Hassle-Free Ways to Reinvent Your Home's Wood Surfaces

February 21, 2013

(StatePoint) While many people love the look of natural wood throughout their homes, they don’t enjoy the hassles that come with maintaining wood surfaces. To combat the rotting, decaying and high maintenance challenges of real wood, many manufacturers have introduced new types of faux wood products.

“There are authentic-looking alternative wood products you’d swear are real wood, but they’re not, and they actually have features that beat many wood products,” says Mark Clement, co-host of the MyFixitUpLife national home improvement radio show. “Those alternative products mimic the look of wood but they’re made with advanced man-made materials that are easier to maintain and provide years of hassle-free enjoyment.”

For home exteriors, where products take a beating from everyday weather conditions plus extreme storms, Clement recommends considering woodgrain urethane and PVC products from Fypon when replacing shutters, louvers, non-structural beams and trim on a house. He finds that these woodgrain products resist moisture, insect infestations, cracking and splitting. Plus, each piece comes pre-primed, making it easy to stain or paint.

One of the most vulnerable areas of a home is the roof, which is subjected to everything from hail storms to intense daily sun exposure. Many homeowners love the look of real wood shakes, so Clement advises these people to consider polymer roofing tile options.

“Bellaforté Shake roofing tiles from DaVinci Roofscapes are incredibly realistic-looking cedar wood shakes, that entirely outperform real wood shakes,” says Clement. “They resist fire, insects, hail and severe weather conditions and are backed by a 50-year limited warranty. Most importantly, these advanced polymer roofing tiles look exactly like hand-split cedar shakes. They’re available in 49 colors and five color blends, which won’t fade or discolor.”

Clement also suggests considering fiberglass door options instead of solid wood front entry doors. “The technologies available today are amazing,” he says. “One door manufacturer, Therma-Tru, has an AccuGrain technology that gives their Classic-Craft line of fiberglass entry doors a completely authentic woodgrain look.”

The company starts by building a wood door using specific pieces of wood that have the characteristics they wish to replicate. They use their own technology to enhance the natural graining depth on the wood before casting. The final fiberglass doors are virtually indistinguishable from real wood doors, but won’t split, crack or rot like real wood.

Inside the home, laminate woodgrain options on window frames can be selected to match interior woodgrain furnishings to unite the entire home décor.

“The window that impresses me the most is the Decorum by Simonton series of energy efficient vinyl windows,” says Clement. “You can really personalize these windows for your home because you can select exterior window frame colors, like Pine, Chocolate or Bronze, and then choose a unique woodgrain interior on the frames to complement your decor. They’ve got Antique Cherry, Contemporary Oak and Maple woodgrains to choose from, plus upgraded hardware options in brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, polished brass, dark bronze and antique brass.”

For more information on products that replicate the look of wood but offer advanced benefits, visit