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: Q3 2018

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

The third quarter of 2018 continued to see strong year-on-year growth for timber and panel products reflected in the BMBI statistics, influenced by good weather and strong demand from the construction sector.

Brexit remains firmly in the headlines as we move closer to the 29th March 2019. Preparing for the outcome is difficult but, as an industry, options are being explored regardless of the final outcome. The Timber Trade Federation has produced a “Step by Step Guide to a ‘No Deal’ Brexit”. In addition, lobbying of government has resulted in a commitment to strengthen the timber trade and minimise additional costs on import and export timber.

Hardwood timber supply over the major species is generally good with stable pricing, although exchange rate fluctuations remain a concern. North American supply is still a concern following the US/China trade war but wood is available. The African supply situation remains difficult with internal transport and shipping costs impacting on availability.

Demand has increased for larch cladding rather than cedar due to high cedar prices over the last 12 months. Prime European oak continues popular for high quality joinery and mouldings; lower grade character oak has seen growth in other market sectors. Ash, maple and walnut are very much back in vogue in kitchens with good demand. Hardwood decking has performed well this season as a popular alternative to composite decking options.

Engineered timber for windows and doors in softwood, red hardwood and European oak is continuing to see good growth, with customers recognising the cost benefits.

Panel products have seen an improved position in the availability of MDF (medium density fibreboard) and OSB (oriented strand board) and pricing has stabilised. No further price increases are expected in 2018. P5 flooring chipboard supply has also improved in Q3 with further supply to come online in Q4. P2 furniture grade chipboard supply remains tight with the majority of supply coming from central European mills. Plywood supply is currently challenging with availability, quality and price all a concern.

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.