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Phenix Flooring LVT receives EPD

Phenix Flooring’s Rigid Core LVT has received an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). The EPD is an internationally-accepted, published report detailing the lifecycle story of a product.

By selecting products with an EPD, builders can potentially earn more credits toward LEED certification or simply understand the environmental impact of the products they’re choosing. Certified styles from the Rigid Core LVT collection include Momentum, Expedition, Impulse and Velocity.

According to Shelton Group’s 2014 EcoPulseä Survey, 70% of Americans are searching for greener products. By earning an EPD from UL Environment, Phenix Flooring signals its commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability leadership.

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Beauflor USA’s Eternity makes stateside debut

White, Ga.—Beauflor USA has launched Eternity, a new laminate collection boasting superior durability and water resistance. The collection, which is manufactured in Belgium, is constructed on an extra-thick, moisture-resistant plank that is treated with water repelling technology to add protection against spills, stains and impacts.

The planks have an overall 14mm thickness and an AC5 wear rating that makes Eternity unique in the water-resistant laminate category. With eight new on-trend colors, ranging from light gray to dark brown and in-register embossing, Eternity has the look of luxury living and feel of an authentic hardwood floor.

Eternity’s water-repellant planks make cleaning spills and removing stains easy. It is also suitable for bathroom and kitchen areas were spills are more common. The floor is backed by a 72-hour topical water warranty that guarantees that the floor will withstand spills as long as they are removed within 72 hours. Plus, it comes with a lifetime residential and 15 year commercial warranty.

Each plank is equipped with a 2mm thick pad to increase comfort underfoot, reduce noise, and cover small subfloor imperfections. The attached pad reduces the cost of installation because no additional underlayment is required. The planks are built with a 5G locking system that makes it easier and faster to install and locks out spills for up to 72 hours. Coordinating moldings are also available to assist in making the floor flow seamlessly throughout the home or workplace.

 

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MSI introduces AR Countertop Visualizer tool

With no app to download, the Countertop Visualizer is designed to show trade partners, retailers and homeowners how select countertops will look in their rooms in seconds. Once uploaded, the tool saves the image automatically. From there, consumers can select other countertops, view product details, share it on social media and email, find a store and rate their experience. 

“Imagination can only take you so far in the design process,” said Emily Holle, director of trend and design. “It’s why designers include 3D spatial renderings when presenting plans to their clients. In addition to seeing how a particular countertop will look in your space—and how it integrates with other design elements in say a kitchen or laundry room—you can now use the augmented reality tool to compare different looks easily.”

The Countertop Visualizer allows consumers to see nuances like veins and color variations in close-up images. A photo taken from across a room helps to provide general context. “It’s a great way to narrow down your favorites and minimize the angst associated with deciding on the one,” Holle said. “It’s also a tool that invites discovery. With some of the world’s most beautiful countertops at your fingertips, you may decide on something unexpected. The act of exploring—without leaving the couch— makes the design process more enjoyable.”

The company offers a few ways to use its Countertop Visualizer. For more information, click here.

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Karndean Designflooring collects Design Impact Awards at HD Expo

Export, Pa.—The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) honored two original flooring designs by Karndean Designflooring with Design Impact Awards at the Hospitality Design (HD) Expo in Las Vegas. Karndean Designflooring Art Select Reclaimed Hickory and LooseLay Longboard Fabric Oak were among the eight winners.

The Design Impact Awards program recognizes innovative products that put people and/or the environment at the center of design intent. Products were scored across several categories, including: design objective, design and technical innovation, market application, and sustainability/health and wellness/resiliency.

“ASID is pleased to recognize Karndean Designflooring and the Art Select Reclaimed Hickory and LooseLay Longboard Fabric Oak products as ASID Design Impact Award winners,” said Randy Fiser, Hon. FASID, CEO, ASID. “As the organization that represents the entire design profession, we are proud to honor companies at the forefront of innovation who are focused on human-centric design. ASID believes that design impacts lives and seeks to recognize companies who make that belief a priority in their work. We count Karndean Designflooring among those organizations.”

The Karndean Designflooring product development team travels the world in search of expressive and intriguing natural forms to influence original product designs. The Art Select Reclaimed Hickory design was developed from boards recovered at a Midwest lumber yard. The stark color contrast between the heartwood and sapwood is the result of over a century of growth, exposing a beauty only visible with age. The original logs were sawn with a wide circular blade, inspiring a new emboss which gives the Karndean luxury vinyl planks a subtle cross-sawn appearance and texture. This design is available in three colorways: Weathered Hickory, Vintage Hickory and Classic Hickory.

The LooseLay Longboard Fabric Oak design was developed from European oak found in the UK. Inspired to explore the effect of weathering beyond what happens when wood is exposed to the elements, Karndean took a softer and more worn approach. Cross-sawn patterns skip through the boards, creating a layered effect, as though fabric had been worn directly onto the planks. This design is available in three colorways: Worn Fabric Oak, Shadow Fabric Oak and Urban Fabric Oak.

Karndean Designflooring products are manufactured in factories certified to the ISO 14001 environmental standard and the ISO 9001 quality standard. The wear layers use high quality, 100% virgin PVC, with the product itself containing recycled PVC derived from post-production waste. Almost all of this waste is granulated and recycled back into new product in a closed loop recycling process. Neither heavy metals nor mercury catalysts are added during the manufacturing process and these products are free from both BPA and formaldehyde. In addition, Karndean Designfloors fully comply with REACH—a European Union regulation that addresses the production and use of chemicals and their potential impacts on human health and the environment—and with California’s Proposition 65.

For more information, visit karndean.com.

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NeoCon unveils experiential outdoor environment

Chicago—To further enhance the NeoCon experience and address the next frontier of flexible workplaces, the 51st edition will mark the launch of the NeoCon Plaza, a new outdoor amenity space that spans the length of The Mart’s South Drive.

Designed by Gensler Chicago and brought to life in collaboration with Forward Fruit Branded Environments, NeoCon Plaza will offer visitors a place to connect, collaborate, relax, recharge and unwind and enjoy the outdoors with a backdrop featuring sweeping views of the Chicago River, Riverwalk and Chicago cityscape. The NeoCon Plaza will be complemented by product introductions and programming throughout the overall show, offering attendees valuable insight into the importance of outdoor spaces for work and other commercial environments.

“An effective workplace is critical, but it’s no longer enough," said Todd Heiser, managing director and principal of Gensler Chicago. "Employees want, and expect, an excellent experience at work, which means spaces with high levels of choice, variety and balance. Adding an outdoor element is another step in the evolution of choice and it is with this philosophy that we approached the NeoCon Plaza.”

Inspired by the idea of “The Urban Boardwalk,” the NeoCon Plaza provides a welcome outdoor oasis. Along the meandering boardwalk, which was built by Skender Construction, guests will find different sheltered and unsheltered spaces for work, meeting, gathering, rest, nourishment and celebration. The entire footprint of the outdoor environment features carpets made with Econyl regenerated and regenerable nylon created from waste including fishing nets and old carpets. All the carpet tile has been designed and supplied by Interface and is made with Econyl yarn.

Attendees will also enjoy a wide range of gourmet food and drink options for breakfast through evening created by Chef Michael Kornick of DMK, the restaurant group behind The Mart’s Marshall’s Landing. IIDA, the commercial interior design association, will be hosting a branded pop-up featuring smoothies and frozen drinks among other goodies.

“Social spaces are flexible, communal and inspiring, so people can pause, gather, connect and refresh," said John Scott, senior workplace design strategist at Haworth. "And, for a lot of these areas, outside is the new in. In order to creatively develop solutions and reduce the stress in our work lives—go outside. The NeoCon Plaza will give attendees an immersive look into how these spaces can be successfully implemented.”

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Coverings 2019 marks 30th year with continued growth

Arlington, Va.—Coverings had another year of strong growth at the 2019 show, with nearly 1,100 exhibitors showcasing 479,788 square-feet of tile and stone. Almost 27,000 professionals from over 90 countries—an 8.6% increase—attended the 30thannual trade show, which took place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando from April 9-12.

“The significant uptick in attendance at Coverings is certainly a strong indication of the health and vitality of the tile and stone industry,” said Jennifer Hoff, president of Taffy Event Strategies, the management company for Coverings. “It was particularly meaningful to see such strong attendee numbers as we celebrated three decades of Coverings.”

Coverings 2019 participants enjoyed new product previews, live demonstrations, networking opportunities and over 50 educational opportunities. Among the thousands of professionals who attended, distributor attendance was up 9% while architects & designers, builders & remodelers, contractors & installers, fabricators and retailersgrew by more than 10% as compared to 2018.

The show’s 30thanniversary milestone provided an opportunity to celebrate the brands that move the industry forward, as well as the designers, architects, specifiers, distributors and more who promote tile and stone within their businesses. In honor of these long-standing partners, anniversary badges and booth ribbons were awarded to attendees and exhibitors who’ve participated in every year of Coverings.

“The show allows us to meet with both current and potential customers, architects, designers and others involved in the industry, acting as a great networking opportunity,” said Salva Liñan, Ceramica Gomez area manager.  “As a veteran company in the industry, we attend Coverings every year full of enthusiasm because it is the best place to showcase our newest product developments.”

The show concluded with a second-line-style parade, complete with beads and a marching band, in celebration of Coverings 2020 which will take place in New Orleans from April 20-23.

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Times Flooring introduces Aqua Allira to North American market

Sainte-Thérèse, Quebec, Canada—Times Flooring, a manufacturer of high-end engineered wood products, has introduced Aqua Allira to its innovative flooring collection. The product provides a waterproof engineered wood flooring option for both commercial and residential applications.

When exposed to water, Aqua Allira waterproof flooring maintains its integrity thanks to AquaTimes application process that combines a patented construction and a superior formulated finish, which prevents the wood from swelling, buckling or delaminating. It features a non-toxic hypoallergenic finish with an antimicrobial agent and is highly durable, making it the ideal flooring solution for bathrooms, kitchens, laundry areas, mud rooms, basements and more.

“Luxury engineered wood flooring is already a hugely popular option for both homeowners and commercial businesses,” said Linda Gelly, owner and president, Plancher Times flooring. “When you add to its benefits—waterproof features, enhanced durability and innovative colors and textures—Aqua Allira is the best product in its category available in the North American market.”

Developed in collaboration and acquired from Uniboard Canada Inc., Times Flooring’s proprietary development process showcases the unique characteristics, performance and finish of its engineered flooring. The Aqua Allira collection features modern colors with stunning natural variation for an authentic look.

For more information, visit: planchertimes.com

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AHF Products to acquire LM Flooring

Lancaster, Pa.—AHF Products will acquire LM Flooring, a global manufacturer and marketer of hardwood flooring products, with closing expected within 30 days.

“The LM brand further expands our portfolio of strong brands, complementing our existing Bruce, Robbins, HomerWood and Hartco brand presence,” said Mike Bell, chief operating officer, AHF Products. “Our strengthened manufacturing capabilities will create new growth opportunities for both our AHF and LM channel partners.”

A worldwide leader in engineered wood flooring, the LM Flooring brand signifies high quality products on the forefront of market trends: wide-width, long-length, sliced, sawn and textured constructions. LM Flooring serves a diversified portfolio of customers across the globe, including North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, and manufactures product in a state-of-the-art facility in Sihanoukville, Cambodia.

“AHF Products is recognized as best in class in solid and rotary engineered hardwood flooring. And the combination of LM adds best in class sawn and sliced faced manufacturing capabilities and products,” said Brian Carson, president and CEO, AHF Products. “Plans include immediate expansion of the Cambodian facility to service exceptional demand from the U.S. market.”

For more information, visit AHFProducts.com.

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Arley to stage four regional events this summer

For the last 16 years, Arley Wholesale, Inc., the family-owned, third-generation wholesale supplier of ceramic, porcelain, stone, glass mosaic tiles and sundry materials, has hosted its Annual Arley Golf Classic and Tile & Stone Exposition in Scranton, Pa. This coming summer, Arley is set to host four regional events outside of its home base.

“Our Golf Classic/Tile Expo has always been successful,” said Scott Levy, president. “Because our business has grown exponentially—expanding to 26 states—we want to make sure to personally reach as many of our customers and prospects as possible. So this summer, we’ll be taking our shows on the road.”

The schedule is as follows:

  • June 11 at Hilton Christiana/Delaware Park Casino in Wilmington, Del.
  • July 10 at Saratoga Hilton/Saratoga Springs Casino in Sarasota Springs, N.Y.
  • July 23 at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn.
  • 6at Hollywood Casino in Columbus, Ohio

“We want to fully cover how our various programs help retailers better compete against their big box and Internet competitors…and in doing so, receive higher margins,” Levy added. “Our private label Qualis program cannot be sold online, so our retailers are fully protected against losing orders to the internet.”

Key sundry suppliers such as Mapei, USG, Ardex, iQ Power Tools, Tile Ez, Primo Tools, Suntouch, Wedi and Profilitec will offer educational demonstrations at each show. Attendees will be eligible to receive exclusive at-show pricing promotions for these companies’ products and tile products through Arley.

“Of course, we intend to have a lot of fun, too,” Levy said. “For example, for our casino nights, customers will receive $50 in ‘free play’ for every pallet of tile or two pallets of sundry items purchased at each of our events.”

For more information, call Terry Ford at 800.233.4107 or email terryford@arleywholesale.com

 

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O’Krent Floors shapes workforce for the digital age

Jason O'Krent

San Antonio—O’Krent Floors recently named Jason O’Krent, director of sales, following three years in the field as a sales associate. A new position, special projects coordinator, was created for Laura Reuter, a veteran employee with a 12-year history at the company.

“Jason will be responsible for developing sales growth strategies, procedures and action plans in daily coordination with the director of operations, sales associates and clients,” said Sam O’Krent, president of O’Krent Floors. “Laura will expand database management to include the development and integration of new software technology.”

Employees are at the core of the business, O’Krent added. “It is their dedication and commitment that keeps our company strong—the reason we exist. We are so proud that Jason, a fifth generation in our family business, is helping propel O’Krent’s into its second century of flooring. We are equally proud to create a new position for Laura, who had maintained our company database since 2005. She has a creative, investigative mind and is instrumental in the integration of technology that keeps us at the forefront of our industry.”

Laura Reuter

As a former sales associate, Jason O’Krent gained perspective working in the field, honed the importance of time management and the nuances of customer satisfaction while juggling family commitments. “I gained valuable insight from other members of the sales force,” he said. “I will continue to solicit their ideas, value their contributions and provide them with the tools they need to be more efficient and effective.”

Reuter began her career at O’Krent Floors in the accounts payable department doing data entry and claims management. In 2010, she assumed database management and maintenance, which she dubs “the heart of the business, because it touches all systems and all departments, it drives and protects the bottom line.”

Reuter will work with the director of sales and operations to maximize the benefits of iPad and Bluetooth technology and implement software to strengthen inventory control as the business grows. “Because of technology, the frontier of flooring is always changing," she said. "A strong, organized, well-maintained database is the key to propelling new technology. It simplifies the integration process.”