The construction and home improvement industries have been on a roller coaster ride during the COVID pandemic. Supply chain issues and significant increases in consumer demand have led to lower inventory on almost every product. As a result, consumers are experiencing higher prices and longer wait times for projects large and small. However, it’s still possible to get gorgeous new flooring at a reasonable price from a reliable partner. You might need to be a little more patient and flexible than usual. And if you’re thinking about new flooring, it pays to plan ahead.
What Are The Issues Affecting Flooring Prices During COVID?
The primary issue affecting flooring prices is a COVID-related backlog in the global supply chain. Prices for raw materials (lumber in particular) reached historic highs during the pandemic. Backlogs in supply are related to delays in workers getting back to factories and transportation issues, including shipping bottlenecks and restrictions.
At the same time, we’ve seen a surge in consumer demand for construction and home improvement projects. So many of us have focused on making our homes more beautiful and welcoming during this crazy year. Our homes have become sanctuaries, playgrounds, and much more. Thanks to stimulus checks and more time at home, interest in home improvement is soaring. It’s a terrific development and one that bodes well for our economy long-term, but it can be frustrating in the here-and-now. Overall, increased prices and longer wait times have had little impact on demand. Consumers still want to improve their homes and do it right–even if it means waiting a little longer.
Is The Pandemic Impacting High-Quality Flooring Suppliers?
While pandemic-related supply chain issues have the most significant impact on suppliers who work heavily with China, almost everyone in the home improvement business feels the squeeze.
Even top-or-the-line flooring companies like Mohawk and Karastan have experienced price bumps in the last year. However, these companies continue to meet consumer demand with premium products and made-in-America offerings.
For companies like Mohawk, which specializes in premium soft and hard flooring, supply chain issues are inspiring innovation. Mohawk has seen increased demand for products like waterproof hardwoods and a growing emphasis on top-quality luxury vinyl, an increasingly popular alternative to hardwood floors. The luxury carpet company Karastan has also seen a surge in demand. People are spending more time at home and investing in luxury carpeting that makes their home cozier and more inviting.
How Can I Get The Floor I Want In Challenging Times?
The good news is that raw material prices are starting to come down. Recent reports show that lumber prices are finally beginning to fall this summer after months on the rise. Sawmills are reopening, and many Americans are returning to work, causing the DIY and home improvement trend to slow just a little. However, it may take time for price drops to filter through the chain. Here are some tips for getting a great new floor during challenging times:
- Be flexible: consider a range of materials for your flooring project and ask which ones are easiest to get in your price range. You might be surprised at the quality you can get from luxury vinyl and other materials.
- Get creative: ask about remnants and overruns for smaller projects and work with your contractor or flooring professional to use them in attractive and functional ways.
- Plan ahead and be ready to wait if you have specific materials in mind.
At Loudoun Valley Floors, the ups and downs of supply and demand have made the last year interesting, to say the least. But we’re working hard to keep up with consumer demand and give our customers the flooring of their dreams, working with our suppliers to get what you need, when you need it. Our commitment to offering the best materials and personalized service remains unchanged. You may have to wait a little longer, but you can count on a job well done.