Wood was the most used product in the housing industry. Wood was used for pouring forms for the footers in housing. Wood was used for wall framing, floor and roof underlayment. But wood, has competition from metals and synthetics now being used for siding underlayment and roof underlayment. Particle board, a glue and wood chip amalgam, has replaced the costly plywood sheets used for floor underlayment.
Wood has inherent disadvantages. It is combustible, it absorbs moisture, and loses its straightness. Metal products are arrow straight and will not warp or add fuel to a house fire. Wood used in cabinetry and furniture also is not as easy to clean as a metal or synthetic surface. This quality makes metal and synthetic items a better choice in the construction of cabinetry on boats, where weight and easy maintenance are critical.
Many American home owners have a love affair with wood, but, sadly, for all the wrong reasons. Wood is admired for its soft patina but today's metals are available from mirror bright to matte. Wood has a limited color wheel whereas metals can be had in everything from the blackest of blacks to shiny, easy to clean, white and a myriad of colors in between.
As wood continues to rise in price, the metal and synthetic materials will replace the use of wood in the kitchen and elsewhere in the home.