Wood-alternative trim and molding products typically made from cellular PVC or polyurethane continue to make inroads in the exterior trim market and remain a feel-good story in an otherwise dreary plastic building products industry.
The emerging category which now has about 18 percent market share, according to officials at Milwaukee-based cellular PVC trim and molding maker Gossen Corp. has wood folk paying attention.
The Woodland, Calif.-based Wood Moulding & Millwork Producers Association has dropped the ``wood,'' and is known formally as the Moulding & Millwork Producers Association, or MMPA. The association formed its own Poly Blends group, which consists of most of the large cellular PVC and urethane foam trim manufacturers.
Archbold, Ohio-based Fypon Ltd., which makes most of its 6,000 foam products from polyurethane, announced the week of Oct. 20 that it had joined the group.
``We recognized that the synthetics market was growing,'' said Kellie Schroeder, MMPA's chief executive officer, in an Oct. 23 telephone interview. ``Our membership voted to drop `wood' from our name. And we're very pleased that we did.''
Bob Simon, Gossen's executive vice president, said the association has paved the way for the development of industry standards that will benefit all polymer-based trim and molding producers moving forward.
``The wood molding industry is built on standards,'' Simon said in an Oct. 24 telephone interview. ``One of the things we feel, by bringing the poly groups together, is we would more or less establish standards for our product that are acceptable standards for builders.''
Like so many other emerging plastic building product categories, the establishment of standards is critical if one expects architects and builders to specify certain products.
``We all want to come up with a standard, and live by those standards,'' Simon said. ``Now, we really have all the major producers [of cellular PVC or urethane trim] in North America as part of the MMPA, and that is huge.''