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MSI sponsors showhouse benefitting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

Atlanta—MSI is a Silver Sponsor for the Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles’ Home for the Holidays Showhouse. In addition to being a sponsor for this annual event, several MSI products are used throughout the home—including the company’s Q Premium Natural Quartz, and Arterra Porcelain Pavers.

“We are thrilled that architectural designer Frank Heery of Harrison Design chose to incorporate several of MSI’s most innovative products into this truly exceptional 5,000-square-foot-home,” said Emily Holle, director of trend and design, MSI. “And as one of the sponsors, we’re proud that this event benefits Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and I encourage our clients and customers to attend.”

The 1950s-era Saltbox home has a focus on wellness with a spa dedicated to health and mediation. What’s more, it features several additions and layout modifications which give it a sense of history. “You can imagine that it was added onto over time,” Heery said. “We wanted to show people what you can do with a renovation. You don’t always have to build new.”

The showhouse welcomes visitors from Nov. 14 to Dec. 8. It is located at 4825 Woodvale Drive NW Atlanta, Ga., 30327. Each room is uniquely designed by several of the top interior designers in the South East. 

Visitors can find the home’s featured MSI products—along with a full line of the company’s natural stone, decorative mosaics, luxury vinyl tile and more—at the nearby MSI Atlanta Showroom and Distribution Center located at 7950 Troon Circle Austell, Ga., 30168.

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I4F puts on a show in 2020

Willemstad, Curaçao—I4F, a group of companies providing patents and technologies to the flooring industry, is exhibiting at all four major global flooring shows in 2020. In January 2020, the company will have booths at Domotex in Hannover, Germany, as well as at The International Surface Event (TISE) in Las Vegas. I4F will also exhibit at Domotex USA, in Atlanta in February and Domotex asia/ChinaFloor at the end of March.

I4F will showcase all the latest technologies and innovations immediately available via an I4F license from each of its patent clusters. I4F’s Patent Cluster Concept offers cutting-edge solutions in the areas of locking, board and wall panels, surface finishing, manufacturing processes as well as materials and panel composition.

“Innovation and freedom of choice have formed the cornerstones of our ethos since the very beginning,” said John Rietveldt, I4F’s CEO. “And our vision to support the global flooring industry by providing accessibility to groundbreaking innovation is more prevalent now, than ever before. This is who we are, and this is reflected in everything we offer. 2020 will be a milestone year whereby past differences can be put aside enabling a revived focus on innovation and growth.”

I4F’s management team will be present at all the exhibitions and will be available to meet with licensees and new prospects.

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Durkan kicks off BDNY with after-hours program at The Shed

New York—Durkan hosted an exclusive event at The Shed in New York City’s Hudson Yards this week for more than 200 guests in town attending BDNY. The flooring manufacturer, a division of Mohawk Group, brought together architecture, design and hospitality professionals on Sunday for an evening of socializing and unwinding from the annual trade show. Together they experienced a dynamic presentation featuring three hands-on architects responsible for recent projects that are decidedly innovative.

In addition to exploring The Shed, special guests interacted with the custom flooring that Durkan produced for the eighth-floor Tisch Skylights. Rockwell Group, which collaborated on the architecture for the project, specified wide-plank solid white oak hardwood composed into a unique configuration for the 7,500-square-foot rehearsal and event space. Each day natural light pours in from two skylights and floor-to-ceiling window banks that face the Hudson River and the now-iconic Vessel centerpiece.

Headlining the evening’s program, which was titled “Gathering Places: Buildings That Foster Creativity and Conversation,” were Rockwell’s Greg Keffer, partner and studio leader; along with Anne Marie Lubrano, partner, Lubrano Ciavarra Architects; and Adam Rolston, managing and creative director of INC Architecture & Design. Stacy Shoemaker Rauen, editor-in-chief of Hospitality Design magazine, served as moderator. While much of the discussion focused on The Shed, Lubrano’s work for the TWA Hotel at JFK and Rolston’s for the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge also were featured.

“The Shed is a great source of pride for all involved because of its unparalleled place on the cultural scene as home to every type of art—music, dance, theater and the visual arts,” said David Duncan, senior vice president of sales at Durkan. “It was critical that the architecture and interior design be a match to this higher purpose, and so we feel extremely privileged to have Durkan product play such an integral part of the built environment.”

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Creating Your Space enters new business channel

San Rafael, Calif.—Creating Your Space has started providing custom website and digital marketing services for the kitchen and bath industry.

Creating Your Space will provide fully custom websites, visualization for countertops and backsplashes, customized product catalogs specific to the dealer’s suppliers and a full range of digital marketing services to drive leads for dealers and support their efforts to generate sales.

“We have been investing in technology and content for kitchen and bath segment from our inception 19 years ago to support our builder design center customers and later, to support our flooring retail dealers that sell and support multiple kitchen and bath categories,” said Jay Flynn, vice president of Creating Your Space. “It is a natural transition to leverage this to supporting exclusive Kitchen and Bath dealers.”

Creating Your space will be an exhibitor at KBIS in Las Vegas Jan. 21-23, 2020.

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Beacon KC changes area rug shopping with flooring visualization projection system

Kansas City, Mo.—Beacon KC, a division of Eckard's Home Improvement, recently unveiled an innovative new technology at its showroom here, which allows customers to visualize area rugs in detail with a brand-new, proprietary augmented reality projection system.

Originally conceived by Steve Eckard, Beacon KC owner, this visualization and projection system was designed to offer a cutting-edge, interactive shopping experience without compromising customer service.

The Beacon KC-exclusive system uses a tablet and a ceiling-mounted projector to display high-resolution, color-corrected images of thousands of different area rugs on a 9 x 13-foot simulated wood background, allowing customers to see the rugs in augmented reality and to make more informed purchases for their home.

“The current area rug buying process is limited by what a retailer can carry in the store,” said Virginia Decker, store manager and style consultant, Beacon KC. “This new system simplifies, streamlines and expedites the area rug shopping process.”

The process can begin at home, as the showroom tool ties to a web browser that offers customers the opportunity to indicate their favorite rugs and either make an appointment or drop-in the Kansas City store to see projections of their top choices.

“We wanted to combine the convenience and versatility of online shopping with the personal attention and customer service of in-store shopping experience,” explained Alex Eckard, co-founder and strategist, Beacon KC.

Incorporating a wide range of dimensions and price points, the projection system can showcase area rugs in a variety of materials. Customers can see one-of-a-kind, antique, silk, wool and hand-knotted rugs from top antique Persian rug dealers, including Kansas City’s own Aladdin Oriental Rug Company.

“Our new visualization system has been very well received so far,” Eckard said. “It’s accessible, easy to use and more convenient for today’s customers.”

Beacon KC plans to further enhance the visualization system by adding broadloom, hardwood and tile flooring projections as well. Area rugs will also be able to be projected on a variety of virtual hardwood flooring and polished concrete surfaces.

Currently only available in Beacon KC’s northwest Missouri showroom, the technology is expected to be implemented at the company’s Eckard’s Home Improvement store in Savannah, Ga., in the coming months. The system is also available to other retailers interested in adding this innovative system.

“Although we designed this projection system for Beacon KC and our family business, we see the potential impact this system can have on the flooring industry,” Eckard said. “We are happy to work with other retailers to make this technology available to their customers as well.”

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Laticrete announces 2020 product launches at Total Solutions Plus

Bethany, Conn.—Laticrete gave attendees at​ the 10th annual Total Solutions Plus conference an exclusive sneak peek at two 2020 product launches—SpectraLock 1 and Laticrete Select-Bond—that are designed to move the needle forward for the industry.

SpectraLock 1, a pre-mixed, stain-proof grout with epoxy performance, offers superior strength, rapid curing and the ability to be submerged. According to Laticrete, it also meets more standards under ANSI A118.3 than any other pre-mixed grout on the market. Laticrete Select-Bond is an adhesive system consisting of a highly versatile polymer-modified adhesive designed to be used either alone or with one of three Laticrete Select-Bond Kits—Rapid, Non-Sag and High-Performance—for additional performance enhancements. The system enables contractors to reduce the cost of inventory and the ability to create whatever adhesive is needed on the job site​. Both products will be available for purchase in early 2020.​

“With Total Solutions Plus bringing the tile industry together each year, we knew this would be the best place to share our significant product advancements with the industry,” said Spencer Maheu, Laticrete’s director of product management.“SpectraLock 1 and Laticrete Select-Bond are two new products that stand for everything we believe about addressing our customers’ pain points and helping Laticrete users efficiently deliver installations that last a lifetime. We want the market to expect more from their products, in the performance and value they deliver, and nothing speaks to that better than SpectraLock 1 and the Laticrete Select-Bond adhesive system.”

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Cali wins click LVT tariff exclusion for industry

San Diego—A request submitted by Cali has been accepted by the U.S. Trade Representative, resulting in a tariff exemption affecting the entire vinyl flooring industry. The exclusion concerns Section 301 tariffs for select types of luxury vinyl plank flooring and is effective immediately, lifting the current 25% tariff.

“Cali led the efforts to exclude LVP from the tariffs which began back in the Fall of 2018 and impacted the whole flooring industry,” said Doug Jackson, CEO of Cali Bamboo. “We’re delighted to learn our efforts paid off, and the U.S. Trade Representative granted our exclusion. This is good news for our industry, but namely good news for the customer who will maintain access to a high-quality product at a viable price.”

Cali achieved the pivotal exemption through a collaboration with Congressman Scott Peters, U.S. Representative for California’s 52nd congressional district, where Cali is headquartered. The company approached the congressman back in June and together appealed to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

A public docket listing all granted, denied and pending requests for this particular tariff can be seen here. Cali’s requests can be viewed by searching the list by “Organization Name,” and entering “Cali Bamboo.”

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Benchwick floors, walls to be launched in U.S., Canada and Europe

Northann Distribution Center and Benchwick Construction Products have announced plans to launch ultra-high definition, direct digital print Benchwick flooring and wall coverings in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

Benchwick began in 2013 and has perfected ultra-high definition direct printing technology on its waterproof Blue Eleven ultra-stable rigid core and PVC-free EScore. Over one million flooring and wall panels have already been produced in 2019.

“Through our proprietary technology, we have engineered a game-changer in terms of unsurpassed realism, color and detail that is two times the resolution of others,” said Richard Abiali, vice president of sales and development. “There’s nothing else like it.”

In addition to its ultra-high definition, direct printing process, the Benchwick collection features a number of other industry advancements, thanks to its inhouse R&D division dubbed “Crazy Industry.” Among Benchwick firsts are DSE (digital synchronized effect) that provides a realistic look and feel; Infinite Glass, a transparent UV-protective layer; and ArmorDual, made with sapphire crystals for the perfect abrasion resistance. Benchwick flooring and wall coverings range from AC2 to AC5 for residential (limited lifetime warranty) and light commercial (15- to 25-year warranties).

There are four product series in the Benchwick collection with planks and tiles of varying sizes and groutless seams that come standard with click installation, although styles can also be ordered as glue down. All Benchwick products feature no pattern repeats in 200 square feet and are FloorScore certified.

“We think of ourselves as a technology company that produces superior interior surfaces, not a flooring company that uses a little technology,” Abiali said. “Because of that, we bring our customers a better product, quicker order fulfillment, minimal delivery times, fewer imperfections and more customization possibilities.”

Visit Benchwick U.S.A. at NAFCD 2019 Annual Convention, booth #610.

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Obit: Benjamin A. Hagood Sr.

Charleston, S.C.—It is with great sadness that Southern Diversified Distributors announced the passing of Benjamin Hagood Sr., past president and CEO of William M. Bird, Nov. 9, 2019.

Hagood was a visionary and a leader in the flooring industry for 50 years. He was William M. Bird’s sixth president before retiring from the then 128-year-old company at the end of 1993. During his career, he served as a member on the NAFCD board and was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the NAFCD in 2012.

Hagood is survived by his wife of 65 years, four sons and their wives, 13 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. His legacy of faith, family and leadership permeates the William M. Bird core values that define the company today. All who knew him appreciated his modesty, enthusiasm and gentleness. Hagood will be greatly missed among the William M. Bird and Southern Diversified Distributors family of companies.

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Tarkett introduces new patterns to Garden Walk collection

Solon, Ohio—Due to the success of Tarkett’s original Garden Walk collection of 12 patterns and colorways, the manufacturer has expanded the line with two new styles—Solana and Allium—that reflect the same commitment to establishing quiet, restorative spaces, especially in today’s interiors.

According to Tarkett, though the collection was originally designed with senior living spaces in mind, its soft colors and patterns have also been successful in corporate, retail and other healthcare environments. Both new patterns feature soft geometric foundations, balanced by organic overlays—a combination of elements that introduces a more contemporary aesthetic, along with rich depth, texture and plenty of softness.

Solana features a brick-like inlay beneath wandering ivy vines. Available in broadloom, this style offers luxurious plushness with minimal pattern lines, creating expansive areas without obvious pattern repeats.

Allium layers the impression of a garden trellis and scattered leaves beneath tip sheared accents of a large damask. The random cut of each modular tile creates a meandering, handmade feel in every step.

As the wellness industry continues to evolve, more and more clients expect to live, work and rejuvenate in spaces that actually help them thrive. The Garden Walk collection was developed from this need to create atmospheres of betterment, making healthful spaces feel less clinical and more restorative.

Within this single line, Tarkett now has 14 patterns reminiscent of organic material, three of which have been created in collaboration with designer Suzanne Tick. These patterns bring an updated, sophisticated approach to biophilic design, and offer a variety of scale across Powerbond, Modular and Broadloom platforms, so the collection can work in any space.  The line also offers 12 colorways, which have been informed by Tarkett’s latest research for wellness, aged care and memory care. This warm array of color and pattern gently introduces a restorative calm and embraces the imperfect beauty of the natural world. The different weights of pattern and color throughout the collection have been designed very intentionally, allowing the patterns to coordinate with each other, but in a new, more elegant way.

Tarkett has divided the Garden Walk collection into two portfolios for easier selection: Modular/Powerbond constructions and Broadloom. Each design is created with 100% solution-dyed DYNEX yarn, making them colorfast to light, contaminants and harsh cleaning agents.

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