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: Q 2019

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

The second quarter saw weaker year-on-year growth in the demand for timber and panel products, although the product sector continued to outperform many. It was inevitable that stockpiling would occur prior to 31st March and this impacted on the second quarter’s performance. Political and economic uncertainty is continuing, and consumer confidence is low, and little will change over the coming months with the current No Deal Brexit rhetoric.

The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) recently reminded members of the risks that a No Deal Brexit will bring. Their guidance will help contingency planning as we consider the actions to mitigate the impacts of exiting with no terms. While we should expect delays, as shipments clear ports, product availability shouldn’t be a concern.

The global markets for hardwood are still fragmented. Trade conflicts between the USA and China continue to build, and there has been a weakening of demand for European supply. Availability across the species is good although many mills are managing their output with lower demand, specifically from China. African timber supply has improved over recent months with increasing demand for sapele.

Medium Density Fibre board (MDF) and Oriented Strand Board (OSB) availability is much improved on last year. Availability during the quarter was strong and is forecasted to continue. Similarly plywood availability remains good. The concern, regardless of product, will be the impact caused by a volatile exchange rate.

The TTF, Wood Protection Association (WPA) and Timber Decking and Cladding Association (TDCA) continue to work together to help provide guidance on fire-rated products post Grenfell and Barking. Through the Confederation of Timber Industries, it has been recommended that timber-based cladding and balcony components should be treated using a quality assured factory-applied flame retardant to Euroclass B. This is unless it is shown not to be necessary by an appropriate risk assessment process.

Merchants are reminded to ask suppliers for appropriate Declarations of Performance, a requirement under the Construction Products Regulation, providing information on the performance of the product.

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.