European company BURGER & Cie made its foray into the North American market in 2020 with Grad Concept USA, a manufacturer of rail systems for cladding, ceiling, decking, and rooftops. The company’s premise is to create innovative solutions for installing materials, cutting down time in addition to providing options for more unique designs.
Grad Concept’s rail and clip systems have been rolled out in Europe since 2014, and the firm has been manufacturing patented clips since 2006. While the company is newer in the states, its been offering the same systems to be used with a variety of approved materials and also received a U.S. patent.
The rail systems feature plastic clips and aluminum rails, which are inherently resistant to rot and long-lasting. Additionally, the aluminum used comes from 100% recycled sources. These systems are premade, so installers can fasten the rails and then simply snap on their wood beams or tiles, whether that be in a vertical, horizontal, indoor, or outdoor application. It requires no drilling, and the aluminum rails can be cut to size.
Grad Concept took their system a step further and partnered with modified wood manufacturer Kebony this year to create a special product, the Mini Rail, to work with a new line of Kebony Clear boards, debuting a first of its kind full product offering.
“The project uses for Grad for Kebony are limited only by the designer’s imagination,” Grad Concept Sales Manager Gwladys Petit says. “As we launch the Grad Mini Rail in the USA, we are excited to have such a strong North American partner in Kebony. Our products have been used for decades together in Europe, so it’s a natural fit.”
Kebony offers durable, sustainable wood that undergoes a patented treatment process to strengthen the wood by altering its cell structure. This treatment also creates a look similar to tropical hardwoods, deepening the material’s color.
This premade rail system claims to cut installation time in half and lessen needed labor. Installers do not need to worry about leveling or spacing because the rails provide straight and even gaps between clips, according to the company.
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Clips are factory installed and do not budge from their position. Mini Rails go up to 6 feet long, whereas original rails extend up to 6.5 feet. Grad Concept instructs installers to attach rails directly over house wrap or on battens. Other systems on the market offer clips and fasteners while Grad Concept focuses on providing a full system with pre-aligned clips that ensure a natural air gap, also removing the need for furring strips.
The Grad for Kebony system promises a 30-year warranty on Kebony’s Clear line of boards and a 50 to 75-year lifespan. Boards are offered in one size, but two Grad Mini Rail gap sizes are available, mimicking a shiplap and nickel gap profile.