January 7/14, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 16
By Reginald Tucker
When Karla Wischmeyer, an interior designer at Verhey Carpets in Grand Rapids, Mich., recently conducted a one-year follow-up visit on a residential hardwood flooring installation the company performed, she was absolutely confident she would be pleased with the result. After all, the job entailed several hundred square feet of Mirage hardwood flooring, which features the company’s signature DuraMatt, low-sheen, high-performance finish.
But what Wischmeyer and her team probably didn’t anticipate was the degree to which the finish withstood a full year of wear, tear and heavy pet foot traffic. “As we approached the house, we could hear a big dog barking from the driveway. I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this is either going to be a nightmare, or it’s going to be beautiful.’ We opened the door and the floor still looked fantastic. The homeowners have this big dog but the floor held up great. I believe it’s due to the durability of DuraMatt and the matte finish, which really hides a lot of what can happen in the home.”
Verhey Carpets has a long track record of success with DuraMatt and the Mirage brand in general. Wischmeyer, who has been selling the brand for the past 10 years, attributes 95% of the company’s wood business to the Mirage brand.
“We have been very pleased with it, and I’m sure we haven’t had any claims,” she told FCNews. “The other thing I love about the product is the styling—today’s wood looks are a little more casual and urban looking, and that matte finish on DuraMatt really lends itself to that style. Homeowners aren’t really going for a formal look these days, so they don’t really use finishes with a high sheen or gloss anymore.”
Wischmeyer—who has personally visited the Boa-Franc manufacturing plant at least five times—isn’t the only one who cites the product’s exemplary track record. Neil Coughlin, regional vice president of sales, Belknap-White, is also a believer. “The DuraMatt finish from Mirage gives the homeowner the look of an oil finish without the maintenance issues; it wears like a urethane. But the scratch resistance is 20 times better than traditional urethane finishes.”
Another indicator of the product’s success is the rate of its adoption across other collections within the Mirage portfolio. At the launch of the finish, it was only offered in one collection; it’s now available in five collections.”
Point of differentiation
For Mirage, DuraMatt is much more than a high-tech finish; it’s also a point of distinction for the company. “The DuraMatt finish has the look of an oiled hardwood floor without the hassles of regular oil application and low wear resistance,” said Brad Williams, vice president of sales and marketing, Boa-Franc. “This urethane finish brings out wood’s natural beauty and offers many benefits. It is 20 times more wear resistant than a conventional oil finish and is easily washable, and the technology also provides superior resistance to stains and scratches.”
To demonstrate the product’s technological attributes, Boa-Franc has posted several videos on YouTube covering everything from scrub, Taber and marker tests to demos on how the finish resists staining from spilled wine. (Visit youtube.com/watch?v= OsY3Ohcccy0 for more information.)
“We have created videos comparing DuraMatt’s performance to other finishes available in the industry, and the results speak for themselves,” Williams stated. “Nothing can be compared to the quality of this finish.”
Beyond the bells and whistles, DuraMatt ultimately provides a means for retailers to boost their wood business. How? By simply offering consumers peace of mind. “This technology meets the needs and requirements of any consumer by offering the desired look and gloss level combined with high performance and resistance without the hassles of regular maintenance,” Williams explained.
While DuraMatt is primarily geared toward residential applications, Boa-Franc reports its acceptance has been extended to the architect and designer community. Some Mirage retailers have also installed the products within their stores to demonstrate the strength of the DuraMatt finish. “We have the product installed in our downtown showroom, and we also have a rug gallery with Mirage on the floor,” Wischmeyer said. “This serves as a demo regarding commercial and Main Street applications.”