Understanding Pipe Material Choices: PEX vs. Copper
In the world of indoor plumbing options, two materials are used more than any others: Copper piping and PEX piping. But which one is better for your situation?

We’re going to look at these two common materials and weigh their pros and cons. That way, you can make the most informed decision about your piping needs.

What Are These?

It’s all well and good to tell you that there are two main materials used in plumbing. But what are they, exactly?


Copper piping is a tried-and-true piping material that has been used for ages. These pipes are made of (you guessed it) copper. You’ll find copper pipes in older homes all across America.


PEX is a trade name for cross-linked polyethylene. It’s a plastic material that is flexible and able to be dyed in different colors (ie. blue for cold water lines, red for hot water lines). It’s the newcomer in the piping material market and can be found in newer homes across America. 

Copper vs PEX Piping


  • Copper: Copper pipes begin showing signs of wear at 50-70  years on average.
  • PEX: PEX pipes last 25-50 years on average. 


  • Copper: Copper is an expensive material that is hard to work with.
  • PEX: PEX is much cheaper than copper and much easier to work with, due to its flexibility. This typically means faster installation and lower labor costs. 


  • Copper: Copper piping is recyclable. 
  • PEX: PEX piping can only be repurposed, but PEX requires less energy to manufacture. 

Installation and Repairs

  • Copper: Requires professional soldering, joints, and fittings. Should be installed and repaired by professionals only. 
  • PEX: PEX is flexible and does not need soldered joints to bend. Should be installed and repaired by professionals only. 

Durability and Performance

Water Quality

  • Copper: Copper piping can lead to metallic-tasting water over time.
  • PEX: Damaged lines may have contamination concerns as well.

Copper vs PEX: The Verdict

Whether you’re looking at copper piping or PEX piping for your home, you will have to accept some trade-offs. Now, you know the key differences between them so you can make the best decision possible. 

Overall, copper piping will last longer, but PEX piping is more affordable (and easier to install). 

Still having trouble deciding? We get it. It’s not an easy decision. The single best thing you can do is reach out to us. We’ve been helping Florida residents make decisions like these since 2008, and we would love to help you, too!

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We are a full-service Gainesville plumbing company specializing in remodels, repipes and plumbing repairs.

If you need plumbing service, J.W. Freeman is here to help. Get in touch with us today.

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