Standing Up to Summer
Hawai‘i’s building supply specialists offer many attractive products in 2024 that set the stage for summer fun while also resisting damage.
Trastevere White is high-strength porcelain flooring available at Bella Pietra, and is ideal for seamless 
transitions from indoors to outdoor decks and lanais. PHOTO COURTESY ARTISTIC TILE

Think “summer in Hawai‘i” and what comes to mind? Beach parties, barbecues
and maybe even a backyard lū‘au — all part of Hawai‘i’s indoor-outdoor lifestyle, but all are also tough on building components, like flooring.

Summer is huricane season, too, but if one hits, you can count on damage to windows and doors as well.

Luckily, Hawai‘i’s building supply specialists are offering many attractive products that set the stage for summer fun while also resisting damage.



Coastal Windows’ CoastalGard glass windows and doors, framed in crisp white vinyl, are a familiar sight in Hawai‘i. Besides curb appeal, CoastalGard windows and doors offer protection from heat, water, UV rays, noise, rising energy costs and most importantly, are certified to resist hurricane impact.

Glass panels in CoastalGard glass windows and doors are made of two layers of specially treated glass encasing a transparent sheet of laminate. The laminate keeps the glass intact even if shattered.

To be certified hurricane resistant, CoastalGard glass windows and doors must pass the ASTM E1996 test, a national performance rating. During the test, a 9-pound, two-by-four wooden missile is launched at speeds of 50 feet per second at the center of a window or door, and then again at the corners. The glass is expected to shatter, but it must stay in the frame to pass the test. The glass is then subjected to 9000 cycles of positive and negative pressure tests and must continue to remain in the frame.

Manufactured in Hawai‘i, CoastalGard glass windows and doors also limit heat transfer, which saves on energy costs.

Coastal’s Egress System, designed for emergencies such as floods and fires, meets the 2018 International Building Code “means of egress” requirement recently adopted by Hawai‘i’s state Building Code Council, which stipulates every sleeping room above grade and below the fourth story must have at least one exterior emergency escape and rescue opening.

Coastal Windows’ exclusive 200 Series Egress System is a window frame that holds multiple smaller Coastal windows, allowing them to swing open as one large egress portal. Coastal 200 Series casement, awning, sliding and picture windows are all compatible with its Egress System.

Milgard’s Energy Star-rated V400 Tuscany Series windows and doors are its most popular product line in Hawai‘i.


“Milgard always uses the most current in low-e technology” to block summer heat gain in its glass windows and doors, says David Flores, Milgard outside sales representative, Hawai‘i and Alaska. “SuncoatMax Low-E insulating glass is our highest-performing low-e solution.

Hawai‘i builders have multiple options, Flores says.

“We have many product lines that meet the demands of Hawai‘i’s harsh climate. Currently, our V400 Tuscany Series is the most popular product [in the islands],” he says.

Another favorite is Milgard’s C650 Ultra Series full-fiberglass windows, which are impervious to swelling, rotting, warping and insects.

“All our windows and doors are tested in compliance with AAMA Standard testing and meet the Energy Star rating for Hawai‘i counties,” says Flores.

Current local developments using Milgard products include Kaiāulu O Kapi‘olani, which features Milgard’s V400 Tuscany Series, and Nānā Kai, which features Milgard’s V300 Trinsic Series.

Ian Wilson


“HPM’s highest-rated and top-performing products in energy efficiency, weatherproofing and resistance to impacts and hurricanes include the Big Door and A-Series collections by Andersen Windows & Doors,” says Ian Wilson, HPM window, door and millwork program manager.

“The Andersen Liftslide door, a standout feature of their Big Door range, is crafted for durability, making it an ideal investment for coastal properties blurring the boundary between indoors and outdoors,” he adds. “Its unique design allows the rollers to retract into the panel when locked, safeguarding the critical components from corrosive saltwater exposure.

“The A-Series windows, with their robust fiberglass-clad wood construction, offer superior exterior protection compared to many aluminum options while providing the warmth of a natural wood interior that can be either painted or stained to preference,” says Wilson.


Hawai‘i’s trade winds provide nonstop natural ventilation, says Kirk Tyau, RMA Sales general manager, which makes the company’s Tradewind vinyl or aluminum jalousie windows “the most energy-efficient glass windows you can buy.”

Tradewind windows “provide 100 percent ventilation and promote fresh air circulation throughout a dwelling,” he adds. In contrast, sliding, hung and awning glass windows reduce natural ventilation by about 50 percent.

“To further promote energy efficiency and hurricane resistance, RMA Sales offers Crimsafe Security Screens which can be installed over the jalousies to provide Florida Dade County-certified hurricane protection,” says Tyau. “Crimsafe allows for maximum ventilation (100 percent), security and protection, and overall peace of mind. [We also offer] Crimsafe Security screens as hinged security doors, French doors, sliding screen doors and patio enclosures.”

Tyau says the Hawai‘i Department of Education has used Tradewind jalousies and Crimsafe in several projects in 2023 and is working on several more in 2024. 



Limestone Porcelain is very popular this year and is a “zero maintenance” flooring option. PHOTO COURTESY ARTISTIC TILE
Aura Blue Porcelain, a Bella Pietra best-seller, has a textured matte finish. PHOTO COURTESY BELLA PIETRA

Limestone Porcelain, Veronese Terrazzo and Aura Porcelain are three top-selling interior and exterior flooring products at Bella Pietra Design in Honolulu, which specializes in premier natural stone flooring from around the world.

Limestone Porcelain is very popular this year, says Meagan Jensen, who owns the company with her mother, LaWanna Jensen.

LaWanna Jensen
Meagan Jensen

“Porcelain is a good option when you want zero maintenance,” she says. “It is man-made and very dense, so the likelihood of scratching or chipping is very low.”Available colors are cream and sand in a 24-inch by 48-inch slab that can be custom cut into smaller sizes for exterior floors. Veronese Terrazzo is 95 percent marble and strengthened with a concrete or resin.

“Because of the resin it cannot be used [in exterior locations] as it could yellow,” explains LaWanna Jensen. “This material is so durable that it is used in airports worldwide.” It is available in four colors and in both a tile and slab format.

Aura Porcelain comes in blue, green and beige in 24-inch by 24-inch tile.

“It is popular because it provides a hint of color, but in a subtle, sophisticated way,” Meagan says. “It is a matte finish, so it would not be slippery if going through the house with wet feet from the pool, but it does not have enough texture to be outside.”

For exteriors, the Jensens recommend Utah Porcelain, Trastevere and Cotto Andaluz. All are extremely durable and slip-resistant, and the porcelains (Utah and Trastevere) are stain-resistant.

“Cotto Andaluz recalls antique terracotta,” LaWanna says. “We do recommend sealing these tiles.”

Because these are premier natural stone porcelains and other flooring materials, Meagan adds, pattern replication is rarely an issue.

Bella Pietra clients include The Royal Hawaiian Resort Waikiki, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, ‘Aulani and the International Market Place.

StrataLux Rigid Core SPC tiles and planks are currently HPM’s most popular flooring products. PHOTO PHOTO COURTESY STRATALUX
Paul Mendoza


HPM reports Stratalux Rigid Core SPC tiles and planks are its top-selling flooring products in 2024.

StrataLux flooring features exceptional durability and quality due to a high-density core board, resistance to daily wear-and-tear, AC4-rated glass technology with an anti-microbial coating for easy cleaning and a robust locking system with an angle joint mechanism for secure installation.

“The locking system is crucial for any flooring product,” says Paul Mendoza, HPM flooring design manager. Mendoza supports the StrataLux line because he has seen it evolve into a superior flooring option during his 20-plus years of working with HPM products.

To combat heavy foot traffic and water, HPM recommends its 20-mil wear layer vinyl flooring, which owes its resilience to its robust 20-mil wear layer, which protects against scratches, water damage and fading.

Every space is different, advises Mendoza, so selecting the right wear layer thickness based on a room’s traffic or use is important.

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