Optimism pervades America’s decking market heading into spring 2015. Analysts such as The Freedonia Group are predicting that demand will grow through the next four years after having shrunk during the housing industry’s recession. In terms of board feet, Freedonia says that sales of PVC and other non-wood products will rise 11% per year through 2018 while sales of wood-plastic composite goods will climb 8.6% annually. That’s far above the 1.1% annual growth rate in sales of solid-sawn wood, but it’s partly because wood still accounts for a solid majority of board footage sold.

Reflecting those good feelings, manufacturers unveiled dozens of new products at last October’s DeckExpo and at the International Builders’ Show in January. Here’s some of what we saw at both shows.

1. Colorful Composite

NyloPorch, a tongue-and-groove composite flooring material, is rated for a uniform live load of 100 pounds per square foot. The flooring carries a 25-year warranty against staining and fading, and can be installed on grade and in the ground. NyloPorch is available in 31/8-inch and 51/8-inch face widths, and comes in four standard colors: Mountain Mocha, Saddle Rose, Desert Spice, and Coastal Mist. Variations in Newport White and Harbor Gray can be special-ordered. 877.695.6909 | nyloboard.com

2. Light as a Feather

Made from bamboo, ZomeTek boards come in two formats: I-Beam, which has channels for running wiring, and solid plank. According to a company spokesperson, the I-Beam boards are lighter, while the solid planks are sturdier. The system includes matched fascia moldings to conceal the ends of the I-Beam planks. The boards are striated on one side and smooth on the other. ZomeTek bills its bamboo composite boards as 30% less expensive than other composite deck boards. 800.607.2414 | zometek.com

3. Cool It Down

Thermally modified wood has been popular in Europe for years, and it’s on track to become a bigger player in the U.S. in 2015. One example: Novawood’s Thermowood Ash, a thermally treated wood decking introduced at DeckExpo. Its promoters say that the product is 30% more fire-resistant and 25% more acousticand heat-insulated than traditional lumber. Available as decking or cladding, Thermowood Ash is FSC certified and is available through Cherry Forest Products. 519.736.1466 | novawood.com

4. Taste of the Tropics

Exotic colors were also on the minds of developers at TimberTech, which introduced Ashwood—a rustic, natural gray color—to its Earthwood Evolutions Legacy Collection. The subtle, earthy and aged look of Ashwood mimics the look of hand-hewn lumber, and it’s meant to be nearly indistinguishable from tropical hardwoods. 800.307.7780 | timbertech.com


5. Forget the Fade

Seeking opportunities in the holistic marketing trend, Universal Forest Products rebranded its Latitudes decking under the Deckorators label. Deckorators Decking is a capped composite 7/8-inch thick with a 51/2-inch face width. It’s available in four solid colors and two variegated designs: Vista and Heritage. Price-competitive with Trex and TimberTech, the Deckorators brand decking carries a 25-year warranty against structural failures as well as staining and fading, which includes the removal and replacement of flawed materials. ufpi.com


6. Natural Appeal

MoistureShield has added Brazilian Chestnut to its Pro Series decking line. The Pro Series combines a wood-plastic composite core with a deeply embossed cap coating for fade-, stain-, scratch-, and slip-resistance. The Brazilian Chestnut option offers natural-looking surface color variations from light to deep brown. MoistureShield offers a builder/dealer program with Pro Series decking, reducing the price per board by $1 for purchases made between April and June 2015. 866.729.2378 | moistureshield.com

7. Moisture Manager

Dexerdry flanges are designed to act both as spacers between deck boards and as gutters to catch water that would otherwise drip to the space below. The rubber flanges are designed to be pounded into decking edge grooves using a rubber mallet and are available in a number of sizes to fit edge grooves in major decking brands. 732.551.9969 | dexerdry.com

8. Healthy Joints

Admiral’s SpaceMaker capped composite flooring material joins with specially designed interlocking tongues and grooves to channel water to the edge of a deck and out to the coordinating edge member. The design promotes drainage, ensuring that no water falls through. 844.772.2362 | admiral-spacemaker.com


9. Classic Charm

Complementing its CXT-Pro system of co-extruded and composite railing designs, Deckorators introduced the CXT-Classic line, which connects with posts via a bracket that is concealed with a trim cover. The company claims that CXT-Classic railings are less expensive than Pro and are easier to install. The new railing design enables face-mounting of balusters. deckorators.com


10. Custom Fit

Constructed of heavy-gauge aluminum, the RainTight guarantees that its under-deck ceiling systems will hold any amount of rain or snow without failing through. Available in 20 color options, the panels are designed to resist fading and rusting. RainTight systems can be installed during deck construction or as a retrofit upgrade, and each installation is customized to fit the exact size of the deck. 877.865.9346 | raintightdecks.com


11. Deck of Steel

According to Kevin Harris, AGS Stainless director of sales and marketing, before Ready Rail, if a deck builder’s customer wanted a stainless steel railing, it would have to be subbed out to a custom craftsman. Ready Rail is an off-the-shelf stainless steel kit consisting of posts, cable, and fittings. A wood top rail must be acquired for complete installation. Four-screw brackets for fastening post bottoms come in the kits. 888.842.9492 | agsstainless.com


12. Light It Up

Feeny’s DesignRail aluminum railing systems with LED rail light kits work as both outdoor accent lighting and a visual aid for low-light areas. Kits are available in 21- and 32-inch lengths to provide effective light distribution. The kit includes the LED light strip, a light lens diffuser, and installation components. The system’s required power kits include either a 35-watt or 60-watt, 24-volt driver. The optional inline LED Dimmer Kit includes a remote control and dimmer to adjust the light level. 800.888.2418 | feenyinc.com

This story originally appeared in PROSALES, a sister publication of REMODELING.