Replacing your flooring can be expensive and time-consuming, depending on the type of covering. In addition to carpeting, consumers can choose from a wide variety of vinyl and laminate options. How can manufacturers ensure their products meet the demands of the market?

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 2022 Q1_CC Hardlines Flooring 

Market growth

The market for flooring is predicted to steadily grow over the next few years. It is estimated that by 2026, the market for modular flooring will be worth USD 72.5 billion.1 This is in comparison to estimates of USD 38.8 billion for traditional carpets and rugs.2

Infrastructure projects in developed and developing countries are responsible for a large percentage of this growth, especially in relation to hard-wearing vinyl flooring. This sector alone is expected to be worth USD 41, 578.7 million by 2028.3

However, this is not the whole picture. More and more people are undertaking DIY and home refurbishment projects. They want to create the ideal home. A home that reflects their style and personality, from soft furnishings to flooring.

Growth in the vinyl flooring sector is, in part, due to recent upgrades in the technology used to manufacture vinyl flooring. Luxury vinyl tiles (LVTs) can now be made to resemble a variety of materials – concrete, wood, metal, etc. They can be used to create several contemporary looks, and the technology even allows the embedding of LED lights into each tile.

Versatility has given consumers even greater scope to find the perfect floor.

What to look for in flooring?

Different flooring types have different properties. To choose the perfect flooring for their project, consumers need to consider the answers to a number of questions.

They need to consider:

  • What room is the flooring in? 
    Every room requires specific characteristics from its flooring. For example, a living room should be relaxing, entrances and corridors need to resist high traffic, kitchens must be easy to clean, and bathrooms have to be waterproof. While a nursery or children’s bedroom needs to be hard-wearing, with negligible impact on indoor air quality, an adult’s bedroom should reflect their personality while being soft and warm. Considering where the flooring will go is an important first step.
  • Installation
    In a new home, this may not be a problem but in an older home, the consumer will need to consider whether it can be put onto or over an existing flooring and what type of subfloor is required. They will also need to anticipate if the new flooring will result in a rise in floor height.
  • Use
    Consumers will need to consider children, pets' claws and whether they are constantly walking in and out from the garden with muddy boots before choosing a flooring. In high traffic areas subject to these forms of abuse, the flooring must be hard-wearing, scratch-resistant and easy to clean
  • What’s under your flooring? 
    Underfloor heating can have a major impact on flooring. Consumers must choose flooring with the right thermal dynamics to ensure strong temperature fluctuations or rapid temperature rises don’t lead to unsightly joint formations, permanent damage or condensation issues. In general, laminate and vinyl flooring are good with underfloor heating.
  • Personal taste
    Consumers may be looking for traditional materials, like parquet, but advancements in vinyl and laminate flooring mean this effect can be easily achieved but with the benefits of those materials.
  • Budget 
    Laminate and vinyl flooring options will often provide a traditional look but at a fragment of the cost of traditional materials. They can also be easier to install.

Testing creates trust

Whatever type of flooring a consumer chooses, they want to know it is safe, high quality and will perform as advertised. Manufacturers also need to consider conformity to relevant market standards.

In the European Union, this means compliance with the provisions in the Construction Products Regulation (EU) No. 305/2011. Before a product can be released onto the market, manufacturers are required to evaluate their products to ensure compliance with the provisions in this regulation. They are also advised to test against usage and performance criteria to ensure the product meets consumer requirements. 

Performance testing should cover reaction to fire, formaldehyde emissions, pentachlorophenol content, slip resistance, electrical resistance, thermal conductivity and watertightness. Usage criteria include assessments covering dimension (including squareness, flatness and straightness), residual indentation, dimensional stability, impact resistance, use classification, simulated movement under furniture legs, colorfastness to artificial light, seam strength, wear layer abrasion resistance, scratch resistance, locking strength, stain resistance, thickness swelling and surface soundness.

SGS solution

We offer a comprehensive range of testing and consultancy services to help manufacturers of flooring products successfully access target markets around the world. Our solutions cover emission evaluations, slip evaluations, resistance to detergents, scratch resistance and a variety of flexible usage tests to ensure products conform to market requirements. 

SGS is recognized as a notified body to ensure compliance with Regulation (EU) No. 305/2011 and can assist with the drafting of specification sheets, document reviews and the validation and verification of technical sheets, labels and notices.

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For more information, please contact:  

Damien Berthe
International Business Developer – Home Improvement & DIY
Connectivity and Products, Hardlines
t: +33 (0)6 44 17 57 47

References

1 Modular Flooring Market worth $72.5 billion by 2026 - Exclusive Report by MarketsandMarkets™ 
2 Global Carpets and Rugs Market to Reach $38.8 Billion by 2026
3 Vinyl Flooring Market is projected to total US$ 41,578.70 Mn by 2028