Dollars and Sense: Urethane More Cost Effective Than Wood

MAUMEE, OHIO – Dollar for dollar, it’s more cost effective to install urethane products on a home than wood. That’s what experts at Market Resource Associates® (MRA) discovered when doing a recent hands-on comparison field study of professional contractors.

“Our research shows that contractors save on time and labor by installing urethane products versus using built-up traditional wood pine pieces,” says John Cashmore, president of MRA out of Minneapolis. “Overall, using urethane products saved our research participants up to 19 percent on labor over a similar project that required wood product. We observed that using Fypon® urethane products required less skill on the part of the professional installer and ensured a higher, repeatable quality element than when wood was installed.”

For the research project, a small group of trade contractor participants were asked to create two entryway surrounds --- one from built-up wood pieces and the other from a Fypon door surround kit. MRA findings in the study include:

  • “Built-up” wood systems require substantially more time and dedication toward measuring, re-measuring and checking than the Fypon system pieces.
  • The quality of work supplied by different contractors tremendously affects the look of the finished product. Those home exteriors in the study with wood built-up pieces showed dramatic inconsistency. Home exteriors with urethane pieces installed showed consistency of product appearance.
  • Repetitive use of built-up systems (for example in town homes) will have more continuity and accuracy when using standardized urethane pieces.
  • Job site waste was significantly less for the urethane products than the wood pieces.
  • Installation skill level needed for installing urethane products was far less than for piecing together a built-up wood system. Thus, subcontractors may be able to more successfully work with the urethane pieces than the wood products.


Exterior ~ Door Surrounds

According to the independent research done by MRA (which is posted at, when analyzing an exterior enhancement project, urethane tops wood for savings. Installing a set of urethane plain fluted pilasters flanking an entry door and topping the door off with a crosshead costs just an average of just $44 for labor and takes under an hour. To create the same door surround out of built-up wood is estimated to cost an average of $181 in labor and can take up to four hours for the same project.

“The fast out-of-the-box and onto the house application of urethane products really speeds up installation time and saves on labor,” according to Tina Mealer, product manager with Fypon. “Plus, you may need a more experienced craftsman to create the wood build-ups who know how to correctly miter corners. The urethane pieces come completely ready to install ‘as is’ out of the box, so all levels of installers can easily tackle these projects with urethane pieces.           

“It truly doesn’t matter if it’s an interior or exterior home enhancement. It simply makes the most sense --- and saves the most dollars --- to rely on urethane products that are faster, easier and more consistent to install for both new construction and remodeling projects.”

Fypon offers thousands of decorative millwork elements in a variety of architectural styles to enhance the interior and exterior of homes. Each piece is crafted from tough, weather-resistant, high-performance materials that are resistant to decay, insect infestation and water damage for long-lasting beauty and low maintenance. Part of consumer products company Fortune Brands Home & Security (NYSE: FBHS), Fypon, LLC is owned by Therma-Tru Corp. For additional information, call 800-446-3040 or visit