Spotlight on deck innovations

Rice hulls in eco-friendly  composite deck product
A new choice for the environmentally-conscious consumer is McFarland Cascade’s new Terratec Naturals. The Tacoma, Wash.-based company distributes a preservative- and biocide-free product containing rice hulls and recycled plastic. Terratec Naturals, says McFarland Cascade, are more resistant to moisture, mold, stains and insects than other wood-based composite.

The composite formulation makes Terratec Naturals deck boards dense, hard and durable with a deeply embossed wood grain texture that looks and feels like real wood, but without the splinters. Two board profiles are offered:  Traditional deck boards, which install with screws through the surface and Architectural boards, which use Terratec hidden Quick Clip fasteners.

Rice hulls contain only a trace amount of digestible nutrients and have a high silica content, which contributes to Terratec Naturals better performance without chemicals.

Another key ingredient in the formula, recycled plastic (High Density Polyethylene) is another abundant eco-friendly ingredient. Because the addition of rice hulls makes Terratec Naturals last longer, homeowners will not have to replace decks as frequently, so fewer old decks will end up in landfills. The product’s lack of preservatives or biocides is another environmental benefit.

Optimistic for decks, UFP unveils new material
Universal Forest Products (UFP) introduced a new line of tropical hardwood-inspired composite decking at the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas in January.

UFP’s Latitudes Capricorn series features two tropical colors, adobe and koa, which resemble the wood grain and colors of mahogany and ipe. The product is scratch-resistant and eco-friendly, using wood dust reclaimed from palette and cabinet manufacturers and some recycled plastic, according to UFP.

Tropical hardwood looks began to appear in composite decking about two years ago, but UFP did extensive testing before unveiling its first product line, said Dick Gauthier, vp-marketing.

Gauthier believes that even in a down economy, Americans will continue to dress up their backyards and that decks will remain a popular renovation with a high return on investment.

New woodgrain texture updates railing products
CertainTeed —

CertainTeed Corporation has introduced Edgewood vinyl railing that offers the natural beauty of painted and stained wood in an easy-to-maintain vinyl material.

Joining CertainTeed’s vinyl, aluminum and composite railing product lines, Edgewood creates a realistic woodgrain surface available in White, Almond and Sierra Blend colors, and in octagonal and square baluster design options so that building professionals can easily customize their designs.

Using an I-rail design for both top and bottom rails and exclusive bracket design, Edgewood offers easy installation and long-lasting performance. The system’s attractive precision-fit components do not require pre-drilling for installation. For long-lasting security, the brackets come complete with corrosion-resistant stainless steel screws, which are concealed by sleek trim covers.

Edgewood is engineered to meet International Residential Code standards for building safety and is suitable for one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses up to three stories high.  The product is backed by a lifetime limited warranty featuring exclusive SureStart protection that covers repair and replacement costs – including labor – in the unlikely event a manufacturing defect occurs within the first five years after installation.

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