The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) Expo opened in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, bringing together all business types in the wood industry for the 37th year. 

"The outlook in 2023 is cautiously optimistic," said NWFA President and CEO Michal Martin. "Challenges such as supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, inflation, the housing market, and economic uncertainty remain." 

The conflict in Ukraine has impacted the wood flooring industry with nearly half of NWFA member companies experiencing supply disruptions of Russian Baltic Birch used for engineered flooring. Over the last year, suppliers had to adjust quickly by using domestically sourced alternatives like poplar cores or imported alternatives like eucalyptus,

"Ninety percent of our contractors say they've lost business to supply chain disruptions, long lead times, higher prices, and back orders," Martin said.

Other concerns include the political climate competition from non-wood flooring and government regulation.

"The price of building has risen tremendously and many find that they are over budgeted toward the end of any project," he said. "Therefore, the original real hardwood they had hoped to install may no longer be the case. Today, about half of our members report negative impacts from wood flooring, lookalike products."

In addition, the Wood Floor of the Year Award winners were announced: 

Best Circular/Curved Application
Ourada Designs in Nine Mile Falls, Washington

Best in Color/Finish & Textured Wood
Floor Master Company in Crystal Lake, Illinois

Best in Historic Restoration
RippnFinish in Gladstone, Missouri

Best in Marquetry/Inlay
Floor Master Company in Crystal Lake, Illinois

Best in Parquetry
Custom Floors Unlimited in Houston, Texas

Best Staircase
Walk on Wood in Winter Park, Florida

Manufacturer Spotlight
Peachey Hardwood Flooring in Reedsville, Pennsylvania

Best in Use of Technology/Member’s Choice
Czar Floors in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania