How are the TorZo products made?
TorZo infuses acrylic resin into composite boards in order to create a hard and durable surface product that is suitable for high wear applications. In addition, the infusion process adds a desirable look that makes the panels appealing to architects and designers. Un-infused, these composite board materials are typically used as decorative or backing applications because they do not have the necessary hardness and durability to hold up in these applications.
What are the available Surface products made from?
Indure; FSC® certified, NAUF (no added urea formaldehyde), post industrial recycled wood fiber board
Orient; NAUF (no added urea formaldehyde), post industrial recycled wood chip board
Durum; Urea formaldehyde free, post agricultural recycled wheat, rapidly renewable
Tiikeri; Urea formaldehyde free, post agricultural recycled sorghum, rapidly renewable
Parda; FSC certified, NAUF (no added urea formaldehyde), post industrial recycled wood fiber board
Hemp; Urea formaldehyde free, post agricultural recycled hemp, rapidly renewable
What is Green about our polymer we infuse with? How do the products contribute to LEED points?
We do not claim that the acrylic resin that we infuse with is “green”. Our resin is an inert material that is nontoxic, which creates the hardness and durability needed to use TorZo products in high traffic environments. In our LEED summary sheet, we give a weight % of the acrylic resin that is in the board. When using TorZo products in a LEED project, the user can claim only a % of the applicable LEED points. On a relative basis, among green products, the TorZo sustainable content is considered high. Below is a summary of these percentages.
Indure; 65% sustainable board, 35% acrylic resin
Orient; 75% sustainable raw board, 25% acrylic resin
Durum; 70% sustainable raw board, 30% acrylic resin
Tiikeri; 50% sustainable raw board, 50% acrylic resin
Parda; 65% sustainable raw board, 35% acrylic resin
Hemp; 60% sustainable raw board, 40% acrylic resin
Are the TorZo Surfaces products waterproof or stain proof?
The infusion process makes the TorZo surface products much more water and stain resistant, but it DOES NOT make them water or stain proof. The TorZo panel materials that we sell are “filled and sanded,” but do not have this final top coat pre-applied. Therefore, as part of the fabrication process, we require that a hard sealer and top coat, such as a catalyzed lacquer, varnish or polyurethane, etc, are applied. This coating gives the finished project its protection from water and stains. It is important to specify a full fill finish, meaning no pits, for all horizontal applications.
What is the fire rating on the TorZo products?
Four TorZo products have a Class “B” fire rating (Hemp, Drum, Parda, Indure). Two TorZo products have a Class “C” fire rating (Tiikeri, Orient). There are standard coatings on the market that can be applied which will give the TorZo products a Class “B” or Class “A” rating. Sherwin Williams has a product called “Sayerlack,” which provides a clear surface and does not detract from the look of TorZo. A water-based material manufactured by Flame Control will also work.
What are the recommended coatings for the TorZo products?
TorZo does not recommend any specific company’s coating. Most millwork shops have spray booths and will use whatever they have in-house and what they feel comfortable using. We only require that it be a “hard” coating (meaning that it must be a coating that dries hard, such as a urethane, catalyzed lacquer, varnish, etc. TorZo does NOT recommend any rub-on oil finishes, such as a tongue or teak oil, because these types of finishes will not provide the water or stain resistance that TorZo recommends. Also, TorZo recommends using a spray-on coating only. In our experience, the roller or brush-on hard finishes do not create a clean “look.”
Can visible scratches on the surface coatings be repaired?
Many of the new polyurethanes are considered to be repairable coatings using rubbing compounds. Mohawk finishing has several different products, different ones for different gloss levels. Repairs are limited to superficial or minor scratches and do not apply to scratches that penetrate to the TorZo substrate. For these deeper scratches, the surface would need to be re-sanded and re-coated following the coating manufacturer’s recommendations.
What is the best way to fill surface voids that are associated with many of the TorZo products?
All of our products, with the exception of Indure and Parda, go through a “fill and sand” process in order to fill most of the surface voids. Indure and Parda do not have surface voids. It is important not to over-sand the surface or voids will be re-introduced. This will show up as “pitting” or “cratering” when a coating is applied.
Tiikeri will still have some voids even after the fill and sand process is applied. It is important to have a full fill finish, meaning no pits, for all horizontal applications. This especially applies to Tiikeri. For smaller jobs, fabricators can use a best color match solid surface epoxy, a sawdust/super glue mixture, or some kind of wood filler. For larger jobs we recommend using either a zero VOC 2-part polymer epoxy called Crystal Sheen manufactured by Environment Technologies, Inc., or a polyester product distributed by Sherwin Williams. Both these products can essentially be applied by using a squeegee and for the Tiikeri it takes 2 applications to fully fill the voids. Following the fill process, any lacquer, urethane or conversion varnish can be applied.
What is the best way to “edge” the TorZo products?
Built-up edges, mitered edges and edge banding are the three edging techniques that are used on TorZo products. Refer to the TorZo Edge Support Document for more information.
What kind of adhesive is recommended for edge gluing or seaming?
TorZo recommends using a solid surface epoxy or like product for edge gluing or seaming applications. Titebond II type products will work but you need to allow for the longer dry times.
What is the best substrate material to use as a backer or base template?
MDF or plywood are typically used and are recommended.
What type of adhesive is recommended for gluing the TorZo products to the substrate?
Liquid Nails, contact cement or most any silicon based adhesives are great for this application. Willamette Valley has a zero VOC adhesive similar to Liquid Nails called Extreme that works equally well. The zero VOC Crystal Sheen void filling product mentioned above can also be used to glue the TorZo products to a base substrate.
Is there a concern with different expansion or contraction rates between the TorZo products and the substrate materials?
No. These materials have very similar “minimal” expansion/contraction rates. It is always good when fabricating a mitered edge to allow for a 1/8” gap to accommodate any differences that that may arise in extreme environments.
What are the best applications for the TorZo products?
Over 95% of all TorZo products have been installed in commercial applications. TorZo was initially promoted primarily through commercial architects and designers. Also, there is currently greater demand for sustainable products in the commercial market as compared to the residential market.
These installations include high-wear commercial environments such as airports, restaurants, banks, libraries, universities, middle and high schools, a fire station, professional offices, museums, grocery stores, condo projects, etc.
Any vertical application is ideal for all TorZo products including:
Booth and bathroom stall dividers (½” minimum thickness to ensure rigidity and flatness)
Due to their hardness and durability, TorZo products are appropriate for horizontal, high-wear applications:
Restaurant table tops
Transaction tops, such as banks and high volume retail environments,
Furniture, such as desk tops, work stations, conference tables,
Vanity tops and Countertops
Not recommended for:
*Undermount sinks are not appropriate for any of our agricultural fiber products, including Durum and Tiikeri. This is due to the coarse core that is associated with these raw products. Though some of these products have been used in this application successfully, all exposed voids on the edges must be filled with epoxy and then sealed and coated with the same products applied to the surface. Failing to do so will allow water to penetrate into the core and cause flaking or bubbling of the surface over time.
TorZo materials have a janka ball test rating of over 1,800 pounds. For comparison, wood species like oak and maple have janka ball test ratings of 1,200 pounds. If a commercial coating is applied, all TorZo materials have the ability to be used as flooring. TorZo has recently introduced its first line of flooring (both plank and tile), manufactured using the Orient material. Orient has a janka ball rating of almost 5,000 pounds. The 6-step coating process includes two coats of a ceramic-based coating that makes the product appropriate for almost any commercial flooring application. TorZo plans to introduce other flooring and tiling products in the future. Please see the TorZo product sales sheets for more testing data, which includes janka ball test ratings for each product.
TorZo products are very suitable for residential applications. The key is to set appropriate expectations. Because of their hardness, TorZo products will perform as well or better than equivalent wood and composite products. The coating chosen by the end user will determine how TorZo performs over time. If you apply a very sharp object with enough force, the coating will scratch. Hence, if a customer is deciding between quartz and granite, TorZo would not be an appropriate substitute. However, if the customer likes the look and feel of TorZo, understands that it is a wood-based product, and prepares and maintains it properly, they will be happy with the product. Make sure to stress that TorZo is a wood product (or very similar to a wood product in the case of our agricultural boards). The same limitations apply with respect to undermount sinks. TorZo would be appropriate for the following applications: