Additional InformationIn 2012 the wood flooring sector (solid wood, engineered wood and laminates), accounted for an estimated 16% value share of the total UK floorcoverings sector, estimated to be worth some £1.7 billion. Market value has risen marginally since the low of £281 million in 2011 however, it is still 26% lower than the peak of £385 million achieved in 2007.
Laminates, one of the most popular products in the DIY flooring sector, have seen a shift in focus from cut-price, bargain-basement products to still cost- effective but higher-quality products, and this has helped to offset some of the decline in DIY activity in recent years.
There are indications that the laminate market has now ‘stabilised’, with suppliers reporting a rise in sales for the first time in many years. In terms of value, laminate flooring accounts for an estimated 58% of the total wood floorcoverings mix, and the sector was worth around £166 million in 2012. This after a fall of 30% in value terms 2007-2011.
Solid and engineered woods, which outperformed laminate 2004-2011, also saw a more moderate rate of decline during and immediately post-recession – a fall of 16% 2007-2011. The market returned to growth in 2012, when it was worth an estimated £104 million. The performance of the solid and engineered woods market has been less volatile than the laminates market, partly due to the fact that this type of wood flooring has historically been popular in the mid to upper sectors of the market.
The market for accessories remained flat 2011-12 after experiencing double annual rates of decline 2007-2011 – albeit from a much lower base than either laminate or solid/engineered wood.
Imports dominate the UK wood floorcoverings market, with the value of imports reaching a seven-year peak in 2010, before falling again 2011-12. China remains the key source country, accounting for over half (53%) of imports, in value terms, in 2012.
The contract market for wood floorcoverings, which accounts for around 44% of the end-use application mix and has been less volatile than the domestic sector since the start of the downturn, recovered in 2012, and was estimated to be worth around £124 million. The domestic sector accounts for an estimated 56 value share of the total wood floorcoverings market, was thought to be worth £160 million in 2012.
In the short-medium term, growth which is heavily reliant on a recovery in the housing sector is likely to remain constrained, with market value rising by just 1% in 2013 to reach £286 million. Recovery for key commercial sectors is likely to be moderate, at best, into the short-medium term and will, to some extent, be offset by lower demand from key public sectors. Forecasts are that demand from the domestic sector will be positively influenced by a return to growth in the housing market, partly reflecting government incentives aimed at stimulating home buying and housing output.
The overall market is currently forecast to experience only 1-2% annual rates of growth between 2013-2016 when value is expected to reach around £305 million - still 21% below the pre-recession peak of £385 million recorded for 2007.
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