Thousands of wood flooring industry professionals came together in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for the 2023 Wood Flooring Expo where they learned about the products, installation tips and business best practices to take their businesses to the next level. 

“I don’t think any of us expected what the turnout was from attendance and the energy and everything else that came out of the show this year—it was needed,” said Brett Miller, VP technical standards, education and certification for NWFA. 

The Wood Floor of the Year Award winners were redesigned this year to include more experience levels and skillsets. 

“What I really loved about the awards this year, we got guys like Luis Perez and Jorge Perez—both young, up-and-comers coming into our industry who were given recognition for some of what they’ve done for our industry already,” Miller said. “For the organization and the industry to recognize the next generation coming in, it was great. And to give recognition to some of the veterans like Drew Kern with all that he’s given to our industry. It really was nice to see."

"The NWFA Expo was an invaluable experience for professionals worldwide to come together and share their expertise, knowledge, and passion for the industry," said Jesse Joyce of Middle Tennessee Lumber, this year's NWFA Expo Road King Sponsor said the Expo pro. "As both exhibitors and attendees, we were thrilled to see such a high level of engagement and enthusiasm, making it a truly memorable event. As always, the NWFA Expo is an essential opportunity for everyone in the industry to improve skills, stay up to date on the latest trends and innovations, and network with peers and experts in our field."

Brian Parker, VP of product management for AHF Products, reported that 3.25 inches is still the staple in solid wood with 5 inches being a customer preference in wide width. AHF brought the best-selling styles in engineered wood into the solid wood product offering by offering light, muted, on-trend colors that showcase the wood grain instead of the stain and a low-gloss finish. 

AFH Products VP Milton Goodwin said the engineered wood market is good, and in the higher-end segment, homeowners want thicker veneers that they can refinish. Technology is also helping bring good-looking, durable products to the masses. Two new engineered wood collections launched this year, Coastside and Seaboard, reflect the styles of the West and East Coasts.

“The person that's decorating a $300,000 house wants a beautiful floor just as the person that’s doing a $3-million house, and we can get them there by focusing on that end of it,” Goodwin added.

Next year’s NWFA Expo will be held April 16-18, 2024, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

“We’re still seeing the minimalist trend that came out of the Scandinavian countries since the pandemic—all those light colors,” said Sara Babinski, design manager, AHF Products. “But then have the maximalism trend that's coming up because people are kind of tired of this minimalism. They want some bright, they want some patterns, and they want some darker colors. I’m starting to see medium brown start to creep back in, like a saddle color, and lately we’ve had some requests for Cherry, which we haven’t seen in about six years.”

For more recent articles on NWFA, click here and videos on new hardwood flooring installation products here.