We’ve Asked NewTechWood Canada Your Difficult Questions on Composite Wood
President Michael Richard and Marketing Director Denise Barcia of NewTechWood Canada are back attending in-person shows across the country. Having met with design experts and homeowners at the Toronto 2022 IDS Show and the 2022 Montreal National Home Show, they answered a few questions on composite wood from attendees.
Let’s see what they have had to say…
How to Mix Composite and Regular Woods
Right now, there seems to be a growing demand for fluted siding. NewTechWood offers two castellated profiles in composite wood: the Norwegian thin strips and the Belgian large strips. For those who haven’t fallen in love with composite yet, they might still consider using this material to tackle those parts of a building that are difficult to reach, such as soffits, ceilings, and second-floor siding. Doing so can sometimes mean mixing composite and regular woods. But is this a design a faux pas?
Denise: “When it comes to mixing composite wood and virtually all kinds of material – regular wood being one of them, our wide selection of colours, profiles and finishes makes for a great match. And for large-scale projects, we’re always ready to come up with special, on-demand blends.”
Michael: “Actually, Mod Life, a design agency in Toronto, recently did it. They matched our authentic exterior fluted siding with an interior wooden wall separated by floor-to-ceiling patio glass doors. It makes it look like a single wall. It’s brilliant! Mod Life chose Brazilian Ipe, a natural tone that mimics genuine Ipe wood – a very tasteful choice.”
Is Composite Wood Waterproof?
The results of many hours of testing have shown that composite wood is resistant to color fading, mould, and stains. But is it waterproof? Could we build an outdoor shower with it?
Michael: “Our deluxe products are not structural elements. They are siding, flooring and fencing solutions, or screens and partition beams. They are water-resistant, and flooring with a natural wood grain finish would not be particularly slippery either. So, you could absolutely design an outdoor shower with composite wood – try European siding with Quickdeck tiles or composite boards.”
Denise: “We see homeowners installing composite pool decks all the time, even docks and boathouses. Composite is naturally more resistant to humidity than regular wood, so I wouldn’t be concerned with proximity to water. Tests on our products have also shown their ability to withstand the constant humidity of harsh environments, such as the salty British Columbia coastline. But as resistant as it is, composite wood cannot be claimed waterproof because it is not a synthetic material.”
Does Composite Decking Get Too Hot for Bare Feet?
While composite wood is a great decking material that won’t fade even under a blazing sun, grandparents, parents, and pet owners – to mention a few – might be concerned with “faux wood” being too hot for bare feet or delicate cushioned paws. Is this a valid concern?
Denise: “Yes, and I totally get it. Since people are enjoying composite terraces around swimming pools and spas, walking barefoot can’t be an issue. But let’s be honest here. Dark colours may feel hotter than lighter ones under a blazing sun. However, that would probably be the case with any other type of material. That’s why we recommend adding some shade – try a pergola for instance – or simply considering a colour like Australian Red Cedar or Roman Antique if the sun’s heat is a concern. We deal with the question of heat on our blog if you’re interested in knowing more.”
Michael: “Since we just discussed composite wood’s impermeability, I’d like to add that composite doesn’t expand and contract with rain or humidity as regular wood does. This means that you don’t have to bother with yearly sanding, staining, and painting. Plus, it’s a splinter-free deck solution. Our secret is the exclusive Ultrashield capping.”
Is Composite Wood Toxic?
Composite is used a lot on the outside of buildings. However, with all it can do, one can be tempted to use it indoors as well – in the bathroom, in a commercial building, and so on. Can composite wood be safely used indoors, or does it need to air out?
Denise: “Products are non-toxic and safe inside the house. Detection of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and formaldehyde have been tested, and NewTechWood composite wood does not produce harmful air particles according to those two international standard tests. Some designers have used our products indoors around fireplaces, which is safe if clearances are respected, on accent walls exposed to sunlight – there again fluted siding is a must – and inside commercial buildings because they’re great at looking amazing for years.”
Michael: “Beyond safety, NewTechWood products are also contributing to sustainable design. Since composite is essentially made of recycled plastic and wood fibres, we’re hoping that people will also begin to appreciate them for reducing plastic waste and saving trees. As a company, we want to walk the talk by going green ourselves – some clients notice it.”
In a nutshell, NewTechWood’s products are extremely resistant, easy to care for and great at achieving long-lasting modern looks. However, composite wood is not a watertight solution because it is not entirely synthetic. Composite siding and partition beams are the solution for those nearly inaccessible parts of a building, while Quickdeck tiles and composite boards are perfect for terraces and pool decks. Products are safe inside the house and can be mixed with just about any kind of material, including regular wood. Right now, fluted siding is one of NewTechWood Canada’s star products – learn more about its castellated profiles.
NewTechWood Canada is a subsidiary of NewTechWood Inc.. Marketing Director Barcia, President Richard and their team are bringing Canadians the best alternative to regular wood and the most elegant composite wood products on the market.