How Is Thermory Ash Hardwood Decking Made?

This process is fairly new to the North American market where in fact, it has actually existed for quite some years now in Europe.  Designer Deck is the only company offering exclusive access to a deck tile that has been thermory heat treated.  This revolutionary technique involves cooking hardwoods to the point of almost burning, thus altering the cellular structure of the wood and sealing it permanently.

This treatment process renders the material impervious to moisture decay, mildew, termites and fungus.  In addition, thermory treated woods are far more dimensionally stable with respect to cupping and warping, which typically affect any outdoor woods.  This process was also developed as an eco-friendly decking option for consumers looking for a solution beyond traditional hardwoods.

Since their arrival, thermory products are growing in popularity as an alternative and viable solution to using commonly treated materials, largely due to their durability but most notably, the ability to withstand the elements for long periods of time without the need for any chemicals or oiling.

Thermory hardwood decking uses specific thermal heating processesin place of traditional chemical-based wood treating techniques. Ash hardwood is placed into a large kiln where the wood is slowly heated to around 205 degrees Celsius (400 degrees Fahrenheit). Once the wood reaches this temperature, it is maintained at this level for several hours.

During this process the materialcomes close to exceeding its actual combustion temperature. In order to prevent the wood from combusting, steam is then introduced into the kiln and the air is removed. The steam also helps to ensure the wood dries evenly. If steam was not present, the exterior layers of the wood dry out quickly rendering it brittle and susceptible to breaking.

It also helps remove sugars and resins contained in ash hardwood. By using steam to assist in cooking the wood, this process further extracts the previously noted elements, leaving hardwood’s such as Ash resistant to insects, mold, water, and bacteria.

When you are looking for a reliable decking product, capable of withstanding harsh Canadian weather and temperatures, Thermory ash hardwood decking is a perfect choice, especially if you want a stunning hardwood deck. It is designed to stand up against snow and extreme changes in temperatures. Additionally the hardness of the wood makes it resistant to nicks and scratches;A physical attribute commonly favored by those who invest inEpe and synthetics.

The shade of Thermory ash hardwood decking varies from a dark to chocolate brown. This original colour can be preserved and maintained by treating it annually with an oil-based preservative. Alternatively, if the wood is not treated, it will still maintain its durability but fade to a weathered brownish grey over time due to sunlight exposure.

For additional information about Thermory ash hardwood deck tiles in Toronto for terraces, direct installs over existing decking, or patios, please feel free to contact Designer Deck at 905-669-5252 today! We look forward to answering your questions and helping you find the best decking solution for your home!

The Benefits of Wintertime Condo Renovations

Even though the weather outside might be cold, it does not mean you should put off condo renovations and remodeling projects until spring. What many people do not realize, is the winter months are one of the best times of year to schedule indoor projects to get them done and out of the way. If you are DIY type of person, there’s always the potential for having plenty of time indoors to work on the projects gradually; come spring, when everyone else is starting their renovations, you’ll be enjoying your time outdoors while others are stuck inside!

Winter work has further benefits if you aren’t the hands on type of individual; In fact, finding a contractor to work on remodeling and renovation projects is much easier to source during winter months. This season is generally a slow time of year for contractors. They often have an excess amount of time to devote, which can make them invaluable to you and your project. Further, if you are the only client/project they have to work on, they can dedicated their available working hours entirely to you.  This translates to work being done efficiently and in some cases, ahead of time.

In cases where one might be doing a major condo renovation and will require the appropriate building permits, it is worth noting that it takes less time to get those permits from the appropriate government office during the winter.  Like contractors, local municipality agencies which issue building permits are also far slower during the wintertime. Rather than having to stand in long lines or wait an extended period of time to get the permits you require for a project, you will likely have little waiting to do.

Another benefit of wintertime condo improvements is the potential savings you could experience in materials and labor.  Many contractors need the work at this time of year and may be inclined to give you a discount on their “normal” rates in order to land the job.  During peak periods, most would charge higher for a similar project being done in the summer months for example.

Most home improvement (seasonal) product manufacturers, such as outdoor flooring and railing companies, update the costs of their materials leading into spring. The reason these prices are typically changed at this time of year,can sometimes be linked to a greater customer base opting to tackle projects during the summer.  Depending upon ones timing, this can be yet another driving perk to winter reno’s.  It’s quite possible to save large sums of money if you shop projects and/or materials right at the start of the New Year.  Moreover, many suppliers also want to deplete their existing inventories of certain products to make doing their year-end inventories easier and faster. 

If you are interested in upgrading your condo patio or outdoor areas, you can add style, charm, and beauty by having outdoor deck tiles professionally installed by us, here at Designer Deck. For more information about our products and services, call us at 905-669-5252 today!

PLEASE NOTE: We strongly urge you to remember to obtain permission for condo renovations and remodeling ahead of time from your condo association, prior to starting any improvement projects.

Tips for Finding and Hiring a Contractor to Remodel Your Condo

Most condo owners will want to make changes to their unit at some point to give it an updated look and feeling. Installing new cabinets and counter-tops, changing paint colors, and even adding outdoor deck tiles over your cement patio can liven up your home. Before you jump head first, into remodeling your home, the first thing you will want to do is review your condo association’s rules and requirements.

Oftentimes, you will need to get permission to make certain changes to your unit before the work can be completed. This could involve writing up a proposal of the changes and submitting it for approval. Until you have approval do not start any work, otherwise, your association may require you to change things back to how they were, resulting in increased costs and wasted time.

Using a professional contractor is typically the best option if you want exceptional results. When selecting a contractor to complete your remodeling project, use these tips to find the best one:

1.      Create a budget. It is a good idea to have a dollar amount in mind you are willing to invest into the improvements and stick to this as best as possible.

2.      Know ahead of time what work you want done. If you are not entirely sure of what you want a contractor to do, it is harder for them to provide you with an accurate estimate.

3.      Let the contractor know what materials you will provide. For some remodels, you might already know what materials you want to use, for example, the new cabinets you want in your kitchen or the style of deck tiles. Since you are providing the materials, the quote you receive should only include labor and any materials you are not providing.

4.      Ask friends, neighbors, and relatives for referrals. If someone you know completed a similar project and was happy with the work and cost, chances are their contractor could be the ideal candidate for your project.

5.      Choose a contractor with experience in the type of work you want done. There are all sorts of contractors. Some specialize in specific types of work, while others offer more generalized services.

6.      Interview at least three different contractors. You will want to obtain quotes from more than one contractor. Sometimes the first one you meet will end up being the one you choose to do the work, but not always.

7.      Ask for references. Make sure the contractors you interview can provide references you can contact.

8.      Confirm the contractor is licensed and insured. Ask the contractor to provide a copy of their license and insurance during the interview.

9.      Put everything in writing. Make sure all work to be completed is written in a contract. You may want to consult with a lawyer to confirm it is legally binding and even get it notarized.

10.  Never fully pay the contractor in advance. Depending on the costs of materials and whether you are providing them, the contractor should only request between 10 and 30 percent down to get started and provide you with a payment schedule. You should not make the final payment until all work has been completed to your satisfaction.

Following these tips will help you find the best contractor for your condo remodeling project. If you require outdoor deck tiles for your patio, feel free to contact Designer Deck at 905-669-5252. We also offer contractor services for our products to ensure you receive expert installations!

Amenities at Condo Communities Can Make a Huge Difference for Buyers

In recent years, condo ownership has grown significantly in many areas throughout the GTA and surroundings.  Part of the appeal in purchasing a condo over a traditional single family home, is the wide range of amenities new owners are enjoying. Amenities have become one of the major focal points used to compare the pro’s and con’s whilst shopping for a new home.

The list of amenities one may find at any given property, could easily vary from one complex to the next. Part of this variance is related to the neighbourhood where the community is located. Further differences can sometimes be as a result of community demographic, such as age among other factors.  The following amenities may commonly been offered while shopping for a new condo:

·         Spas

·         Fitness Centres

·         Swimming Pools

·         Shared Private Resident Green Spaces

·         Dog Runs

·         Private Outdoor BBQ, Grilling, and Picnic Areas

·         Community Supported Gardens

·         Community Rooms

·         Private Lounges, Restaurants, and Bars for Residents Only

·         Shared Public Shops, Restaurants, Courtyards, Lounges, and Bars

·         Pet Spas and Daycares

·         Child Daycares

·         Pet Washing and Grooming Areas

·         Music Studios

·         Private Libraries

·         Rock Climbing Walls

·         Special Residents-Only Events, Demonstrations, and Seminars

·         Kitchen Appliance Sharing

One must remember that every community is unique and as such, not every amenity mentioned in the above list will necessarily be offered as part of the ‘package’.

While shopping for a condo and comparing amenities, it is important to determine which ones are of most benefit  to you and your family;  More importantly, what amenities will inject added value into the sale of your home at a possible future date.  It does not hurt to make a list of “must-haves,” “preferred,” and “optional” amenities as a means of guidance during the search. This way you can narrow down your list of communities that are appealing to those that fit your specific criteria.



With More Amenities, Will Association Fees Be More Expensive?

Most of the amenities you’ll find at a condo community do not cost as much as you may think. In fact, most have maintenance costs tied to them, resulting in only a small fraction of the monthly association fees going towards the upkeep and support of these extras. In many cases, amenities are considered discretionary costs that have already been paid for ahead of time by the original project developer. On average, (even in communities with a longer list of amenities) only about 15% of the month fees are used to support them.

Designer Deck hopes you have enjoyed learning more about amenities at condo communities and how they can influence the decision of new home buyers. After moving into your new condo, you should consider customizing your outdoor patio or deck with our outdoor deck tiles and other products. Contact us at 905-669-5252 to learn more and book your free home consultation appointment today!

DISCLAMER: Condo owners, it is your responsibility to obtain permission from your condo board before making alterations to your private outdoor areas around your unit.

The Benefits of Prefabricated Deck Tiles

Deck tiles provide a wonderful solution to cover up unsightly stained concrete surfaces on patios, balconies, and entry ways, faded decking, and other flat areas around the outdoors of your home or condo. They offer very elaborate and stylish patterns to give you the flexibility to create your own unique designs and finished appearances. You are free to mix and match the outdoor flooring tiles using a variety of colours or incorporate artificial grass tile inserts into the design.

Unlike decking planks, which are long boards cut to length to fit the outdoor surface, deck tiles are square pieces that connect together quickly and easily. In most cases, there is no need for nailing, screwing, or gluing the tiles to the surface. Rather, once they are assembled they sit directly onto of the existing surface. 

They provide the same structural support and integrity of the underlying surface, too. However, it is important to note if the underlying surface is severely damaged, it does need to be repaired first before placing deck tiles over it to ensure proper support. The only exception is in cases where the tiles are being placed over concrete slabs that have minor cracking and chipping.

In big cities, like Toronto, they are well suited for use in smaller areas to give your outdoor spaces an original appearance. Since they are not glued, nailed, or screwed to the underlying surface, they are an ideal solution for renters, who want to add their own personal style to their outdoor areas, but do not want to worry about violating the terms and conditions of the lease. In addition, the deck tiles can be removed during the colder winter months and stored until the spring, if so desired.

One of the main benefits of deck tiles is the ability to have a beautiful looking outdoor surface in a day or less, depending on the size of the area where they are being installed. Installation can be performed either by an experienced contractor or as a do-it-yourself project.

If you choose to install them yourself, it is recommended to verify the tiles will fit correctly into the space and do not require cutting or shaping, such as if the area would leave a huge gap on one side because the tiles will not fit correctly without cutting them or if you have curved areas. Otherwise, in these situations, it is worthwhile to get help from a professional to ensure the tiles are installed correctly.

Many condo associations and condo developers are also discovering the benefits of outdoor deck tiles for use in common areas, like rooftop gardens. The light weight of the tiles and beauty they provide make them easy to maintain and upkeep. If a tile is accidently damaged, only that tile has to be replaced, rather than having to replace large sections of the decking.

For more information about outdoor deck tiles, materials, and design ideas, please feel free to contact Designer Deck by calling 905-669-5252 today and book a free home consultation. 

DISCLAIMER for CONDO OWNERS: Please remember it is your responsibility to obtain permission from your condo association board before installing deck tiles in outdoor areas around your home. 

Designer Deck Inc.
140 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario
M5C 1X6

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Designer Deck Inc.
140 Yonge Street Toronto, Ontario M5C 1X6
Phone: 905-669-5252