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Jobs Outlook: Carpet, Floor, and Tile Installers and Finishers




Employment of carpet, floor, and tile installers and finishers is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2012, reflecting the continued need to renovate and refurbish existing structures. However, employment of one specialty—floor sanders and finishers—is projected to grow more slowly than average due to the increasing use of prefinished hardwood and similar flooring. Carpet installers, the largest specialty, should have the best job opportunities.

Carpet as a floor covering continues to be popular and its use is expected to grow in structures such as schools, offices, hospitals, and industrial plants. Employment of carpet installers also is expected to grow because wall-to-wall carpeting is a necessity in the many houses built with plywood, rather than hardwood, floors. Similarly, offices, hotels, and stores often cover concrete floors with wall-to-wall carpet, which must be periodically replaced.

Demand for tile and marble setters will stem from population and business growth, which should result in more construction of shopping malls, hospitals, schools, restaurants, and other structures in which tile is used extensively. Tile is expected to continue to increase in popularity as a building material and to be used more extensively, particularly in the growing number of more expensive homes, leading to faster than average growth for tile and marble setters. Demand for floor layers and sanders and finishers will expand as a result of growth in construction activity, particularly that related to residential homes and commercial buildings, and as some people decide to replace their plywood floors with hardwood floors. Job opportunities for tile and marble setters and for floor layers and sanders, relatively small specialties, will not be as plentiful as those for carpet installers.

The employment of carpet, floor, and tile installers and finishers is less sensitive to changes in construction activity than is that of most other construction occupations because much of the work involves replacing carpet and other flooring in existing buildings. As a result, these workers tend to be sheltered from the business fluctuations that often occur in new construction activity.