Homeowners want a relationship with their trim without the commitment. And the reality is they can have it.
"It's a big trend. People don't want to be married to their house; they want more maintenance-free products," says Patrick Droesch of Florence Corp., a dealer based in Long Island, N.Y. "The last thing they want to do is write a check to repaint the trim. Now the trimboard can be maintenance-free like the aluminum windows and decking and railing products, and they're not sacrificing design by going with some of these PVC trims and profiles."
But it's not just PVC trims that are taking wood's place on a home. Some of the latest and lowest- maintenance products are made from coal ash, compressed wood, wood-plastic composites, cement, and a new generation of wood. And they're all working on ways to make installation easier and quicker than ever. Here's a roundup of recently introduced products.
Boral Composites counters the popularity of PVC with a new material it dubs "poly-ash," a mix of coal ash and polymers. It's said to not expand or contract with temperature or moisture fluctuations, can take fasteners through the ends and sides, and holds paint of any color, light or dark. The TruExterior Trim is reversible, showing a smooth side or a wood-grain finish, and weighs about the same as wood. It also cuts, routs, drills, and mills the same as wood but resists rotting, cracking, splitting, and termites. Stacks of trim will not warp when stored on wet ground and the product works well in moisture-prone areas, the maker says. Priced slightly above fiber cement and below PVC products, the trim comes in 16-foot lengths and a range of dimensions. The trim contains more than 75% recycled or rapidly renewable materials. 888.926.7259 www.truexterior.com
Andersen snaps trim to a window in as little as six minutes with its new Exterior Trim System made from Fibrex, a wood-plastic composite. The system is available in a pre-assembled hoop that fits over Andersen's A, 200, and 400 Series windows and pops into place. A water management system built into the trim and separate from the window's system sheds off water. The low-maintenance Fibrex material will not rot, never needs painting, and comes in 11 colors and a variety of styles, the company says. 651.264.5150. www.andersenexteriortrim.com
James Hardie fastens its latest fiber cement trim boards invisibly with the Concealed Fastening System, which uses HardieTrim Flat Tabs and Corner Tabs to eliminate having to fill fastener holes on the face. The HardieTrim NT3 Boards come in 12-foot lengths for fewer seams and have a grooved back to lighten and strengthen the board. ColorPlus technology bakes the color into the board for a finish that lasts twice as long and adheres 400% better than other paints, the company claims. It warrants the color will not crack, chip, or peel for 15 years. 888.542.7343. www.jameshardie.com
Royal Group speeds up window trim replacement time with the Double Snap Vinyl Trim Systems, a substitute for field-fabricated aluminum trim coil. The double snap feature locks the casing molding on two sides of the window and covers the fasteners. The Standard Colonial line is made to attach to vinyl siding and includes a casing face, molding pieces, a J-channel, a sill with end caps, and adhesive cement. The Universal Stand Alone System fits any type of cladding. The single-wall extruded vinyl is durable and low maintenance. It comes standard in white, but special-order colors are available. 866.852.2791. www.royalbuildingproducts.com
Jeld-Wen adds a low-maintenance level to its solid pine trim product by compressing the AuraLast Wood Exterior Trim Boards to a rot-, water-, and insect-resistant density using a proprietary vacuum pressure process. The protection permeates to the core and stays water-tight even when cut, drilled, and nailed, the manufacturer claims. It's available in three thicknesses, and a smooth profile or rough sawn profile. The boards arrive pre-primed, ready to install around windows and doors. They can be used for band board, corner board, column trim, and fascia. The trim carries a limited lifetime warranty. 800.877.9482. www.jeld-wen.com Azek's Finish Grade Trim is a two-part PVC product designed to hide fasteners and save installation time. Contractors hammer in a base plate and attach the trim's cover piece via a hidden nailing flange, hiding the fasteners and eliminating the need to fill, sand, and paint holes. The trim fits most applications but is ideal for window and door surrounds. A corner piece reinforces miter joints and reduces expansion and contraction. The 1-1/2-inch thick boards are 6 inches wide, come in 18-foot lengths, and are backed by a 25-year limited warranty. 877.275.2935. www.azek.com
CertainTeed heat-seals the edges of its Restoration Millwork PVC trim line with a new technology, FinishedEdge, which smooths the cut edges of cellular PVC so dirt will not collect in the small grooves. "As a result, you have a product that gets all the way to the job site with the edge as clean as the width surface is," CertainTeed's Rick Brinton says. The trim, which comes in a variety of standard lumber dimensions, can create curves and arches when heat-formed, and it mills, routs, and cuts like wood. Backed by a 25-year limited warranty, the PVC product resists freezing in winter months, the company says. 800.233.8990. www.certainteed.com
Ideas that Stick
It may look like wood and cut, rout, and fasten pretty much the same, but PVC trim expands in the heat and shrinks in the cold. To counter that, several manufacturers have invented flexible adhesives and fastening systems tailored to PVC. OSI mixed a five-component TRIMTeQ system that will last as long as the trim and won't yellow or collect dirt, keeping unpainted PVC pristine. The water and weatherproof TEQ Mount bonds trim to a range of exterior surfaces and does it under any weather conditions; TEQ Bond adheres miter and scarf joints with a gap-filling capability; and TEQ Fasteners plug nail holes with Cortex rounds for a smooth finish. 800.624.7767. www.osipro.com Meanwhile, Kleer Lumber whipped up a Cellular PVC Cement for bonding its trim fast; a flexible non-shrinking Structural Sealant that will not crack, peel, or stain; and a two-part epoxy Nail Stick for filling holes, dents, and scratches. OSI: Kleer Lumber: 866.553.3770. www.kleerlumber.com