COREtec Plus to debut at Surfaces
Volume 26/Number 17; January 7/14, 2013
DALTON—USFloors is beginning the new year with a unique product introduction in one of the fastest growing flooring categories, entering the LVT market with COREtec Plus, a patent-pending technologically advanced line of engineered luxury vinyl tiles and planks.
COREtec Plus is essentially a hybrid floor that combines the best features of LVT—water resistance, durability and affordability—with the best features of laminate, which are ease of installation and minimal floor prep, noted Gary Keeble, product and marketing manager. “COREtec Plus features a 1.5mm wear layer of virgin LVT, a 5mm core structure and a 1.5mm attached cork underlayment for an overall thick- ness of 8mm.”
The foundation of COREtec Plus is the innovative core board technology. “Unlike moisture-sensitive HDF,” he explained, “COREtec is an extruded core board that is waterproof and inert. COREtec will not swell when exposed to water and can be recommended for use in wet areas of the home such as bathrooms, mudrooms, laundry rooms and kitchens. It will not expand and contract with changes in temperature and relative humidity and, therefore, unlike with HDF engineered floors, does not require expansion gaps at the perimeter or t-moldings every 30 to 40 feet in large rooms.”
COREtec is an extruded core, not pressed fiberboard, milled with an easy-to-install modified drop and lock profile, Keeble said. The proprietary composition of the core is made of virgin PVC, limestone, and recycled wood and bamboo post-industrial waste. “The attached cork underlayment provides the ‘plus’—warmth, comfort and impact noise reduction.”
The COREtec Plus assortment will include a range of realistic visuals in wood planks in 5- and 7-inch widths, pro-filed with a beveled edge, as well as stone and tiles in 12 x 24-inch format. All COREtec Plus products are backed by lifetime residential wear, lifetime structure, lifetime waterproof and five-year light/medium commercial warranties.
The product will be merchandised in USFloors’ new Style Studio display and feature an extensive assortment of 19 products in a large-format sample. “The Style Studio is a customer-friendly and eye-catching sample vehicle with high-impact POP graphics,” Keeble said.
In addition to its new LVT line, USFloors is launching a unique group of sustainable cork and strand woven bamboo floors in a collection the company calls Natural Reflections. “Natural Reflections incorporates innovative new technologies that provide cork and strand woven bamboo floors with popular visuals, exceptional value and enhanced sustainability,” Keeble said.
“Natural Reflections provides flooring retailers and consumers with a more in-depth assortment of the digitally enhanced cork floors that USFloors introduced in 2012 that featured a series of 18 x 24 tile visuals replicating travertine, limestone, and slate using the advanced optics of enhanced realism technology (ERT),” he added.
Due to the popularity of the initial tile assortment, the company is expanding the offerings with a series of rustic hardwood plank visuals that take inspiration from its Castle Combe rustic hardwood collection. The 7 x 48 hardwood plank assortment features high definition, realistic imagery, beveled edges and a Kleiberit finish that enhances the grain visual while improving the durability to a commercial AC-4 rating.
Using the advanced digital optics of ERT, high definition images are digitally applied directly to the cork wear layer, producing a natural and realistic visual. “With ERT,” Keeble explained, “digitally enhanced cork floors have up to 20 unique tiles or planks for a truly random looking installation that more accurately replicates the look on the floor.”
Natural Reflections will now include Exotic Fusion, an assortment of solid locking strand woven bamboo, enhanced with real exotic veneers. “Using a solid locking strand woven bamboo plank as the structure, a thin veneer of exotics species is adhered to the product, giving the consumer a true exotic floor that looks and feels like the traditional type,” Keeble said. USFloors will feature four species in the assortment: tigerwood, jatoba, teak and American walnut available in varied lengths.
Natural Reflections Exotic Fusion floors, offered in a 1⁄2 x 4 1⁄2 random length solid locking construction, represent a step forward in environmentally responsible exotic hardwood floors. “With strong and renewable strand woven bamboo as the substrate combined with a thin wood veneer,” he noted, “we’re using only a fraction of the wood material that would normally be required for a solid floor. This method maximizes the increasingly scarce species, thereby minimizing the negative impact on our ecosystem.”
The weight and construction of the strand woven bamboo is similar to a solid exotic hardwood, providing a higher perceived value than exotic engineered products manufactured on multiply or HDF base. Each of the Exotic Fusion floors are finished with a proprietary diamond finish providing enhanced wear protection and improved scratch resistance, and maintained as any traditional exotic hardwood.