Best foot forward with anti-slip decking
The Office for National Statistics estimated in 2016 that, in England alone, the number of over-65s – the fastest-growing section of the population – would increase by over 20% in the next decade, and by over 60% in the next 25 years. Combine this with the extension of outside space for many pubs, clubs and public spaces and merchants have a big potential market when it comes to anti-slip, or ‘enhanced grip’, decking.
“With the increasing number of elderly people’s homes and day centres, and the commercial potential for serving the pub and restaurant trade, anti-slip decking is worth a try for merchants wishing to expand their offering. The market is definitely growing,” says Adam Pulfer, Marketing Director at Hoppings Softwood Products. “Hoppings offer our Q-Grip slip-resistant decking in two pre-stained colour options to match fashion trends.”
Many TTF members offer different types of anti-slip decking products, from those with aggregate inserts or strips, to concepts taking a completely opposite approach to reducing slips, trips and falls.
How best can merchants capture the wave and present the options to customers? Nigel McKillop, UK Sales Director at Metsä Wood, has one solution:
“With products like Metsä Wood’s WalkSure and Grassedeck, we have found that our customers like the small
hand-samples, similar to the ‘swatches’ used in the past, so that they understand the concept and the quality of the product better. We’ve seen a consistent base of business being built in the last few years, with exciting potential for further growth.
“Grassedeck was developed by Metsä Wood in conjunction with its original designer. It looks good in city gardens, bringing life and a vibrancy to certain areas. It’s good for areas that children walk over or play on, such as in nurseries and play areas. It’s also finding a market being used around pools and hot tubs. Slip-resist decking, like our WalkSure, is a high demand area. WalkSure is made with a rubber compound insert which bonds strongly with the timber. It’s softer to walk over, giving a cushioned feel, and, as bonus, reduces noise by deadening sound. With the expansion of elderly care homes and urban living, WalkSure could open new markets for merchants,” Nigel McKillop relates.
Fellow CTI member, the Timber Decking & Cladding Association has developed a quality mark to demonstrate responsibility in product testing, which echoes the central tenets of our #TimberYouCanTrust campaign.
Head of Operations at the TDCA, Janet Sycamore, outlines the scheme: “DeckMark® Plus is a quality and performance rating scheme for these type of boards. It identifies enhanced grip boards that have been independently tested for slip resistance to a UK Slip Resistance Group guidelines and British Standard BS 7976-3:2002+A1: 2013.”
So put your best foot forward and expand your offering to include slip-resistant decking from a TTF-member supplier.