Continuation of the article by Pat Tomaskovic:
MDF crown molding, a wood-based composite material that uses wood fibers with a synthetic resin, is another example of how a builder or decorator can accent any room or hallway. MDF is environmentally safe and requires less preparation. It is often primed to a smooth surface which can then be painted with any high quality latex or oil paint. MDF won’t split when cutting, is resistant to warping and is consistent in size and shape. However, during installation of MDF, nailing creates blemishes that will require repair, by hand, prior to finishing. Although it is a less costly alternative to other materials in use, most professionals do not recommend its use.
Polyurethanes are found in many items. They are used in resins, adhesives, fibers, foam padding and insulation. They come in several forms, such as rods, sheets and liquids. Polyurethanes are frequently used as an alternative to such materials as wood, plastics, metal and rubber. And for good reason. Polyurethanes are resistant to wear and tear, weather, impact, scratching and erosion. They are also more cost-effective as an alternative as well.
Other uses for polyurethanes include: fibers, seals, gaskets, condoms, hard plastic parts, carpet underlay and sealants. Items such as domed ceilings, moldings and ceiling medallions are easier to construct of polyurethane foam rather than wood. In fact, polyurethane is considered to be the best replacement for plaster. It’s low cost, lightweight and anything you can do to wood, you can do to polyurethane. It is easy to install, can be used either interiorly or on the exterior and is available in the widest range of products.
In its most flexible form, polyurethanes are found in upholstery fabrics, while the more rigid foams are used inside the metal and plastic walls of most refrigerators and freezers. They are commonly utilized to make up paints, varnishes and glue. Your computer mouse-pad bottom is most likely made of polyurethane foam.
Flexible molding, which is one type of polyurethane, makes it a cinch to decorate around curved walls and arched doorways and windows. Flexible molding is made from a compound polymer resin that has been engineered to bend or curve around more challenging shapes. It can be bent or twisted without breaking or splintering. Flexible molding can actually be purchased in a range of grades, from very flexible to totally rigid.
One of the best features of flexible molding is it’s superiority to wood. Flexible molding can be stained, painted, or sealed just as ordinary molding, but without having to prime the surface first. It also resists warping, wearing, splitting, or mildewing, so it’s great for outdoor use as well.
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