Top 250 Design Survey 2006 - October 2006


By Maurie Welsh O'Neill

When times are good, people don’t complain as much as they do when times are bad. The nation’s Top 250 designers are certainly more content this year than they have been for a long time. If there’s a single point they agree on these days, it’s that the last year has been another strong one for the commercial market.

The commercial market is back from the deep depression that followed 9/11, but the designers also agree that today’s marketplace is far different from the fast and fabulous pre-2001 era, when big corporate projects dominated their work and most top firms barely dabbled in markets like healthcare, education, hospitality and residential. 

The results of this year’s Top 250 survey certainly back that up. While the number of corporate projects survey respondents are involved in has increased since the sharp downturn in that sector five or six years ago, total growth in the Fortune 500 and big corporate projects remains close to last year. On the other hand, we’re seeing steady, even rapid growth in non-corporate jobs, and perhaps even more importantly, a steadily climbing interest and enthusiasm on the part of the designers for more products appropriate to those newly growing non-corporate markets. Corporate is no longer the undisputed king of the design community.

 The Top 250’s commitment to work in these newer markets is, in fact, one of the big themes in this year’s survey. This was evident not only in the continued strength of markets other than corporate in our tally of Top Projects, but also in the healthy increases in those newest markets the designers reported they’re working in, particularly healthcare, which passed corporate for the first time in the designers’ top projects. Education projects remain prominent and upper end residential gained dramatically. 

For the complete survey results, see the October 2006 issue of Floor Focus Magazine.

 

BEST OVERALL BUSINESS EXPERIENCE

When a customer can say he or she had a great overall business experience with a company, all the details pale in comparison. Once again, the Top 250 survey respondents picked their favorites for Best Overall Business Experience in both the Carpet and Hard Surface categories, and once again InterfaceFlor and Shaw Contract finished nearly in a dead heat in the Carpet category. Among hard surface manufacturers, though, Armstrong replaced Dal-Tile in the top spot, followed by Johnsonite, which also came in second last year. Dal-tile finished third this year.

The survey respondents rate the manufacturers using these criteria: Very Satisfied, Moderately Satisfied, Good for Certain Jobs Only, Never Worked with Them, Never Heard of Them, and Dissatisfied. The companies listed are chosen by the number of Very Satisfied votes they receive. In case of a tie, we also weigh the Moderately Satisfied votes.

HARD SURFACES CARPET


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ARMSTRONG
JOHNSONITE
DAL-TILE
CROSSVILLE
ROPPE
MANNINGTON COMMERCIAL
FORBO
AMERICAN OLEAN
NORA RUBBER
AMTICO
TARKETT
FORMICA (KRONOTEX)
AZROCK
FLEXCO
TOLI
GRANITIFIANDRE
ABET LAMINATIE
ECOSURFACES

2006
73%
69%
62%
58%
53%
53%
45%
43%
42%
38%
29%
29%
25%
25%
24%
24%
22%
20%

2005
60%
65%
70%
54%
52%
47%
47%
51%
27%
18%
28%
--
19%
31%
22%
23%
--
19%


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INTERFACEFLOR
SHAW
MANNINGTON COMMERCIAL
BENTLEY PRINCE ST.
ATLAS
INVISION
MASLAND COMMERCIAL
DURKAN COMMERCIAL
LEES
MONTEREY
MOHAWK COMMERCIAL
J&J
C&A
KARASTAN
MILLIKEN
DESIGNWEAVE
PATCRAFT
DURKAN PATTERNED

2006
60%
60%
55%
49%
49%
45%
42%
38%
36%
36%
35%
33%
33%
31%
29%
29%
27%
27%

2005
57%
49%
47%
49%
36%
33%
39%
42%
39%
28%
33%
35%
33%
43%
29%
27%
31%
23%

 

FAVORITE CARPET MANUFACTURERS

Competition amonth the nation's commercial carpet manufacturers seems to get more intense every year, and that's no more evident than in the results of this survey. Not too long ago, a handful of companies dominated the top spots in this survey, but this year we have new winners in four out of the five categories. Only in Service did Shaw and InterfaceFlor once again tie for the top spot.

Quality seems to be a bigger issue than ever for designers, and Bentley Prince Street moved from second to first in that category. This year, Atlas came in tops in the glamour category, Design, just ahead of Interface, which was at or near the top of every category last year. Interface was still one of the most consistent manufacturers this year, though, tying for first in Service and coming in second in Quality, Design and Value. InterfaceFlor's sister company, Bentley Prince Street, and Shaw Contract were also prominent winners this year, as you can see from the list.

SERVICE

QUALITY

DESIGN

InterfaceFlor and Shaw Contract once again tied for first followed by BPS, which was also second last year. Masland jumped from fifth to third. Newcomers this year, that highlight the strength of the hospitality market, Bloomsburg, Fortune, Tai Ping, Couristan, Clayton Miller, Burtco and Design Origins.

Bentley Prince Street took the top spot away from sister company InterfaceFlor in this increasingly important category. InterfaceFlor tied with Lees for second. Karastan, Atlas and Shaw contract, all perennial leaders in this category, tied for third. Durkan, which wasn't on the list last year, was fourth

Atlas is always near the top in this hightly regarded category, and this year it edged past InterfaceFlor, which was just slightly ahead of Bentley Prince Street, Monterey and Shaw Contract. All the rest of the category winners were far behind the top three spots.

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INTERFACEFLOR
SHAW CONTRRACT
BENTLEY PRINCE STREET (BPS)
LEES
MASLAND
ATLAS
MOHAWK
MANNINGTON
DURKAN
KARASTAN
J&J
INVISION
MILLIKEN
PATCRAFT
MONTEREY

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BPS
INTERFACEFLOR
LEES
KARASTAN
ATLAS
SHAW CONTRACT
DURKAN
MANNINGTON
MILLIKEN
MONTEREY
C&A
PATCRAFT
MASLAND

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ATLAS
INTERFACEFLOR
BPS
SHAW
MONTEREY
CONSTANTINE
DURKAN
MASLAND
PATCRAFT
LEES
C&A
MILLIKEN
INVISION
MANNINGTON
BLUE RIDGE
KARASTAN

Also mentioned: Bloomsburg, Fortune, Tai Ping, Couristan, Burtco, Clayton Miller, Design Origins, Beaulieu

Also mentioned: Burtco, Bloomsburg, Fortune, Couristan, Constantine, Beaulieu

Also mentioned: Stanton, Glen Eden, Fortune, Beaulieu, Design Origins, Bloomsburg, Fabrica, Tuva Looms

PERFORMANCE

VALUE

 

Lees dominated this category, virtually leaving all the other players in the dust. Bentley Prince Street and Shaw Contract, which were tied for third last year, moved up to second, along with C&A, which leaped all the way from sixth to tie for the second spot.

Shaw Contract, a consistent winner in this category, took first place alone this year. InterfaceFlor, which shared the top spot last year, was second this year, followed closely by Patcraft, which was tied for second last year.

 

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LEES
C&A
SHAW
BPS
KARASTAN
ATLAS
MANNINGTON
MASLAND
MOHAWK
PATCRAFT
MILLIKEN
INTERFACEFLOR
MONTEREY

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SHAW
INTERFACEFLOOR
PATCRAFT
LEES
BPS
ATLAS
MOHAWK
DURKAN
J&J
C&A
MASLAND

   

Also mentioned: Beaulieu, Fortune, Bloomsburg

Also mentioned: Milliken, Blue Ridge, Beaulieu, Karastan

   

 

FAVORITE RESILIENT & HARD SURFACE MANUFACTURERS

The designers are always looking for something new in hard surface flooring, so it isn't surprising to see some new players among this year's favorites. In fact, there were more players than ever--29--mentioned as favorites this year. Perennial leader Armstrong was once again at or near the top in four of the five categories. Consistent design favorites Amtico, Forbo, Crossville, Mannington and Johnsonite were joined by rubber manufacturer Nora this year. Last year we saw hardwood emerge as an important category, and that trend continued this year, as four hardwood manufacturers were named favorites.

SERVICE

QUALITY

DESIGN

Armstrong and Dal-Tile seem to trade the top two spots in this category on a regular basis, and they did so again this time. Johnsonite moved up from fourth to tie for third this year with Forbo and Mannington Commercial.

Forbo replaced Armstrong, which had been first the past two years, at the top of this key category. Mannington moved up to third behind Armstrong, while Nora Rubber moved into fourth, up from seventh last year.

Mannington, which was a consistent leader in this category years ago, moved back into the lead this year, ahead of Amtico and Forbo, both of which have held the top spot in the past. Crossville was tied for third with Nora.

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ARMSTRONG
DAL-TILE
JOHNSONITE
FORBO
MANNINGTON
NORA
CROSSVILLE
AMERICAN OLEAN
AMTICO
TOLI
CENTIVA

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FORBO
ARMSTRONG
MANNINGTON
NORA
JOHNSONITE
CROSSVILLE
DAL-TILE
AMERICAN OLEAN
TOLI
CENTIVA

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MANNINGTON
AMTICO
FORBO
CROSSVILLE
NORA
JOHNSONITE
ARMSTRONG
TOLI
DAL-TILE
CENTIVA
ANN SACKS
STONE SOURCE
ECOSURFACES

Also mentioned: Mullican, Wilsonart, Tarkett, Parterre, Junckers, Altro, Walker Zanger, Innovative Stone, Stone Source

Also mentioned: Mullican, Gammapar, Amtico, Altro, Junckers, Wilsonart, Stone Source

Also mentioned: Tarkett, Mullican, GranitiFiandre, Parterre, Plynl, Altro, Halo

PERFORMANCE

VALUE

 

Armstrong took first place in Performance for the second year in a row. Mannington was once again second, while Forbo, Crossville, Johnsonite and Nora tied for the third spot.

Armstrong, which is always near the top in this category, was an overwhelming winner this year. The nation's largest vinyl producer replaced Dal-Tile, which slipped to third this year. Mannington was once again in the number two spot.

 

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ARMSTRONG
MANNINGTON
FORBO
CROSSVILLE
NORA
JOHNSONITE
DAL-TILE
CENTIVA
TOLI
ECOSURFACES
AMERICAN OLEAN
MARAZZI
LONSEAL

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ARMSTRONG
MANNINGTON
DAL-TILE
CROSSVILLE
FORBO
JOHNSONITE
AMERICAN OLEAN
CENTIVA
TOLI
TARKET

   

Also mentioned: Allstate Rubber, Metroflor, Amtico, Altro, Mullican, Mohawk Hardwood

Also mentioned: Amtico, Parterre, Altro, Mullican

   


Related Topics:Mannington Mills, Karastan, Interface, American Olean, Armstrong Flooring, Roppe, Daltile, Beaulieu International Group, Tarkett, Crossville, Couristan, Metroflor Luxury Vinyl Tile, Shaw Industries Group, Inc., Marazzi USA, Mohawk Industries, Parterre Flooring Systems, Masland Carpets & Rugs, The Dixie Group