People love the look of natural wood throughout the home. From kitchen cabinets to hardwood flooring to natural cedar shake roofs, wood appeals to almost every homeowner. What doesn’t appeal to people are the inherent problems of having real wood products, such as rotting and decaying of wood, insect infestations, warping and high maintenance needs.
To combat the challenges of real wood, many manufacturers have introduced faux wood products, including laminate flooring and furnishings for the home.
“There are authentic-looking alternative wood products in the marketplace that you’d swear are real wood, but they’re not --- they actually have features that beat many wood products,” says Mark Clement, co-host of MyFixitUpLife national home improvement radio show. “Those alternative products are made to mimic the look of wood but they’re made with advanced man-made materials that are easier to maintain and provide years of hassle-free enjoyment.”
For the exterior of the home, where products take a beating from everyday weather conditions plus extreme storms, Clement recommends looking at woodgrain urethane and PVC products when replacing shutters, louvers, non-structural beams, millwork and trim on a house. “I’ve installed PVC door trim and decorative millwork from Fypon, and you simply can’t tell the difference from real wood,” says Clement. “Except that I’ve done my research, so I know these woodgrain products resist moisture, insect infestations, cracking and splitting. Plus, each piece comes pre-primed, making it easy to stain or paint the product. They’re definitely a cost-effective alternative to real wood pieces.”
One of the most vulnerable areas of a home’s exterior is the roof, which is subjected to everything from hail storms to intense daily sun exposure. While many homeowners love the look of real wood shakes on their roof, Clement advises people to look at polymer roofing tile options.
“There’s a new product in the market called Bellaforté Shake roofing tiles from DaVinci Roofscapes,” says Clement. “These are incredibly realistic-looking cedar wood shakes, yet they entirely outperform real wood shakes.
“These roofing tiles resist fire, insects, hail and severe weather conditions and they’re backed by a 50-year limited warranty. Most importantly, these advanced polymer roofing tiles look exactly like hand-split cedar shakes. They’re available in 49 colors and five color blends, which won’t fade or discolor, so homeowners can truly get the roof they want.”
Another product Clement suggests exploring for the home’s exterior is fiberglass door options instead of a solid wood front entry door. “The technologies available in today’s marketplace are amazing,” says Clement. “One door manufacturer, Therma-Tru, has an AccuGrain technology that gives their Classic-Craft line of fiberglass entry doors a completely authentic woodgrain look.
“They start by building a wood door using specific pieces of wood that have the wood characteristics they wish to replicate. Then they use their own technology to enhance the natural graining depth on the wood before casting. The final product undergoes multiple random depth impressions of woodgrain, making the fiberglass doors virtually indistinguishable from real wood doors. So you get the beauty of a wood door with all the benefits of a fiberglass door which means the door won’t split, crack or rot like real wood.”
There are also ways to replicate the look of wood on the inside of the home. Laminate woodgrain options on window frames can be selected to match interior woodgrain furnishings to unite the entire home décor.
“The window product in the marketplace that impresses me the most is the Decorum by Simonton series of energy efficient vinyl windows,” says Clement. “You can really personalize these windows for your own home because you can select an exterior window frame color, like Pine, Chocolate or Bronze, and then choose a unique woodgrain interior on the frames to complement your interior decor. They’ve got Antique Cherry, Contemporary Oak and Maple woodgrains to choose from plus upgraded hardware options in brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, polished brass, dark bronze and antique brass.”
For more information on products that replicate the look of wood but offer advanced benefits, visit www.myfixituplife.com.
DaVinci Roofscapes has manufactured award-winning polymer slate and shake roofing since 1999. The roofing tiles are virtually maintenance-free and far more cost-effective than the natural product. DaVinci leads the industry in tile thickness, tile width variety, and the greatest selection of subtle earth-toned colors. Company products have a 50-year limited warranty and are 100% recyclable. DaVinci proudly makes its products in the United States and is a member of the National Association of Home Builders, the Cool Roof Rating Council, and the U.S. Green Building Council. For additional information call 1-800-328-4624 or visit www.davinciroofscapes.com.Website: www.davinciroofscapes.com