The Big Bad Wolf met his match when he tried the power of his lungs against a brick house, but the three little pigs could have saved their skins for a fraction of the price had they invested in plastic lumber. The versatile, molded material is becoming increasingly popular according to a study by the Freedonia Group determining that plastic lumber will increase in demand by 9.8% annually until at least the year 2018. So, why all the fuss about this synthetic substitute for wood?
Plastic Decking Offers the Pool Party of the Decade
Perhaps the most glaringly obvious application of plastic lumber is in outside decking, such as patios and pool decks. Plastic decking is built for endurance so it’s an ideal material for the homeowner who cares about function as much (if not more) than fashion. That’s not to say plastic lumber is an eyesore. On the contrary, plastic lumber is offered in a variety of colors and textures, even offering molds that emulate the grainy patterns of traditional organic lumber. Any family known for lavish summer pool parties will profit from the longevity and durability of plastic decking.
Those pool parties can be made even more relaxing with the help of garden and patio furniture largely made from plastic lumber. But the versatile material isn’t restricted to outdoor furniture. Indoor furniture pieces such as bed frames, sofa supports, and shelving are using plastic lumber for its combination of durability and affordability.
Plastic Lumber Siding Keeps a Home’s Façade Fresh
Siding offers yet another popular application for plastic lumber with the material being more cost-effective than organic wood siding and offering more benefits than composite plastic-wood hybrids. Plastic lumber is waterproof, stain-resistant, and immune to all varieties of mold and rot (not to mention termites) that can plague wood siding. Window boxes are being constructed from plastic for the same rot-resistant qualities.
Another reason for the popularity of plastic in siding options is that it’s easier to maintain than wood or plastic-wood composites. With minimal maintenance, plastic lumber siding maintains its pristine appearance. While plastic siding may sound like a miracle, it still has its shortcomings. Intense heat can warp the plastic slightly so homeowners in hot climates will want to do extra research to determine whether plastic lumber is a viable siding option.
The Allure of Decorative Plastic Crown Molding
A lot of homeowners are turning to plastic lumber as the material of choice for crown molding. Decorative plastic molding is more affordable and relatively easy to install when compared to other materials. Homeowners can choose from a vast variety of styles and colors of plastic crown molding. This may offer the biggest selling point of plastic lumber as the ideal material for crown molding: painting is not required.
Further Benefits of Plastic Lumber
Some consumers will undoubtedly find it challenging to switch from organic wood to synthetic plastic wood in their homes but those who do will benefit from plastic lumber’s ability to be molded into a variety of shapes, including tricky curves that would be nearly impossible with traditional woods. However, plastic lumber can also be shaped using standard woodworking tools. The material is often touted as being environmentally friendly and is 100% recyclable.
The idea of a recyclable plastic home may clash with tradition, but plastic lumber may be the affordable, rugged, and versatile material of choice for the modern man. Homes are constantly being augmented with new plastic innovations to make our daily lives safer, more convenient, and more eco-friendly. Plastic lumber may build the foundation the future of housing is built upon.