Pigmented Treatments Grow
Wood products are expanding their options too, with color tints. “Pigment- or color-infused pressure-treated decking is emerging as a fast-growing, new category,” Principia’s Van Kouteren says.
“Consumers seem to like the color-infused pressure-treated lumber. It has improved durability and better aesthetics.” Some customers are using the pigmented wood to mimic the look of redwood and cedar while maintaining pressure-treated lumber’s benefits, Osmose’s Horvat says. “These are not topical finishes or stains,” he says of the company’s micronized color pigments.
“The system is not only used for decking but also for timbers, dimensional lumber, posts, railings and spindles. Many people are interested in matching the color of deck boards to the understructure and other components.”
Hardwood colors change over time due to UV exposure, notes TigerDeck’s Gerstenberger, but that’s not always unwanted.
“It can provide a weathered, natural silver look that many people like.” The final color can be controlled with a UV-inhibiting oil that wipes on and off in a short time, he notes.
Colors options for composites and PVC boards continue to evolve. “Customers want more natural-looking colors today, richer, solid colors with a woodgrain in them,” Tapco’s Wierengo says. MoistureShield’s Gwatney agrees. “In the past, 70% of our sales were gray or brown boards, but now the exotic colors are becoming more popular,” he says. “Those colors are picking up steam every year.”
As new colors are added, others drop out, says Gossen’s Raganyi. “Colors are consolidating into popular ones. There’s been more flux in the past five years in colors, with everyone looking for the next big thing. Now, rather than introducing new colors to gauge popularity, consumers are dictating where we go with colors. We’re focusing more attention on a few lines and colors.”
There are two trends for colors, explains Genova’s Seeger. “Variegated colors are more popular than solid colors, and darker colors are more popular than lighter ones. Dark colors are making a great fashion statement.” But darker colors can become hot on the feet unless they are protected with reflectants, he notes.
Color-fastness also is a concern for darker colors, DuraLife’s Descoteaux says. “Stain and fade warranties are commonly 25 years now for capped composites.” Warranties are important for new colors and new compositions, notes Nyloboard’s Jacks. “Builders and contractors have concerns with new technologies. They like that our product has been proven in the marine industry for about a decade. That helps reinforce their confidence.”