Citing declining demand for residential vinyl flooring in Europe, Armstrong World Industries has announced that it is closing its manufacturing plant at Stockton-on-Tees, Teesside, UK. The plant manufactures residential cushion vinyl flooring, and employs 163 people.

The close of the plant will end Armstrong's residential flooring business in Europe, according to the company.

“The decision to exit the residential flooring business in Europe and the proposal to close our plant at Teesside were not taken lightly. A review of potential options for the location and employees, including a sale, has been and continues to be conducted. Unfortunately, to date we have not found a workable alternative,” said Frank J. Ready, exec. vp, Armstrong World Industries, and ceo of Armstrong Floor Products Worldwide.

“The withdrawal from the European residential business is considered to be necessary for Armstrong to focus on the commercial flooring business and those markets where we have leading positions in order to build a sustainable and profitable business,” Ready added.

Armstrong Building Products (Ceilings) and Armstrong’s Commercial Flooring business are not impacted by this measure and will continue their activities in Europe

Ready noted that the closure of the plant will have no impact on U.S. operations. “We invested $25 million last year in our Lancaster, Pa., sheet vinyl plant to produce glass-backed residential flooring.  Previously, we had sourced this product from Lancaster,” he said.