If you own a home or a building, then flooring must be a consideration. Not only does it need to be installed, but it must also be maintained. Because of this, there are certain floor industry trends that are expected to be seen in the coming years as consumers look for low-maintenance, highly affordable flooring options.
According to Markets and Markets, the flooring industry is expected to be worth over $331 billion by 2020.
In order to reach that level of revenue, each member of this industry will want to integrate these points of focus into their consumer outreach efforts as best they can. Changing flooring preferences, a desire for environmentally-friendly products, and new installation options are all part of how this industry can keep growing over the coming years.
Expect a Greater Demand for Authentic Flooring Products
- Consumers are beginning to see flooring more in terms of “luxury” than in terms of “necessity.” Because of this, you’re seeing trends where carpeting is becoming softer to walk upon. Wood flooring is becoming less polished. Even vinyl flooring is being given a luxury upgrade.
- Thanks to photograph technologies that can be integrated into vinyl flooring, it has become the fastest-growing segment of the industry in the past 24 months. Vinyl floors can be made to look like wooden floors and it can be difficult to tell the different between the two with just a casual look.
- According to Scott Humphrey, CEO of World Floor Covering Association, everybody is making carpeting that is green. Look for companies to increase recycling programs that can create carpeting from recycled nylon, polyester, and other fibers.
- Look for luxury items to be included, such as silk, more often as consumers look to add more environmentally friendly products to their home.
- Textures are also important to consumers. People might want a new floor in their home, for example, but want it to look old. Changes in hand-texturing for wooden floors are expected to keep expanding.
- Larger planks, multiple-sized planks, and darker stains are also trends that are expected to continue expanding for the flooring industry.
- Solid wood flooring, according to Global Industry Analysts, Inc, is the fastest growing segment with a 4.9% CAGR.
- According to New Home Source, a growing segment of the market is interested in reclaimed woods, which have been salvaged from older residential flooring or even from old barns.
- Bamboo popularity has been low because of shrinking issues, but as this type of flooring improves, look for its demand to improve as well because it is such a renewable resource.
- Tile is also becoming a popular flooring option and bigger tends to be better for the industry. Floor tile is even being used on walls and in outdoor applications, giving the flooring industry an opportunity to reach out to new markets.
- Planks and squares are expected to increase in popularity as well, even with carpeting, because it offers easier maintenance options for consumers. This also opens up an opportunity for the industry to generate revenues within the proactive maintenance category.
- According to the Freedonia Group, demand for hard surface flooring in the US is forecast to advance 6.1% per year to 11.3 billion square feet in 2019, valued at $16.7 billion.
In the next decade, as Millennials become more likely to be a homeowner, these preferences are expected to continue expanding. This is especially true when it comes to the environmentally-friendly flooring options that are desire. Even if a product doesn’t seem like it is “luxurious,” such as a vinyl floor, there is a point of emphasis within the industry to improve the overall quality of the product. Consumers are demanding authenticity, not just in sourcing, but also in appearance. When these needs can be met, the revenues generated can meet or exceed forecast expectations.
How Carpet Tiles Are Changing Everything
- According to Reesie Duncan of the Shaw Contract Group, the ease of installation, elimination of downtime in the workplace, and creative freedom offered by carpet tile has made it the number one flooring choice in the corporate sector.
- As reported by the BDC Network, with office layouts being defined less and less by walls and partitions, flooring can be used to delineate collaborative workspaces and add punches of color to raise the energy level of office workers.
- Schools are also looking at carpet tile as a viable flooring solution, especially in the K-12 sector. Because maintenance is a big factor for school spending, carpet tiles are a top option because they’re easier to clean. Just replace the tile if there’s a stain that doesn’t want to come out.
- Multinational corporations are also looking at the benefits of carpet tile because the cost of shipping them to a specific location is easier than other flooring options.
- Duncan also notes that carpet tile has allowed designed to mix-and-match patterns and colors in creative ways to create new looks without the difficulty of traditional carpeting insulation.
- Carpet tiles also offer a time-savings benefit as they can be installed right over many floor types, including tile or wood. They also don’t need any padding or glue for the installation process.
- Residential demand for carpet tiles is currently being seen with basements and 3-season rooms. As the quality of this flooring option continues to improve, especially with features like stain or UV resistance, contractors may see growth in this sector locally over the coming years.
- Carpet tiles also offer unique service opportunities for the flooring industry since according to Build Direct, a sub-floor needs to be clean and even for the best possible installation result.
- Secondary markets for carpet tiles is also a possibility for revenue generation. Carpet tiles may be mill drops or over-runs and provide a lower cost solution for homeowners that want this flooring option, but may not be able to purchase them on a first-run order.
When it comes to the commercial and industrial markets for the flooring industry, nothing has been as exciting as carpet tiles. Look for this trend to continue expanding as businesses see real-time benefits in using this flooring option. Not only does it save on their maintenance costs, but it saves on installation costs, is competitively priced with other flooring options, and it is still a way for the brand to show off its creative side. Watch for the residential sector to begin using carpet tiles as well as a way to give a unique look to a home as a way to expand revenues for the industry.
Why Luxury Vinyl Tile is Taking the Industry by Storm
- In the past, luxury vinyl tile was primarily used in the healthcare and education sectors because it is a no-wax solution. This makes it fairly easy to maintain.
- According to Dean Thompson, Executive Director of the Resilient Floor Covering Institute, resilient flooring comprised 13.8% of the market in 2003, but not it comprises 19% of the market. It is capturing some market shares from more high-cost, labor-intensive categories like ceramic and stone.
- New innovations in luxury vinyl tile gives the flooring industry more options since this material can now simulate grout lines, details that mimic natural stone, and even the tumbled edges of tile.
- The flooring products in this category which will garner the most attention in the next decade are those that keep sustainability as their primary overarching theme. Green ratings, LEED certification, and other factors will be considered more often – especially in the commercial consumers for this industry.
- Vinyl bio-based tiles are another potential revenue generator in the years to come for the flooring industry. Not only are there improvements with indoor air quality with this type of product, but they are rapidly renewable and come from locally sourced products.
- Also look for pre-testing options to expand as a revenue generation option for the flooring industry. This will allow installers to be able to test for slab moisture so the threat of blistering and peeling in the future can be reduced.
- Look for streamlined sales processes to be incorporated to shorten the sales funnel for customers, including in-home sample consultation and measurement estimates instead of square footage estimates.
For the luxury vinyl tile category, the goal is to produce a very durable floor that looks great, but is easy to maintain. Consumers are thinking more about long-term costs than ever before, which is why this flooring option is being embraced. To counter the loss of revenues from floor replacements that might arise, businesses can look to include various pre-testing options that promote greater long-term benefits. Supplying ongoing inspections of flooring to identify breaches or where cleaning solutions may be seeping underneath the floor may also be a revenue generation option. Times are changing, but with the right flooring options available, this is still an industry that can see sustainable revenue growth for some time to come.
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