The Top 250 Design Survey - October 2010

By Darius Helm

While 2009 was the toughest year in recent memory for the design community, thanks to the recession and the credit crisis, this year has shown some uneven signs of stability, though it’s too early to start talking about any meaningful growth. However, designers report that one of the hardest hit segments, corporate, has seen an uptick in activity, and that’s good news.

Earlier this year, signs were pointing to a recovery, with many economic barometers trending in the right direction. A&D firms had stopped letting designers go and some were even rehiring. There were reports here and there of credit loosening, and projects on hold for the last couple of years finally getting going again.

However, while there are still indications that the economy is moving in the right direction, the general consensus among economic experts seems to be that a recovery will take longer than anticipated. At best, progress is expected to be uneven, and 2011 is unlikely to be the golden year the economy surges forward, everybody makes money, and the economic woes are visible only through the rearview mirror. 

Instead, it’s likely that we’re facing a year of modest growth, another year where we’re looking at ways of reducing costs, of generating business, another year of intense competition.

One of the clearest indications of the state of the commercial flooring industry is the increased focus on vinyl flooring shown by this year’s survey respondents. Vinyl is a value proposition; it performs well, lasts a long time and is very affordable. This year, 44% of respondents reported using more luxury vinyl tile than last year, compared to 36% in the 2009 survey, putting luxury vinyl third on the list of hot products, and 29% reported using more sheet vinyl, compared to 27% last year.

Even more significantly, when we asked designers what flooring category they were the most impressed with, for the first time ever in the history of the survey, the category that got the biggest response was vinyl. 

In another sign of how tough things are, this year’s survey shows signs of a faltering commitment to sustainability. Though the A&D community has played, and continues to play, a central role in the greening of the built environment, this year not a single designer named a manufacturer’s commitment to sustainability as the most important factor in deciding whom to do business with. And only 61% consider the green elements of a floorcovering as important information to know when specifying product, compared to 73% two years ago.

For the complete survey results, see the October 2010 issue of Floor Focus Magazine.

Copyright 2010 Floor Focus 



Other Archived Articles

Starnet Closing in on Carpet Recycling Goal   Full Article
Darien, CT, April 4, 2014 -- Starnet said its commercial carpet reclamation program said that as of the end of March its members had recycled more than 44.6 million pounds of carpet.

Greenbuild Set for Los Angeles in 2016   Full Article
Washington, DC, April 4, 2014 -- The Greenbuild trade show will move from San Diego to Los Angeles in 2016.

Economy Adds 192,000 Jobs in March   Full Article
Washington, DC, April 4, 2014 -- U.S. employers added 192,000 jobs in March, according to the Labor Department.

Mannington Producing Click LVT Domestically   Full Article
Calhoun, GA, April 4, 2014 -- Mannington Commercial said it has become the only manufacturer to produce click installation system commercial LVT in the U.S.

Builder Beazer Says Sales, Orders Fall   Full Article
Atlanta, GA, April 4, 2014 -- Beazer Homes said severe weather contributed to a decline in completed home sales and new orders in the first quarter.

J+J Flooring Partners With Health Design Center   Full Article
Dalton, GA, April 4, 2014 -- J+J Flooring Group said it has become the exclusive industry partner for The Center for Health Design’s Research Coalition.

Growth in Services Sector Picks Up in March   Full Article
Tempe, AZ, April 3, 2014 -- Growth in the U.S. services sector accelerated in March, according to the Institute for Supply Management.

Jobless Claims Tick Higher Last Week   Full Article
Washington, DC, April 3, 2014 -- Initial claims for unemployment benefits edged higher unexpectly last week, according to the Labor Department.

Zillow To Help Chinese Invest in U.S. Real Estate   Full Article
New York, NY, April 3, 2014 -- Zillow said it would begin providing real-estate listings for Chinese real-estate portal Beijing Yisheng Leju Information Services.

Planned Job Cuts Plunge in March   Full Article
Chicago, IL, April 3, 2014 -- Planned job cuts fell to 34,399 in March, which was down 30% from a year ago and 18% from the previous month, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Finkell Forming New Hardwood Company   Full Article
Only, TN, April 3, 2014 -- Don Finkell, former head of hardwood maker Anderson, is getting back into business with a wood flooring startup called OEM Wood Floors.

Unilin's Winters Named NALFA Member of Year   Full Article
Dallas, TX, April 3, 2014 -- Unilin’s Jane Winters recently won the flooring industry’s "NALFA Member Of The Year” award.

J+J Flooring Names Metzger Director of Design   Full Article
Dalton, GA, April 3, 2014 -- J+J Flooring Group has named industry veteran Daniel Metzger as director of design.

Surya Names Curtin Vice President Sales   Full Article
Calhoun, GA, April 3, 2014 -- Rug company Surya said it has named Jim Curtin as vice president of sales, national accounts.

Factory Orders Rise More Than Expected   Full Article
Washington, DC, April 2, 2014 -- Factory orders rose 1.6 % in February, the U.S. Commerce Department said Wednesday

Jobs Growth Picks Up in March   Full Article
Roseland, NJ, April 2, 2014 -- Private firms grew their payrolls in March by the most in three months, according to the ADP Employment Report.

Mortgage Application Volume Declines   Full Article
Washington, DC, April 2, 2014 -- Mortgage application volume fell last week on lower refinancing demand, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Analyst Lowering Mohawk Estimates Due to Weather   Full Article
New York, NY, April 2, 2014 -- Flooring industry analyst Stifel Nicolaus said it is lowering its first quarter estimates for Mohawk due to weather issues but is maintaining a "buy" rating on the stock.

Mohawk a Finalist for Atlanta Environmental Award   Full Article
Calhoun, GA, April 2, 2014 -- Mohawk said it is a finalist in the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s E3 environmental awards for Atlanta area businesses.

Haines Vice President of Operations Dies   Full Article
Glen Burnie, MD, April 1, 2014 -- Distributor Haines said its vice president of operations, Mark Blakely, died March 27 from health complications.