Flooring Wood Panels To See Strong Recovery

Demand for wood panels used in flooring applications is forecast to increase 1.1 per cent annually through 2024 to 9.3 million square feet, as measured on a ⅜-inch basis despite a significant drop in 2020 due to declines in new homebuilding activity and a heavy drop in commercial construction spending amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, demand is expected to rebound in 2021 and continue to expand through 2024, driven by a rebound in new single-family home construction, rising spending on home renovation projects, and rising consumer preferences for engineered wood flooring over competing products like carpet and natural wood. Subflooring accounted for 85 per cent of wood panels used in flooring applications in 2019 and will provide the majority of demand growth through 2024, driven by rising spending on home renovations such as flooring replacement or more extensive projects like room additions. Shifts in flooring preferences will also support gains as the increasing popularity of high-quality, hard surface flooring products will lead to greater use of multilayer flooring and, therefore, to demand for the wood panels used as substrates in some of these products. Finish flooring is among the fastest growing applications for wood panel products, despite the declining popularity of laminates, due largely to quick gains in demand for engineered wood floors. Consumers increasingly prefer hard surface flooring throughout their home and engineered wood floors offer a favourable wood aesthetic at a lesser cost than natural wood, as well as performance advantages.