Envirawood was actually born from necessity in 2008 after its founder, Andrew Distler, spent years trying to perfect a high gloss finish for use in luxury yacht interiors. Every type of finish and application process from top North American and European suppliers was tested from hand-applied, catalyzed urethane to the best flat line UV coatings and systems available. None of them produced a truly durable, cost-effective finish that would stand up to the harsh marine environment. Primarily because many of the 600+ yacht interiors that his factory built each year were for sport fishing yachts. The interiors of these vessels needed to be durable yet luxurious at the same time and of course easy to maintain.
Developing a new product would require re-evaluating every aspect of the manufacturing process. For starters, many of the challenges with applied finishes are actually caused by inconsistencies in wood. Likewise, applying a quality finish is very labor intensive and expensive. Availability of quality wood veneer, especially exotic species, was another challenge. To create a revolutionary product, Envirawood's team of developers would have to utilize a more stable material that would not expand or contract with changes in temperature and humidity. Development of a "faux wood" veneer sheet would allow them to capture the natural beauty of wood while eliminating many of the inconsistencies in grain, color and even availability. With a "print-based" mindset established, the next step would be to develop a durable high gloss coating and application process.
With the help of leading industry professionals, several types of raw materials were tested from conventional wood laminates to acrylic and eventually PVC film. Each had pros and cons, but in the end, PVC showed the most promise and delivered more durability and flexibility than the others. The research conducted during this stage led right back to the marine industry to a clear vinyl product called Strataglass. It has a proven track record of delivering significant enhancements like scratch resistance, superior clarity, industry-leading UV protection and a longer life cycle than any of its competitors.
It was at this time that Envirawood's second founder, Brown Burton, came into the picture. As the developer of Strataglass, his expertise in the coatings industry is undisputed. By thermally fusing high quality images between separate clear vinyl sheets coated with Brown's formula, Envirawood was born creating a viable replacement for wood veneer and applied finishes. Further testing proved that this new product could also be used in interior material applications well beyond the marine industry.
Envirawood continues to expand its prefinished veneer line of products by incorporating custom printed graphics, logos and even abstract artwork. These prints can be utilized alone or as an overlay with any of their other veneer sheet products. Materials like wood grains, metals and graphic artwork can now be combined to create custom inlays not possible in conventional marquetry. This additional level of customization allows designers to create unique works of art for their most discriminating clients at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods. Unlike other faux veneer products, Envirawood's coating and manufacturing process seals and protects the images for the life of the product.
Aftermarket products like pre-laminated panels, profiled doors, mouldings and numerous other components can all be created from these prefinished veneer sheets. This gives designers and fabricators a wide variety of options for cabinetry, furniture, architectural mouldings, interior doors and many other applications. Common areas of use include interior designs in Healthcare, Hospitality, Retail, Entertainment, Commercial and even Residential projects.
In the end, all of the initial objectives of Envirawood’s visionary creators have been achieved and with amazing results! It is a “must see” product for architects, interior designers and end users alike. Visit the Specifications Page of this website to learn more about the physical properties and complete testing results of this ultimate faux material.