Trusscore vs. FRP:

How Trusscore won the day over FRP at Total Building System

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

The writing is on the wall, they say.

When Jason Steward, President of Total Building Systems in Cottonwood, Arizona, heard about Trusscore Wall&CeilingBoard, and then saw the product in operation, well, that was all the proof he needed. 

Virtually overnight Steward and his 70-person general contracting company discontinued their use of fiber reinforced plastic panels (or fiberglass reinforced panels) or FRP, as they’re commonly known, and started using Trusscore products in their place. The reason was pretty straightforward:

“Simply put, we fell in love with it,” says Steward. 

Why Choosing Trusscore Over FRP Wall Boards 

Total Building Systems has been in operation for more than 22 years, performing commercial and residential construction and specializing in construction with steel, rather than wood, framing, and studs. Their projects are built to last, to be price competitive, and to stand out as top-of-the-line. 

Steward decided to switch to Trusscore about a year ago because its products checked every one of those boxes. 

“We’ve done about six jobs with [Trusscore] over the past year, and every client just raves about the result,” says Steward. 

One of Steward’s first Trusscore use-cases was a commercial wash bay for an excavation company, which wanted to use the wash bay to clean its excavators and dump trucks. A project of that kind would typically be sheeted in drywall and then FRP (installing FRP over the drywall). But Steward suggested that the client instead use Trusscore, knowing how well it performed in wet, damp environments.  

“You know, there have been a number of restaurant chains in the past which hired us to go in and remodel the kitchen. We go in there and you can see sheets of FRP wall panels falling off the wall.” 

FRP Durability Against Water

The reason FRP fails, he says, because when it comes time to clean the walls, water gets in behind the product. The drywall backing expands. The FRP sheet then separates from its backing. The glue fails. And worse, the water trapped between the plastic coating and the drywall becomes an ideal place for mold to grow. 

“I’ve seen entire kitchens fall off the wall,” he says. 

Trusscore Wall&CeilingBoard, on the other hand, sheds water. It can be cleaned repeatedly with a pressure washer or detergent without allowing water to seep behind the product, and with no degradation over time. Projects outfitted with Trusscore products typically outlast the building in which they’re installed. 

Those qualities, and the bright, white finish, and what Steward says is the “surprising durability” of Trusscore products, leave his clients happy. 

Trusscore vs. FRP: Cost

They get even happier when he shows them the cost savings of Trusscore over FRP, particularly, he says, when the job is a large one. 

“Square-foot-wise versus drywall and with FRP on top, it’s about $1 a square foot cheaper for us to use Trusscore,” he says. The savings in terms of labor grow particularly pronounced if the project calls for material on the ceiling or if the walls are higher than 10 feet, thanks to Trusscore panels being available in lengths as long as 20 feet. 

Likewise, cutting FRP panels, which come in flimsy, 4’ x 8 ‘ sheets and can be difficult-to-handle, is a more difficult and awkward task versus cutting Trusscore, often requiring two people rather than one.

Trusscore vs. FRP: Installation

“We install Trusscore twice as fast, so it’s 50 percent of the labor. 

“And it’s very easy to learn, too, I mean, I like to take some of my drywall installers that have never [used Trusscore] and within two or three hours they're just flying down walls. It's very easy to install.” 

Steward says he’ll still do an FRP installation if the client specifically calls for it. But he’ll strongly recommend they switch. Typically, bringing the client out to a job site is enough to convince them. 

“As a matter of fact, we did a large, 120,000 square foot building [with Trusscore] and I brought eight to 10 clients in just to show them that project, and everybody says they love it.” 

Proof. At Total Building Systems, these days the writing isn’t on the wall. Trusscore is.