Wood Options Expand
The market split and desire for more functionality opens the door for dealers to expand their wood options by adding benefits such as water-repellency, providing more value. “Pressure-treated lumber with built-in water repellency has definitely grown in popularity,” says Kirk Hammond, manager of market development for Arch Wood Protection Inc. “Many retailers now stock and promote built-in water repellants for some or all of their above-ground wood decking and railing products, which has spurred its availability and growth.”
Water repellency slows the absorption and release of moisture that damages decks, explains Tom Horvat, U.S. marketing manager for Osmose. “Factoryapplied water repellents, pressure-treated into the wood, help reduce splitting, cracking, warping and swelling caused by weathering cycles.”
The added options provide more choices and ensure pressure-treated wood isn’t considered a commodity. “Not all treated lumber is the same, and the old adage that ‘treated lumber has to be green’ is a misnomer,” says Christopher Kollwitz, director of marketing for Viance.
“Newer treated-wood options for decking are easier to stain, use fewer chemicals and allow homeowners to enjoy the true beauty of their wood decking.”
Adds Hammond, “Additives and other methods are good for dealers, because they improve product performance and can provide better margins while still being priced below composites. The bottom-line price for a deck with water- repellant wood is not significantly higher than for regular treated lumber, and it delivers more benefits but helps to differentiate the dealer.”