Opinions were mixed on the health of residential sales and largely positive about commercial sales, according to a new survey of World Floor Covering Association members. The portion of members who said their residential business was down from one year ago-about 40 percent- was equally to those reporting an up tick in the segment. On the commercial side, however, 46 percent of those polled said that sales were up while 29 percent noted that sales were flat. Eighteen percent reported a drop in their commercial sales.

The just-released quarter-to-quarter comparison is the first of a number of such surveys planned by the WFCA. The trade group’s president and ceo D. Christopher Davis, said the information offers an important snapshot of the industry’s health and serves as a valuable benchmark for members.

“We feel it important our members know how they are doing in comparison with the entire marketplace,” he said. “As expected, results varied significantly from region to region. Where the local economy is strong, so are flooring sales. And, unfortunately, where local economies are weak, floor coverings sales are, too.”

Additionally, while hard surface categories have posted gains in recent years, the survey confirmed the continued dominance of broadloom carpet. About 65 percent of respondents described the category as their top category in sales volume. A distant second was hardwood, which was the top seller for 17 percent of those polled.

The survey included a cross-section of retailers from all regions and was conducted by the Bowe Co. of Seattle. The WFCA, which is based in Anaheim, Calif., is making the complete results available to its more than 3,000 member firms. For more information, visit www.wfca.org.