Pre-oiled decking recommended for retailers

Cabot’s recently shared several valid insights on how retailers can add value and enhance the durability of timber decking, by providing a pre-oiling service that saves tradies and homeowners time and money.

Combining coatings expertise with machinery imported from Denmark, Intergrain provides an end-to-end solution for hardware and timber industry operators. Developed and optimised for machinery application, Intergrain can supply both oil and water based pre-oiling options, alongside specialised equipment solutions from Ceetec.

“Ceetec timber coating machinery is specially designed to oil, prime or paint large volumes of timber quickly and effectively, using rotating brushes. With a range of sizes and models, Ceetec machinery can oil timber at speeds of 1500-9000 lineal metres per hour,” Intergrain’s Trade and Industrial Senior Brand Manager, Sonia Tousis said.

“Whether implementing as a premium stocked item or available to order, the investment for new machinery can pay for itself in a surprisingly short amount of time,” she said.

Ms Tousis also pointed out that one of the immediate benefits of pre-oiled timber is that it reduces the number of topcoats required on site.

“Depending on timber porosity and exposure levels, pre-oiled timber can mean the difference between needing to apply three coats on-site, to just one coat. This represents significant time and money saving benefits for both builders and home owners,” Ms Tousis said.

Many decks only ever get oiled on the top surface, according to Cabot’s, which means moisture can be readily absorbed from the bottom. Decks built closer to the ground also have reduced ventilation, so are even more susceptible to deteriorating quickly, Ms Tousis pointed out.

“In some instances, timber decking can be exposed for lengthy periods, after installation, without any protection at all. The effects of prolonged moisture transfer can ultimately lead to cracking, splitting and warping. This means that timber which is oiled on all faces and edges, before installation, will inevitably resist moisture much more effectively than timber that is only ever coated on the top.”

“Pre-oiled timber removes the need to oil all sides on-site which can be tricky. Most often, a single coat of oil is applied to all surfaces, which not only helps protect the bottom and sides but also means the timber is better protected until topcoats are applied. End grains should also always be sealed,” she said.

The advantages of pre-oiled decking, that apply to retailers, builders and homeowners in the short term, can ultimately lead to better results and durability in the longer term, which Ms Tousis says, is a real positive for the industry.

Simmonds Lumber
Simmonds Lumber recently joined forces with Swiss Krono, a wood based materials business in Germany, to bring OSB SimBoard® Flooring and OSB SimBrace® Bracing into the Australian market.

Oriented Strand Board (OSB) is the most used structural board for timber buildings, in many parts of the world, having replaced plywood and particle-board in most applications.

OSB SimBoard® is also made of 100 per cent fresh pinewood thinnings of PEFC/FSC® certified sustainable forests, according to National Account Manager, Jacinta Colley.

“The pinewood thinnings are then glued together with formaldehyde-free binders, which allows SimBoard® to be also used for food packaging. Simmonds Lumber has worked hard with Swiss Krono to bring in a product that is the same sheet size as standard particleboard flooring, at 3600 millimetres by 900 millimetres, which is a first for OSB in the Australian market,” Ms Colley said.

“At 15 per cent less weight on site, 30 per cent less load on construction and 50 per cent more strength, the 3600 x 900 board is capable of spanning 600 centres, which gives it a significant advantage over competing products,” she said.

The OSB has a water and moisture-repellent surface and is specifically designed for use in wet areas such as kitchens, bathrooms and laundries. SimBoard® can withstand general weathering for up to three months, but it is recommended that the boards be covered on building sites to preserve the integrity of the board.

OSB SimBrace® is also a durable, high quality, environmentally sustainable and innovative structural bracing panel, designed and manufactured specifically for the Australian building and construction market, according to Simmonds Lumber. SimBrace® is also available in the standard sheet sizes and can be purchased in untreated or H2.

Industry competition
Volatile pricing, strong market competition and pressure on margins has been significant in the last 12 months, causing substantial challenges for Simmonds Lumber, according to Ms Colley.

“One thing we can be certain of is that this market will continue to change; channels to market will shorten and supply, particularly in framing, will become more critical as the value proposition for the wholesalers gets tighter and tighter. But in the end, it is a tough market and Simmonds Lumber are ready to deal with any competition, as we have done so for many years,” she said.

“Simmonds Lumber continues to bring to the table the best people in the industry, an extensive range of products, and a high service level. This is all from deliveries to communication, with customers and suppliers, and is underpinned by respect, fairness and honesty,” Ms Colley said.

Simmonds Lumber will showcase its products at several expos this year including the following in the next few months:
Independent Hardware Group Expo – February 12-14 Adelaide
Sydney Build – March 15-16
Bowens Expo – March 21 Melbourne
HBT Expo – May 2-4 Adelaide

Tenaru
Tenaru’s brands, Mirka, Sikkens and Hammerite, have consistently maintained an excellent reputation amongst both industry professionals and consumers alike, Tenaru Managing Director, Brian Hamilton said recently.

“This is because Tenaru manufactures high quality, premium products that offer a superior finish. The Sikkens products, for example, not only protect timber surfaces from the most extreme weather conditions, they also offer a highly transparent finish that accentuates the natural characteristics and colour of the wood,” Mr Hamilton said.

“New water-based products, which are making the application of decking finishes quicker than ever before, also continue to boost this category. With Sikkens Cetol BLX-Pro, decks can be recoated after just two hours (weather permitting),” he said.

Tenaru partners with Master Painters Australia (NSW)
Tenaru also recently became a silver sponsor of Master Painters Australia (NSW), the peak industry body for the surface coating sector in NSW, and will be sponsoring its Awards for Excellence again this year.

According to Mr Hamilton, as the Tenaru portfolio evolves there is a growing need to have a direct communication channel to the professional painter.

“Tenaru’s portfolio includes the globally established, premium products Sikkens, Hammerite, Dynamic Paintware and Mirka. Each brand complements the others and provides a full suite of surface coating solutions for our customers and trade professionals.”

“Tenaru has a very experienced team, passionate about problem solving and providing the best advice for projects. We are keen to share our expertise by working more closely with MPA (NSW) members,” Mr Hamilton said.

The sponsorship provides Tenaru with opportunities to engage with the association’s members through awards programs, events and training sessions.

Tenaru sponsored a category and was also a guest presenter at the prestigious Master Painters Awards for Excellence last year.

Master Painters Australia (NSW) Chief Executive Officer, Therese Lauriola, also said she was, “excited to have Tenaru partnering with us and look forward to some great times ahead.”

Five top tips from Haymes Simply Woodcare
Recently, the Haymes Simply Woodcare team highlighted the importance of providing good customer service to ensure repeat business, and offered its top five tips on how to ensure your customers have the best experience when buying timber finishes.

The Haymes team suggested retailers should begin improving their customers’ in-store experience by conducting the following simple checks in the timber finish department, to ensure their customer receives the best possible advice, the right products and the confidence to achieve a great result at home:

• Start by having a quick look at the woodcare area. Is it tidy and clean? Do you have quality point of sale, with a good mix of products? If you are not sure what products you should be carrying, ask your supplier to recommend products and keep you informed of what their best sellers are.
• Make sure you have more than enough of the correct accessories, as there is nothing more frustrating for your customers than to seek out an accessory, such as an applicator, and find that they are all gone.
• Preparation is also vital for the performance of both interior and exterior coatings, so make sure you have appropriate preparation products on hand.
• Visual displays of the finished product are also a great way for your customers to see the end-result. Check with your supplier to see if your displays are current and relevant. If you do not have the room inside, you may be able to make an outside display.
• Make sure you have the most up to date brochures and reference material on hand. This is so you are 100 per cent confident you are giving your customer the best knowledge and advice. Ensure your staff are up to date with product knowledge as well as having plenty of brochures on-hand to assist them.

It is also essential that customers speak with a staff member who is familiar with the stock. Remember that most suppliers are very happy to provide product training for staff, when required. Contact your sales manager for further information on what is available. Once you have all the boxes ticked, your DIY customers should be walking out of your store confident and well informed on how to complete their timber project.

What decking and timber finishes should a retailer carry?
Retailers should ensure they keep a couple of options, in both interior and exterior, water and oil-based because your customers prefer to have the choice. Look at your current stock and ask yourself: is it turning over and relevant, do you have a good range?

Retailers also need to make sure their customers continue to remove old, deleted or damaged stock, and also check to see if pricing is comparable to competitors. The first impression is the most important one retailers give to their customers.

Exterior decking finishes are the most popular, so if possible keep a display of these products at the front of the store in the summer season. This is a great reminder for the DIY customer to get that decking project done, and it shows you are serious and knowledgeable about selling the right timber finishes.

Haymes has three decking finishes retailers may wish to choose from, with its most popular finish being its two coat, easy to use, quick drying Dexpress Deck & Timber Stain, which is a perfect choice for Australia’s hardwood and softwood decking timbers including Merbau, Spotted Gum and Treated Pine.

Traditional decking oils are also a great option if your customers are looking for the most natural look. Haymes Decking Oil is an oil enriched finish that penetrates to nourish timber while remaining mould and fungus resistant, easy to apply and will not crack or peel.

The Haymes Simply Woodcare team recommends retailers inform customers that decking oils do require more frequent re-applications as they are a non-film forming coating.

If your customer is after a more premium finish, suggest your customers try Haymes Uvex Timber Finish. This dual layer water-based system provides superior longevity and enhances the natural beauty of exterior timber with a transparent, satin finish.

Just some of the more recent additions to the Haymes Woodcare family include:

Decking oil Merbau
Water based decking finish
Rapid Prep
Slip Resist Non-slip additive
Easy Floor Non-slip & Aqualac Floor Non-slip

Selling woodcare
The Haymes team said it is essential that customers speak with a staff member who is familiar with the stock. If your staff member requires training, contact either the company or sales manager for further information on what is available.

Start by asking lots of questions, as this will establish what your customers’ needs are so you can make recommendations accordingly. Always start talking to your customers about preparation, and do not forget the accessories such as a deck scrub brush, bucket, paint brush and applicator for a decking job, or the sandpaper and fillers, and a good quality brush to get that professional finish for your interiors.

Always offer quality products first. As the old adage goes, “you get what you pay for.” This can be the difference between a great and not so great end result.

Most folks will not remember everything you said, so remind them to take five minutes to read the company’s recommendations on the back of the can when they are ready to start the project, or print out a data sheet for them to take home.

For further information about the Haymes Simply Woodcare range of quality innovative timber finishes phone Service Express on: 1800 033 431 or Simply Woodcare Business Development Manager, Wendy Payne on: 0418 823 684

Timbermate Group Chief Executive Officer, Warren Mymin.

Timbermate celebrates successful launches
Timbermate launched two new products into its range, over the last 12 months, with both products proving to be a great success, according to the company.

The products included the launch of Glue Dots into Australia, with the adhesive dots available in two hardware formulations, including Advanced Strength (permanent) and Removable. The Glue Dots are designed specifically for hard to reach areas where users cannot get in with a screwdriver or where they simply need a second set of hands while working (such as putting up a picture hook).

The dots are also designed to form an instant bond, while remaining non-toxic and do not dry out like most other glues.

Timbermate also launched a second exciting product with the launch of a product that has sold in South Africa, and now Australia, for over 50 years. Concremate is an expanding cement filler designed specifically to repair cracks in concrete, brick or any surface. Concremate also expands when it sets, so it may also be used to anchor in bolts, awnings, and hand rails etc. It also has a quick dry time and can be driven over by a car or forklift within just four hours.

Timbermate’s point of difference in the market is its continued drive to produce quality and innovative products, according to Timbermate Group Chief Executive Officer, Warren Mymin.

“All of the products in our range are either manufactured in Australia or the USA, meaning we can better control the quality of our products. We also ensure that no product in our range is a ‘me too’ product and has its own point of difference or additional features to the alternate product,” Mr Mymin said.

“This is particularly evident in both Timbermate (Interior) and Earl’s MulTFill (Exterior). Both of these products are pure-water based products. When people hear water based they usually think acrylic because of the paint industry. In our case, there is no acrylic, latex or solvents in our products, which means you can safely use any coating and stain. Both products are NO VOC too,” he said.

Timbermate was a pioneer in the space of not having to worry about stain compatibility when selecting a filling product, according to Mr Mymin.

“Furthermore, Timbermate also introduced to the marketplace the notion of re-constitution of dried out filler, which ensures users no longer need to replace the tub after only using on one job.”

“More recently, MulTfill was launched for an exterior grade product with similar characteristics. Earl’s MulTFill sands very easily and gives a beautiful smooth finish to any exterior project including decks and fence posts. It also comes pre-mixed in several popular outdoor timber colours. The White MulTFill is also very popular with painters, as it is not softened by moisture in the air on plaster or timber for interior purposes too. However, the key is educating the customer how to choose the right coating for the job as this can have a huge impact in appearance, longevity and even maintenance requirements,” Mr Mymin said.

When discussing the timber/timber flooring and decking finishes industry in general, Mr Mymin said that Australians have always loved the look and convenience of a deck outside the home and the warmth and appearance of timber inside.

“With new coatings and application methods making it quicker and easier to not only install but maintain a timber floor and deck, it should only see further growth in this space.”

When asked on how competitive the market is currently, Mr Mymin said that because Timbermate only plays in the filler space, he did not have the best answer for this.

“That being said in the filler space, there is much competition in the interior space, but the exterior space is pretty much the same it has been in recent years. This also relates to how difficult it is to make a great exterior product that can still be easily sanded when it sets,” he said.

When discussing consistency of product quality, Mr Mymin said that while he does not believe there is an inconsistency of product standards, he does believe wholesalers/distributors search far and wide for more products to add to their portfolio.

“It is for this reason there is becoming a wider spread of the good/better/best product pyramid which is increasing the gap between each level of product,” he said.

Looking into the year ahead, Mr Mymin said 2018 is an exciting year for Timbermate.

“We plan to continue our push of some of our new products (such as Concremate), while finding new ways to use our existing products. Our acquisition of Agnews in late 2016 has opened our eyes to some further applications for a staple product that has been around for nearly 90 years. This has led to great success with the building trade and even carpet installers, tilers and the like as they find the multi-substrate, self-leveling properties.”

“We also have an exciting new product launch we are working towards which will revolutionize some areas of the market. This will hopefully be ready for launch in late 2018 and should excite our loyal customer base,” he said.

Cabot’s releases fastest coating system
With the warmer weather and months of al fresco entertaining well and truly here, Cabot’s has introduced its fastest deck coating system ever, ‘Finish in 1 Day’ to speed up the process of reviving your customer’s deck.

With recent research revealing 52 per cent of deck owners take more than a day to complete the coating process, and one in five have never coated their deck, Cabot’s three step ‘Finish in 1 Day’, system responds to a national consumer demand for more time-efficient coating.

As the name suggests, the Cabot’s ‘Finish in 1 Day’ system turns what is usually a six-week process, into a one-day job, thanks to a series of new product developments.

Designed to enhance and protect the natural look of exterior timber, popular Cabot’s Aquadeck decking oil also now has a new formula, revolutionising the recoat time from two hours to just one hour. This makes it one of the fastest drying products of its kind on the shelves, according to Cabot’s.

Cabot’s recommends that retailers advise customers to team Cabot’s Aquadeck with Cabot’s Deck Clean and Cabot’s New Timber Prep, an innovative new product that allows deck owners to skip the four to six weeks of weathering typically recommended for new timber.

Cabot’s Senior Brand Manager, James Fisher, said Cabot’s understands many deck owners struggle to dedicate time to maintaining their deck, despite it often becoming the hub of the home during the warmer months.

“With this in mind, the Cabot’s ‘Finish in 1 Day’ system has been developed to make sure deck owners are able to spend more time enjoying their deck than they do caring for it,” Mr Fisher said.

Three simple steps
In just three simple steps for new bare timber, or two simple steps for pre-weathered/grey timber, deck owners can achieve a great finish that can be easily touched up as required throughout the year. Advise your customers with the following steps:

Step 1: Cabot’s new Timber Prep
Cabot’s new Timber Prep eliminates the lengthy weathering process. Instead, just one application of Cabot’s New Timber Prep imitates the exact effects of weathering, by drawing out the timber’s tannins and oils. After 15 minutes, the product can be rinsed with warm water, leaving the surface ready for coating. Cabot’s New Timber Prep is available in two and four litres.

Step 2: Cabot’s Deck Clean
Cabot’s Deck Clean is an essential preparation product, which may be used on both new and weathered timber, prior to coating, to remove dirt and excess tannins. Cabot’s Deck Clean should be mixed with warm water and applied to the timber’s surface using a bristle brush, like Cabot’s Deck Prep. Rinse off after 20 minutes, with a high-pressure hose.
Cabot’s Deck Clean is also available in one and four litre tins.

Step 3: Cabot’s Aquadeck
Now with half the recoat time, Cabot’s Aquadeck promises a durable, lightly pigmented finish, guaranteed to last twice as long as other oil-based decking oils. Touch dry in just 20 minutes, its reduced drying time ensures there is even less chance of dirt or dust particles being trapped on the timber’s surface, making it easier than ever to achieve a flawless end-result.
Cabot’s Aquadeck is available in 250 millilitres, one litre, four litre and 10 litre sizes.
For more information visit: www.cabots.com.au

Mirka raises bar for the sanding market with its new Mirka DEOS
Mirka is once again set to reshape the market of electric orbital sanders with its new Mirka DEOS, which is lower, lighter and easier to use.

Weighing just one kilogram and at just 10 centimetres high, the compact tool boasts a low profile that offers exceptional manoeuvrability and gives users full control over the sanding process. Just like the Mirka DEROS, it offers dust-free sanding when used in conjunction with Mirka’s revolutionary Abranet net abrasives and dust extraction systems, making for a much cleaner, healthier work environment, not to mention reducing a significant amount of hassle when it comes to tidying up afterwards.

The Mirka DEOS is also equipped with a brushless motor, which means there is no need to change carbon brushes over, so it is easier to maintain and its closed construction ensures that no dust gets inside the motor, further prolonging its life.

The three-millimetre orbit movement of the Mirka DEOS provides the optimal balance between low vibrations and high sanding performance whilst an ergonomic, two-handed grip makes it easier to gain control when sanding hard to reach places.

The symmetrical design and increased space for the ring finger and little finger, ensures the user’s grip is more relaxed and more controlled. It also delivers constant speed under load so that there is no loss in efficiency under heavy pressure, and a two speed control system which is quickly and easily changed via an accessible lever for a flawless finish every time.

Further highlights of the Mirka DEOS include its soft start motor, which ensures surfaces are protected when the sander starts, and the carefully designed housing and pad, which minimises the bouncing sideways when sanding in corners of profiles. This also adds to its comfort of use and reach into corners.

Once again, Mirka brings a unique product to the market that creates new industry standards. Customers with sanding projects will be hard-pressed to look past the Mirka DEOS’s ease of use, ease of care, high quality results and healthier, dust-free working environment.

For more information visit: www.mirkaaustralia.com.au

Diggers Eco in-ground ‘Timber Protecta’
Retailers need to remind their customers that they should start protecting their deck, before they have even finished building it.

Diggers Eco In-Ground Timber Protecta is a non-hazardous ‘creosote alternative’ that provides a tough bitumen coating to improve protection against moisture and deterioration on timber and masonry surfaces. Not only does it increase the life of building material in outdoor, below ground applications by sealing toxins in and keeping moisture out, but it is also registered by the Biological Farmer’s Association (No. 10949AP), making it ideal for raised veggie beds or children’s play areas. Typical uses include fences, veranda posts, sleeper walls, garden stakes/poles, veggie patches and retaining walls.

The flexible UV resistant coating expands and contracts with natural timber movement.

Eco In-Ground Timber Protecta is easy to apply with a brush, roller or by dipping. Remind your customers to coat timber to at least 10 centimetres above ground level and also inform them that the product may also be painted over with a water-based primer coat, and then either water-based or oil-based paint.