In an industry brimming with products, architects have a wealth of manufacturers and brands to specify in their projects. How do design professionals ultimately make their picks? The ARCHITECT 2017 Brand Use Study, conducted in July 2017 by Indianapolis-based market research firm Farnsworth Group, and commissioned by ARCHITECT’s publisher Hanley Wood, provides some insight into the selection process. The biennial survey had 1,164 respondents—comprising architects and design professionals employed by an architecture firm—who rated brands across 51 product categories that range from concrete, to HVAC systems, and to kitchen and bathroom fixtures.

In addition to rating product brands, architects were asked to rank, on a scale from one to seven, the importance of 11 factors influencing their selection process. These factors are manufacturer’s reputation; ease of product installation; manufacturer warranty/coverage liability; sustainability benefits; manufacturer/product flexibility in design application; brands previously specified; third-party product performance evaluation; quick delivery/short lead times; peer recommendation; manufacturer relationship with contractor/engineer/owner/developer; and lowest price.

Rank Brand Familiarity Brands Specified/Used Most Quality Rating
1 W.R. Grace & Co. (74.6%) W.R. Grace & Co. (24.6%) W.R. Grace & Co. (6.06%)
2 Laticrete (69.6%) Laticrete (18.8%) Laticrete (6%)
3 Wausau Tile (61.6%) Oldcastle Precast, Wausau Tile, Sika Corp. (tied 5.8%) Sika Corp. (5.93%)