What’s fueling the high-end carpet surge

Home Categories Carpet What's fueling the high-end carpet surge

high-end carpet
Mohawk Urban Hues is a high-end carpet offered in a neutral, dual-toned color palette with a multi-level loop that forms a subtle stria pattern for a classic, tailored style.

The high-end residential segment has been a bright spot for carpet in recent years, and proponents predict that trend will continue. Largely defined as carpet priced at $30/sq. yd. and higher, these better goods have flourished even as business conditions softened.

Mill executives have their theories. “Even in slower times affluent people spend—they have the funds and when they buy, they are going to buy high end,” said Thomas Kilgore, senior product director, Mohawk.

Mike Sanderson, vice president of marketing, Engineered Floors, agreed. “If history is any indication, the higher-end consumer is less affected by any economic volatility and often has more discretionary dollars to make purchases.”

Geoff Siebold, national sales manager, premium brands, Stanton, said affluent customers hire designers when purchasing better goods. As such, inflation doesn’t really impact them. “They have become a bit more deliberate in their decision making but they don’t feel the impact of inflation as readily as the middle market does.”

high-end carpet
Suffolk is part of Engineered Floors’ DW Select carpet line, which features PureColor and twistX.

One factor sustaining the high-end’s momentum is the way carpet is used in the home. “Most of the time carpet is reserved for the bedroom, common areas, basements and stairs,” said Herb Upton, vice president of soft surface for Shaw Floors. “This change presents an opportunity to sell higher-end, premium fabrics specifically designed for these areas.”

The consensus among mill executives is that the demand for better goods has staying power, which obviously bodes well for carpet makers who reside in this space. “The good thing about carpet is people who have money still want nice, luxurious carpet in their bedrooms,” said Matt Johnson, senior director, residential carpet, Phenix.

Executives cited other factors driving high-end carpet:

Hard surfaces’ dominance

The growth of hard surfaces over the last 15 years has relegated carpet to a single-room purchase in many cases; consequently, consumers are splurging on higher-end goods without batting an eye. “Additionally, hard surface is in more of the active spaces and the majority of the home creating distinct, non-adjoining spaces for carpet,” said Jason Surratt, president of Tarkett Home. “This allows the consumer to select styles with a higher-end aesthetic for specific areas she wouldn’t want throughout the entire home.”

Higher mortgage rates

Homeowners with fixed mortgage rates well below today’s average of 7.19% (as of June 26; 30-year fixed) may be less inclined to uproot in this environment and use some of their equity on home improvements. That’s according to Chet Graham, co-CEO, Marquis Industries, who said, “Consumers are holding onto homes longer and are willing to spend more for new styles and better quality in their existing residences. As such, consumers are making long-term investments into their homes, and we are seeing a trend toward higher-end material in broadloom carpeting.”

Favorable price points

For the same price point as basic hard surface flooring, a consumer can buy a high-end carpet for her bedroom with all the style benefits she desires. “It might be something plush and luxurious or something with a great pattern or color play that works well with the décor of the room,” said T.M. Nuckols, president of the residential division, The Dixie Group. “High-end carpet price points are in play for today’s consumer.”

Styling and colorations

Applying the fiber and yarn options to the latest tufting technology is delivering some amazing visuals in soft surface flooring. Beyond machine tufting, there are many other constructions and yarns used to create striking patterns, including machine woven, hand-loomed and hand-tufted in wool.

Rugs are all the rage

Turns out the consumer loves the look of hard surface flooring but she also loves the soft touch and sound absorption of soft surface, which in many instances is a rug.

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July 3/10, 2023

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