Demand Seen Increasing for H-P Laminate

Demand Seen Increasing for H-P Laminate

Cleveland, OH A "long-term demand for hot markets" like laminate flooring, coupled with a continued growth in kitchen and bathroom remodeling, will result in a steady increase in U.S. demand for decorative laminate over the next three years, a major new study has concluded.

The study, conducted by the Cleveland, OH-based research firm, The Freedonia Group, Inc., found that U.S. demand for decorative laminate "sensitive to overall economic trends and to the new construction and remodeling sectors of the economy" will advance nearly 5% per year, to 13.3 billion sq. ft., or a value of almost $5 billion, by the year 2003.

The most rapid growth, according to the company, will occur in the area of high-pressure laminate, due to the "strong" performance of laminate flooring as a rapidly emerging product category that is expected to post annual double-digit (15.8%) growth through 2003.

At the same time, The Freedonia Group reported "more mature" high-pressure laminate products such as kitchen and bath countertops will record "significantly lower" rates of growth (an expected 5.7% annually) over the same time span.

The company noted, however, that while high-pressure laminate will continue to record higher-than-average growth, the growth rate will, nevertheless, represent a slowdown from the strong construction industry recovery of the mid-1990s.

"Growth is also being impacted by the increasing trend toward using low-pressure laminates in a number of horizontal applications which were formerly almost the exclusive province of high-pressure laminates, due to the latter's higher scratch, dent and stain resistance," The Freedonia Group said.

The research firm added that low-pressure laminate will continue to account for the majority of total laminate demand, and that the kitchen/bath market will continue to represent the largest market segment for decorative laminates.