Wood molding and trim demand is expected to grow 5.7 percent annually to $5.8 billion in 2020 due to sustained gains in new housing construction, according to a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

Strong gains in office and commercial construction spending and a recovery in institutional building construction activity will boost demand for wood molding and trim in the nonresidential market. However, wood faces competition from plastic and engineered wood as growing numbers of builders and homeowners specify these materials, owing to their superior performance properties and lower maintenance requirements.

Through 2020, plastic molding and trim demand is forecast to outpace the overall molding and trim market, rising 6.3 percent per year. Gains will be bolstered by sustained growth in residential construction, both new and replacement. Homeowners and contractors are expected to install more new, durable plastic molding and trim products.

“Contractors and remodelers are much more likely to adopt new products — such as plastic molding and trim — than homebuilders, who are more likely to specify wood,” said Freedonia analyst Nick Cunningham.

Rising residential building construction spending will also drive gains for engineered wood molding and trim, as will growing acceptance of the material’s performance properties. The new residential segment is expected to remain the leading outlet for engineered wood molding and trim, posting the fastest gains of any segment.

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