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Tarkett is 2020 official sponsor for ‘Military Makeover with Montel’

Solon, Ohio—Tarkett has partnered with “Military Makeover with Montel” for its second year. Airing on the Lifetime Network, “Military Makeover” offers hope and a helping hand on the home front to members of the military and their families. This special series enlists conscientious companies, designers, contractors and other home improvement professionals to transform the homes and lives of military families across the country and make a difference in their communities.

Tarkett teams up with the show’s hosts, designer Jennifer Bertrand and construction manager Ryan Stanley, and local area designers and installers to recommend and provide flooring materials specific to the military family’s desires and needs. Each family has the opportunity to choose from any product in Tarkett’s residential catalog, from resilient flooring for an exercise room, to waterproof rigid core vinyl for wherever life may overflow.

The first episode of the 2020 season, airing on Feb. 14, will feature the Hixon family of Hollywood, Fla., as “Military Makeover” completely changes their home of 28 years. U.S. Navy Veteran Chris Hixon, a Retired Machinist Mate First Class bravely served his country in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield in 2007. Hixon survived combat service but sadly lost his life attempting to defend the lives of school children in Parkland, Fla., in 2018. This first episode will air on the second anniversary of the Parkland School shooting. Hixon is survived by his wife Debra and their two sons, Thomas, a Reserve Corps Marine Officer, and Corey, who was a regular with his father at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Eagles (MSD) sporting events.

“Flooring has been a much-needed component of every makeover that we’ve done," said Scott Moss, executive vice president of programming, BrandStar. "With the help of Tarkett, that call has been answered and we’re excited to have them back for 2020 as an annual partner for the second year in a row.”

Tarkett first started working with “Military Makeover” when they participated in an episode in June 2018 and then became the official flooring sponsor for the 2019 season. They received such positive feedback from customers and employees that the company decided to continue its sponsorship in 2020 to involve other distributor and retailer partners. For this first 2020 makeover episode, Tarkett will receive assistance from Daniel Flooring in Dania, Fla.

“Tarkett has always been committed to doing good in the communities where we live and work, but this was a chance to go a step further and involve our partners in those efforts,” said Jeff Fenwick, president and CEO, Tarkett North America. “Our sponsorship of ‘Military Makeover’ is a natural extension of our Tarkett Cares program, through which we’ve donated more than $600,000 in product over the last two years to worthy organizations including Habitat for Humanity and The Boys and Girls Clubs.”

Tarkett Cares encourages all employees around the world to spend up to two days a year of their work time on a charitable initiative and to share their time and expertise on a volunteer basis. Employees throughout North America have had opportunities to volunteer their time with Habitat for Humanity and other charity partners during 2019, and many are slated to give back during 2020.

Original episodes of “Military Makeover with Montel” air on Fridays, with an encore performance the same week, only on the Lifetime Network.  

 To learn more, visit tarkettna.com.

 

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Mohawk veterans haul load for Wreaths Across America

Calhoun, Ga.—For Ronald and Lea Eppich, Mohawk truck drivers and Calhoun residents, Wreaths Across America is personal. The non-profit organization coordinates the annual transport, delivery and placement of more than two million wreaths on the graves of U.S. veterans across the world.

The Eppichs know firsthand how much it means to the families of fallen soldiers when a wreath is placed at their graves each year. Their son, Sgt. Robert Eppich, died in 2006, just days after completing eight years of service with the United States Army.

“For me, Wreaths Across America has always been about honoring Robert and his fellow soldiers,” Lea Eppich said. “It’s important to me because this is the time of year we miss him most.”

While the Eppichs are long-term personal volunteers for Wreaths Across America, Mohawk has committed to corporate support for the first time this year. The Eppichs are two of the five company truck drivers transporting 5,337 wreaths on behalf of Mohawk to the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery on a route selected by Wreaths Across America. The Eppichs also will have the honor of laying wreaths at the cemetery on Dec. 14 for Wreaths Across America Day.

“One in five Mohawk truck drivers is a veteran,” said Cameron Taylor, senior manager of fleet operations for Mohawk. “We’re proud of their service, and we’re proud of the contributions they make to our business every single day. We felt like this was a perfect opportunity to honor our Mohawk veterans and share our deepest appreciation for men and women who gave their lives serving our country.”

Mohawk covered the cost for company drivers to pick up and deliver the load of wreaths to their final destination. Drivers Seth Pippin and Todd Miles, who is a veteran, drove the company’s specially wrapped trailer roundtrip from Calhoun, Ga., to pick up wreaths in Columbia Falls, Maine. The Eppichs transported the wreaths from Calhoun to Texas where Stanley Clay, another Mohawk truck driver and veteran, delivered them to the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.

“Mohawk is proud to support causes that mean a great deal to our people and our communities,” Taylor said. “Our teams do that in a lot of different ways—and this is one that’s incredibly special to our drivers. We’re glad we could be a part of this program that honors our veterans and their families.”

In addition to employing many veterans across the country, Mohawk has been a leading supporter of Building for America’s Bravest, providing flooring for new homes for our nation’s most seriously wounded veterans.

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WFCA forms Floor Covering Education Foundation

Commits $1 million to solve installation shortage

By Steven Feldman

 

Chattanooga, Tenn.—The World Floor Covering Association has announced the formation of the Floor Covering Education Foundation with the initial goal of solving the installation crisis. As such, the WFCA has committed $1 million to get the initiative off the ground and has also received commitments from manufacturers and associations across the flooring industry.

“The WFCA exists to find the pain points in the industry and fix them,” said Scott Humphrey, CEO. “This industry is good at pinpointing problems but seek to solve them in silos. As such, the first challenge we chose to address is unifying the voice of the industry [as it relates to installation].”

Humphrey noted that the industry is in a position where the No. 1 problem is a lack of people entering the trade. “On the low side, we will be between 3,000 and 6,000 shy of the requisite number of installers over the next 10 years,” he said. “The average CFI-certified installer is 55 years old and over. That means that group is soon to migrate out. If they migrate out and we don’t have an influx of people coming in, the problem is magnified.”

With a $1 million commitment from a non-profit with no revenue stream to recoup that investment, that sends a message, Humphrey said, that the WFCA wants to be part of the solution. “We had meetings with the major players in this industry. All of them said they wanted to be part of the solution. But it’s not just their problem. It’s everyone’s problem. If you touch the industry in every way, you benefit from the health of this industry.”

Details will be forthcoming, but Humphrey announced a few at a press conference here Dec. 12:

  1. The Floor Covering Education Foundation is formed as a 501©3 with the primary focus to recruit, scholarship, train, place and retain quality installers. It is the first time the industry has come together to fix the problem.
  2. A board will be selected that will comprise powerful leaders from within the industry—manufacturers, associations, etc.
  3. The Floor Covering Education Foundation will be bringing the training to the masses. Eighteen wheelers will be transformed into mobile training facilities. There will be a couple at first, maybe more down the road. The mobile showrooms will be about 1,000 square feet and accommodate 50 students.
  4. Among the groups targeted by the FCEF are high school students, military, Indian reservations, even Amish communities.
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Domotex USA optimizes educational program for 2020

Atlanta—Domotex USA is gearing up for its second season, which runs Feb. 5-7 at the World Congress Center here. Organized by Hannover Fairs USA, a Deutsche Messe subsidiary, Domotex USA is designed to foster business between manufacturers of flooring products and retail/wholesale companies, U.S. building contractors, floor installation companies and purchasing groups.

The show’s 2020 exhibitor list includes well-known names in the industry, such as USFloors, Anderson Tuftex, The Dixie Group, Mullican Flooring, Milliken, American OEM and Foss Floor, to name a few.

In addition to meeting with vendor, attendees will have access to an extensive conference-style educational program, with plenty of opportunities for quality networking on the sidelines. The three-day program is structured into four thematic areas for different target audiences: Flooring Retailers, Interior Designers, Flooring Installers and Builders/Contractors/Remodelers. It will also include two accredited designer sessions per day thanks to a new partnership between the organizers and the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).

Each day of the educational program will open with a keynote or featured speaker. Wednesday will open with international economic analyst Alan Beaulieu; Thursday’s keynote will be brand leadership expert Denise Lee Yohn; and Friday’s opening address will be given by retail consultant and trainer James Dion.

For more information, visit: domotexusa.com

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Välinge celebrates grand opening of Shanghai support center

Viken, Sweden—Välinge Innovation held a grand-opening event for its support center at Homag China Golden Field in Kunshan, Dec. 5. Niclas Håkansson, CEO, Välinge Sweden; Guan Jianhua, managing director, Jintian Haomai; and other leaders, corporate representatives and industry colleagues were in attendance.

“Since the Välinge Shanghai Representative Office was established in 2011, more than 150 patent license agreements have been signed in China,” Niclas Håkansson, CEO, Välinge, said in his welcome speech. “China’s furniture and flooring industries have created more business opportunities and value. The establishment of Kunshan Technical Support Center will further promote our company’s business support and development in China and surrounding areas.”

During the event, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was jointly performed by Håkansson and Guan. The grand opening also contained a guided tour of the support center, including a demonstration of the production process and assembly of Threespine. Guests witnessed furniture featuring Threespine being produced in both a double-end tenoner and a CNC machine. In addition, a production demonstration of Liteback technology was carried out on site.

“Välinge is a very powerful research and development company,” Guan said. “The floor locking technology has completely changed the way people install floors and has resulted in great achievements and developments for the flooring industry. I believe that Threespine click furniture technology, which is derived from the 5G floor locking technology, will achieve the same success and encourage enterprises in the industry to join forces to actively promote this technology and to bring new ideas to the furniture market.”

The support center includes production demonstration of Threespine, Liteback and floor installation technologies; supply of customized samples for these technologies; customer education and training; laboratory tests and QC; and supply/distribution of plastics inserts.

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Wellmade receives Innovation Award from The Home Depot Canada

Allen Chen (third from left), president, and Dick Quinlan (center), senior vice president, accept The Home Depot Canada Innovation Award.

Portland, Ore.—Wellmade Performance Flooring has garnered the first runner-up Innovation Award 2019 from The Home Depot Canada. Wellmade was recognized for its Opti-Wood HDPC rigid core, waterproof hardwood flooring.

Each year, The Home Depot Canada through its Innovation Awards, identifies cutting-edge products recognized specifically for their innovation, value and efficiency. Products are reviewed storewide for consideration, across all home improvement categories.

“We’re honored to be recognized by The Home Depot Canada,” said Dick Quinlan, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Wellmade. “We invented the use of real hardwood bonded to our composite rigid core and created Opti-Wood HDPC waterproof hardwood flooring. We are grateful for our partnership with The Home Depot and look forward to helping them grow their flooring business.”

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Tarkett introduces iD Mixonomi LVT

Solon, Ohio—Tarkett has launched iD Mixonomi, a Red Dot Award winner. Inspired by the hexagon, iD Mixonomi LVT aims to inspire creative freedom where shapes and colors are combined and mixed together through thematic harmony. iD Mixonomi is ideal for hospitality, retail, higher education and corporate environments.

The collection’s diverse palette is inspired by global travel, offering a cultural array from pastels to jewel tones and bold primaries to neutrals. With eight graphic shapes and three mini-shapes that can be combined in a variety of layouts, iD Mixonomi’s standard running line of colors and geometric shapes provide a custom flooring experience—without a custom price tag. What's more, a new, state-of-the art visualizer is available at mixonomi.tarkett.com to walk designers through the layout process and visualize their selections within a space.

“For Tarkett, the term Mixonomi represents absolute creative freedom, composing shapes and colors in unexpected ways and transforming the floor into a work of art,” said Kelley Bolas, senior product manager for Tarkett North America. “The collection’s 11 dynamic shapes and 34 globally inspired hues allow designers to create an entirely unique flooring experience from the standard running line.” 

Tarkett's unique surface treatment on iD Mixonomi simplifies routine floor maintenance and reduces the amount of water, energy and cleaning products needed.iD Mixonomi’s construction includes a 28-mil wear layer and polyurethane coating for performance and durability in high-traffic commercial areas. The collection is also protected by a 10-year limited commercial warranty.

iD Mixonomi is certified asthma and allergy friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America; FloorScore certified; low total VOC for improved indoor air quality; phthalate-free; contains 32% pre-consumer recycled content; and is 100% recyclable through Tarkett’s ReStart reclamation program.

For more information, visit: tarkettna.com.

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CFL’s Baert discusses with Domotex asia/ChinaFloor

Thomas Baert

Shanghai, China—Domotex asia/ChinaFloor recently launched a series of interviews with key people in the flooring industry to highlight the current news, trends and updates. Following is what Thomas Baert, president of Firmfit and CFL Flooring, had to say about the future and current state of the industry.

What are you expecting for the global economy in regard to the flooring industry for the next five years?
The higher-end laminate flooring market, which we focus on, is still strong. We see our business remaining stable in that specific segment. SPC is another story; I can see it continuing to grow by 25% per year. There is also a trend starting to go toward products with less or no PVC, with more and more innovations that will come like Tenacity, with a mineral core and no PVC. Traditional flooring categories are getting more and more intertwined, which gives a great platform for innovation (hard surface companies doing more business with tile players etc.) Easy DIY installation will remain a big topic with the shortage of labor in the USA. The uncertainty is not helping our industry. The industry needs a stable environment where we can create longer term plans.

Do you see the Asian market growing in relation to that?
Yes, demand for water resistant and waterproof products is gradually gaining momentum in the Asian markets. The focus in Asia is less related to installation and more linked to a need for easier maintenance, performance and durability.

Where will your company focus its efforts in 2020 and beyond?
We will continue to focus on environmentally friendly solutions as well as solutions suitable for DIYers.

How do you see the future of hard flooring and what products are becoming more popular?
Resilient flooring will definitely continue to grow and continue to take market share from what was traditionally ceramic tile market. Also the trend in PVC free will become more and more important in the next years.

Which flooring innovations of the recent years do you find the most important?
I think the main innovation is rigid core disrupting the flexible LVT market.

How has the tariff situation impacted the flooring business and your business in particular?
The tariff situation has slowed down new introductions to customers in the United States. It took a while before the market was able to absorb these changes. Since some of the most recent US 301 tariffs have recently been withdrawn, categories that are overwhelmingly manufactured in China will likely be able to push through to the next stage.

How do you see the future of manufacturing in Southeast Asia? What are the countries in the Asian region that are becoming attractive for flooring distributors/wholesalers?
Tariffs have resulted in manufacturing being developed in countries in Southeast Asia, mostly though Asian manufactures expanding into different countries. With certain tariffs falling away, there is a more level playing field and each region will have to find its own niche to be able to survive.

We read that CFL moved some of the production lines to Vietnam. What is the result so far? Was the decision connected to the U.S. trade situation?
Uncertainty will not disappear anytime soon, even if certain 301 tariffs have recently been rescinded. Our target is to be able to continue to provide flexible solutions that are above geopolitical risks.

What were your impressions of Domotex asia/ChinaFloor2019? What do you think is the strength of the show and why would you recommend somebody to visit or exhibit at it?
Domotex asia/ChinaFloorhas become the absolute, top-leading platform for hard surface categories around the world. A growing and vibrant industry needs a yearly gathering where ideas are being exchanged and here new initiatives are being taken to the next level.

For more information, visit domotexasiachinafloor.com

 

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European Patent Office confirms validity of Unilin’s European Patent

On the Nov. 22, the Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office communicated its decision to confirm the validity of Unilin’s European Patent EP 2 274 485.

This patent protects the use of coated papers employed in the inkjet printing of decor paper destined for the lamination processes that are widely used in the flooring and furniture industries. More specifically, the patent relates to printable paper layers with an inkjet receiver coating that is porous enough to ensure qualitative lamination with an abrasion-resistant overlay.

“This decision is an important milestone for our extensive patent coverage concerning digital decor printing technology,” said Bart Van der Stockt, managing director of Unilin, division technologies. “We received very positive feedback after the presentation of our digital printing technologies during the latest InPrint show in Munich, and several important industry players have shown serious interest in licensing our technologies. We are thus convinced that the first digital printing lines using the Unilin primer and ink technologies will be operational in the very near future.”

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Cali launches new Cali Vinyl Pro with Mute Step

San Diego, Calif.—Cali is adding an extra layer of comfort to its Cali Vinyl line this winter. The company’s new collection, Cali Vinyl Pro with Mute Step, includes attached acoustic padding for quieter rooms and softer steps. The specialized IXPE cushion lines the bottom of each plank, providing an extra layer of sound insulation.

Similar to all Cali Vinyl collections, Mute Step is 100% waterproof and can be installed in kitchens, bathrooms and basements. An extra-durable construction allows for easy cleaning and includes a commercial-grade 20-mil scratch-resistant wear layer for busy homes. Sturdy click-lock milling is ideal for fast room transformations with no need for glue or nails.

As a progression of Cali Vinyl Pro, Mute Step contains the same GeoCore spine as its predecessor. According to Cali, this layer of flexible limestone composite helps prevent indentation and increases dimensional stability, allowing planks to be installed right out of the box without any acclimation or transition pieces.

Twelve styles inspired by seaside colors and textures bear authentic hardwood imagery with surface embossing that matches up with knots and grains. From the warm hues of Coastal Eucalyptus and Huntington Hickory to stormier grays such as Breakwater Oak and Long Shore Pine, Cali promises a shade for every aesthetic.

Cali Vinyl Pro with Mute Step is now available at califloors.com and through select flooring dealers across the country.