US demand for hard surface flooring is forecast to rise 7.2 percent per year to 9.2 billion square feet in 2015, valued at $11.0 billion. This pace represents a dramatic turnaround from the 2005-2010 period. Advances will be driven by a recovery in improvement and repair expenditures and a rebound in new building construction from a depressed 2010 base. Also contributing to gains will be increased use of hard surface flooring instead of carpeting. These and other trends are presented in Hard Surface Flooring, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

The nonresidential market is forecast to account for the most rapid advances in hard surface flooring demand through 2015. Growth will be driven by the expected rebound in spending on construction of office and commercial buildings and institutional buildings, the two largest markets for hard surface flooring. Rising improvement and repair spending from its low 2010 base will also support hard surface flooring demand in these markets. In the residential market, demand will be spurred by rising housing completions and improvement and repair spending. Many homeowners also opt for hard surface flooring because it is seen as being more durable and aesthetically pleasing than carpet. Rebounding motor vehicle and rising recreational boat and vehicle, aircraft and train shipments will support demand in the transportation market.

Tile and laminate flooring are projected to see the most rapid demand gains through 2015. Tile flooring demand will be supported by its favorable performance properties, such as durability and slip resistance. Laminate growth will be spurred by the rebound in residential building construction, the market where laminate flooring is most often used. Advances will also be supported by the efforts of manufacturers to create products with more realistic finishes and textures. Vinyl flooring will continue to account for the majority of hard surface flooring demand because of its low cost, durability and minimal maintenance requirements. However, vinyl flooring will see below-average growth through 2015 due to competition from other hard surface flooring materials, such as laminates and tile, that are seen as more attractive.

Hard Surface Flooring (published 07/2011, 298 pages) is available for $4900 from The Freedonia Group, Inc., 767 Beta Drive, Cleveland, OH 44143-2326.

SOURCE: The Freedonia Group Inc.

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