Seeing as Spring is rolling around (allegedly – it’s snowing here in Vancouver today…), my mind has turned to the subject of decking. And in my travels I found this article about how the composite decking industry is shifting.
It used to be that wood decking was the standard by which all other decking products are judged. This makes sense, given that most composites and vinyl decks for instance are made to resemble wood. There are textural elements added to the boards, and ‘grain patterns’ as well.
But, what was also true is that the makers of wood alternative decking had a common enemy. It made sense at one time to draw comparisons between composites, say, and cedar and leave competitors to do the same. Yet, now with the developing technology to make composite and PVC decking even more durable and great looking, that informal ‘truce’ between manufacturers has given way to skirmishes in the marketplace, vying for the attention of the consumer.
First, I think this demonstrates that the products are becoming more commonplace. Buyers turn to composites and vinyls for what they are, not for what they appear to be – wood. As the article points out, I think this makes for a more diverse market for consumers, who for the most part tend to do a lot of comparison shopping when it comes to exterior building products. And second, I think it injects a healthy challenge into the mix for manufacturers to expand their offerings too.