Seventy-six per cent of retailers surveyed are now selling laminate floor products, compared to 69 percent in 2003. Retailers committing resources to the laminate floor segment are seeing increased monthly sales averaging 11.61 per store -- an increase of 4.61 sales per store compared to our 2003 study. (chart 1)
And, with more laminate products hitting the market, 81 percent of our survey group considers the segment a profitable flooring alternative compared to ceramic, stone, wood, and vinyl floor covering products.
Click-system laminate products continue to gain greater market share. Glueless laminate floor products now account for 90 percent of the market -- a 10 percent increase from the 2003 study. This is a dramatic change since our first study in 2001, in which glueless laminates had a 39 percent market share.
Our retailer/contractor panel expects the product mix to change in the next 18 months with carpet falling to 44 percent on average, ceramic tile dipping to 13 percent, hardwood jumping to 15 percent, laminates moving up to 12 percent, sheet vinyl dropping to 10 percent, stone tile steady at 2 percent, and vinyl tile even at 4 percent on average.
According to the survey panel, an average of 43 percent of customers entering the store with a particular laminate floor product in mind purchase a different floor covering type based on the dealer's recommendation.
Despite the popularity of laminate flooring, consumers sometimes complain about laminate floors they have purchased, according to our retailer panel. Leading their list of concerns are noise/sound, followed by scratching/durability and then water damage and maintenance. It is important to note, however, that an overwhelming majority of our survey panel indicates that customers respond "positively" when discussing laminate floor coverings.
A copy of the complete 2004 Laminate Flooring Market Study is available for $225 each or $195 for multiple copies.
The 2004 Laminate Flooring Market Study is based upon responses from a representative cross-section of flooring retailers and contractors. A sample of 2,000 active, qualified floor covering dealers/contractors was selected on an Nth name basis from the domestic circulation list of NFT subscribers for the study. The study had a 20 percent response.
Topics addressed include: the number of laminate floor sales per month per store; types of flooring sold currently and projected in 18 months; percentage of floor space devoted to laminate floor products; frequency dealers recommend laminate flooring; customers' response to laminate flooring; customer perceptions of laminate characteristics; top selling laminate brand; ranking of 12 different attributes that affect dealers' decision to sell/promote a particular laminate floor brand/manufacturer; issues that currently impact dealers' laminate flooring business; biggest challenges facing laminate manufacturers; and more.