Soft covering flooring constitutes carpet tiles, broadloom, and rugs, which are equipped with dust-binding characteristics. Soft covering floors can offer and comfort along with noise reduction and heat insulation. These flooring solutions form a protective layer for the floors to upgrade the look of office or home decor, rugs, and carpet tiles.
The soft covering flooring market can be segmented based on product type, material type, application, and region. In terms of product type, the market can be segregated into carpet tiles, broadloom carpet, and area rugs. The carpet tiles segment dominates the market. Based on material type, the market can be segmented into vinyl, rubber and renewable sources such as linoleum. The application segment includes broadly residential and commercial floor constructions.
Increased consumer spending on aesthetic improvements to their homes or office spaces, and the rise in demand for premium carpets and rugs have boosted the soft covering flooring market. However, the carpet segment is anticipated to face strong competition from popular hard surface floors for residential and commercial applications.
Research and development activities and technological advancements in the manufacturing of floor covering are likely to present opportunities for the soft covering flooring market. Increasing awareness about the benefits of using eco-friendly materials in floor covering manufacturing can be profitably exploited by key vendors in the industry. Developed markets such as the U.S. witnessed significant demand for carpets and rugs.
Disposal of floor waste such as used rugs etc is anticipated to be a key concern in recent times. The soft covering flooring industry is expanding at a considerable pace; however, used carpets, rugs, and broadlooms create extensive waste. Lack of suitable or proper waste-disposal solutions is expected to attract criticism from environmentalists as well as regulatory bodies, which in turn is anticipated to hamper the market.
In terms of region, North America dominated the soft covering flooring market in terms of demand and revenue, closely followed by Asia Pacific in 2016. North America accounted for more than 35% share of the market due to development of environment-friendly and sustainable carpets by manufacturers in the regions. This, in turn, has boosted the demand for such flooring solutions, particularly in the U.S. The market in developing countries such as India and China is anticipated to expand rapidly over the next six years. This growth can be ascribed to the increased spending in renovation and home improvement activities in these countries.
Companies are increasingly concentrating on partnerships and acquisitions to expand their reach in the global markets and increase their revenue share. For example, the Dixie Group acquired Atlas Carpet Mill in 2014, and the acquisition of Floors N More LLC by ALJ Regional Holdings on April 16, 2014; and the takeover of Desso by Tarkett in 2015.