NuWood, a company marketing densified softwood flooring from New Zealand, has opened a 15,000ft² distribution base in Watford.

The NuWood product, which is based on radiata pine, has been on the market in Australasia and South-east Asia for a couple of years and has been test marketed in the UK for just over 12 months.

‘We’ve been showing it to retailers, wholesalers, developers and architects and are also having the timber evaluated by TRADA,’ said NuWood Venture Ltd’s chief executive Bruce Matheson.

He added that the company had already secured its first stockists – Elite in north London and Eastwood Timber in Southend. The product is also being used in three central London office developments, with a further 18,000ft² contract installation and a deal to supply flooring for two Boots stores in discussion.

NuWood was developed by the New Zealand Forest Research Institute. The raw timber is kilned and then pressure impregnated with a ‘cellulose-type’ solution derived from crops such as tapioca, barley and wheat, before re-kilning.

‘We call the process pouring wood into wood,’ said Mr Matheson. ‘The end result is a material that is 70% radiata and 30% cellulose which, in terms of performance characteristics, strength and resilience is a match for hardwood.’

He added that the timber is also through-stained during the process to resemble a wide range of hardwood species.

NuWood will hold 35,000m² of 19mm and 10mm thick unfinished flooring at Watford. It will be sold either as random lengths, or 180mm packs cut in the warehouse, selling at a trade price of £20-25/m².

In the longer term, NuWood may sell timber into the wider joinery sector – a number of firms have already tested it – and it will also consider licensing UK firms to use the densifying process.

NuWood is at Unit 2a, Otterspool Way, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD2 8LG. Tel: 0870 241 4364.