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Laminate: Fall products build on earlier intros

It may still be summer according to Mother Nature, but with kids going back to school and Labor Day around the corner fall is in the air. As such, laminate manufacturers are in the process of restocking retail displays with new collections, new designs and new colors to help dealers capture consumers searching for ways to spruce up their homes.

The following is just a sampling of the latest products hitting the market. For the progressive retailer, some of these may already be in stock but there are sure to be a few discoveries in the list. Continue reading Laminate: Fall products build on earlier intros

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Laminate under siege from imports, competitive products, prices plummet as alternative channels gain ground

Hammered by the recession and pressured by competing products, the U.S. laminate flooring market dropped for the third consecutive year. But just how much is largely debatable. Many factions have the category down significantly to the tune of 20%. Others peg the drop in the mid-teens.

But FCNews research revealed a completely different story. After conferring with just about every significant laminate flooring supplier to the U.S., and after being made privy to confidential sales figures for the purpose of this report, we believe the market was down less than 5%. We are reporting a 2.4% dip from $1.099 billion in 2008 to $1.073 in 2009. And executives at two major laminate manufacturers, Pergo and Kronotex, actually believe the category was up in 2009. When the dust cleared, laminate had a 6.6% share of the flooring market. Continue reading Laminate under siege from imports, competitive products, prices plummet as alternative channels gain ground

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Quick Step launches new laminate collection

Dallas—Quick•Step announced the launch of Veresque, its newest laminate collection. Featuring GenuEdge technology, design and color on the surface of each plank now rolls over the edges recreating the same visual found on real wood planks.

“Adding this edge treatment to the already authentic surface designs of Veresque planks achieves a level of realism that is unmatched in laminate flooring today,” said Roger Farabee, senior vice president of marketing. “A consumer will struggle to see the difference between real wood and a Veresque plank.” Continue reading Quick Step launches new laminate collection

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Commercial laminate: Mills using brand, education, service to rebound

Not unlike its wood sector counterpart, commercial laminate producers have suffered their share of economic bumps and bruises recently. By putting emphasis on service, style and brand, the hope is that an upturn manifests itself sooner rather than later.

Generally speaking, the laminate sector echoes the construction industry, noted Tammy Weadock, marketing manager, Wilsonart. “According to Reed Construction Forecast of May 2010, the decline in commercial construction spending will slow sharply during the balance of 2010 with spending turning up at year’s end. Reed says retail will recover first, followed by offices, which will be followed by hotels.” Continue reading Commercial laminate: Mills using brand, education, service to rebound

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Laminate state of the industry: Units pick up but sales struggle in face of increasing competition, economy

HICKSVILLE, N.Y.—There may be signs of life in the economy, at least on the residential side, but the overall pace remains slow. Add to that a drastic drop in wood prices—especially from imports—the continued surge in popularity of luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and an overcapacity problem, and the laminate category continues to struggle to regain the momentum it had just before the financial and housing crises hit.

Research conducted by Floor Covering News to see how the category has fared over the first four months of 2010 compared to the same period last year has rendered mix results. On one hand, product is starting to move through the channel as more consumers break from their shells and once again begin to shop for home improvement items. On the other hand, dollar volumes and profits remain sluggish as the post-recession consumer searches for products that will give her the most performance at the lowest price. Continue reading Laminate state of the industry: Units pick up but sales struggle in face of increasing competition, economy

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Laminate trends: More options than ever

Originally produced to mimic the look of hardwood flooring while offering enhanced performance characteristics through state-of-the-art technology, laminate floors have come a long way in the 15 years or so they’ve been available in the U.S.

As methods of production have advanced, manufacturers now seemingly have the ability to make laminate look like whatever they want, including ceramic tile, natural stone as well as more realistic wood-look designs and patterns. So what are some of the latest laminate trends?

Features such as wider planks, bolder colors and textures, and never-before-seen species currently play a growing role in laminate’s hottest new looks. Continue reading Laminate trends: More options than ever

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High end laminate products holding their own during tough times

Sales of high-end products may be coming back based on various corporate reports but in the laminate category they have remained constant as consumers do not want to sacrifice either looks or performance for price.

“While it’s true consumers are searching for greater value,” explained George Kelley, CEO of Pergo, N.A., “it does not mean the majority of them are truly interested in sacrificing superior design and performance to buy a cheaply made product.” Continue reading High end laminate products holding their own during tough times

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Laminate: Smaller suppliers get big with spring offerings

Last issue FCNews profiled what the industry’s largest players are introducing for the spring selling season. This edition, we look at what some of the other suppliers in the category are bringing out. Like their larger counterparts, these companies are focusing on longer, wider planks to give a more realistic wood visual.

Lamett

Capitalizing on the new long plank trend along with continued strong sales of products featuring a piano finish, comes the mill’s Lamett Long Planks in six exotic colors— Andiroba, African walnut, Belize, Sonoma, Brazilian teak and Brazilian cherry.

Continue reading Laminate: Smaller suppliers get big with spring offerings

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Laminate: No lack of innovation, realism in spring launches

With the first wave of products getting ready to hit the market, FCNews surveyed a variety of laminate companies, from the biggest to the not so large, to find out about new items with which they were starting the year. In this issue we look at what the large mills are introducing; next issue will high- light what some of the smaller players have for the spring season. Continue reading Laminate: No lack of innovation, realism in spring launches