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Fuse Alliance welcomes Jon-Don as preferred supplier

Laguna Niguel, Calif.—Jon-Don has joined Fuse Alliance, a member-owned organization of professional, commercial flooring contractors, as a preferred supplier.

“For more than 40 years, Jon-Don has helped flooring contractors with a wide range of high-quality flooring prep and maintenance products and services,” said Geoff Gordon, executive director, Fuse Alliance. “We are proud to have them as a Fuse partner.”

Founded in 1978 and headquartered in Chicago, Jon-Don is a leading supplier of equipment, consumables and expertise to specialty contractors working across multiple industries, including water and fire restoration, concrete surface prep and polishing, and building service as well as carpet cleaners and in-house service providers. Jon-Don has multiple distribution centers located across the continental U.S.

“We are thrilled to be included in the Fuse Alliance preferred supplier program,” said Mike Leiber, Jon-Don strategic accounts manager. “Jon-Don provides not only the equipment and consumables that Fuse members need but also the real-world knowledge, rolled-up sleeves approach and rock-solid reliability. From same-day shipping to free technical support to seminars to repair services, we’re here to help Fuse members tackle their toughest jobs.”

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AVA by Novalis joins Commercial One

Ontario, Canada—AVA by Novalis recently joined Commercial One as an approved vendor. As part of joining, Commercial One will showcase AVA flooring products to its dealers and contractors.

“We are pleased to add AVA by Novalis to our key Commercial One vendor partner group,” said Fred Giuggio, senior vice president, LVT corporate strategies, AHSG/Commercial One. “Their updated style and design will be an asset to our members across the country. The strength and growth in the multi-layered flooring category in the commercial channel leads us to their strength and what they can offer our members.”

AVA products feature many choices in luxury vinyl plank flooring including glue down, clic and loose lay options in many colors and styles that are perfect for any commercial application including healthcare, education, hospitality and retail market segments.

AVA luxury vinyl tile sets itself apart by being a leader in sustainability. From the beginning, Novalis has made sustainability a priority. Novalis produces healthy and environmentally responsible flooring and maintains the highest standards represented by many certifications and environmental awards.

“AVA by Novalis is excited about this opportunity with Commercial One and we look forward to growing this partnership,” said Melissa Quick, commercial product and marketing manager for AVA.

For more information, email Quick at melissa.quick@novalis-intl.com.

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Tarkett North America transitions to one brand

Solon, Ohio—Effective immediately, Tarkett North America will transition its sub-brands of Johnsonite, Tandus Centiva, Desso and Lexmark to Tarkett. The company will be transitioning collateral over the ensuing months.

The integration is a natural progression that will enable Tarkett North America to continue creating great spaces and better align its segment expertise in commercial, residential and hospitality spaces under a single brand. Tarkett North America will cohesively address market needs with its flooring solutions portfolio—the Tarkett Solution SPECtrum.

“Going to market with a unified Tarkett branded portfolio provides clarity for our customers and delivers an enhanced experience,” said Andrew Bonham, president and CEO, Tarkett North America. “This move positions Tarkett to integrate ongoing design, innovation and sustainability efforts across multiple flooring materials while delivering best-in-class flooring solutions for great spaces—one surface at a time.”

Working as one brand in North America will create a better experience for customers, facilitate greater collaboration and enhance the total value of the Tarkett story and market position. The integration is a reflection of Tarkett’s commitment to building the best future by uniting and empowering all those dedicated to creating happier, healthier and more productive spaces.

For more information, visit: tarkettna.com.

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Laticrete expands adhesives product line with MultiMax Lite

Bethany, Conn.—Laticrete has introduced MultiMax Lite, a one-step, non-sag, large and heavy tile mortar for interior and exterior installations of ceramic tile, porcelain tile, glass tile and stone.

Offering superior bond strength and adhesion, MultiMax Lite exceeds ANSI 118.15, the industry's highest performance standard for a cementitious-based adhesive mortar and, thanks to its light weight, can be more easily transported and troweled. A 25-pound bag provides the same coverage as a 50-pound bag of standard mortar. Additionally, MultiMax Lite contains no silica sand benefiting workers on the jobsite with reduced exposure to respirable silica.

“MultiMax Lite offers customers an easy solution to an ongoing problem,” said Jonathan Scott, Laticrete senior product manager. “Rather than requiring contractors to carry several types of mortar, MultiMax Lite is suitable for interior, exterior and submerged applications of large and heavy tile wall and thin-bed installations, thus eliminating an excess of product onsite and simplifying the entire installation process. To increase productivity and flexibility on the job site, MultiMax Lite offers users an extended 40-minute open time, which is a major selling point for this product.”

For maximum strength and durability, MultiMax Lite boasts Kevlar reinforcement and features antimicrobial protection to inhibit the growth of mold and mildew. MultiMax Lite also utilizes Laticrete Hydromatic Cure chemistry which accelerates the hydration process to rapidly consume water in the system, allowing the material to cure in a predictable manner.

Available in gray and white, MultiMax Lite is Greenguard Certified for sustainable building and is a component of the Laticrete Lifetime System Warranty providing peace of mind for lasting installations.

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NAFCD partners with The International Surface Event

Chicago—The North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) and The International Surface Event (TISE) have extended their partnership in 2019. The 2019 show will take place Jan. 22-25, 2019 at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

"We are excited to partner with TISE for its 2019 event," said Kevin Gammonley, NAFCD executive vice president. "Year after year, we've seen great success in participating in this event, and we're thrilled to share the opportunity to be a part of this industry event with our members."

Attendees can visit the NAFCD booth in the distributor lounge. NAFCD members receive a discounted registration rate to attend TISE 2019.

For more information, visit nafcd.org/events.

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Emily Morrow Home takes convention attendees on a journey

Dalton—The Emily Morrow Home brand of luxury hardwoods will showcase 12 new designs at Surfaces (booth #925), Domotex USA (booth #1421) and the CCA Global convention (booth #773). The authenticity behind these products comes from the personal experiences and travels of Emily Morrow Finkell, CEO and founder.

Safari collection. A journey across Africa inspired a collection of hardwoods that captures the beauty, textures and colors of its scenic landscape. Included in the Safari collection are four styles, crafted in the USA of White Oak and enhanced with a 2.5mm wear layer and aluminum oxide finish to protect against scratches. To minimize joints, Emily Morrow Home mills each plank with ultra-micro bevel edges, creating a smooth, clean look.

The designs in this collection include: Tusker Herringbone and Tusker Wide, Great Migration Herringbone and Great Migration Wide, Serengeti Spirit and Moon River.

Metropolitan collection. Emily Morrow Home’s Metropolitan collection consists of three sophisticated styles that bring a sense of city living to today’s homes. Each introduction has specially designed features that embrace the latest interior trends. Crafted of White Oak in 7-inch widths, the planks have ultra-micro beveled edges and are enhanced with a 2.5 mm wear layer and aluminum oxide finish, for exceptionally durability and scratch resistant.

This collection includes: Total Eclipse, Paddock and Santa Rosa.

Heritage collection.The Heritage collection is defined by warm, traditional colors that are rich in tone and aesthetic. Each style is influenced by cherished experiences rooted in customs and places that are forever timeless. Wear and scratch-resistant, the 7-inch wide White Oak planks have ultra-beveled edges, which minimize joint grooves for a clean, smooth look.

Designs in this collection include: Justify, William and Mary, and Lewis & Clark.

In addition to showcasing these new introductions at Surfaces 2019, Finkell is joining the Floor Covering Industry Foundation and a group of industry leaders for a panel discussion on cause marketing, entitled “Finding The Pot of Gold: The Greater Good.” She will also be a featured panelist for Mark Woodman’s “See Me, Feel Me, Design with Me” discussion, which will explore the key components of the designed space and how they can come together.

The Emily Morrow Home brand is also partnering with Domotex to host a designer trend panel discussion and luncheon entitled, “Design is a Journey.”

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Starnet appoints new business developers

Eric Boender

Darien, Conn.—Starnet announces the creation of two new staff positions designed to strengthen existing partnerships between its members and vendor network.

Eric Boender, Starnet’s director of floor care and national accounts, has been promoted to vice president of business development, overseeing site-applied surfaces, adhesives, floor prep and moisture mitigation systems as well as the floor care business. Since joining Starnet in 2011, Boender has successfully developed a best in class post-installation maintenance program and has been instrumental in launching numerous business-building partnership programs between the member and vendor networks.

Bruce Campos

Bruce Campos, vice president of business development, will oversee market initiatives for manufactured flooring and accessories, wholesale distribution, business services and business equipment. Campos brings over 20 years of experience in commercial flooring on both the manufacturer and contractor side of the business.  Most recently, he served as vice president of sales for The Mohawk Group

Both Boender and Campos will report to Mark Bischoff, vice president vendor relations.

“As our member and vendor networks partner for success we have seen rapid growth,” said Chuck Bode, Starnet chairman of the board. “Eric’s expanded role and Bruce’s addition to the team reconfirms our commitment to the mutual goal of increasing demand and growing market share of our member and vendor networks.”

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2019 SEFM update: A world of opportunity awaits retailers

December 10/17, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 14

Atlanta—Excitement is building for the Southeast Flooring Market (SEFM), the annual regional event scheduled to kick off here at the Cobb Galleria Centre Jan. 8–9. The conference and exhibition, which is organized by Market Maker Events, boasts an impressive lineup of vendors and distributors as well as a roster of educational product demonstrations.

“The economy is booming, new home starts are strong and consumers are investing in home renovations—all great news for the flooring industry,” said Lori Kisner, managing partner, Market Maker Events. “It’s more critical than ever for retailers to attend events to find solutions that will result in more profit. Regional trade shows and conferences such as SEFM feature exhibitors that offer opportunities for retailers to increase their bottom line.”

SEFM offers attendees numerous benefits, including:

  • Access to market specials and discount programs offered exclusively to show attendees
  • Opportunities to compare and evaluate vendors
  • A glimpse into emerging product/design trends
  • Networking opportunities with other retailers to share best practices and valuable, cost-saving strategies
  • Source closeout products and pre-tariff goods

Likewise, many retailers attend regional markets such as SEFM to learn about local and national design trends alike, which allows them to help their customers make product selections. In that same vein, SEFM vendors see the event as an opportunity to spend time collaborating with retailers on ways to help improve business through education.

One such vendor is Mohawk, which plans to occupy the entire Galleria Ballroom, which encompasses nearly 11,000 square feet. “SEFM represents an opportunity to promote our new Edge go-to-market strategy while supporting our industry partners,” said Bill Gaddis, Mohawk national accounts manager. “It’s a great opportunity to get out in front of our customers in the area.”

NGF Distributors, which will also have a booth at the show, concurs. “Many of our vendor partners are in our booth and meet with our customers to discuss product and job-site solutions,” said Matt Wadsworth, general manager. “All of this helps our customers’ bottom line by keeping up to date with the constant changes occurring in floor covering.”

All totaled, SEFM will host more than 60 exhibitors on the show floor (see sidebar). This includes straight-line flooring manufacturers and adhesive suppliers and tool companies as well as software specialists.

Other highlights include two days of live product demonstrations on the “Live! Stage.” Topics range from how to install herringbone patterns and moldings/trims to replacing damaged planks on the job site.

The 2019 SEFM market is sponsored by Haines, Kraus, Novalis, NGF Distributors, MSI, SEM Group, R.A. Siegel Co. and Topcu Tile & Stone. For more information, please visit seflooringmarket.com.

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Tariff truce with China puts further hikes on hold

December 10/17, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 14

By Ken Ryan

 

Flooring executives are breathing a sigh of relief after the U.S. and China agreed to a 90-day tariff cease-fire on imported products, including flooring. However, questions and concerns remain about the future relations between the world’s two largest economies.

A tariff hike on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods was slated to go into effect on Jan. 1. However, following a meeting at the G-20 Summit in Argentina earlier this month, President Trump and Chinese president, Xi Jinping, agreed to postpone the decision for at least three months. The tariffs already imposed remain and new ones could still be imposed as Washington and Beijing take a timeout to talk.

For now, most flooring executives are viewing the move as a welcome sign. “Clearly this is good news,” Drew Mittelstaedt, partner at Phoenix-based Longust Distributing told FCNews. “Hopefully calmer heads will prevail. I don’t see the original 10% ever going away, but for now this is good news.”

Adam Joss, co-owner of The Vertical Connection Carpet One in Columbia, Md., said he is optimistic there will be a resolution eventually. “It’s important for us, our industry and our customers to have certainty. It’s very difficult to operate in an uncertain world. For now, I’m thankful there wasn’t an escalation.”

If nothing changes, the flooring industry can easily live with 10% tariffs, observers said. Some companies absorbed the previous increase while others passed it on to their customers. A few added a creative wrinkle to their strategies. “When the first 10% tariff was instigated, we simply implemented it as a separate line item charge on our invoices,” Mittelstaedt explained. “As they adjust up or down, we’ll simply manage that percentage.”

At Elk Grove Village, Ill.-based All Tile, the top 20 distributor studied alternative manufacturers and brought in its Chinese New Year’s inventory early, according to Bob Weiss, CEO.

CFL Flooring, one of the largest Chinese flooring exporters, has initiated the production of three new fully integrated production facilities outside of China. “New factories are up and running, and one additional factory will be operational in the next weeks,” said Thomas Baert, founder and CEO.

Don Maier, CEO of Armstrong Flooring, said the 10% tariff instituted in September had dual implications. “It made certain products that we import from China more expensive, but it also further strengthened the value proposition for many of Armstrong Flooring’s legacy resilient products. As imported flooring becomes more expensive, domestically manufactured products such as vinyl sheet, LVT and VCT become even better values.”

While some observers see the U.S.-China ceasefire as creating an off-ramp for de-escalation of the trade war, many flooring executives are wary about the future beyond the 90-day period.

All Tile’s Weiss said he is concerned about the additional 15%, and still feels it will be imposed at the end of March. “I hope I am wrong, but the issues that the tariffs are being imposed—such as intellectual property—are far from being dealt with,” he told FCNews. “Flooring and the other tariffed products are being used as the tool for these negotiations.”

Scott Humphrey, CEO of the World Floor Covering Association, said, as someone who has studied President Trump’s style of negotiation from his book, “The Art of The Deal,” he was always hopeful this was a tactic Trump was using to get a better deal for America. “I am hopeful the 15% additional will not be added on and we will see a roll back of the original 10%. That said, there is no doubt in my mind this is only over if the president achieves his desired result.”

A high-level executive with Glen Burnie, Md.-based Haines, the industry’s largest distributor, said the company will focus on ensuring it has strong supplier relationships during this period of détente. “A 15% additional tariff would be something we would prefer not to deal with. However, as the two countries work through the negotiation over the coming weeks, we will continue to prepare for outcomes that would include the proposed or slightly less percentage increase.”

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Novalis partners with INSTALL

Toronto, Canada—As part of Novalis’ commitment to excellence in installation professionalism, the flooring manufacturer is now an alliance partner with INSTALL.

“We are excited and honored to be part of this alliance,” said Jim Kups, North America technical director for Novalis. “Professionally done installation makes all the difference and that’s what INSTALL is all about.”

As an alliance partner, Novalis will contribute to the training curriculum for the proper installation of LVT—whether glue down, loose lay or click—in flexible or rigid core products.

“We are pleased to welcome Novalis to INSTALL and appreciate their support for the highest standards in flooring installation,” said John T. McGrath Jr., executive director of INSTALL.