hardboard masonite panels

Hardboard Masonite Panels and their Industrial Uses

Hardboard Masonite panels are a specific and surprisingly versatile type of wood-based composite panel. It’s strength and durability make it an excellent product for a wide variety of applications.

Commonly known as “Masonite” (a brand name derived from the panel’s inventor and the company he started), hardboard is a thin, strong board made from wood fiber derivates like chips. It is often confused with MDF or cement fiberboard, but it is not the same thing. It can be unfinished – standard hardboard, or tempered hardboard, a process that adds a minuscule amount of oil as a finishing agent that makes it stronger and less prone to warping. Compared to other panels like plywood or OSB, it is only made as a thinner product but can be just as strong as a thicker panel.

Uses for Hardboard

Manufacturers use hardboard masonite panels in a huge range of ways. Pallets, crates, and other packaging companies use it as lightweight tops, slip sheets or dunnage. Furniture manufacturers use it for cabinets, drawers, shelves, and backing for mirrors and pictures, among other things. Beyond manufacturing, you will find hardboard in use by farmers for barn flooring and bedding and artists use hardboard as a painting substrate.  Hardboard’s ability to resist damage and withstand cutting, routing, shaping, and drilling allow for near 100% usage of the panel. And one fact that not many people know is that B Grade hardboard, while much less expensive, can feature only minor defects, making it nearly as usable as premium grades!

Hardboard’s unique qualities make it an ideal option as a panel substrate for hundreds of different products. Turns out that old coach’s clipboard (made from hardboard!) is more useful than you think.

Looking for a Panel Supplier for your small to midsized store? Contact us for further information.

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About Masonite on Wikipedia.

lumber sales how small stores compete

Lumber Sales: How Small Building Materials Stores Compete

If you drive across North America and start counting big-box building materials stores like Home Depot and Lowes, you might be amazed at just how many there are. That can be a daunting situation for smaller hardware stores from a competitive standpoint. But those smaller, local stores can often provide wood products the big guys can’t. Besides having the advantage of location, small to midsize building materials stores compete in lumber sales by building relationships, offering added value products, and in-house expertise. 

Knowing Your Customers

One of the greatest advantages of buying lumber at a smaller retailer is the capacity to build a relationship with the store employees. Knowing your customers and their needs is key. A local builder might come in wanting a large quantity of 2×4 lumber, and another industrial company might need low-grade lumber to use as pallet wood material. Stocking a wide range of products that some of the bigger stores don’t carry is essential to building customer loyalty.

Offering Discounted Off-Grade Lumber

Smaller stores have the flexibility to provide value-added services or products. One way to do this is by offering a discounted, off-grade lumber product that satisfies the needs of your DIY, industrial, shed/garage builders, and certain remodelers.  These wood supply products can offer much higher returns to the store, which reduces the need to operate solely based on gigantic volume and inventory levels. 

Adding Value

Finally, in-house expertise sets a store apart from its competition. Make the purchasing process as easy and seamless as possible, and help your customers understand the value of low-grade dimensional lumber or B Grade building materials. It will save them money and get you a customer for life. 

By focusing on what the big box stores cannot and giving the best customer service possible, small to midsized hardware stores can stand out above the big guys…even if they are just down the street. There is no shortage of opportunities to provide unique lumber and other materials to an appreciative customer base and increase your competitive edge. 

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Lumber on Wikipedia

B Grade Commercial Roofing

B Grade Commercial Roofing Options for Retailers

Discount B Grade Commercial Roofing products show valuable returns.

Commercial roofs and residential roofs are quite different, but they have a number of similarities. One of the most significant things they share is that repairs can be very expensive. It is crucial that the company building or repairing a roof understands the products needed.

Commercial roofs are more difficult to design and install. Roofers need to consider things like industrial equipment, large smokestacks, HVAC system control units, and a much larger area to cover. B Grade commercial roofing products can be used for many commercial roofs, but are almost exclusively used on flat roofs where a warranty is not required.  

The key difference between A Grade and B Grade asphalt roofing (also known as bitumen rolls, or torch down roll roofing), is that B Grade products are sold without a warranty. The cost of B Grade roll roofing can be a major advantage to a roofing installer as long as they are able to work around the defects that resulted in downgrading the product. B Grade defects include rolls being made too long or too short, undersaturation, or the product being too thick or too thin.  

Retail roofing supply vendors are smart to carry some amount of B Grade commercial roofing products, as there are often surprise opportunities to capitalize on the cost savings. In addition to carrying asphalt rolled roofing, stores should stock commercial roofing adhesive, base and cap materials, roll on roof sealant, and other roofing accessory products that could be utilized by their customers.

Many people think the risk of buying products without a warranty is not worth it, but for the right application, B Grade roll roofing can be a great option. For a significantly reduced cost, it might worth checking it out! 

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More on Roll Roofing from Wikipedia

Buying Wholesale Building Materials Online

Buying Wholesale Building Materials Online

It’s no secret that everything under the sun lives behind a screen these days. It’s been just under 30 years since online shopping first became possible. Travel agents and airlines led the way, and the first consumable product sold online was Sting’s album “Ten Summoners Tales”. Buying goods online has come a long way since those days. Ok, maybe it’s no big deal to buy a pair of jeans or your favorite sunglasses online and have it shipped to your house. But online building materials? Really? Yes, really! Buying wholesale building materials online is a viable way to purchase.

The growth of internet technologies has evolved the way busy purchasing agents do their jobs.

Traditionally, manufacturers, contractors, builders, and retailers had to find a wholesale building materials dealer (or be found by one) and create a relationship with a salesperson to be able to capitalize on the best available deals. However, in a climate of shrinking margins and intense competition, sellers, wholesale dealers, and buyers alike have to find more efficient ways to transact business. And computers are all about efficiency. 

That doesn’t mean that relationship sales are dead. Not by any stretch. Selling building materials online gives the parties involved another tool with which to communicate – and gives dealers a wider range of options at better prices to offer their customers. The internet will never take the place of people – but the smartest and savviest companies are expanding those relationships by creating a path for customers to order online.  

The best online sellers understand that customers need assurance that what they are buying is what they want.

It’s a pretty new thing to buy lumber online! That’s where communication technologies like chat and email come into play. Your salesperson is still there – you just have a lot more ways to reach them to get your questions answered before you click the buy button.

Online sales of building supplies are here to stay. It’s a growing trend in all industries and many wholesale companies are embracing it, while still maintaining those longstanding customer relationships. In a competitive world, the ones who don’t evolve get left behind. So take a peek at that screen – you never know what deals you might find! 

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