August 19/26, 2019: Volume 35, Issue 5
By Reginald Tucker
Out and About Floor Covering, Cascade Flooring America, Westland Carpet One and Ventura Flooring all operate in diverse markets and service different customers. But there’s something they all have in common—their affinity for the Quick-Step laminate brand from Mohawk Industries.
Constructed on essentially the same platform as Mohawk’s breakthrough RevWood—which is based on melamine overlay coupled with a high-resolution decorative image supported by an HDF core that has been enhanced with features that significantly boost the product’s resistance to moisture—the Quick-Step NatureTEK line aims to offer consumers all the visual attributes of a wood floor without the shortcomings.
“I’ve personally always been a big fan of the engineering behind Quick-Step, and the new NatureTEK Plus series with its waterproof features is really allowing us to market the product aggressively,” said Sonny Parsons, co-owner of Vancouver, Wash.-based Cascade Flooring America. “We’ve had a long history with Quick-Step.”
With virtually everyone in the industry chasing waterproof LVT/P and other variations of rigid core, Parsons said it’s exciting to see alternatives compete for that share of the market. What’s more, he’s seeing demand from seemingly unlikely places. “A couple of local regional builders have adopted the product over LVT, which is the new standard for us in this area,” he told FCNews. “We are really trying to educate customers to let them know this is a viable option as well. People are embracing it and putting it in their homes.”
Other dealers such as Out and About Floor Covering in Meridian, Idaho, also report strong builder usage of Quick-Step laminate. “Quick-Step is a great product—we sell a lot of it,” said Randy Walker, store manager. “We really like the performance and visuals. It’s one of our favorite laminate floors.”
The sentiment is much the same at Westland Carpet One, West Covina, Calif. For Stephanie Gonzalez, office manager, it’s the line’s aesthetics that are catching consumers’ eyes. “The visuals in the Quick-Step line are phenomenal,” she said. “People look at them and compare them to real hardwood.”
And that’s precisely the point. The fact that NatureTEK’s wood looks sell for a fraction of the cost of the real thing—yet still provide a good profit margin—is a plus. “I would love to sell hardwood to every client, but when you can’t sell wood because of the customer’s lifestyle or limitations, laminate is way up there on my list,” Gonzalez explained. “I con- sider it a high-quality product.”
NatureTEK’s performance attributes—namely the product’s waterproof features—are key selling points for retailers. It all starts with the Uniclic locking technology, which ensures an extremely tight connection between the planks—the product’s first line of defense against moisture incursion. The next critical component is Mohawk’s GenuEdge technology, which applies the decorative paper all the way to the edge of the board so there’s no exposed HDF core in the middle of the plank. For additional protection, Mohawk applies its signature HydroSeal, which coats the outside of the planks to prevent moisture from penetrating the product. For good measure, Mohawk recommends installers apply a silicone bead around the perimeter of the installation as an additional layer of protection.
“We’ve been waiting for technology like that,” Gonzalez said. “When you communicate the benefits and features to the customer, it’s almost a given for the client to upgrade to it.”
Sal Hossinzadeh, owner of Ventura Flooring, Simi Valley, Calif., is also a believer. In fact, he has stocked the Quick-Step brand as long as his doors have been open. He’s excited about the transition to NatureTEK, but he’s particularly thrilled to see popular collections from Quick-Step (i.e., Reclaime and Colossia) will be retained. “There are some really nice visuals in those lines, especially the wide planks,” he said. Available in three platforms—NatureTEK, NatureTEK Plus and NatureTEK Select—the collections give consumers a range of options. NatureTEK Plus and Select retail at about $3 and $3.50 per sq. ft., respectively.