The company launched its Bellaforté Shake tiles in mid-2012. The tiles are available in 49 colors and five color blends, feature slanted sawn edges and come in staggered lengths that allow contractors to replicate the look of a natural wood-shake roof.
The tiles look hyper-realistic, partially because they're casted from pieces of real cedar shake that look "interesting, but not too interesting," said Mark Hansen, vice president of sales for the Kansas City, Kan.-based company, in an interview at the International Builders Show.
The 12-inch interlocking polymer tiles have snap-fit tabs and a self-alignment ledge, and are designed to eliminate unnecessary material. With traditional shake tiles, part of the product is hidden and therefore wasted, Hansen said. The Bellaforté tiles have a new 3-inch head cap that eliminates that unused material.
They're also lighter — a square (100 pieces) of tile weighs 190 pounds — which cuts down on transportation costs and installation time, according to DaVinci.
The tiles have an integrated rain gutter, leading edge tab and rain dam, and resist water absorption, so they retain their waterproofing capabilities even with material reduction, Hansen said.
With more people moving away from real wood shake, the timing is right for Bellaforté, Hansen said.
The tiles are thicker, look more authentic, and are 40 percent less expensive, he said, and polymer tiles are safer and more durable than natural wood ones.
Insurance companies are hesitant to insure homes with natural shake tiles because of the fire risk, especially those located in regions where forest fires often occur, he added.
The tiles are fire-retardant and low-maintenance, resist bugs and meet high standards for wind, impact and fire resistance, according to DaVinci.
The tiles are good for both new homes and remodeling projects, especially when the homeowner wants to retain an authentic or historic look, but needs to get away from natural wood, Hansen said.
"It's a 50-year roof," he said. "It's probably the last one you'll ever buy, and without all the safety and maintenance concerns."
The International Builders Show was held Jan. 22-24 in Las Vegas.