Cautious Optimism

Statistics in Hardwood Floors’ exclusive survey reveal that the industry has slowed but remains healthy. Here are the results from a random sampling of distributors and wood flooring contractors.

Distributors' Business in 2001...

In 2000...

70 percent of distributors indicated that business increased

18 percent stayed the same

12 percent decreased


Contractors’ Business in 2001...

In 2000...

• 57 percent of contractors indicated that business increased

• 38 percent stayed the same

• 5 percent decreased

Where Do They Buy?

Wood flooring contractors responded:

90% specialty wood flooring distributors

25% general floor covering distributors

20% big-box stores

30% direct from the manufacturer

At a big-box store, contractors say they are most likely to buy:

  1. installation tools
  2. finish
  3. adhesives
  4. wood flooring
  5. abrasives sanding equipment (tied)

Of the distributors surveyed, 60% said their business has been affected by big-box stores such as Home Depot and Lowe's; 40% said it has not.

Distributors say when their customers go to a big-box, they are most likely to buy:

  1. wood flooring
  2. installation tools
  3. finish
  4. adhesive
  5. sanding equipment
  6. abrasives

Finish Sold by Distributors

In 2000, distributors said...

57% oil-modified

26% water-based

10% conversion varnish

5% moisture cure

2% wax


Finish Sold by Contractors

In 2000, contractors said...

67% oil-modified

27% water-based

4% conversion varnish

2% moisture cure

1% wax


Species Sold by Distributors

The distributor numbers in 2000 were....

50% red oak

22% white oak

10% maple

5% Brazilian cherry

4% other domestics (cherry, ash, birch, beech)

3% pine

6% other species


Species Sold by Contractors

The contractor numbers in 2000 were....

68% red oak

13% white oak

7% maple

3% Brazilian cherry

5% other domestics (cherry, ash, birch, beech)

2% pine

3% other species

*Other domestic species: ash, birch, beech.


Distributors*are selling...

Distributor numbers in 2000 were...

61% unfinished solid

18% prefinished solid

20% prefinished engineered

2% unfinished engineered

*88% of distributor respondents specialized inwood flooring, while 12% were general floorcovering distributors.


Contractors are selling...

Contractor numbers in 2000 were...

76% unfinished solid

13% prefinished solid

10% prefinished engineered

1% unfinished engineered


What They Do

In 2000, contractors divided their business,on average...

63% sanding/finishing/refinishing

37% wood flooring installation


Old vs. New

In 2000, contractors divided their business, on average...

71% remodeling

29% new home construction


Under the Surface

Contractors say they install over...


Kim Wahlgren

Kim M. Wahlgren is the longtime editor of Wood Floor Business. Based in Madison, Wis., she manages the day-to-day operations of the WFB print magazine, website, E-News and social media. She holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin in journalism and Spanish. Away from the office, she’s busy enjoying her family, including two beautiful children, a sassy ex-racehorse, an extraordinarily silly black Labrador mutt and her husband, Brent, whom she met at … yes, wood flooring school.