The decking industry has a new player: Inteplast Group Ltd., a plastic film and bag giant.
Inteplast rolled out its cellular PVC decking at the Remodeling Show and Deck Expo, held Sept. 15-17 in Baltimore. The company is extruding the decking at its massive plant in Lolita, Texas, said Jackson Chen, general manager for building products.
Inteplast, based in Livingston, N.J., announced Sept. 1 that it signed a licensing agreement with Cevn Corp. of Somerset, N.J. Mark Ippolito, president of Cevn (pronounced seven) has patented the technology, which Inteplast is marketing as the industry's first dual-color, dual-sided cellular PVC deck board. Cevn uses a blend of light and dark hues to create the natural variations found in real wood, with a photo-etched surface pattern.
Inteplast initially will offer Cevn deck in six colors of dual-colored decking, along with single-colored fascia and deck boards for stairs and special applications
Cevn actually introduced its decking a year ago. A construction industry source said Cevn had used a contract manufacturer but it did not work out, so the development company struck the deal with Inteplast.
Ippolito could not be reached for comment.
Founded in 1991, Inteplast began producing film and sheet at the Lolita plant in the mid-1990s. It was the largest such operation in North America, and the move sent tremors through the film and sheet industry.
Decking is a much smaller market, and Inteplast is starting out by selling Cevn deck to customers in the Northeast. Wolf Co., a building products supplier based in Allentown, Pa., is distributing Cevn deck to building materials dealers in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.
But Chen said Inteplast has larger plans, depending on how the market responds to the product. We're certainly starting with regional, but definitely looking nationwide, he said.
Chen said Inteplast has purchased some new extruders to make the cellular PVC deck board, but he declined to give details.
Inteplast is best known for its film including biaxially oriented polypropylene film and stretch wrap and bags such as can liners, retail and grocery bags, and food-service bags, as well as corrugated boards made from PP and polyethylene. In construction-related products, Inteplast extrudes Tuf board, an expanded PVC foam board for marine applications, cabinets, wall panels and other uses.
Cellular PVC is one of the fastest-growing deck segments, said Steve Van Kouteren, a principal with Principia Partners, a building products consulting firm in Exton, Pa.
It is premium-priced in the market. This category of cellular PVC and ultralow maintenance has been growing even through the economic downturn, Van Kouteren said. The ultralow maintenance segment includes cellular PVC and wood-composite decking coextruded with a capstock, he said.
Speakers will examine the growth of ultralow-maintenance decking during Principia's Wood-Plastic and Natural Fiber Composites 2010 conference, Oct. 4-5 in Charlotte, N.C.