Clement: Partitions, vertical applications and high end commercial applications. Solid Surfacing will become more than decorative surface.
Dailey: We believe healthcare, education and home remodel are key growth markets.
Seo: Kitchen and bath applications will still be the most popular applications for solid surface. Samsung Staron also believes the commercial market will continue to grow. The most exciting aspect of the solid surface industry is what is yet to be discovered. Solid surface is such a versatile product that the design possibilities are almost limitless. We've heard from numerous fabricators that if you can image it, then they can make it. Samsung Staron is excited to be a part of an industry that has so much growth potential.
Weddington: We see growth on both the residential and commercial fronts. With the residential market, solid surface is now available to a much larger audience due to lower price levels in the market. Some highlights within the residential market include continued growth in the remodeling industry as well as multi-family housing units. Kitchen and bath remodeling top the list of most homeowners, followed by an increasing emphasis on mud and laundry rooms — all naturals for solid surface. With remodeling, homeowners are looking to upgrade from laminate with an attractive, high quality and durable product.
These features, in addition to providing a renewable, repairable and sanitary surface, would seem to make solid surface a perfect fit for multi-family housing units, assisted living units and homes that incorporate "transgenerational design."
Builders and remodelers can be key in developing brand awareness and growth for solid surface within a market for these applications.
Solid surface sinks are another area where we can expect a great deal of growth as consumer awareness and demand for these products continues to increase.
The commercial market is responding to the benefits of solid surface as well. The aging baby boomer generation is affecting the increased growth of the healthcare segment, and we continue to find success in the fast food, convenience store, military and education segments. We're seeing a lot of toilet partitions, wainscoting, window sills and high-wear surface areas move to solid surface. We also see a broader range of applications for the product. The Non-buying segment — the architectural and design community, builders, the kitchen and bath community, facilities management, government and military — are key to accessing these segments and expanding the range of applications. We have over 40 specification representatives in the market promoting the Wilsonart Earthstone and Gibraltar product lines to these groups and making sure projects get connected to our fabricators. We have a new lead and project tracking system in place to support this effort.
Wilsonart now stocks 5 x 12 ft. sheets in all patterned colors, making the project much more affordable by eliminating seams, reducing off-fall, increasing through-put, and reducing labor. We also provide this sheet size sanded on both sides in our smaller patterned colors, making it ideal for toilet partition applications. The market is responding to this very well.