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LBM Journal Innovation Awards: Products that epitomize thinking outside the box

Steve Jobs, the visionary co-founder of Apple, famously said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” As he proved time and again, it’s not about making the product people want; rather, it’s about creating the product people never knew they needed.

Such is the case with the first ever LBM Journal Innovation Awards. Honoring products that do more than the expected, these winners enable the LBM pro to work faster, easier, and more efficiently while bringing an advanced level of performance to the jobsite. And while there is no shortage of truly innovative building products, these stand out because of their unique benefits. So listed in no particular order, we are proud to recognize these truly innovative offerings.

Millboard Decking

The only decking hand-molded from natural timbers including century-old oak, Millboard decking is virtually indistinguishable from real wood, yet the manufacturer says it outperforms wood on almost every level. Unlike timber, Millboard decking resists the elements, requires minimal maintenance, is slip and stain resistant and won’t rot from fungal decay or warp.

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What Makes it Innovative
Constructed with a polyurethane resin core reinforced with mineral stone, Millboard is supple like rubber but rigid and hard-wearing like a plastic. The boards are capped with what the company calls a Lastane coating that is pliable and provides high slip-resistance compared to timber, even in wet conditions. And with the brand’s proprietary Durafix fastening system, there’s no need to pre-drill, countersink, or use deck clips. Simply coat the screws in silicone spray, and then screw them straight in to just below the surface of the board. Millboard decking’s Lastane coating will then flex back over the screw-heads, virtually hiding the fastener without the use of plugs.

Huber Engineered Woods
Zip System Rainscreen

As the newest option in the ZIP System Building Enclosures portfolio of products, ZIP System Rainscreen by Huber Engineered Woods is available nationwide and helps builders streamline water and air management in high-performance wall assemblies.

What Makes it Innovative
Engineered to meet 2021 IRC/IBC code-required 3/16″ air gap requirements in stucco and adhered stone assemblies, ZIP System Rainscreen consists of a rigid drainage mat covered by a heavy-duty fabric that can be used as a secondary water-resistive layer required for “absorptive” or “reservoir” cladding assemblies. Combining the high compression strength of the mesh drainage mat with the 5-7-perm water resistive fabric layer, ZIP System Rainscreen strikes a balance of durability and effective moisture management for various cladding systems.

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U.S.-produced thermally
treated wood

A thermally modified wood that is both sourced and modified in North America, Klaaswood uses a 2nd generation hydrolysis technology that allows wood modification to be achieved without the use of harmful chemicals and at lower temperatures, which is less stressful on the wood and, according to the manufacturer, results in a stronger, more stable product.

What Makes it Innovative
Klaaswood is a domestic thermally modified wood, plus its enhanced durability allows Klaaswood to be certified at Class 1 durability, the highest available class that extends the warranty to 20 years.

Protecto Wrap
Triple Guard Energy Sill Sealer

Claiming to be the only self-adhesive air and moisture sill barrier on the market, Triple Guard Energy Sill Sealer offers three adhesive membrane areas for sealing off the cold joint between the foundation and construction framing. According to the manufacturer, a full 3/8″ closed cell foam provides 1-1/2 times more protection from energy loss over standard 1/4″ sill sealers.

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What Makes it Innovative
Triple Guard Energy Sill Sealer’s unique and patented design combines the peel-and-stick waterproofing characteristics of waterproofing membranes with a 3/8″-thick closed cell foam sill sealer forming a gasket seal to virtually eliminate any air, moisture and insect/rodent infiltration beneath the sill plate. Triple Guard adheres to the face of the foundation, to the top of the foundation wall, and to the face of the sill plate/skirt board, completely sealing off the cold joint between the foundation and frame construction.

GAF Energy
Timberline Solar Roofing System

The Timberline Solar Roofing System from GAF Energy (a sister company to GAF) is a roof system that directly integrates solar technology into traditional roofing materials. Instead of panels or heavy tiles, the system is made up of shingles that are both water-shedding and warranted to withstand winds up to 130 mph.

What Makes it Innovative
According to GAF Energy, it’s the world’s first nailable solar shingle and is installed with a nail gun and standard roofing practices, meaning any local GAF-certified roofers can install the product. And because the Timberline Solar Energy Shingles don’t require a rack system, there’s no drilling through the roof membrane during installation.

Wedge Universal Deck Clips

CAMO’s new grip strengthening deck fastener—Wedge Universal Deck Clips—promises to radically increase the speed of deck building, as they are engineered to wedge into the grooves of any and all deck boards.

What Makes it Innovative
CAMO Wedge Universal Deck Clips allow for one-pass, one-handed installation, even with PVC deck products, resulting in fewer dropped fasteners and overall faster installation. The 316 stainless steel marine grade clip offers the best corrosion resistance for coastal applications or projects in highly corrosive environments such as saltwater pool decks.

Deck Frame Coating 

FastenMaster, a division of OMG Inc., has introduced its Deck Frame Coating, a water-based sealant that is reported to help extend the life of decks by creating a lasting moisture barrier.

What Makes it Innovative
The new coating is designed to be rolled or painted onto the top of deck joists, ledger boards, stair stringers, posts, beams, and other framing components, and serves to deter wood rot and decay. After application it’s workable in 20 minutes, so it won’t slow down decking pros during installation. Once dry, the coating creates a durable seal around deck fasteners. In addition, it is highly effective for use in corners and other hard-to-reach places where joist tapes have difficulty providing full coverage. FastenMaster Deck Frame Coating is available in 1-gallon buckets, which covers up to 450 linear feet of 2x framing.

Pacific WoodTech (PWT)
PWT Treated LVL

New from Pacific WoodTech, its PWT Treated LVL is reported to be the only manufactured treated LVL on the market, offering superior strength and uniformity. Utilizing what the company calls TRU-CORE technology, a proprietary heat press system evenly distributes treatment chemicals throughout the wood.

What Makes it Innovative
According to PWT, the manufacturing process creates a durable LVL that is protected against damage caused by fungal rot, decay, and wood-destroying insects including Formosan termites. Other benefits include less weight compared to traditional lumber along with size and moisture content uniformity. Plus, PWT Treated LVL is suitable for both interior and exterior usage and comes with a 25-year limited warranty.

Mortarless Stone Veneer Siding

Featuring a patented flashing and fastening system, Silvermine Stone’s Mortarless Stone Veneer Siding create a shingling system on the wall to keep water away from the home’s substrate while only requiring a single layer of weather-resistant barrier.

What Makes it Innovative
The 24″ x 6″ veneer sections attach to the wall with pan-headed screws and do not require lath, a scratch-coat, or mortar. And as Silvermine explains, the shingling effect of the veneers sheds all water to the front, thus eliminating water penetration and minimizing the possibility of insects getting between the stone and the wall.

GRK Fasteners
AugerBolt Through Bolt Fastening System

In this day and age of working with too few crew members, every tool or system that can save time and increase efficiency deserves to be in your building arsenal. And with GRK Fasteners’ new AugerBolt Through Bolt Fastening System, you can now drill the installation hole and install through bolts in one simple step.

What Makes it Innovative
It simplifies code-approved through bolt installation by combining the drilling of an auger bit and the installation of a through bolt all in one easy step for greater productivity. The patented recessed tip revolutionizes through bolted installation, simplifying the notched 6×6 connection for pro deck builders. The Integrated washer means fewer loose components for you to manage on the job, and the included 9/16″ x 7″ auger bit provides a fast, best-in-class drilling experience. The bit and bolts are available in one grab-and-go package for a quicker shopping experience and eliminates loose components on the job site.

CLiC Glass   

The benefits of the natural light provided by windows are undeniable, but sometimes homeowners are forced to choose between that natural light and privacy. Now available from Marvin and its long-standing glass supplier Cardinal Glass Industries, CLiC Glass switchable privacy glass solves that problem by using a proprietary liquid crystal technology to transition between clear views or a privacy setting in less than one second.

What Makes it Innovative
When in the clear state, liquid crystals align for glass that is clear from edge to edge and from any angle. When in the privacy state, liquid crystals scatter to create uniform diffused illumination across the window’s glass surface, providing privacy while still allowing light to enter a space.

Cutek Extreme high-performance wood oil 

Offering powerful stabilizing protection while enhancing wood’s natural beauty, Cutek Extreme high-performance wood oil penetrates deeply into the wood to protect it from the inside out, displacing water for long-term dimensional stability and significantly reducing cupping, warping, checking, and splitting.

What Makes it Innovative
Cutek Extreme protective components stay permanently mobile in the wood, migrating to cuts or perforations with a self-healing action, and it will not form a surface film nor peel or flake for easy maintenance.


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