The contract floorcoverings market was relatively static in the 2012-13 period, but there was steady growth in the following years, with particularly strong growth of 4% in 2015. After strong growth in 2015, the outcome in 2016 and 2017 was disappointing for the industry, but not perhaps unexpected given the Brexit vote, increasing inflation towards the end of the period, adverse currency movements affecting imports and relatively low wage increases. The contract sector currently accounts for around half of the total floorcoverings market.
The contract floorcovering market has changed significantly over the last decade, as architects, interior designers, contractors and so on have adapted to innovations in product design and technology introduced by manufacturers, by incorporating the ensuing wider range of products in their specifications. One of the main changes has been the move to a more integrated use of different types of flooring materials within a single installation, possibly combining carpeting with a vinyl product, although the use of different types of vinyl has also increased, especially LVT.
Individual product trends include, modular floorcoverings becoming more prominent in recent years and, although initially associated with carpet tiles and laminates, the trend has continued and has developed to include vinyl tiles, particularly luxury vinyl tiles, and linoleum tiles. Furthermore, contract vinyl has been at the forefront of product innovation, with the development of a wide range of products aimed at specific market sectors, including the increased specification of slip resistance and safety flooring in key end-use sectors, such as health, education and entertainment and leisure.
Going forward, modest growth rates look set to continue in the short term, with the market recovering slightly towards the end of the forecasting period. Growth in the contract sector is expected to be less than in the domestic sector, although prospects for the domestic sector also remain subdued. The contract sector is expected to be adversely affected by the lack of growth in the overall construction sector in 2018 and slow growth in the following, principally driven by the economic uncertainty relating to the Brexit negotiations.