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Materials Options

At Architectural Elements™, we specialize in synthetic architectural materials. This page describes the various properties of these products, their positives and negatives, and what they're like to work with.

 

High Density Polyurethane moulded millwork products are the industry’s best alternative to traditional wood millkwork. It has the appearance of wood, yet it outperforms wood when it comes to water infiltration, paint adhesion, retention of joint and seam structure during seasonal changes and has overall lower costs of maintenance over time.

  • Does not rot, peel or decay
  • No seasonal movement
  • Comes pre-primed and ready to paint
  • Lightweight
  • Saves labor

 

PVC is also a good alternative to wood millwork products. It is extremely durable, resists moisture, and is low maintenance. PVC can be used as an interior or exterior application, although due to the manufacturing process, it is limited to more basic shapes, designs and sizes.

  • Moisture resistant — will not rot, peel, or decay
  • Won’t break down when exposed to UV rays
  • Similar density to oak
  • Must be painted with 100% latex paint that has a light reflective value (LVC) of 38% or higher
  • Less expensive than wood in cost comparison over time

 

Glass Reinforced Gypsum is made from gypsum cement plaster and fiberglass mats. Together, these two materials create a strong and lightweight molded product that is used in place of old-world plasterwork. GRG can be used anywhere in interior applications, is incombustible and has a “0” fire, fuel, and smoke rating.

  • Easily finish with paint
  • Can be cast into almost any shape
  • Do not use in areas subject to moisture
  • Rather inexpensive and easy to install

 

Glass Reinforced Concrete consists of glass fibers embedded in a concrete mixture, which provides higher flexural and tensile strength compared to normal concrete.  It is more durable and tolerant to weather and moisture than GRG, and is often used in exterior applications.

  • Low maintenance
  • Fire resistant
  • Can be molded into almost any shape
  • Quick to install and cost effective

 

Flexible Mouldings
When the job calls for arches and radial fit-outs, flexible polyurethane mouldings are a great solution. We carry several material formulations, some which suite the most standard applications to more complex material formulas that have better capabilities for intricate and tight curvatures. Whatever the project, we will help you find the right moulding for the job.

  • Flexible polyurethane mouldings will not chip, rot, swell, or degrade over time.
  • Save money $$$ - compared to radius millwork, flexible mouldings are significantly less expensive.
  • Interior or exterior application; can be paint or stained, and custom molds are available.

 

Wood as a traditional building material has its benefits but the majority of the wood that is supplied by local venders is "new growth wood". New Growth Pine, Radiata Pine and finger jointed wood products appear to be cost effective, although due to the growth process, these new growth woods lack the quality of traditional old growth wood.