Feedback from NWFA 2019 – By Steven Suntup

by Madelein
Feedback from NWFA 2019 – By Steven Suntup

“Make Your Mark” was the theme of the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) Wood Flooring Expo which was held from 1-3 May in Fort Worth, Texas. And that is just what the show’s exhibitors set out to do. Hailed as the only show in the world dedicated exclusively to wood flooring, the trade show floor was packed with about 300 booths promoting all the latest wood flooring products, services and tools.

The show featured a wide variety of beautiful real wood floors (no vinyl or look-alike products here) from manufacturers all over the world. If you are in the market for flooring product made from real wood, you would most definitely find it at the NWFA Expo, all under one roof.

Scheller Hardwood Floors, Inc. showcased hardwood floors with music patterns printed on the surface.

Size matters
Strip flooring measuring less than three inches (7.62cm) in width was well-represented on the show floor. This size is the traditional US wood flooring format, but even more popular with US consumers today is plank flooring measuring 3 inches (7.62cm) and wider. Currently, more than half of US wood flooring sales is for plank flooring and as plank flooring continues to gain favour, boards are getting even wider. There were numerous examples of board widths exceeding 12 inches (30.48cm) and a few booths even displayed samples exceeding 18 inches (45.72cm). It seems that manufacturers are pushing the boundaries to see exactly what wood flooring is capable of thanks to increased consumer demand.

More than half of US wood flooring sales is for plank flooring. In this picture, Saulnier showcases a dark wood in the popular plank format.

Oak still dominates the industry
While a wide variety of wood species were on display, oak continues to dominate the US market. Oak represents more than 60 percent of sales in the US, primarily due to its great availability and durability. What has changed, however, is the preference for emphasising more of the natural characteristics of the wood, regardless of the species. Where US consumers have favoured very clear grains in the past, the current preference is towards including the natural features of the species such as knots, mineral streaks and colour variations.

Finishes and colour
Also trending in the US is a shift towards grey stains and finishes. Natural browns are still very popular, but the demand for grey tones in the past few years has resulted in a hybrid colour evolution that combines the natural browns with soft grey tones. It is a trend that provides a modern twist on a traditional look.

Beckwith’s beautiful square-patterned floors shows how a unique look can be achieved by combining different wood species.

A wide variety of finishes is available in the US as well, but matte and low-gloss options are most popular. Light texturing that achieves a slightly antiqued look is also trendy at the moment.

If you are looking to expand into the US market, the NWFA Wood Flooring Expo is the place to do it. The 2020 Expo will be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from 28-30 April.

Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to www.nwfa.org for the information contained in this article.

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