According to the National Wood Flooring Association’s (NWFA) 2019 Industry Outlook survey, white oak will continue to be the “go-to species”, in part due to its availability. Also popular are wide-plank, long boards, engineered flooring and low-gloss finishes. Grey and other light colours continue to be popular.
LVT and laminate flooring were named the biggest threats to wood flooring by contractors in NWFA’s 2019 Industry Outlook survey thanks to their ability to mimic the look of real wood.
2019 wood flooring market statistics
Move to waterproof products
According to the 2019 Market Report on the Wood and Laminate Flooring Industry by NWFA and Catalina Research, wood and laminate flooring manufacturers have introduced new products and expanded some existing product lines to improve the water-resistant quality of their flooring. Manufacturers made these improvements to better compete with innovative luxury vinyl tile. In the wood sector, manufacturers upgraded their core technologies to improve their water resistance. Most of the improvements have been in hybrid technology.
NWFA and Catalina Research’s report shows that wood and laminate flooring sales are forecast to remain sluggish over the next five years despite manufacturers’ efforts to make products more water resistant. This will allow wood and laminate flooring to better combat increased competition from innovative rigid-core luxury vinyl tile. However, new LVT product introductions remain at relative high levels, which will keep competition intense from new LVT products.
Top 5 wood-stain colour trends
Debbie Gartner, a flooring consultant in the New York Westchester area, says that they always test three to four stain colours on each client’s floor as stain colours vary on different floors. She advises clients to pick a stain colour that they are comfortable with and matches their interior décor if they are planning to stay in their homes for a long time. If they are planning on selling, then it is better to go with what is the most popular at the time.
1. The darker, the better
“That said, there are a few trends that I’m seeing. If you haven’t seen some of these trends in your market place yet, you probably will soon. First, by far the most popular stain colours are the dark colours. The darker, the better and most people they love it. I see this with many higher-end customers in particular in the very stylish and trendy homes,” says Debbie.
Jacobean is the second darkest stain, with ebony being the darkest. Jacobean has a slightly darker tone, which contrasts well with white kitchen cabinets. Dark walnut is a bit lighter but is still grouped with the dark stains.
2. Neutral stains
Neutral is the second most popular wood stain colour. “Neutral is light, airy, casual and timeless. It can also give you a contemporary look and works with almost all styles. Natural is very easy to clean and maintain and tends to last longer. It also usually costs a little bit less than putting a stain on the floor,” says Debbie.
3. Browns and golds
There is a strong preference towards browns and golds, with more clients moving away from red tones.
“Different people have different preferences in terms of how dark or light they like the floor, but most people really do prefer the browner tones in their homes rather than red undertones. Brown tones are much easier to decorate with and if the client has different wood furniture, it is less likely to clash,” says Debbie.
“Grey is in! It’s everywhere. Over the last year, I’ve received so many requests to sand and refinish existing floors with a grey colour. It really looks cool and hip and is very chic and stylish,” says Debbie.
Grey wood stains are a bit more expensive and need to be applied with a water-based polyurethane stain.
Debbie says that whitewash is making a comeback. “This is a trend that started in New York City and I believe the Hamptons as well. It really works if you have very contemporary looking home with contemporary furniture. It also costs a little bit more to do,” says Debbie.
All images courtesy of NWFA.
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