US demand to rise nearly 11% annually through 2016
US demand for molding and trim is forecast to rise nearly 11 percent per year to $9.0 billion in 2016. A sharp rebound in new housing construction and a partial recovery in nonresidential building construction will drive gains. However, this revival in new construction activity will still not be sufficient to raise molding and trim demand in 2016 to the level achieved in 2006.
Engineered wood to see some of the best growth
Engineered wood molding and trim is forecast to advance at the most rapid pace of all materials through 2016. The rising use of these materials in the fast-growing new residential market will fuel gains. Home builders will choose engineered wood products because they look like wood, but do not need to be painted or stained prior to installation. This will support the use of engineered wood as molding and exterior trim.
Residential market to outpace nonresidential demand
Within each of the market segments for molding and trim, demand shares by material in 2016 will be similar to those in 2011. Therefore, overall gains for the different materials will primarily be shaped by the underlying growth in the respective market segments, rather than from increases in share within the particular market segments. For example, because wood is used extensively in new residential molding and stairwork, the rebound in new residential construction will support demand increases for wood molding and trim. Residential consumers overwhelmingly opt for wood molding due to its favorable aesthetics. Wood will see an increase in the stairwork segment, spurred by a rebound in housing completions, as most wood stairways are installed in residences.
Wood to remain popular in residential market
Demand for molding will be driven by strong growth in housing completions. Wood will remain the leading material used in its production. Consumers prefer the appearance of wood to that of other materials, while construction professionals specify wood due to its low cost and their familiarity with the material. Stairwork demand is forecast to advance at a healthy 11.3 percent annual rate through 2016. Because most stairwork is installed in new structures, rebounding new building construction spending will drive gains. Wood will continue to dominate residential stairwork demand, while metal will account for the majority of the nonresidential market.
Wood to lose market share to plastic, engineered wood in exterior trim applications
Exterior trim is one application in which material shares are expected to change slightly over the forecast period. Wood will remain the market leader but face increasingly stiff competition from plastic and engineered wood, which better resist degradation caused by insects and exposure to the elements.