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 more efficient and competitive, and to boost volume, said Kevin Guthard, vice president of operations for the Covington, Ga., company, in an interview at Deck Expo in Chicago.
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 to use loose-fill carpet fiber, which significantly lowers manufacturing costs.
“The challenge has mostly been in manufacturing,” Guthard said at the mid-October show. “We had to travel across the globe to make sure we have right technology” and equipment for manufacturing. The company has added “substantial equipment” that will allow it to sell NyloDeck at a 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 gray.
Guthard said he expects a boost when the company receives AC 174 certification for deck boards, guards and handrails — most likely by year-end — from ICC Evaluation Services, a subsidiary of the International Code Council.
He expects NyloDeck to be a niche product initially, with particular appeal for coastal, water and marine applications.
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 company shifted into decking products three years ago when demand dropped more than 90 percent for its marine products — 8-foot by 20-foot sheets used for hulls and cabinets on yachts.