IBS Report: Crown molding and exterior trim goes long in plastic

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: February 5th, 2013

Las Vegas—According to the latest research study from The Freedonia Group, U.S. demand for molding and trim is forecast to rise nearly 11% per year to $9.0 billion in 2016, attributed to a “sharp rebound” in new home construction and a “partial recovery in nonresidential building construction.” However, the study also notes that this revival in new construction activity will still not be sufficient to raise molding and trim demand in 2016 to the level achieved in 2006.

That said, the molding and trim companies will take what they can get in the way of demand, whether that is for new construction or home and commercial remodeling.  And, while The Freedonia Group points out that wood will remain the leading material used in these applications, one would never know that given the number of polymer molding and trim manufacturers at the International Builders’ Show.

Installation of a Fypon beam.

Residential Millwork from CertainTeed.

Polyurethane (PUR) and cellular PVC both have become big in applications such as interior window and door trim, crown molding, and baseboards. But outdoor trim applications are becoming big as well. Fypon LLC is a Maumee, OH-based manufacturer of more than 2500 synthetic products in the categories of window and door trim, moldings, decorative millwork, balustrade systems, porch posts, columns and wraps, shutters, louvers and vents, and more, and also offers more than 500 PVC products in the categories of column wraps, QuickRail Systems, Trellis Systems and cellular PVC trim, boards and sheets.

Fypon has been a brand leader in the urethane millwork industry for nearly two decades, extruding molding and trim products for a variety of interior applications. At IBS, the company showcased a variety of new PUR products for interior applications as well as new extruded PVC moldings and trim. “Our broadest product range is our decorative millwork, but our biggest product line is our window and door trim,” said Heather Kovacs, product manager, who gave PlasticsToday an extensive booth tour of just some of the company’s myriad products.
   
The company introduced a new line of premium PVC board and sheets to give builders and remodelers more options for durable products. Several new Fypon PU products were introduced at the show as well, including profiles of cove brackets and corbels, a decorative panel and plinth blocks. A new tile vent, a double-ended rafter tail of a length that can be cut to create two rafter tails, and a slanted corbel were also being launched.
   
In spite of all the options available, Kovacs said that getting the PUR and PVC products adopted by builders remains an education process. “Builders are comfortable with wood and MDF, so we continue to spend time educating everyone about the value of our products, the ease of installation because of their light weight, and the great look,” she said.
   
PVC sheet producer Inteplast Group Ltd. (Livingston, NJ), through its World-Pak division manufacturing plant in Lolita, TX, offers a variety of building products. The first building products produced exclusively at the Lolita plant were the company’s TUFboard Trim and Moulding products that feature door frame systems, garage door framing systems, interior base boards, and crown molding extruded in cellular PVC. Since the introduction of its building products, Inteplast has expanded its product line and colors to include decking and railing systems, and a new line of PVC fencing as well. Inteplast’s World-Pak division claims that the Lolita plant is the “single largest vertically integrated plastics manufacturing site in the world.”
   
CertainTeed, a Saint-Gobain company, has expanded its line of Restoration Millwork cellular PVC exterior trim, breadboard, and accessories, offering builders even more freedom to create inviting living spaces and boost curb appeal.  Restoration Millwork exterior trim offers a solid finish trim that looks and feels like top-grade lumber, yet resists freezing during winter months and is impervious to wood-boring insect damage.
   
Restoration Millwork is available in both a smooth finish and in a TrueTexture finish that perfectly simulates rough-sawn cedar boards for a realistic wood grain appearance.  The trimboards come complete with FinishedEdge, a proprietary process in which edges are heat-sealed creating a flawless, smooth finish, and preventing dirt from collecting on the surface for reduced maintenance.

Restoration Millwork is the first and only PVC exterior trim to be covered by an independent life cycle assessment (LCA), providing third-party verification of the product’s sustainability from cradle-to-grave, according to CertainTeed.

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