CHICAGO (Nov. 16, 2 p.m. ET) — After a year of transition, Nyloboard LLC hopes to roll out its decking that is made from 100 percent recycled carpet fibers into major distribution markets in 2012.
“We spent much of the year modifying our process to become much more efficient so that we could become more competitive and be able to produce much more volume,” said Kevin Guthard, vice president of operations for the Covington, Ga., company, in an interview at Deck Expo in Chicago in mid-October.
He said the company — which had originally expected to start that rollout this year — decided to change the manufacturing process at its 200,000 square foot plant in Covington so that it could use loose fill carpet fibers because it significantly lowers manufacturing costs.
“The challenge has mostly been in manufacturing,” Guthard said. “We had to travel across the globe to make sure we have right technology” and equipment for manufacturing. “We have added substantial equipment” that will allow the company to sell NyloDeck at a much more competitive price, he said.
Currently, the company is selling NyloDeck, NyloTrim and NyloSheet in “limited amounts” and only in Hawaii, California and the Southeast, Guthard said. The decking comes in three colors: caramel, cocoa and American gray.
Guthard expects a boost when the company receives AC 174 certification for deck boards, guards and handrails — most likely by yearend — from ICC Evaluation Services, a subsidiary of the International Code Council.
He expects NyloDeck to be “a niche product starting out,” with particular appeal to coastal, water, and marine environments.
But Guthard believes NyloDeck has an advantage compared to other alternative decking products because it has a hardwood-like appearance, as well as a natural resistance to mildew and water because it is made from 100 percent carpet fiber and bonding resins that are free from volatile organic compounds.
“It will appeal to people in those environments and to anyone who appreciates the idea of diverting carpeting from a landfill,” Guthard said. “It is impervious to moisture and water because there is no wood in the product.”
He also argued that NyloDeck has an edge in installation because the mounting system is the structural system it will be attached to — whether that is metal, steel, or wood. “The fiber itself has all the strength to hold the screw. You just put the screw in and you get the adhesion you need.”
Guthard didn't make any projection for 2012 sales.
“We haven't set our goals for next year,” he said. “But we want to create awareness of the product and get it into the hands of people.”
The 7-year-old company shifted into decking products three years ago when there was a dramatic drop in demand of more than 90 percent for its marine products — 8-by-20 foot sheets — that were used for hulls and to make cabinets on yachts because of their water-resistance and lightweight nature.
NyloDeck comes with a 30-year limited warranty and uses a proprietary ultraviolet coating for fade-resistance. It can be installed with conventional building tools and performs much like wood products in finishing and fabrication,
In addition to decking, the company also offers exterior trim, soffit, fascia, and signs and sheathing that can be used for wall panels, flooring and roof applications, in trucks, trailers and recreational vehicles where rot-resistant is important, and in the marine industry as a core material for floors, covers, seats, and reinforcing points where compression and screw retention are critical.