Expert for Timber & Panel Products

Nigel Cox

Managing Director


Nigel Cox

Nigel’s career in the construction industry spans over 30 years, with the last six years at Timbmet.

Nigel spent 25 years working in a number of management roles at Hanson Building Products. Originally trained as a Concrete Technologist, he spent the early part of his career as a Quality Controller introducing quality management systems before focusing on the continuous improvement of product manufacturing facilities.

He joined Timbmet in 2010 as Operations Director with the challenge to streamline and improve the efficiency of the operational and distribution teams. In January 2013 Nigel was promoted to Managing Director.


Timbmet is a leading national supplier and distributor of hardwood timber, engineered timber and panel products. Established for over 70 years, it has one of the UK’s most extensive Timber and Panel product ranges, complemented by a number of manufacturing services.

The business is dedicated to sourcing innovative timber products from around the world, driven by the demands of their customers, so that it provides the best in product choice and quality.

Timbmet is a member of a number of leading trade bodies, including the Builders’ Merchants Federation, National Association of Shopfitters, TRADA and the Timber Trade Federation. The company has worked extensively with merchants, and has a well-established Merchant Support Team to provide merchants with the level of support and service they need.

Timbmet has extensive in-house manufacturing capabilities ranging from basic cut-to-size and edge banding, to CNC work and bespoke mouldings and profiles. It offers UK-wide coverage via a network of depots, supported by its central Shellingford Distribution Centre in Oxfordshire, with over 200,000 sqft of storage, and a milling facility in Glasgow.

The Timbmet team has built many years of experience and expertise, making them ideally placed to advise on the right products, and offer versatile and cost effective solutions to meet customers’ needs.

Still a family business, the founder’s enduring passion for wood inspires the ethos of the company today; Timbmet… Everything wood should be.

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Timbmet comment: Q1 2019

Nigel Cox, Managing Director Timbmet is BMBI’s Expert for Timber & Panel Products.

Contingency planning for Brexit took up significant time in Q1. Ensuring continuity of supply was of the utmost importance as we sought clarity on importing protocols and procedures. Stock levels were increased to cover all eventualities so we start Q2 in a healthy stock position.

Timber and panel products continued to outperform many of the sectors in Q1, but it was clear that the economic uncertainty impacted on consumer confidence. Performance suffered during February and March. With good weather ahead we must remain optimistic for a stronger Q2.

Product availability is generally good. Producers have addressed the supply issues with panel products. Hardwood timber demand continues to increase for European and American timbers. There is also strong demand from developing markets such as India, Australasia and Latin America. The continuing trade war between America and China creates uncertainty which has the potential to impact on the availability of American or European oak.

African timber supply remains under pressure with the availability of Sapele, Iroko and Idigbo all a concern. The demand for Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) material is putting producers under increased pressure. With an increasingly environmentally aware audience, products certified by the FSC from sustainably managed sources are becoming more and more sought after. Merchants should consider alternatives, especially plantation-grown wood such as Red Grandis from Uruguay. Red Grandis is a high-quality durable hardwood that machines well and is easy to paint or stain.

The decking season is again upon us. We are happy to report that there is a good supply of hardwood decking available, typically Balau, as well as quality hardwood based composite decking for the less traditional.

The Timber Trade Federation (TTF), Wood Protection Association (WPA) and Timber Decking and Cladding Association (TDCA) are working to help produce clear guidance for cladding systems. The group will look at the importance of fire rated materials, construction products regulations and quality assurance schemes for fire rated products and installation.

Launched in 2015, the award winning monthly Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) report is the only reliable measure of repair, maintenance & improvement (RMI) activity in the UK. Filling an important gap, it can be widely used in construction, and by economists, Government, national media, commentators and influencers outside the industry.