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Architectural Detail Experts | A Blog by Worthington Millwork

Polyurethane Architectural Finishes; 5 Top Reasons to Use Them and How to Use Them

Posted by Worthington Millwork on 1/1/20 5:00 AM

 

IMG_0350 smallAfter a long day at work or other activities, home is where we run to for comfort. It's where we share most of our cherished and also sad moments. It is a haven for when we go through life's trying moments. In other words, there truly is no better place than home. That is why you should strive on making yours as livable and as comfortable as possible by using high-performance architectural finishes such as polyurethane. While at it, keep in mind that whatever finishes and décor you use, determine the mood and atmosphere. Therefore, while there is a virtually unlimited selection of other materials you could use, here are some excellent reasons to use polyurethane and also ideas on how to use these finishes.

What is Polyurethane?

Before we get to some of the reasons you need to use it in your home, what exactly is polyurethane? It is a versatile material that belongs to the highly diverse family of elastic polymers. It exists in various forms including solids and foams and is formed when a polyol is reacted with a polymeric isocyanate using a catalyst.

In simpler terms, polyurethane is a synthetic polymer with the elasticity of rubber but unlike the latter starts as a liquid. Due to this difference, polyurethane can be tailored to be a highly rigid material, or a flexible one. It thereby has a diverse array of applications. For instance, its incredible versatility has seen it become a highly popular material in the architectural realm. It is now used to manufacture a wide range of architectural finishes such as window finishes, brackets, and corbels, ceiling medallions, and balustrades among many others. 

Top Five Reasons to Switch to Polyurethane Interior and Exterior Finishes

Polyurethane is becoming an incredibly popular material in the home building and improvement realm. When you consider factors such as excellent durability, its amazing sustainability, and others outlined below, it's not hard to figure out why. Therefore, while there are countless architectural finishes you could opt for, polyurethane packs a bunch of perks you can't afford to miss out on as shown below

1. Excellent Durability

Being an elastic polymer, polyurethane is resistant to most of the elements that cause other architectural finishes to wear out. For instance, polyurethane doesn't shrink or swell. So it's usually not affected by extreme weather conditions during seasons such as summer or winter. This means its seams and joints remain in good shape for a long time. Polyurethane finishes are also mold-resistant. Hence you need not stress about rotting or insect infestations.

Additionally, due to its excellent skin density, polyurethane boasts remarkable impact and abrasion resistance. All these factors combined make it ideal for both your interior and exterior finishes. For instance, decorative stucco made from polyurethane is nowadays a popular interior finish because unlike traditional plaster, it doesn't stain or crumble. It also does not absorb smells or accumulate dust. Also, unlike gypsum molding, polyurethane stucco is not affected by high humidity. This makes it ideal for high-moisture areas like the kitchen and the bathroom as it won't come out, as well as all the other rooms of your home.  To sum it up, it does well in both interior and exterior surfaces. Hence you can use it throughout your home as it is also visually appealing.

2. Aesthetically Pleasing

When designing your home, you want to use finishes that are both durable and aesthetically-pleasing. The good news is that polyurethane boasts these qualities and more. It boasts the classic look of real wood; hence if used creatively, it can help you achieve any style you had in mind. For instance, if you're working towards a rustic look, you can combine polyurethane ceiling beams, window finishes, moldings, and ceiling medallions with other rustic décor to achieve it.

Also, it can be customized. Therefore, if you're more into eclectic or contemporary spaces, then various polyurethane finishes can be tailored to your liking. Besides interior finishes, there is a vast array of exterior polyurethane finishes that you could use to turn your porch or balcony into an inviting space. In a nutshell, you can combine various polyurethane finishes with other home décor elements to turn your dream space into a reality without breaking your budget.

3. Great Versatility

As mentioned earlier, polyurethane finishes can be used on both the exterior and interior parts of your home. They are available in all sorts of styles, colors, and profiles. They are also highly customizable, and on top of it, all can be used in various ways to achieve a unique space. For instance, besides using them to decorate the ceiling or lighting fixtures, paint ceiling medallions with your favorite colors and fix them on an otherwise plain wall to turn it into a beautiful area. Also, since they have holes at the center, you can buy one with a larger hole and use it to frame your family pictures.

Polyurethane beams, on the other hand, can be used to make highly durable yet unique shelves or placed vertically to create an accent wall. Besides their primary role, polyurethane newel posts can also be used to line the fireplace to make it more visually appealing. In other words, thanks to excellent versatility, there's just so much you could do with polyurethane interior finishes to transform your space into a wow factor. 

4. Major Savings!

Wood and other materials can push to the four digits. For instance, purchasing and installing wooden ceiling beams into your space is a costly affair. Since it is susceptible to mold and rotting, wood also requires you to carry out regular maintenance. This further adds to the costs.

 Polyurethane finishes, on the other hand, are cost-effective from the word go. They are cheaper than the latter, easy to install; hence, you can cut out installation costs and as noted above, require little to no maintenance. Thus using polyurethane ceiling beams, corbels and brackets or window finishes is a good idea as these finishes are often gentle on your bank account. What's more, you achieve a classic finish on both your interior and exterior design without breaking your budget.

5. A Sustainable Option

If you're a believer in eco-consciousness, then polyurethane products are a perfect fit for you. They are sustainable in several ways. First, as noted, they boast the classic look of wood but more affordable. This means that more people are now switching to polyurethane, reducing the demand for real wood, which is a win for the environment.

 Also, polyurethane boasts excellent thermal insulation properties. Hence using an architectural finish such as polyurethane stucco or PU window finishes helps retain your home's warmth. As a result, you reduce your energy bill and at the same time, your carbon footprint, which is a win-win for you and Mother Nature.

 Additionally, it's highly recyclable, so unlike other plastics, it doesn't end up in the sea or landfills. All these aspects make its architectural finishes perfect for anyone working towards an eco-conscious home as they can be used on both the exterior and interior.

Various Polyurethane Architectural Finishes and Ideas on How to Incorporate Them in Your Space

Now that you know what polyurethane is and why it's beneficial, how can you incorporate it into your home to create an aesthetically pleasing yet functional space? Here are some ideas to get you started

  • Polyurethane Ceiling Beams

Whether it's a new home construction or a, remodel, you can use polyurethane beams to achieve whatever look you had in mind. For instance, exposed ceiling beams are a staple of any country or farm-style space. Opting for polyurethane ones is a good idea as they are not only durable but as mentioned, mimic the look of real wood. Hence combined with the right elements such as vintage furniture and weathered furniture will enable you to turn your space into a modern farmhouse without straining your budget.

  • Polyurethane Columns

American-made Polyurethane columns are an architectural finish ideal for both your interior and exterior areas. You can use them to add an aesthetically pleasing yet highly functional porch. They're particularly a good option for exterior columns because as mentioned earlier, are not susceptible to rotting or rusting.  When it comes to your interior, PU columns are also a good idea as they are lightweight and can be used as room dividers or as load-bearing structures.

Thanks to their wooden-like appearance, they can also be used to add a rustic element into a contemporary space or serve as a focal point. For instance, if your living room is too dull, you can add a PU column on the right spot and then fix your framed pictures to create a unique focal point. Alternatively, if your space is white themed, paint the polyurethane column you plan on turning into the focal point in an entirely different color such as black or grey. This will make it the first thing anyone notices when they step into your home.

  • Ceiling Medallions

Ceiling medallions are traditionally used on ceilings, but as mentioned earlier, they can also be used on other parts of your home. PU medallions come in an array of shapes and sizes, but all of them have one thing in common; they have a hole in the center. Therefore, there is a long string of ways you can incorporate them into your interior design. For instance, you can use one with small cutouts to create a unique centerpiece for your living room table or use one with a large cut out as a vase holder. Also, you could use a ceiling medallion with a larger cut as a mirror frame which will be even more unique due to the medallion's circular shape. 

  • Balustrade

Due to their excellent structural strength, polyurethane balustrades are a much-welcomed addition to any porch or balcony. Again because polyurethane balustrades are lightweight, they can also be part of your interior design. They will serve as an excellent safety and support feature on internal stairs. They are especially a good idea if you're working towards a particular style or trying to break its monotony. For instance, if all elements in your home signify a contemporary style, using polyurethane balusters on your interior stairs would be a good idea. They'll add the much-needed classic element into your space.  However, note, this idea will work best if your home is spacious. 

  • Polyurethane Brackets

Maybe you're used to brackets on the exterior surface of a home, but you'll be surprised at the many ways you can use them to spruce up your interiors. For instance, if you have a bland-looking wall in your home and lack ideas on how to give it a facelift, consider using polyurethane brackets to make it stand out. Since polyurethane is highly customizable, get various designs of brackets, paint a few in different colors, and leave the others in their original color. Then fix them on that boring wall, and you'll have transformed it into a striking focal point. Besides, PU brackets have a wide surface. Therefore you can also place something else, for instance, your favorite framed photos on some of them for an even unique wall.

  • Polyurethane Window Shutters

If you've been looking for a window treatment that dramatically increases your home's visual appeal on both the inside and the outside, you'll be glad to know PU shutters fit your description perfectly. They add to the privacy of your home while at the same time, allowing excellent airflow. Additionally, they are considered a high-end window treatment hence add to your home's value and lastly, are a perfect fit for any home style, whether rustic, country, modern or contemporary.

Final Thoughts

Polyurethane architectural finishes are super versatile, and if you're creative enough, you can use them throughout the home. For instance, all the ideas listed above can be used in the same household, creating an eco-conscious yet incredibly appealing space. However, always consider polyurethane produces manufactured by a reputable brand such as Worthington as only then can you be assured of quality. Contact us today for more polyurethane architectural finishes products and ideas.

Topics: polyurethane millwork, polyurethane balustrade, polyurethane shutters, polyurethane brackets

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