January 5/12, 2015; Volume 28/Number 14
By Ken Ryan
Flooring dealers may not be familiar with the name Foss Manufacturing just yet, but they have almost certainly come into contact with one of its products over the years.
Foss, a 60-year-old manufacturer based in Hampton, N.H., is known as an innovator in the use of nonwoven fabrics and specialty synthetic fibers for a variety of industries, most notably automobile, where it provides interiors for vehicle floors and ceilings. “Any car manufacturer in America has Foss carpeting on the floor,” said Mark Gauthier, director of marketing.
Foss also manufactures indoor/outdoor carpets used in basements, garages, on decks and around pools, and the company is now embarking on a flooring venture with a line of commercial carpet tiles called Smart Transformations. The product, which will be on display at Surfaces, targets Main Street commercial.
“This is a product when you need something in a pinch,” Gauthier said. “If you have a storefront and don’t want to lose a couple days of business, this is the product for you. We have done jobs where we came in at 6 p.m. and within two hours the carpet tile was replaced and the business opened the next day.”
The tiles, specifically engineered for commercial environments, are made from recycled plastic drinking bottles and install over most existing flooring surfaces by simply peeling off the plastic backing and adhering the tile to the floor; no glues or pastes are required. “Installation is essentially ‘goof proof,’” Gauthier said. “We have formulated a new adhesive; if you pull it up it peels right off. There is very little left. You can cut and patch it in any shape.”
Smart Transformations includes an antimicrobial technology, called Fosshield, which is designed to counter the damaging effects of bacteria, mildew and mold. And, Gauthier said, Foss’ solution-dyed polyester is excellent for color fastness and UV protection.
One of Foss’ newest customers is Brazos Flooring Agency, a sales and marketing firm representing flooring manufacturers and distributors. Mike Donarumo, owner/president of Brazos, has known Foss president Mike DeGrace for more than 25 years. “We have stayed connected to each others’ ventures over the years,” Donarumo told FCNews. “This past September Mike suggested we get together to review an opportunity that he was looking to launch at Foss. In visiting the manufacturing facility in New Hampshire and meeting with the management team I came away excited to join forces.”
Donarumo said his major accounts have been impressed with the new Foss product, which is ideal for the DIY customer. “Having the characteristics of transforming any space with a trendy new look without a large investment by the consumer is an important hook in today’s busy lifestyle. I am not easily drawn to introducing new products without a track record, but after meeting the folks at Foss and seeing the products firsthand I committed on the spot.”