August 4/11, 2014; Volume 28/Number 4
By Louis Iannaco
Over the course of the past year, Hallmark Floors has been establishing itself as a multi-faceted flooring producer. Accordingly, the company has announced the launch of three products, each coming in 12 SKUs, as well as a pair of new programs.
“Our distributors look at Hallmark as a hardwood flooring company,” said Keith Lacognata, luxury vinyl product manager. “That’s always been our flagship product. But in the past year, they’re looking more at Hallmark for LVT. That’s because we’re branding our LVT the same way we have our hardwood products, and that’s giving the customer a high-end quality product at an affordable price.”
Drew Mittelstaedt, partner at Mesa, Ariz.-based Longust Distributing, which covers the southwest U.S., said Hallmark’s LVT portfolio is similar to its hardwood collection in that the LVT products offer value-added features in every line. “Their style and design have been great,” Mittelstaedt said. “Hallmark’s model of deep inventory on the West Coast has made a huge difference in terms of quick turnaround of customer samples and very timely production. We’ve been very successful with their LVT line.”
Hallmark’s first new product is Castle & Cottage, a sister line to its popular Town & Country collection. “We’re going to re-invent the entry-level LVT category,” Lacognata said. “The way we’ve gone to market with our luxury vinyl is not the norm. With our entry-level Town & Country, we used upper-end visuals, which you usually don’t see at that price point.”
Castle & Cottage follows suit, he explained. The line offers everything from traditional to contemporary to modern looks, a wood grain embossing on its surface and up to 48-inch planks. “We also went with our PurCore Ultra, a 100% virgin vinyl core,” Lacognata said. “Again, it’s a high-quality product at an affordable price.”
The second product to debut is Hermosa Stone, Hallmark’s first entry into the vinyl stone-look market, in travertine, vertical marble and slate visuals. “Each stone look will have its own independent texture resembling that particular stone,” he said. All tiles will be 18 x 18.
Another collection that has been long anticipated, Lacognata noted, is Sierra Madre. “It made quite a splash at Surfaces and HD Expo earlier this year. We took our two best selling wood products—Alta Vista, a wire brushed, European white oak, and Chaparral, a hand-scraped wood—scanned them, took the top six colors in each and created a luxury vinyl line to complement our wood line. It looks exactly like our wood product.” Sierra Madre features a wire brushed texture with an oil finish look in a 7¼ x 48 plank.
Chaparral will feature a hand-scraped, 7 x 48 visual. “It gives our customers options,” he said. “If they still want the oil look but wood is not suitable for their living style, they can go with Sierra Madre. It’s a phenomenal addition.”
Hallmark’s first program launch, due later this year, will be a molding program that goes direct to the distributor. “We will be working with a secondary company, which will be using the exact film we’ll be using for our luxury vinyl floor, our exact wearlayer, and fusing that to a PVC molding profile. So we’ll have exact-match moldings for our products, which our customers have been asking us for.”
The second program, also to be launched in the fourth quarter, is the Hallmark ABC program, in which the company will become the first to debut a fully recoatable LVT, Lacognata said. “It’s a simple process where you clean the floor, apply the bonding agent, then the finish. A will be the cleaning agent, B will be the priming agent and C will be an actual urethane adhesive. This will be good for remodels if you’re looking to bring back luster to a floor instead of replacing it.”
Finally, the company will be adding to its Hallmark 123 luxury vinyl adhesive system. “Hallmark 123 has taken off like a rocket ship,” Lacognata said. Now the company is coming out with Hallmark 4. “Our customers wanted something a little less expensive, more along the lines of a pressure-sensitive adhesive that you can use on large projects. It will be more price aggressive. We want to provide a good adhesive; it’s just going to be priced better and is for larger projects.”