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Fall product preview: Tiles and sheet vinyl goods rolling out for back-to-school

As one of the strongest categories across the flooring industry, resilient producers are introducing a number of new collections and updates this fall. Focusing on a strong value proposition, stone and wood looks are the popular visuals, while easy installation features seem to be en vogue from a technical perspective.

Many companies are also introducing goods for the commercial side, or warranting performance with light commercial guarantees. With the residential market scraping along the bottom, suppliers are providing retailers with products that can yield the greatest profit at all points along the channel.

Armstrong

Just hitting stores is the new Alterna Reserve luxury vinyl tile line. The updated collection features advances in color technology and generates true-to-nature realism, said Yon Hinkle, product manager, resilient tile and laminate.

Alterna Reserve features 11 designs, including stone looks in quartz, travertine and slate, as well as the option to install with or without grout. “A range of 32 unique tiles per design ensure that virtually no two tiles on a floor are the same,” Hinkle told FCNews. Plus, the oversized 16 x 16 tiles can be mixed and matched among unique patterns, distinctive textures and natural colors.

Alterna is made with a durable, protective wearlayer that resists wear and stains, as well as a grout that also resists stains. The collection offers a lifetime residential and 5-year light commercial warranty.

IVC

The updated Flexitec V collection will offer a total of 168 SKUs, 20 of which are for light commercial applications. Composed of 10 collections, the company has also introduced a new display system, V-500, that features nine user-friendly product beds to showcase the eight residential and two light commercial ranges.

“The new Flexitec V collection has been masterfully crafted in a joint effort by our European and American creative teams,” said Xavier Steyaert, CEO. “It features 28 new designs in a variety of trendy and traditional color work.”

Also new for the commercial market is Itec, a collection of commercially graded, fiberglass-backed vinyl flooring. Fully recyclable and FloorScore certified, Itec Contract floors are designed to repel mildew and bacterial growth but still feature a wearlayer that is water and slip resistant. “This collection was designed to meet the needs of the diverse commercial market and provide a product that excels in quality without compromising style,” said Andrew Ferrier, Itec brand manager. Five lines run the gamut of natural and manmade designs, from rustic and aged wood finishes to granite fleck tones to metallic finishes. Recommended applications are in the multi-family, healthcare, corporate, retail, hospitality and education sectors.

Johnsonite

According to a Suzanne Barnes study, rubber offers the best return of any resilient flooring type available and serves as the basis for Johnsonite’s new fall collection. Expanding its sustainable product portfolio is the Eco-Naturals collection, including Eco-Shell with Cork and Corktones, two new lines with rubber tiles and treads.

The lines feature significant levels of rapidly renewable and pre-consumer waste stream materials, said Laurey Banker, director of product management, Commercial. “The products were designed through an environmental process and are FloorScore certified. The unique composition does not contain phthalates, halogens or chlorine, and the product requires only water and a neutral detergent to clean it.” Eco-Naturals also qualifies under LEED for both rapidly renewable materials and pre- consumer waste stream materials as well as indoor air quality, EIQ 4.3, with FloorScore certification.

Mannington

The mill’s fall launch in the resilient category is found in updates to the Jumpstart and Benchmark collections. Jumpstart will have four patterns across 12 SKUs of 12-inch tiles and 6-inch-wide planks in stone and wood looks. Three of the four patterns are in stone looks, while the wood visual is an on-trend reclaimed oak look in three colors.

Benchmark is available in three patterns across nine SKUs, also in a majority of stone looks with rectified edges and grout lines. The wood look is a 4-inch-wide, handscraped plank visual in three colors.

“The highlights of the new looks have high-end styling at never-before-seen price points,” said Paul Mixon, manager, Resilient Business. “[In addition to] incredible new designs in Benchmark, there is also the addition of HD technology to select patterns in Jumpstart.”

Max Windsor

Known for its engineered hardwood products, the company has introduced its first PVC plank program, a glue-down textured wood look called Wood Grains LVP.

Convinced the luxury vinyl tile (LVT) designation incorrectly describes planks, the company has removed the word “tile” from conversation about its product. “The look of Wood Grains has nothing to do with tile,” said Khelin Young, general manager. “The buying public thinks of tile in terms of squares. While the PVC content is the basis of both tile and planks, our conversation with dealers and consumers compares Wood Grains LVP with what it was designed to replicate—hardwood planks.”

At 3mm thick, Wood Grains is shown in seven colors at 6 inches wide and comes in 36- inch lengths. The collection carries a lifetime limited residential wear warranty, and a 10 year medium commercial wear warranty. It can be installed using the company’s LVP glue on grade as well as below and above grade levels.

“As the market for new and exciting wood looks expands, we see Wood Grains in a special value niche, combining popular price with lifetime wear ability and sustained beauty,” Young said. “It is also an entirely recyclable product, which is the icing on this cake.”

Metroflor

Its newest line of floating LVT is Engage, an adhesive-free product with Uniclic locking technology for residential and commercial applications.

“Our new Engage product includes an array of designs in two grades: Essentials planks and Select planks and tiles,” said Russell Rogg, president and CEO. “From a design standpoint, our goal in developing this line was to achieve broad appeal across all audiences. The rich visuals are complimented by eight textures, so the products ‘feel’ as real as they look.”

Because Engage does not require any adhesives, the floor is ready to be used as soon as it is installed. It also eliminates any VOCs or off-gassing, making it a sound recommendation for spaces with indoor air quality issues.

Engage Essentials planks and Select tiles and planks will be marketed as a better-best option. Essentials features a 12mil wearlayer with ceramic bead finish on 71⁄2 x 471⁄2 planks. Select has a 20mil wearlayer on 7 x 49 planks and 11.9 x 23.9 tiles.

Tarkett

The NAFCO producer is introducing an update to its Classic collection, which focuses on the Better Living line of planks and tiles. Nine new designs in 28 colors are available on 1⁄8-inch gauge products with Tritonite urethane treatment to protect against scuffs, stains and wear. Stone looks are available on 12 x 12 and 16 x 16 tiles while wood looks are available on 4 x 36 and 6 x 36 planks.

“With a larger color palette, these classic warm-to-leading- trend tones will apply to a broad range of schemes,” said Bruce Ziegler, director of product management, Residential.

All new tile and plank designs come with a 5-year light commercial and 20-year residential warranty.

-Emily Hooper