SOURCE: Freedonia Group, Inc.

August 22, 2007 10:39 ET

U.S. Hard Surface Flooring Demand to Reach 11.9 Billion Square Feet in 2011

CLEVELAND, OH--(Marketwire - August 22, 2007) - U.S. demand for hard surface flooring is projected to advance 3.9 percent per annum to 11.9 billion square feet in 2011, valued at $13.5 billion. Growth will decelerate from the 2001 to 2006 period, mostly due to a significant contraction in residential construction, especially single-family housing. Hard surface flooring is expected to gain market share from carpets and rugs, an ongoing trend for the past decade. Demand will be driven by growing consumer preference for high-end products such as wood, laminates and ceramic tile, as well as increasing interest in natural and environmentally responsible products such as natural stone, engineered wood, linoleum, cork and bamboo. These and other trends, including market share and company profiles, are presented in "Hard Surface Flooring," a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

Laminate flooring will provide the best opportunities, with demand growing at an annual rate of 10.8 percent to 2.6 billion square feet in 2011. Introduced to the US in the early 1990s, laminate flooring quickly registered very strong growth. Demand will be supported by increased consumer awareness and familiarity with the product, as well as continuing product development by manufacturers to provide easier flooring installation, improved durability and realistic designs.

Vinyl flooring is expected to remain the leading hard surface floor covering, with 33 percent of the market in 2011. Vinyl benefits from its low price, wide selection range and versatility. However, vinyl is losing ground to laminates, ceramic tile and wood flooring as consumers move to higher-end flooring.

The nonresidential building market will see strong growth in both new construction as well as improvement and repair expenditures, leading to substantial increases in floor covering demand. The office and commercial building segment, which accounts for most nonresidential flooring demand, is expected to see 3.7 percent annual growth to 3.4 billion square feet in 2011, while the institutional building sector, which includes educational, health care and religious facilities, will enjoy annual growth of nearly six percent.

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