Flexible Moulding as an Alternative to Real Wood Trim
Flexible moulding is a urethane resin alternative to standard wood trim. It can be used indoors or out. When properly installed, it is unaffected by heat, cold, moisture or salt.
Probably the biggest advantage is the material's ability to flex. It can be preformed into an arch. At a ½ inch thickness or less, it can bend around a column larger than 12 inches in diameter.
Those are things that cannot be done with real wood trim, but the material has the appearance of real wood. It is available in a variety of wood grains and can be finished in the same manner that regular wood is finished.
Urethane resins are more resistant to insects than regular wood. So, there's less need to worry about termites.
Since this flexible moulding can bend around corners and stair rails, it can provide a seamless appearance. It can be attached using construction adhesives, epoxy or glue. If holes are pre-drilled, nails, screws or other fasteners can be used.
Various designs can be manufactured with the material. Crown moldings, statues, circular designs and many others are available.
Finish is done after installation, when finishing is necessary. Flexible molding comes in an assortment of colors. So, it may work as is without additional finishing. The only disadvantage has to do with temperature requirements. When the temperature falls below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the material becomes more rigid and can fracture or break instead of bending.
Extreme caution most be taken when using the flexible molding material for building during the winter months (or at any time in some parts of the world). In low temperatures, installing outdoors can be tricky, because the material really needs to be brought to room temperature or 60-85 degrees.
Once installed outdoors, the material is unaffected by the temperature. It is simply a matter of losing the flexibility needed to bend or work with it that becomes a problem during the colder months. Indoor temperatures are not normally a concern for installing flexible molding.
Staining should be done after installation. If the material is stained before flexing, the stain can crack. Gel or wipe on stains give the best results. Penetrating stains are not recommended.
Urethane resins can be painted, with or without a primer coat. So, when it's time to paint the house, indoors or out, the trim can be painted along with the walls.
Options are what you have more of with flexible moulding. Save some trees with urethane resins.