Orlando, Fla. — Demand is growing for two-tone vinyl windows offering white interiors along with striking exterior colors — neutral on the inside, popping on the outside — and Ply Gem says it is ready with new co-extruded dark colors.
The Cary, N.C.-based building products manufacturer has expanded the Ply Gem 1500 series to include dark bronze in addition to beige and clay and soon it will introduce black. The lighter shades are PVC-based while the dark bronze is acrylic-based, as will be the black.
“We wrestled through different formulations with our vendor partners to get a black product that was able to get us out in the marketplace and perform at the heat levels you'd expect,” Mark Montgomery, vice president of marketing for U.S. windows, said at the International Builders' Show.
He described the solution as part “reflective technology that we build into the compound” and part manufacturing advancement.
“We're not painting. We're not foiling. We're coextruding the capstock directly onto the profile,” Montgomery said, explaining that another extruder feeds in at the hot die.
Ply Gem is one of the first companies out with two-tone coextruded products, Montgomery also said, adding that much of the competition offers costlier painted black and brown exteriors.
“I think it's work down the line,” the marketing vice president said. “We believe coextruding right in the manufacturing process will give you a more durable, longer-lasting, more fade-resistant product.”
Montgomery said he sees “big demand” for the vinyl window line's price and design possibilities.
“We've seen a transition over time, like in Dallas, where the market has gone from 60 to 70 percent white windows to now 85 percent beige and clay windows,” he said. “We've seen a dramatic shift. Folks are using more stone, brick and stucco and they want those earth tones to match it up.”
Demand for black exterior windows is expected to come from designers and developers turning industrial warehouses into high-end lofts.
“They're pulling out those old black steel hung windows and when they look at new steel windows its very pricey,” Montgomery said.
The black windows will be manufactured in Rocky Mount, Va., but aren't in production yet.