Wood Flooring Trends – The lowdown on the latest happenings in flooring

Posted by Rumin Mann
May 21st, 2010

floorCanada is one of the world’s six biggest producers of wood flooring strips, alongside China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil and Russia.  The major part of Canada’s wood flooring production comes from some one hundred businesses based mainly in Quebec (two-thirds) and Ontario (one-third).  Canada’s overall production in 2007 was approximately 400 million square feet of which 75% was exported (90% to the USA).

The Canadian industry has faced increased competition in recent years.  Emerging countries (especially China) are lower-cost producers who have quickly positioned themselves in the Canadian and American markets.  For example, Amercian imports from China went from $100 million in 2002 to over $1 billion in 2007.  China’s worldwide exports quadrupled between 2002 and 2006 to over $2 billion.  This trend significantly impacted Amercian flooring imports, which were assessed at $2.7 billion in 2007 as compared with $1.2 billion five years earlier.  A similar situation occured in the Canadian market when imports (Chinese and others) increased by 600% over the past decade.

Note that Chinese production, the main threat to North Amercian producers, in mainly (75%) destined for domestic use within China.  Engineered wood flooring, a product that sets the North Amercian industry apart from its rivals, is also undergoing tremendous growth.  It now represents over half of China’s production capacity, equal to 807 million sq. ft. (75 million m2).  This means that engineered wood flooring strips comprise a greater proportion of products imported from China.  The growth of China’s engineered flooring strip industry in attributed to the difficulty of procuring enough hardwood to make solid flooring strips. Of China’s exports, most goes to Europe (40%) followed by Canada (13%) and the United States (26%).

To read more about the North American Situation, Engineered Wood Flooring Strips (multi-ply), Wide Strips, Innovations in Finishing, the Green Revolution, Esthetic Trends in Raw Material, and Changes in Distribution Channels, please click here

Source: Woodworking – Vol 24, No 2, March/April 2010

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