Global Laminate Flooring

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Flooring

This study analyzes the global market for laminate flooring by region and market (new and improvement and repair residential, and new and improvement and repair nonresidential). Data for laminate flooring is at the finished flooring level. This report also discusses and quantifies trends in the types of decorative laminates used to make flooring (low-pressure and high-pressure).

Laminate flooring consists of:

  • top wear layers – typically made from melamine embedded with aluminum oxide crystals to provide wear and stain resistance
  • a decorative print layer made of resin-impregnated kraft paper or similar material, on which are printed designs or patterns
  • an inner core of high-density fiberboard or plastic that provides stability and resistance to damage caused by impacts and wear
  • a backing layer – generally sheets of melamine-impregnated plastic – to provide enhanced moisture resistance and dimensional stability

These materials are bonded to each other to create flooring sturdy enough to withstand foot traffic and other forms of wear while resembling hardwood flooring.

Decorative laminates are materials that act as a decorative surface layer on laminate flooring. Decorative laminates include the following products:

  • low-pressure laminates, based on the following materials:
    • low-basis weight papers
    • saturated papers
    • plastic films (vinyl, polyester, and polypropylene)
    • decorative foils
  • high-pressure laminates (standard laminate sheets and compact laminates)

High-pressure laminate flooring is made by fusing multiple layers of kraft paper saturated with phenolic resins. These papers – which are processed at higher pressures than can be safely done with melamine-impregnated papers – form wear layers with enhanced aesthetics as well as superior impact, scratch, and moisture resistance.

Edgebanding is excluded from the scope of this report.

Historical data (2009, 2014, and 2019) and forecasts for 2024 and 2029 are presented for laminate flooring demand in square meters and current US dollars (including inflation). Data for decorative laminates used in flooring is also presented in square meters and current US dollars.

Several assumptions have been made during the production of this study in order to ease understanding of market trends or to facilitate comparisons:

  • Some decorative laminates are produced and sold in roll form to manufacturers, who then bond the laminate to a rigid substrate as part of the manufacturing process.
  • In the case of some decorative laminates, such as saturated papers, the laminates may be bonded to a substrate by the laminates producer and not by the customer due to the expense inherent in purchasing and operating the necessary machinery.

So as not to skew the results (since some laminates are sold already bonded to a substrate and are therefore more expensive), all data for laminates in this report are measured at the unbonded level, even if they are sold in a final bonded product. Pricing and other related data are also at this level.

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