Despite increased publicity of these products on home improvement/flipping shows, sales for wood and laminate flooring both dropped in 2018. According to Catalina Research, the hardwood flooring market dipped 3.7% in 2018, to $3.52 billion. Laminate flooring, which faces greater competition from low-cost imports as well as LVT (luxury vinyl tile) and WPC (wood plastic composite), dropped 6.7% to $922 million.
The generally positive remodeling outlook should help domestic sales; more than three-quarters of laminate flooring and about half of the hardwood flooring sales in 2018 were to the residential remodeling market. Further advances for laminate flooring may come through material and technology advances, including digital printing and water-resistant products. Laminate flooring may also benefit from the diligent monitoring of imported goods to ensure they meet emission regulations. Of the roughly $11.6 billion floor coverings imported into the United States in 2018, hardwood flooring accounted for slightly less than $1.5 billion and laminate flooring for about $614.0 million, according to estimates from the U.S. Department of Commerce and Catalina Research.
Statista projects revenue in the estimated $27.011 billion U.S. floor covering market to grow annually by 0.5% (2019-2023). Revenue in the $3.153 billion Canadian market is also expected to grow annually by 1.4% during the same period. Likewise, Statista projects the $2.127 billion Mexican flooring market to grow annually by 6.6% (CAGR 2019-2023). (Revenue in USD)
In 2018, Canada exported $441.4 million in wood flooring and other millwork (NAICS 321919) and imported $352.7 million, according to figures from Statistics Canada.
In the National Wood Flooring Assn.’s 2020 Industry Outlook survey, more than 64% of manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and contractors forecast an increase in wood flooring demand, with about half predicting a rise between 3-7%, and 14% projecting growth of more than 8%. Nearly a quarter of respondents, however, were pessimistic about 2020. Published in Hardwood Floors magazine.
What’s trending in wood flooring? According to NWFA’s 2020 Industry Outlook survey, it’s wider, longer planks in light colors. White oak continues to be the go-to-species, in part due to its availability. Textures are still in demand, although the survey predicted a decrease in hand-scraped finishes due to their difficulty for cleaning. Gray, natural and other light colors continue to be popular.
The U.S. hardwood flooring industry employs 45,000 people, contributes $4 billion to U.S. gross domestic product, and generates $8.5 billion in U.S. economic output, according to a recent Economic Impact Study commissioned by the Hardwood Federation.
With their ability to mimic the look of real wood, LVT and WPC were named the biggest threats to wood flooring by contractors in NWFA’s 2020 Industry Outlook survey.
Market Data Sources: National Wood Flooring Assn. (NWFA), Hardwood Floors magazine, Catalina Research, Floor Covering Weekly, U.S. Department of Commerce, Conlumino/Global Data, Statistics Canada, Hardwood Federation, North American Laminate Flooring Assn., Statista.
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