Resilient Flooring Sees Growth but Challenges Ahead

By Bill Blackstock

Anyone working in the flooring industry has observed the tremendous growth of resilient products. In recent years, major innovations and ever-improving value propositions have propelled the category to the largest in flooring, according to some organizations that study market share.

Resilient growth has occurred in almost all segments of the residential and commercial sectors, including single-family and multi-family homes, office, healthcare, education, hospitality, public spaces and more. And for good reason. Resilient flooring offers many benefits: durability; an incredible array of designs and configurations; favourable moisture characteristics; easy installation, cleanability and maintainenance; and improved indoor air quality (IAQ), as addressed by FloorScore’s IAQ certification standard.

In the residential market, the use of resilient flooring spans nearly every level of housing, from small bungalows to multi-million dollar abodes to highrise condos. With housing affordability a major concern, especially with the rapid rise in interest rates, resilient flooring offers the realistic look of more expensive options at a lower price.

For those who engage the resilient sector, one word that immediately comes to mind is innovation. The investment in breakthroughs in this category has been massive and continuous, with a steady stream of high-tech, style-focused products entering the market in recent years.

In addition to investments in innovation, manufacturers have been busy building new resilient plants in North America, on top of the ones already in place. Well over 10 new plants have been constructed in the last five years and more are expected in 2024. Additionally, significant investments have been made globally in manufacturing and supply chain infrastructure.

Reports project the global resilient flooring market will reach $86.4 billion US by 2030. However, this growth will not be without its challenges. Economic conditions have softened, as governments combatted inflation. The first half of 2024 will likely continue to offer some headwinds for the residential and commercial sectors.

Looking deeply into single-family data from the last several years, there has been significant unit shortfall. When tailwinds return (likely linked to a downward movement in interest rates), this unit shortfall will be a key factor.

Renovation was very significant during the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly from 2020-2022, as people increasingly worked from home. Due to the many benefits of resilient flooring, category growth excelled during this time. Some models show substantial renovations in residential areas will occur again in 2025. An additional consideration is many homeowners are sitting tight on their low-interest loans. Such a stance can also trigger investments in renovation.

Covid-19 also impacted the office market with the emergence of hybrid working arrangements. As the final hybrid definitions materialize, this sector will likely continue to face some headwinds this year. However, growth is expected in 2025. One thing to keep in mind is most of the spend in the office sector is on renovation. This factor, coupled with resilient flooring’s significant growth in market share in the commercial market, will be something to watch.

As for institutional markets in the commercial sector, they should be steady throughout 2024. Indeed, these markets are key to any supplier of building products.

Bill Blackstock is president and CEO of the Resilient Floor Covering Institute, an industry trade association of resilient flooring manufacturers and suppliers of raw materials, additives and sundry flooring products for the North American market.

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