Overall, the wood and laminate flooring markets continue to increase their share of the floor coverings market as residential and commercial buyers’ preference for these durable and design-oriented products continues to grow. According to Catalina Research, the hardwood flooring market rose 5.9% in 2016, reaching $3.64 billion. Laminate flooring, which faces greater competition from low-cost imports, showed minimal gain last year, less than 1%, to reach $956 million.
Foreign competition, particularly from Asian countries, is generally seen as the biggest threat to laminate flooring producers, although new EPA formaldehyde emission regulations, more diligent monitoring of imported goods and continuing backlash from the 2015 60 Minutes’ expose of falsely labeled CARB-compliant imported flooring could lessen it. Competition from non-wood floor coverings, government regulations, the economy and U.S. political climate are also top concerns for 2018, according to the National Wood Flooring Assn.’s 2018 Industry Outlook survey. As a way to grow their business, NWFA says many companies are diversifying and customizing, including features such as wider and longer planks, distressing and rustic finishes.
Catalina’s survey also found domestic flooring manufacturers are re-shoring production and investing in efficient manufacturing equipment to help improve profit margins.
The global furniture and floor coverings market is projected to grow annual 5.3%, reaching $695 billion by 2019, according to Conlumino. By then, China will surpass the U.S. as the largest market, the research agency predicts.
Hardwood flooring imports hit $958.7 million in 2016, according to U.S. Department of Commerce figures. Exports were $77.8 million. Laminate flooring imports were $568.4 million.
An Ipsos survey of U.S. households ($100,000+ income) found 13.5% spent less than $500 on flooring, 6.5% spent $500-$1,000, and 5.4% spent more.
Market Data Sources: National Wood Flooring Assn. (NWFA), Floor Trends, Hardwood Floors, Ipsos, Statista, Catalina Research, Floor Covering Weekly, Floor Focus, U.S. Department of Commerce, Conlumino.
Category: Flooring: hardwood flooring, laminate/engineered flooring, plank, parquet