to warp or lean.

The flowers are small and red. The star-shaped blooms cover the vine, which grows to be very thick in just a few months.

This plant will bloom from early summer until late fall, since it takes a good frost to kill it off. It sounds like the ideal lattice fencing idea for you. Also, it comes back every year, and when the plant dies in the fall and turns brown, you can easily pull it off the fence.

By StarJo — On Jan 16, 2012

I just moved into a house with a garden that has lattice fencing. The previous owner dug up her plants and took them with her, and now, I have to choose a plant that will look good growing along the fence.

What types of climbing plants or vines do well on lattice fencing? I don't want to pick something that is too strong or woody, because I don't want it to damage the fence.

I love flowers and color, so I want to plant something that will give me more than just greenery. Something that blooms for many months would be ideal.

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