Well-known for their hidden fastening system for PVC trim, Cortex, they’ve come up with enhancements that will speed up installation times while making it easier to produce seamless and aesthetically pleasing results.
The fasteners come in 2” or 2-3/4” lengths and feature dual-lead threads to make clean holes while installing more quickly. The Torx head offers more contact points to reduce cam-outs and can be easily removed. The setting tool ensures that the fastener is driven to a preset level below the surface, to accommodate the color-matched plugs.
To further advance the system, the Cortex plugs now come in collated strips and with hundreds of colors, in smooth or grooved top profiles, almost all of the most common manufacturers’ products will look great.
Wood, composite, PVC, bamboo, etc. have been competing for dominance in the decking industry for the past couple of decades with varying results. Americana Decking thinks they have a better way to keep the wood in decking while avoiding some of the most common “deficiencies” that result over the life of the deck.
Using thermal modification, a process where the wood it heated to very high temperatures in the absence of oxygen, to produce a product that adds deeper coloration, weighs less than standard or exotic wood, reduces decay, checking and movement. On the downside, there is evidence that it grays faster than traditional wood.
Available in solid and grooved profiles, they do provide an interesting solution, a structural end joint that allows planks to float between joists. Also, upon request, they will manufacture boards with anti-skip ribs for added protection.
First there was Dexerdry, a “floor joist flange gutter.” It is a polymer strip that fits between the grooves to create a dry underdeck area and eliminates leaves and such from getting trapped between boards.
Now, Deckorators has taken it one step further by adding a flange on the bottom. The flange is secured to the joist with nails.
Benefits are two-fold, it is now possible to utilize as a hidden-fastening system that results in faster install times by eliminating face-fastening. Available in 12’, 16’ and 20’ lengths, it is only compatible with Deckorators deck boards.
(Will be renamed Rockwool in 2018)
Created from the fire and brimstone of yore, OK, volcanic rock. The combination of basalt and slag (waste matter separated from metals during smelting or refining of ore) is the foundation for their suite of insulation products for home or commercial applications.
The benefits are four-fold: increased fire protection, sound dampening, longer life and sustainability. Also, it is vapor permeable and does not retain water to eliminate rot, mildew, mold and bacterial growth.
Most common applications can benefit from three core products – Safe ‘n’ Sound, Comfortbatt and Comfortboard.
Safe ‘n’ Sound is only available in 3” thickness accommodating 16 and 24” OC studs. Rockul does not publish R-values for this product rather, focusing on the fire, water and sound suppression attributes.
Comfortbatt products are available from 3.5″ to 7.25” in thickness and have standard R-values ranging from R15 to R30. Stone wool batt insulation will not slump inside the wall cavity over time as fiberglass often tends to do.
Comfortboard comes in 1.25” to 3-inch thickness with 24”, 26” and 48” widths and R-values of R5 to R12.
For best results, the company recommends cutting with a serrated knife as these products are much denser than traditional fiberglass insulation.
Caulk is caulk, right? Not so, according to the folks at Sashco. They tout that their products offer greater elasticity, elongation and adhesion bond.
While there are some color choices out there most caulk comes in white, clear, almond and a few other solids. Perfect for when you want to get it just right without the need to paint, Sashco offers eXact color. Simply remove the nozzle, add 1 oz. of latex paint, replace the cap and shake for one minute, remove the cap and add activator, again, shake for a minute and then, replace the cap. Now, just cut the nozzle to desired bead width and apply.
Lexel is a synthetic-rubber sealant that offers super elasticity to accommodate surface movement. When stretched to the extreme, it will return to its original cured shape and size. It is paintable with water-based paints and comes in a clear formulation. The company claims is 19 times clearer than silicone. One advantage is that is instantly waterproof and can be applied on wet surfaces. Another cool feature is that it does not freeze so you can leave it in the truck overnight and once it warms up, just apply again.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that it does have a higher amount of VOCs. It would be best to be used in outdoor applications or, the company offers a low VOC version in white.
Products available in the 10.5 oz tubes use an Alyster Plunger that is a flexible telescopic diaphragm that not only stops material flow but, it actually pulls material back into the nozzle. This helps stop waste and messes.