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Moldings coordinate with made-to-match programs

March 5/12, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 19

By Nicole Murray

 

Moldings are vital to any flooring project, and no job can be considered complete until the accessories have been matched to the consumer’s liking and installed. As flooring manufacturers continue to refresh and develop designs, suppliers of moldings and transitions are also looking to incorporate the latest flooring looks in their offerings.

FCNews takes a look at some of the leading manufacturers’ new, cutting-edge products that cater to current trends and offer solutions for common installation scenarios.

Artistic Finishes
Artistic Finishes has unveiled EnduraCor, a multilayered wood veneer that consists of a waterproof core, track insert, adhesive backer, decorative layer and a top coat.

EnduraCor is available in various wood species which are wrapped around the veneer with the profiles. According to the company, this construction offers a better blend that meshes with different products in the market, including European white oak, maple and hickory.

“Thin slices of wood are assembled onto a mesh backer and we top it off with a very durable hard blend,” said Bill Treiber, technical sales and education manager. “We also make a point to do our staining in house so we see each product from start to finish.”

EnduraCor is available in 16 different profiles ranging from 2.5mm to 15mm to cater to the various thicknesses available for WPC and rigid vinyl core products. These different options help avoid overlapping and tripping hazards commonly seen with products that are matched with an inappropriately sized accessory, the company said.

“There are so many different sizes and thicknesses available out there today,” Treiber explained. “We originally started with six profiles but we continuously add more to complement what is out there.”

Pennwood
Pennwood’s RetroTread collection can be made to match any color, finish or flooring design and is user friendly for professional installers and DIYers alike.

The manufacturer’s collection was originally only able to mimic nine species but has now expanded to approximately 30, which makes it possible to match

any flooring material whether it’s wood, laminate or WPC.

“People have approached us with all types of flooring situations where they want us to match it and it ends with us creating a custom staircase just for them,” said Kraig Coxon, executive vice president. “If you are going to invest a lot of money in your flooring, you might as well finish strong with high-quality RetroTreads.”

Coxon cited an influx in gray and tan colors, which require multiple steps to create matching tones. “We are not getting the typical flooring requests anymore. The popular colors are two- and three-toned colors that require adding different colored stains and sanding multiple times to get a perfect match.”

Seneca Millwork
Seneca Millwork has developed several styles of sculpted and special trims in various finishes to provide end users with options. With such a vast design portfolio, the consumer is able to choose the accessory that will best complement her floor.

Available special finishes include sculpted, wire brushed, distressed and dead flat with a custom-matching process that personally involves the customers before making any final decisions.

“It is always a challenge to accomplish the worn, aged look or the oil and glazed appearance, but we make a point to continuously develop new methods to offer our customers the best possible accessories for their flooring needs,” said Tony Stahl, plant manager. “Our dead flat finish, for example, offers the appearance of an oil finish but without the added upkeep and can last for years.”

Stairrods
Stairrods puts the spotlight on its bendable LVT stair nosing designed for both straight and curved bullnose/curtail steps using 3⁄32-inch and 1⁄8-inch dryback. When using with 15⁄64-inch plywood, it can be paired with treads ranging between 55⁄64 inches and 63⁄64 inches.

The collection is available in 10 various finishes including brass, bronze, nickel and black, giving end users design flexibility to apply the accessory to areas with various themes including rustic, chic or simplistic looks. All Stairrods LVT stair nosings can be applied and fitted on site.

“We concentrate entirely on our products,” said John Raine, director. “This attention and focus guarantees they are the finest available anywhere in the world.”

 Zamma
Zamma’s Cap A Tread, a patented stair renewal system that slides over existing stair treads and box stairs, can be perfectly matched with over 1,000 vinyl and laminate decors. The product is available in a traditional bullnose shape for the basic boxed staircase as well as a right or left returned Cap A Tread for staircases with openings on either side.

“We thermally fuse the vinyl flooring film with an overlay and wrap it with high-density fiberboard stair substrate to create a seamless and visually appealing aesthetic,” said Tim Tipton, senior vice president of sales. “There is no scanning, just an accurate match.”

Cap A Tread’s easy installation is one of its greatest attributes. Not only does it avoid the need to rip up existing flooring, but it also requires a less experienced installer to do the job effectively.

“It is as simple as measuring the step, cutting, gluing and affixing,” Tipton said. “You now can have the same team that is installing your laminate or vinyl flooring also install Cap A Tread.”

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Mohawk accessory program aims to complete the package

March 5/12, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 19

By Reginald Tucker

 

To many retailers, Mohawk is regarded as a supplier of all manner of hard- and soft-surface products, including hardwood, laminate, LVT/P, ceramic and carpet, to name a few. But the supplier is looking to remind dealers that it also provides a vast array of accessories.

Among Mohawk’s line of complementary installation products are: transitions and moldings, flooring adhesives, underlayments and care/maintenance items such as cleaning products and tools. “We sell these items for all our products; it’s a full program,” said David Moore, senior director of accessories.

But these are not me-too products, according to Mohawk. Rather, the accessories program is built on the idea of innovative products that differentiate the company from others in the market. An example of that innovation is a new technology utilized across its moldings/transition programs. This entails a multi-functional molding whereby the installer is able to handle multiple types of transition needs with one piece of inventory.

“For example, in a typical installation you’ll need a T-molding when you’re bridging floors of equal heights; a reducer when you’re going down to a thinner floor; or an end molding when you’re going up to a sliding glass door,” Moore explained. “We offer a product called a ‘5-in-1’ molding that we have in our laminate, hardwood and vinyl assortment. In essence, it’s one item that needs to be inventoried, one item that needs to be ordered or sold; and the installer can convert it to any configuration he needs.”

Being a full-service, vertically integrated supplier also brings other advantages compared to the host of standalone accessory suppliers in the field, according to Moore. By managing the accessories programs holistically, he said, the company is able to leverage best practices from all the different groups and provide focus and consolidation. “As our sales force goes out to sell those products holistically, having that single point of contact and consistency throughout all the different flooring types is something we thought was very important to our customers.”

This strategy applies to other accessory products, not just moldings. Take Mohawk’s V 1 glue, which is engineered to address different scenarios. “This adhesive, depending on the way it’s installed, acts as a pressure-sensitive, but it can also be a permanent bond adhesive,” Moore explained. “It’s an innovative product that will accomplish everything you need it to do, but at the end of the day it’s still just one item.”

Technological bells and whistles aside, Mohawk’s accessory products and add-ons also provide an opportunity for retailers to make more money. “Dealers can improve their profitability in a variety of ways—from the multi-functional standpoint, they are able to order less SKUs and keep a lower inventory, which translates into fewer items they need to send out to the job site,” Moore explained. “That means less risk to the dealer in terms of inventory that might go out of style. In addition, from a pure revenue standpoint, accessories provide retailers with an opportunity to really look at their margins and charge a premium for products that offer more innovation and that consumers are going to value.”

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Stairrods introduces bendable LVT stair nosing

Blackhill, England—Stairrods has been manufacturing carpet accessories for over 30 years. During this time the company has constantly innovated in all areas—designing, developing and introducing new products, fittings and finishes. Stairrods designs and manufactures all its stair rods in-house, meaning the entire process is controlled by the company.

“We concentrate entirely on our products,” said Richard Dunn of Stairrods. “This attention and focus guarantees they are the finest available anywhere in the world.”

One of Stairrods products, bendable premier LVT nosing, can be used for straight and curved bullnose/curtail steps using 3/32-inch and 1/8-inch dryback. It can also be used with 15/64-inch plywood on treads between 55/64-inch and 63/64-inch thickness. This product can be fitted on site and no templating is needed for curves. It is currently available in 10 finishes.

For more information email Donald Haigh at stairrods@aol.com or visit stairrods.us/nosing-bendable.

Watch the latest video and learn more about the premier bendable LVT nosing here.

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Retailer2retailer: Having the real thing for a few dollars more

August 28/September 4: Volume 32, Issue 6

By Scott Perron

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 12.48.41 PMOver the last several years a significant trend has occurred: Millions of square feet of carpet is being replaced by hard surfaces. The look of hardwood has always been desirable in the U.S. and now there are many categories that offer the many visuals found in real wood, including tile, laminate, luxury vinyl plank and WPC.

Although similar in appearance, no item can replace the real thing when it comes to overall beauty and visual impact. Clearly there are challenges with regard to moisture resistance or maintenance of hardwood and laminate, which have paved the way for products such as LVP. For hardwood-centric retailers, the key to maintaining wood’s share of the market is to present the category with greater confidence, explaining to the consumer that she can have the real thing “for a few dollars more.”

We have found—in both wholesale supply and residential replacement—the key always comes down to educating the consumer or contractor on the options they have at their disposal. Quite often, however, retailers and distributors do an inadequate job of training staff members so they can be well versed when recommending these products for consumer use. Make it a goal to educate your staff on the construction, maintenance, warranties, application, preparation and proper installation of hardwood floors.

For those retailers selling and installing hardwood flooring in parts of the country where moisture or climate can affect the product, be especially diligent to send your estimators, sales professionals and installation teams to the many classes offered by your local supply houses, distributors and industry associations. In these affordable classes attendees will learn valuable information that can save you tens of thousands of dollars—even hundreds of thousands of dollars, in some cases—over the long term. In addition, these skills will build confidence in your team and set you apart from others in our field who are simply being penny wise and dollar foolish.

Accessories as a profit center
In addition to learning the proper procedures under the manufacturer’s warranties for installing their products (i.e., mitigating moisture, crack suppression and proper adhesion) my recommendation is to add on additional services such as wall base/casing installations, painting and maintenance services.

Here at 24-7 Floors and Floor4Pros, for example, we sell a large amount of wall base in proportion to our contemporaries simply because we stock the materials and provide custom painting of the product before it arrives at the consumer’s home. More important, we offer it to every customer at the time of sale. Internally, we estimate that for every 1,000 square feet of hard surfaces sold, there is an opportunity—on average—for 300 lineal feet of new trim, shoe molding or quarter round to be added on.

Are you looking to raise your average ticket with little effort? Then I suggest you sell trim on every job and incentivize your RSAs to do so while proving to your customer and their potential referrals that you are the experts in your market.

 

Scott Perron is the president of 24-7 Floors and Floor4Pros based in Sarasota, Fla. He is also an industry trainer and motivational speaker. He can be reached at scott@24-7floors.com or 860.250.1733.

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Moldings, accessories made to match latest floor designs

February 27/March 6, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 19

By Lindsay Baillie

 

If you are not currently selling moldings and accessories, 2017 might be the year to start. As flooring trends and categories continue to evolve, moldings manufacturers are unleashing a slew of trendy, matching products designed to provide greater add-on opportunities for retailers.

Following are new product offerings from some of the leading manufacturers.

Airwood Flooring Accessories
Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 10.27.09 AM
Airwood’s Matchables were designed to address the challenge of accurately matching moldings and vents with the wealth of new flooring products hitting the market. These products are available in a variety of profiles including Euro profile nosing, traditional bullnose nosing, reducer, t-caps and standard HVAC vents. New to this line are various profiles reflecting popular trends such as heavily textured, wide plank hardwood flooring.

According to Carmi Mooser, director of sales & marketing, Matchables is made from the manufacturers’ prefinished wood floor to ensure a perfect match. This approach, she explained, provides seamless installation and eliminates site reinstallation. Airwood partners with most of the major Canadian and American mills, but the company can also work directly with retailers to recreate styles and designs.

Selling customized moldings as well as other complementary accessories such as vents not only helps retailers differentiate themselves, but it also broadens a dealer’s overall selection. “It’s a really good product to add to any retailers lineup,” Mooser said. “Most hardwood installations require these moldings, but most homeowners have no idea about hardwood flooring accessories.”

Pedross
Pedross’ new products follow consumer and retailer demands to match moldings with specific types of flooring, especially the red-hot LVT category as well as perennial favorites such as hardwood.

“We are introducing flexible, stainable flooring transitions as a new product offering,” said Joe Albany, national sales manager. “We also will continue to focus on our digital printing capabilities for both hardwood flooring and LVT flooring lines.”

Pedross distributes products throughout the United States and Canada. Its offerings include wood, cork, laminate and LVT moldings, stair treads, aluminum profiles and digital prints.

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 10.27.14 AMPennwood
Pennwood has the capabilities of producing moldings from 40 different species and in over 6,000 different colors. The company uses species for species when constructing its moldings and makes its best effort to match its products to the flooring, explained Kraig Coxon, executive vice president. “The biggest thing we focus on is quality.”

This quality is found in Pennwood’s various moldings including its Retro Treads, Retro Risers, and LVT and hardwood flooring transitions.

In addition to moldings, Pennwood is currently working on a vents program to complement its other flooring accessories. Coxon noted many consumers want their bases and vents to match, so the incentive to produce these accessories is high. Pennwood hopes to have vents available by June and is starting out with bamboo products. “The biggest thing for us is we’ve been asked to do it from customers. If you’re going to do moldings and treads you might as well do vents.”

In terms of its future with moldings, Pennwood is also looking into WPC products.

Zamma
Some of Zamma’s newest innovations come from the company’s extruding products. These include a flush luxury vinyl tile nosing as well as a threshold made of waterproof core for ceramic installations. According to Peter Spielman, president, the new WPC product has a zero breakage rate and is price competitive. “On the luxury vinyl tile or luxury vinyl plank side we’re the only manufacturer that thermally fuses the same decorative layer and wear layer as the floor itself. We use the actual décor from the floor with a .5mm commercial-grade wear layer, so all of our transitional moldings for luxury vinyl floors are commercial warranty items and we use the same vinyl as the floor.”

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 10.27.18 AMSeneca
Seneca’s updated stains and finishes follow the popular gray and white tones trending in hardwood flooring. “At Seneca Millwork we continue to see matte finishes and shades of grays and whites play an important role in today’s flooring colors and styles,” said Mark Pacacha, national sales manager. “While these high-end finishes are more challenging, we continue to meet our deadlines on these and all hardwood moldings. We utilize our exclusive ColorMaster system to ensure our transitions are a customer-approved match to their flooring.”

All Seneca transitions are individually shrink-wrapped for protection during shipping, and to preserve on-site quality of the product.

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Should retailers be worried about hard surface surge?

January 16/23, 2017: Volume 31, Number 16

By K.J. Quinn

Screen Shot 2017-01-16 at 11.54.38 AMIt’s no secret residential hard surface sales are growing at record levels and gaining market share primarily at carpet’s expense. What is unknown is the toll this surge will have on dealer profitability down the road, as margins are thinner and product life spans are considerably longer for natural materials and certain resilient floors.

“This year, for us, was our lowest in carpet sales,” said Tom Urban, general manager, Great Lakes Carpet & Tile, which operates three locations in central Florida. “It’s about 23% of our overall business; we’ve never had it that low. It was much easier to make a profit selling carpet than hard surfaces.”

Most flooring retailers are no longer in the position where carpet is their bread-and-butter product, experts say. The amount of real estate devoted to carpet displays is steadily declining to accommodate pent-up demand for hard surfaces. “Just as Mohawk has diversified our business, retailers have to diversify their businesses,” said Seth Arnold, Mohawk’s senior director of brand, soft surface. “We are able to help navigate the changing consumer preferences. That being said, it is important to note carpet is still the largest single category.”

Indeed, rumors of carpet’s demise are greatly exaggerated, as the category represented approximately 43.4% of total flooring sales and 60% of volume in 2015, according to FCNews research. “Carpet is still king in rural markets,” noted Olga Robertson, president and CEO, FCA Network. “It’s the major metro markets that sell more hard surfaces. It may have more to do with the fact that it’s difficult to get good tile and hardwood installers in rural markets.”

What is getting increasingly difficult for retailers is maintaining the same level of profitability while selling less carpet. For the moment, dealers are making it up largely through volume. “We’ve kind of had to brace ourselves to do more volume to keep the same profit level and make the same profit dollars from a couple of years ago,” Urban reports. “Our average ticket is up over $1,000 a sale, so it has increased dramatically over the years.”

But, how much longer can dealers keep up this pace? Most hard surfaces maintain their appearance long after carpet “uglies” out, which could translate into less business over time. “I think it should be one of a retailer’s top concerns,” said David Snedeker, division merchandise manager, Nebraska Furniture Mart (NFM), Omaha, Neb. “Hard surfaces are growing, so you’re going to see less customers.”

Evolving product mix
As hard surface expands rapidly into traditional carpet strongholds in the home—such as dining, living and bed rooms—retailers are diversifying their product mix to keep up with demand. “We haven’t felt the effect of lost carpet sales because we have been able to pick up those sales by gaining other rooms of the home,” said Scott Junkins, owner, Harris Flooring America, Anderson, S.C. “The proper product assortment will increase the retailer’s average ticket and proper is based on what is selling, not what you try to sell.”

As dealers update showrooms to reflect what’s trending in their area, industry members say most of these products are supplanting carpet. “[We have] increased hard surface offerings and real estate in our showrooms, resulting in a smaller footprint in our soft surface departments,” added Kelby Frederick, co-CEO/owner, My Flooring America, Denton, Texas. “We have to reduce our ‘me, too’ offering of carpet products.”

Capitol Carpet & Tile, Boynton Beach, Fla., has seen a shift in soft surface sales. “We started out 30 years ago as a carpet store and we’re now about 50% carpet and 50% hard surfaces,” noted Lou Morano, president.

However, dealers have not given up on carpet altogether. “We still do sell a decent amount of carpet,” Morano said. “We want to sell the customer what [she] wants. It doesn’t make a difference to us if a customer wants to buy tile, laminate or carpet.”

The carpet lineup, however, is being streamlined dramaticallyas dealers seek to cover key price points, qualities and styles with fewer selections. Dealers such as My Flooring America are moving away from cut samples while others eliminated them entirely. “We aren’t showing eight different 35-ounce nylon textures that all look alike,” Frederick pointed out. “We have added a broader assortment of carpet products to feature better quality items that are much more fashionable, whether it be pattern, precision cut or print products.”

Less carpet, fewer customers
Screen Shot 2017-01-16 at 11.54.43 AMIf the hard surface boom continues, dealers may see fewer customers, especially as product warranties get more extensive.

But not all consumers use end-of-life as the basis for their purchasing decision. “I think the big difference is customers replace hard surface more due to change in fashion than performance,” Frederick said. “We have found the lifecycle to not be quite as dramatic as we feared due to changing trends in fashion.”

Indeed, consumer shopping habits change almost daily. “The younger generation of customers seems to be more focused on individuality, style and design, and easy maintenance vs. their parents wanting something that would ‘last forever,’” said Brad Christensen, vice president soft surface category management, Shaw Floors. “Even with the longer lifecycle with hard surface products, the fact that people are so much more mobile and spontaneous now, there will still be a market to make a space ‘mine,’ even if the current product is not necessarily worn out.”

Generating repeat business
As longer product lifecycles reduce the frequency of customer visits, dealers are exploring different avenues to bring people back sooner. NFM is considering entering other categories, such as cabinets. “You have to expand your horizons from the flooring [business], because you’re going to see fewer customers over time, with so much hard surfaces being sold and continuing to expand in the home,” Snedeker said.

Walgenmeyer’s Carpet & Tile, Madison, Wis., expanded its business to include post-sale services surrounding wood floors. “As we sell more hardwood, we can continue to service the customer that 10 years ago would have put in carpet but now wants hard surface/wood,” owner Erik Kadlec said. “Dealers that are not looking at offering services like buffing, sanding, sealing and finishing wood floors are missing out on profits still coming in.”

Industry members are optimistic the hard surface explosion will open opportunities for products which complement flooring. For example, Rug Gallery by Great Lakes Carpet & Tile recently opened as a one-stop rug store to accommodate growing demand. “We’re hearing numbers like seven out of 10 customers who buy hard surfaces wind up buying an area rug,” Urban said. “Rather than dangle a small area rug rack in the showroom, in September we opened a complete store.”

Ultimately, consumers need to be educated about the “latest and greatest” in carpet, experts say, which will encourage them to buy. “We as retailers need to do a better job, and the industry as a whole, to tout the benefits of carpet,” Robertson said. “It’s pretty, it’s warm, it has insulating qualities, it’s quiet, it’s made in the U.S. and it’s actually hypo-allergenic.”

 

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Blueprint for diversification: Expand choices

January 16/23, 2017: Volume 31, Number 16
By K.J. Quinn

Screen Shot 2017-01-16 at 10.52.08 AMFierce competition from big boxes combined with the commoditization of several popular flooring categories continue to crimp profit margins for many flooring dealers. That is forcing dealers to search for new avenues to boost their sagging bottom lines. As store operators diversify their businesses, observers say many are turning to home improvement and interior decorating products that complement flooring.

Specifically, flooring retailers are expanding into categories such as kitchen cabinets, window treatments, countertops and vanities, to name a few, in their efforts to become one-stop decorating shops for customers. Industry experts say some of these items not only carry high profit margins but also create potential multiple sales with floor coverings.

Case in point is Floor to Ceiling in Willmar, Minn., which has handled countertops, cabinets and vanities for years. About five years ago the company branched out to accent furniture, frames, sofas, chairs, etc. It also offers faucets, bathtubs and bathroom accessories.

“We have four to five kitchen displays,” said Steve Johnson, owner. “We have Cambria and granite countertop displays and a lot of different displays, with actual sinks, so people can see the different options.” Countertops are big-ticket items because the sale usually includes a new sink and new faucet, he explained. For this reason, Floor to Ceiling sells those two items with countertops as packages. In addition, a new countertop can lead to the sale of a ceramic backsplash.

“When people come in, we want to find out right away what they’re looking for,” Johnson said. “Sometimes it’s items like accent furniture; other items are more of an impulse buy, such as when you see a mirror or area rug. You want to at least get them to see the items, as they may not have come into the store looking for them.”

As a store that sells more than flooring, Floor to Ceiling has found success in hiring interior decorators. “The single biggest problem is for the customer to be able to envision and imagine what the final product is going to be,” Johnson said. In addition to hiring interior decorators, “there are some [software] on computers that enable you to see virtual rooms, and that helps.”

Floor to Ceiling’s success goes beyond its vast product offerings. Regardless of what the product is, service is critical, Johnson explained. “We preach that all the time to salespeople and installers. We have to set ourselves apart from the big box stores and that’s how we do it.”

Other dealers are also finding growth opportunities outside of flooring. Hadinger Flooring in Naples, Fla., has been selling custom cabinets for the last nine to 12 months. “One reason we got into the business is we do so much work with backsplashes, why not do cabinets?” said Ed Keller, CEO. “We devoted showroom space and hired experienced people who’ve sold cabinets, including someone from a big box who has done a lot of design work.”

Hadinger Flooring has found success in including cabinets in its business.
Hadinger Flooring has found success in including cabinets in its business.

The company brings customers into its design room and goes through different scenarios on screen. The staff is involved in the design work—creating rooms and 3-D renderings.

“Typically, the most important thing in the designing of cabinets is the doors,” Keller said. “You can have samples of the door, which take up very little space. We’ve gone a little further and put them on custom racks. This is just an idea center.”

Hadinger Flooring advertises cabinets alongside its flooring on TV and in print. According to Keller, people who sell cabinets can sell backsplashes but not the floors, which is why the company has both flooring and cabinet salespeople.

“It’s been a learning curve and an investment in the future,” Keller said. “If I were to give anyone a suggestion before he or she got into selling cabinets, it would be to hire a general contractor. Most installations we do involve moving plumbing and electrical [products], and you need licensed professionals to do that.”

If you show it…
Complementary home improvement categories have become so successful for some dealers that they are investing more capital into separate departments within the store. Such is the case at Floor to Ceiling, Virginia, Minn. Here, cabinets, faucets and area rugs have grown to account for about one-third of the company’s business. In fact, notes Jim Norlander, co-owner, the company has its own countertop shop on site.

“All of our kitchen displays have countertops on them,” Norlander said. “We’re limited in our shop to strictly laminate countertops. When it gets into Cambria or granite, we are like a subcontractor, providing a showroom for the fabricator who handles all the measuring and installing. We just show the samples.”

In addition to countertops, the company offers window treatments and higher-end cabinet units. “Some orders are custom and others are semi custom,” Norlander explained. “We sell a lot of middle of the road stuff, standard sizes which fit into people’s kitchens, and also all new colors and glazes. I don’t inventory stock for the customer, but we do have 20 kitchen displays set up in the showroom.”

Including vanity items in a showroom can entice customers and increase ticket sales. Norlander believes 90% of customers will buy something if they’re inside the store.

Norlander’s tips for retailers: “Start small and do it well. Start with some middle of the road cabinetry and be precise in what you do. It really helps to have diversity because if your carpet sales fall off in October, cabinetry sales can carry you over.”

Vinnie Virga, co-CEO, Floors & More buying group, is also a firm believer in presenting a diverse offering to the consumer. But he adds that not all categories have to be big-ticket items. Some Floors & More showrooms, he said, offer a plethora of items including mirrors, pictures, clocks, lighting and plumbing fixtures. In his experience, paints, window treatments, picture frames and other décor items are purchased more frequently than big-ticket items such as cabinets and counters. The key, he notes, is making sure everything is tagged because these are impulse buys.

“Décor products are probably the easiest to do. Paint is simple to learn, but the hardest part is mixing paint and having the equipment to do that. Cabinets are a little more involved because there’s a design element and learning how to install them. Countertops are pretty easy to sell because most people use a fabricator.”

Including cabinets and counters with average tickets from $8,000 to $12,000 provide more opportunities to increase and grow not only your average ticket but also your number of tickets, Virga stated. His advice for retailers looking to add accessories to their showrooms? “I recommend retailers pick a category to go into, then do the next one and the next one. Many of our retailers are very comfortable with what they know as well. A lot of items require some form of inventory, so you’ll need to have systems in place to buy and replenish those items on a regular basis.”

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Karastan, Patina Vie team up to produce rugs

karastan_logoDalton, Ga.—Karastan launches 2017 with a new licensing partnership with the lifestyle brand Patina Vie.

Patina Vie produces glassware, dinnerware, ceramics, lighting, bedding, textiles and furniture—all with a vintage warmth. Its product lines can be seen at Anthropologie, Neiman Marcus, Horchow, Bloomingdales and specialty boutiques around the world.

“Patina Vie is a brand we feel strongly aligns with the devotion to quality design that is a trademark of Karastan,” said Tracy Pruitt, vice president of design, Karastan. “The Patina Vie motto, ‘where history and style collide,’ is perfectly in step with Karastan’s approach for product introductions. Karastan and Patina Vie share a similar passion for historical patterning and ornament while making these styles modern and palatable for today’s market.”

Patina Vie’s designs are expressions of vintage and antique style that are realized in contemporary scale and layout. “Their designers layer unexpected patterns such as a traditionally French damask with a Japanese shabori pattern to create a wholly contemporary product that is so appealing, fresh and ingenious that customers are clamoring for their work,” Pruitt said. “Patina Vie is a brand with exploding momentum, and we are excited and proud to be creating a beautiful line of rugs utilizing their innovative approach to design and lifestyle.”

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What’s happening in moldings

November 7/14, 2016: Volume 31, Number 11

By Lindsay Baillie

Moldings do much more than complement a flooring installation; they also provide valuable add-on opportunities for retailers. To that end, molding manufacturers are adapting to the changing trends within the flooring industry by creating products that coordinate with the bevy of new products, colors, styles and formats available today. Specifically, moldings manufacturers are employing advanced technology for color production and programs for inventory.

Following are highlights from some of the leading manufacturers.

Moldings Online
screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-11-27-08-amMoldings Online is currently in the final stages of developing Water Proof Core (WPC) flooring accessories. This new product is “perfect for WPC, LVT and LVP flooring lines, but can also be used with traditional hardwood,” said Angie Feldhege, marketing coordinator. “It provides high-performance durability with four layers of production, eliminates the chance of moisture absorption, is stainable and can be blended to virtually any flooring line—just like our traditional hardwood accessories.”

The WPC is created with quality materials that are combined using a thermoplastic, injection molding process. “Using our nanotechnology and ultraviolet curing process, the highly water-resistant finish and exclusive top coat is created,” Feldhege explained. “Its resilience against liquids creates a reliable barrier, shielding the entire product.”

Moldings Online’s new WPC line will make its debut at TISE 2017 in Las Vegas, Feldhege said.

Pennwood
screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-11-27-14-amPennwood’s focus on quality and color match can be seen in its RetroTread, which is designed to fit over original stairs and mimic original stair geometry. “For our RetroTreads we partnered with Young Manufacturing based in Kentucky,” said Kraig Coxon, executive vice president. “We buy their solid hardwood and then stain and finish it to match the floors.”

Quality is also seen in the company’s production cycle. “We control every aspect [of production] and we’re very particular,” Coxon said. “We take control of everything from the lumber all the way through to the box [the product is in]. It’s unique because we quality control everything.”

To date, Pennwood runs about 40 species of wood and about four thousand colors and stains. “We’re doing whatever we have to do to match the floors,” Coxon said. “Whatever the process is for the wood floors we will figure out how to do it for our moldings. We have the ability to produce exact patterns.”

Versatrim
screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-11-27-23-amVersatrim utilizes its Match All Floors program to coordinate its various moldings with major brand floors. “The Match All Floors program is where we approach [flooring] manufacturers and try to match [the colors of] their floors with our products,” said Tina Emery, office and sales manager. Manufacturers such as Beauflor, Happy Feet, Home Legend, IVC, Karndean, Mohawk and Shaw—to name a few—are already involved in this growing program. “Versatrim hopes to connect with more manufacturers at Surfaces,” Emery said.

Versatrim offers a variety of moldings to accompany applications for vinyl, laminate, engineered wood and solid wood. Its list of profiles includes two new PVC moldings for LVT floors and its standard laminate T-molding, reducer, end cap, stair nose, wall base and quarter round.

Seneca
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Seneca’s SignatureFlex, a flexible molding designed to help the flooring contractor tackle radius issues, is being billed as the only product of its kind. “Seneca supplies a very unique product to the industry,” said Mark Pacacha, national sales manager. “SignatureFlex is a polyurethane product that is proprietary. The polyurethane is poured into molds to manufacture the product. You can use gel stain or paint on the product and it can be used indoors and outdoors.”

SignatureFlex is available in a smooth and textured option, and is made in the U.S. It is water resistant and will not rot or swell, according to Seneca, and can be applied using adhesive, mastic or resin epoxy glue. SignatureFlex is designed for curved architecture and is available in 12-foot lengths and in straight or pre-curved styles. Custom profiles are also available when profiles for the mold are provided.

Pedross
screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-11-27-38-amOver the past couple of months Pedross has changed its production plant from Arkansas to the North Carolina/Virginia border. This move will allow the company to continue servicing the U.S. and Canada with daily shipments and inventory provisions for its partners. “The new production plant has much higher output capabilities,” said Daniel Oberrauch, general manager. “We grew very rapidly in the last three years and we had to look for a plant with a higher production output. We want to be proactive in order to better serve all of our current and future customers.”

In addition to the new plant, Oberrauch said the products the company offers help differentiate Pedross from other moldings companies. “We use solid core, which can be oak or other hardwood material,” he explained. “Then we put this wood through a scanner to determine its blemishes. After that we remove the blemishes, cut [the wood] into little pieces and finger joint them together with formaldehyde-free glue.” After the core is formed it is wrapped with real wood veneer.

Zamma
screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-11-28-07-amZamma’s newest product takes into account new trends in WPC. “We have just created a new line of PVC extrusions for the large WPC thick water-proof core flooring,” said Peter Spielman, president. “It seems the trend in WPC is going from 5 mm to 10 mm and possibly beyond. We’ve developed this product line to encompass those changes in WPC.”

Zamma also has a unique process to color match its products with top flooring brands. “On an exclusive basis we match top flooring manufacturers,” Spielman said. “[Manufacturers] supply us with the same decorative material that’s being used on their floors. We take the exact same layers of PVC on the floors—the top two layers, decorative and clear wear layer—and we thermally fuse in our facilities those two layers together.”

In addition to extruding its own products, Zamma also makes all of it own laminates for laminate flooring. “Every week we produce in the neighborhood of 2 million feet of product: wood, laminate and PVC.”

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Spartan Surfaces enters distribution agreement with Tarkett

spartan-surfaces-exteriorBel Air, Md.—Spartan Surfaces has entered into a distribution agreement with Tarkett in its Mid-Atlantic footprint. Starting Jan. 1, 2017, Spartan Surfaces will be a distributor of the Tarkett commercial focused brands including the Tarkett Collection (homogeneous, heterogeneous, LVT and linoleum flooring), Johnsonite (rubber flooring, stairwell systems, wall base and accessories) and the Azrock Collection (VCT, VET and SVT). Spartan Surfaces will distribute these Tarkett brands in southern New Jersey, central and eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Northern Virginia including Washington DC.

“We are excited to be associated with an innovative and design focused flooring manufacturer that provides impactful solutions for our architectural and design focused clients,” said Kevin Jablon, owner of Spartan Surfaces.

Spartan Surfaces will be carrying significant inventory of each of Tarkett’s brands at its headquarters and main warehouse in Bel Air, Md. “The Tarkett family of products provides the perfect complement to our Spartan product portfolio that includes design oriented product solutions and dependable flooring supply products, which will lead to a very successful business relationship for 2017 and beyond,” Jablon said.