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Resilient maintains market share on value story

The way you look at the resilient industry in 2009 is consistent with whether you look at the glass half full or half empty. On one hand, the category was off double digits in both sales dollars and volume, between 15% and 20%, with the declines a bit worse on the commercial side. Then again, the drops were not as pronounced as what occurred with hardwood and ceramic tile, which were off more than 20% in both dollars and volume, and carpet, which came awfully close to that 20% mark. Resilient also sports the hard surface industry’s only growth subsegment: luxury vinyl tile (LVT).

As the second largest flooring category behind carpet, overall sales of resilient sheet and tile dropped to $1.751 billion, down 17.8% from $2.135 billion in 2008 and its first dip below the $2 billion mark since the 1990s. But the category’s value proposition was again illustrated in that square footage for 2009 dropped “only” 14.2% to 2.51 billion from 2008’s 2.92 billion. Continue reading Resilient maintains market share on value story

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Resurgence of carpet and resilient; the new normal dictates value, function, innovation

As the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining and this rings true in floor covering. A decidedly negative economic state found a ray of light in the resurgent sales of resilient flooring and carpet. On the decline for much of the early 21st century, these two categories have been consistently gaining market share throughout the financial downturn and beckoned sales in a climate where other categories suffered mightily.

“Resilient is on the rebound,” said David Sheehan, vice president of resilient business at Mannington Mills, “due in large part to the movement of the consumer toward products that are practical and pragmatic in today’s economy.” Continue reading Resurgence of carpet and resilient; the new normal dictates value, function, innovation

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Commercial resilient: Healthcare, education growing; green holds strong

The general state of affairs in the commercial resilient segment is not far off from most categories. Most manufacturers interviewed by FCNews reported less than remarkable growth for the start of the year but were pleased to no longer see major losses in market share.

“The commercial market will continue to struggle as budget deficits in both the public and private sector hamper recovery efforts on a broad scale,” reported Edward Braulick, senior marketing manager at CBC Flooring. A significant reduction in tax revenues particularly hurt the retail and education markets by delaying remodeling and construction projects. “Some of these projects had been on hold since early 2009 and are now getting the funding to proceed.” Continue reading Commercial resilient: Healthcare, education growing; green holds strong

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Tarkett raises residential product prices

Chagrin Falls, Ohio—On May 25, Tarkett Residential announced it would implement a price increase on all resilient flooring products, including FiberFloor, vinyl sheet and Nafco branded floors. Increases of 6% will go into effect July 1, one month after the commercial price raise is executed.

Tarkett attributed the change to rising cost of materials, as cost cutting measures and internal expense reduction no longer sufficiently absorbed costs. Continue reading Tarkett raises residential product prices

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Congoleum’s SmartLink ‘connects’ with floating LVT

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, ILL.—Add Congoleum to the LVT roster. The resilient manufacturer on April 22 unveiled the category’s latest entry, Connections, at the headquarters of Midwest distributor All-Tile, complete with a few wrinkles the company said addressed some shortcomings of competing products.

Congoleum believes the most significant enhancement lies in what it calls the SmartLink glueless installation system. Attached to each plank is a “highly technical” adhesive film with a sheer strength that lends itself to applications in the aerospace industry. “The film is dimensionally stable, doesn’t shrink or curl but will release on demand,” said Dennis Jarosz, senior vice president of sales and marketing. “The peel strength is perfect, and the bond increases over time.” Continue reading Congoleum’s SmartLink ‘connects’ with floating LVT

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ANSI approves resilient sustainability standard; NSF-332 now national specification

ANN ARBOR, MICH.—NSF International, the non-governmental, not-for-profit organization that drafted NSF 140-2007: the Sustainable Carpet Assessment Standard, has developed a similar standard for resilient flooring. At the end of April, NSF American National Standard 332: Sustainability Assessment Standard for Resilient Floor Coverings was approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

“Certification to ANSI/NSF 332 offers buyers of resilient flooring the highest level of confidence and credibility in a market that is awash in green claims,” said Jane Wilson, director of standards, NSF International. “The goal of this standard is to improve the sustainability profile of resilient floor covering and enable the industry to achieve higher levels of sustainable manufacturing in the future.” Continue reading ANSI approves resilient sustainability standard; NSF-332 now national specification

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LVT differentiates, expands design, function, construction; Ease of installation grows

The surge of interest in luxury vinyl tile (LVT) has a team of newer players coming to bat on the resilient field. Companies with different backgrounds, from click systems to cork, have introduced new features and push the product envelope further than ever before.

Experienced manufacturers have also been challenged to innovate, finding ways of improvement in areas like installation, whether it aims to reduce preparation time, ease the stress of custom installation or even allow for do-overs. The common factor for all mills is the ability to offer the expensive look of stone, wood or ceramic tile at a price point that entices today’s price-savvy consumer.

Armstrong

Luxe Plank, the mill’s floating LVT, features Lynx technology with the ability to reposition each plank as many times as necessary. “It’s the easiest LVT floating installation on the market,” said Alan Cubell, vice president of residential resilient. “Lynx Technology starts with specially formulated super thick LVT planks combined with a manufactured film with a highly advanced, performance-oriented, pressure-sensitive adhesive.” Continue reading LVT differentiates, expands design, function, construction; Ease of installation grows

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Resilient manufacturers announce price increases; Mohawk, Forbo the latest

Hicksville, N.Y.—At the beginning of April, two of the largest resilient flooring manufacturers, Armstrong and Mannington Mills, independently announced it will each raise product prices by 6%. Since then, a multitude of companies have followed suit. Armstrong

Armstrong and Mannington said increase measures would be implemented by June 1, 2010 and are caused by a considerable increase in the cost of raw materials. “Energy, raw materials and transportation costs are all rising,” said Paul Murfin, vice president of sales at Armstrong. “Significant manufacturing capacity for our raw materials was taken off-line during the recession, creating tightness in those markets ahead of input cost escalation.” Continue reading Resilient manufacturers announce price increases; Mohawk, Forbo the latest

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Visuals drive high-end resilient products

Though some buyers are looking for deals, choice flooring in the home adds a certain something beyond higher prices. That something is identified as the “wow” factor by Paul Mixon, manager of resilient business, Mannington. Beautiful floors that catch a visitor’s eye are not only good for the buyer, but ultimately for the retailer. A successful installation in the home is a great product display for new buyers. “This is the best kind of referral and will result in a motivated shopper who knows what she wants, where to get it and is ready to pay.”

High-end floors also help retailers distinguish themselves from other stores, particularly big boxes. “They send the message that a retailer carries only quality products and can be trusted because they only sell the best,” said Gary Finseth, director of marketing, Tarkett Residential. This kind of recognition is another way to generate referrals from satisfied customers. Continue reading Visuals drive high-end resilient products

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USFloors segues to resilient, latest entry into floating LVT arena offers a twist

DALTON—USFloors, a manufacturer of unique and sustainable floors—specifically cork, bam- boo and hardwood—diversified its product portfolio even further at Surfaces 2010 by breaking into the luxury vinyl tile (LVT) category and taking the wraps off a waterproof floor. This was in addition to expanding its hardwood and bamboo lines as well as unveiling a new cork product.

Not only was the company pleased with the response, but it was also satisfied with the attendance. “We had steady action in our booth and the quality of attendees was high,” said Piet Dossche, president and CEO. “Overall, Continue reading USFloors segues to resilient, latest entry into floating LVT arena offers a twist