Leading adhesive manufacturers revealed

THE leading six manufacturers in the GB contract flooring adhesives sector are Uzin, Ardex, F Ball, Bostik, Mapei and Gemini according to a recently published report from Leading Edge, flooring research specialists.

The top six manufacturers take over 85% of the market between them with F Ball taking the largest slice (individual brand shares are provided in the report). However, there have been changes in market share within these leading manufacturers since the last survey in 2012 with Ardex, for example, taking a greater share in 2018 compared to 2012.

The research identified over 20 adhesive brands active in this sector, making it one of the more competitive flooring product markets.

Adhesives for resilient sheet remains the largest sector in the contract market where the two main brands are Uzin and F Ball. However, one of the key growth areas was adhesives used for LVT floors. The LVT floorcovering market has been the fastest growing market in recent years which has helped the Karndean adhesive gain market share. A quote from one contractor is fairly typical:

‘If we are laying the premium brands LVT we would use their adhesive to get the warranty, for other LVT brands we would just use our normal adhesive’.

Mel Budd, a director at Leading Edge, said: ‘We expect the trade flooring adhesive market to show a slight decline in 2018 before flattening out in 2019. The decline in 2018 is mainly due to lower construction activity in the office and education sectors’.

The report asked flooring contractors to rate adhesive manufacturers on a number of attributes such as price, quality of product, width of range, technical back up and specification strengths and also about their use of gun and spray systems (‘we’ve switched to the gun and hose system on all our carpet tile jobs. We find it to be very effective method and cost effective too’).

The graph shows the responses flooring contractors gave when asked to name the brand with the most competitive price. F Ball came out top, closely followed by Laybond/Bostik and then Mapei, Instarmac and Tremco.

When asked about their experience of environmentally friendly packaging, around half of contractors were keen to switch.

‘I think they should do a lot more to recycle tubs and bottles. You should be able to return them for recycling. I would support any changes that made the products more environmentally friendly’.

There were a number of suggestions on how adhesive manufacturers could improve their service levels. A few samples are provided below although the brand names have been excluded (included in full report):
‘I do find that with Brand A it can be difficult to find out information about the products, there is too much to wade through. It is so much easier with Brand B’.

‘I’ve noticed that the quality of Brand C’s adhesives have declined as they have had to reduce the solvent levels’.

‘Five years ago we would have used 100% Brand D. Other manufacturers have upped their game, improved their marketing and have become serious contenders in the market’.

The report is based on detailed telephone interviews with 107 flooring contractors from across the UK together with extensive desk research. The scope of the research includes all flooring adhesive products used to install carpet tile, carpet roll, and resilient sheet and tile.
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