Hardwood Flooring Lumber Prices at All-Time High

Chattanooga, TN, June 22, 2021-Compared to before the pandemic, hardwood lumber prices have increased 83% to an all-time high, says Neil Poland, president of Mullican Flooring.  

The elevation has been driven by both increased demand and limited supply. 

Increased demand for hardwood accelerated with the remodeling trend early in the pandemic and continued as new home construction picked up speed. As a contributing factor, Asian demand for hardwood lumber was weak during the pandemic but strengthened in 2021.

As for supply, last year, the hardwood lumber industry produced 5.6 billion board feet, while in 2019, it produced 7.6 billion board feet. This year, Poland hopes that the industry will be back up to six to 6.5 billion board feet. 

Many sawmills idled in the early months of the pandemic and struggled to find workers when they re-started. In addition, some mills in the southern U.S. switched from milling hardwood to pine, as the price of pine increased 400% and profit margins were better for pine than hardwood. 

Hardwood flooring manufacturers have also struggled with the labor shortage, limiting their output. 

Listen to the interview with Neil Poland, CEO of Mullican, on this topic here.