A projection of growth for wallcovering reaching $36.6 billion in the next four years according to Global Industry Analytics, Inc. is nothing to sneeze at. The global projection for wallcoverings is driven by a few intriguing trends. Ceramic wall tiles, new textures, colors, geometric patterns, and interior design trends.
Wallcovering as an Evergreen Decorative Choice
While fads of the eighties have come and gone, and trends like geometric wallpaper last a little longer, wallcoverings have earned their stay as an evergreen decorative wall treatment; thanks to demand for customization, technological advancements with inkjet printing allowing impersonation of other materials such as wood or stone, cost-effective solutions, and easy to install options; the report goes on to say.
While the wallcovering industry is reportedly seeing a steady growth and demand going into the next few years, it comes with the reality that wallcovering professionals experienced the same major downturn that any housing-related market experienced from the last recession. All that to say that the wallcovering industry and installers are a resilient group. To have experienced the boom in the eighties and to make it to the other side with printing advancements driving down costs. Shifting demand for higher-value specialty wallcoverings, and more luxurious material offerings.
Of the wallcovering services, the material portion is reported to represent nearly 20% of the cost of professionally hung wallpaper according to an industry report conducted by IT Strategies; while the cost of the labor of the total cost of installed wallpaper accounts for 70%. The installation portion including supplies such as, wall primer and paste, represents a healthy 8-12%.
Why are we seeing this boom in wallcovering demand?
With the help of popular do it yourself or DIY home decorating shows like Home and Garden TV, there’s been an explosion in the wallcovering market. With the industry dominated by seasoned wallcovering installation professionals, and the surge in interest thanks to print publications and the before-and-after home design shows like House Hunters, the time is ripe for new craftsmen to both enter the industry and apprentice under experienced installers projected to exit the profession in the next 6-12 years.
There’s a shift underway from wallcovering manufacturers and brands to interior design icons like JoAnne and Chip from Fixer Upper, so installers looking to get an edge in the wallcovering market might look towards establishing themselves as influencers like HGTV’s Leanne Ford from Restored With the Fords. (Or on the same token, get mentioned on their feeds and use their influence for greater exposure in the market.)
With wallpaper only second to paint as the wallcovering of choice, seasoned professionals and those still breaking ground can set their hunched shoulders at ease. Wallcovering installers can also thank manufacturers for rising above downturns by educating the market - changing their perception of Lauren Ashley flowers - and working intimately with coatings and ink chemistries towards easing installation labor and removal of wallpaper; all while allowing the use of wallpaper in new markets.
Removal in 15 Minutes Or Less
Today’s consumer no longer has to weigh the cons of introducing wallpaper into their design against the hours of scrapping, soaking, scrapping, and repeating. Today’s manufacturer revised their end user experience. Now, they can claim full removal in an average size room in 15 minutes or less.
Projections of Growth and Steady Margins
With installers, laborers, and manufacturers in the mix and steady projections of growth and continued demand, it’s easy to claim the wallpaper installers industry is on a roll. Further developments from manufacturers have introduced new consumers into the market looking for easy peel-and-stick removable wallpaper, the on-demand crowd, or the customizable-happy millennial. So, for seasoned installers and potential apprentices alike, the 8-12% margin and steady demand lend itself to an appealing market to exit with bells-on or enter with a splash.
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