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What Are Polyurethane Beams?

What Are Polyurethane Beams?

Whether you’re building a new home or upgrading your existing home, wood beams can add a warm and natural look to your rooms. In decorating, many people focus on the color and texture of walls to create a certain ambiance. However, ceiling beams are an effective but often overlooked way to continue that theme and tie a room together. The right beams can add that final decorator’s touch to any room and give it a professional, finished look.

When it comes to choosing the beams that are right for your room, you have a seemingly endless number of choices in finishes and materials. If beams are being installed purely for decorative purposes, faux wood beams, or polyurethane beams, provide an appealing alternative to real wood beams and accomplish the same effect.  

Faux wood beams made from high-density polyurethane provide both visual appeal and durability. The quality of faux wood beams has improved over time, making it difficult to distinguish between manufactured wood beams and the real thing just by looking at them. If you’re looking to add to the appeal of a room, faux wood ceiling beams could be just what you need.

What Are Polyurethane Beams?

It used to be that only real wood would do for ceiling beams. But the creation of polyurethane alternatives changed that, giving manufacturers the ability to mold a variety of objects and give them a finish that looks extremely realistic. This same process is used to create durable imitation brick or stone for use inside the home and has made it possible to create real-looking wood beams.

Polyurethane has been used in home design and in other manufacturing processes for about 30 years. It’s used in a variety of industries to make materials that were previously created from elements like fiberglass, rubber and silicon.

Because it is made without formaldehyde or other toxic ingredients, polyurethane doesn’t release chemicals, a condition called off-gassing, that is common in many manufactured building materials. The use of water-based stains and finishes further add to its environmentally friendly nature, and it also helps the environment because it prevents trees from being cut down to provide real wood beams.

faux wood beams

5 Advantages of Polyurethane Ceiling Beams

While there are some instances where you might prefer to use real wood, in many cases, polyurethane wood beams are a simple, convenient and budget-friendly way to immediately improve the look of a room. Let’s look at five reasons you should consider using polyurethane faux wood instead of real wood.

Advantage #1: Weight

Unlike real wood, faux wood beams do not add a great deal of extra weight to the structure. Wood can create a certain amount of structural strain when used on ceiling projects, and the last thing you want to do during home improvements is to risk damaging your home and creating a need for repairs.

The weight of the wood can cause just enough damage to allow such hazards as water and pests to enter a building, which can then lead to even bigger problems.

Advantage #2: Cost

Faux wood beams cost less than real wood because the materials they’re made from cost much less than natural wood. Because they’re so lightweight and easy to work with, they’re less expensive to install, too. And they even save money by being less expensive to ship, which means they start saving you money immediately.

Advantage #3: Installation

Faux wood ceiling beams are much easier to install than heavy real wood beams. As already noted, real wood can cause structural concerns, and you have to make sure that the location where you’re installing wood beams is able to bear the load. With polyurethane wood beams, you don’t have that same concern. The process is something that many DIY-ers are able to do with just one or two other people to help.

Because they are hollow, polyurethane beams can easily be installed over existing structures, such as smaller beams or structural beams, and they also can be used to conceal electrical wires, plumbing pipes and more. For instance, if you are renovating a basement and were considering dropping the ceiling to hide such things as wires and pipes, using faux wood beams instead would allow you to keep the height of the room while still giving your ceiling a clean, finished look.

Advantage #4: Maintenance

Polyurethane wood beams are also much easier to maintain than real wood. They won’t warp, rot or crack, which are all concerns when using real wood. Wood is susceptible to wear and tear, and it can also develop mold or be damaged by such pests as termites that find their way into the home. 

Natural wood must be cared for in specific ways to keep it from decaying, and if it’s damaged, the repairs can be extremely expensive. Faux wood beams, on the other hand, can be removed, repaired or replaced more easily and for less expense.

And, since faux wood is waterproof, there’s no need to worry about water damage, and it’s less likely to draw pests. 

Advantage #5: Appearance

The high quality and attention to detail in contemporary faux wood beams make it virtually impossible to tell the difference between real and faux wood just from looking at it. The molds used to make faux beams are made out of genuine wood, so each beam has the authentic grain and texture of real wood. 

Plus, the variety of color selections ensures the beam will achieve the right match for any room. Whether you’re looking for a newer, trendier finish like driftwood or want a rough-hewn timber for a more rugged look, there’s a style that fits your project.

Get the Polyurethane Beam That Fits Your Room

Most polyurethane beams come in a variety of finishes and color choices, which makes it easier to find one that fits the look you want. You can also choose to buy paint- or stain-ready beams and finish them yourself to match your project exactly.

With so many advantages to polyurethane beams, they’re definitely worth investigating for your home building or renovation project.