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Made-to-match moldings meet design demands

August 14/21: Volume 32, Issue 5

By Lindsay Baillie

 

It is no secret moldings, transitions and other accessories provide great add-on opportunities for specialty retailers. As flooring manufacturers continue to innovate the designs and visuals across all flooring categories, molding suppliers are responding with a host of made-to-match product offerings.

Following is a sampling of the latest product offerings and programs designed to coordinate with new and existing flooring patterns and visuals.

Artistic Finishes
Artistic Finishes has the capability to create custom blended products that reference manufacturer flooring samples. With 150-plus profiles, 90-plus wood species and 15,000-plus floors in its system, Artistic Finishes offers a selection of products to assist retailers in completing nearly any flooring project.

“Providing moldings and other flooring accessories to blend to the markets flooring lines is exactly what we do,” said Angie Feldhege, sales and marketing coordinator. “Everything we offer is a coordinated or custom blended product to complete our customers’ floors.”

Artistic Finishes has also launched Enduracor, a new line that addresses growing demand for waterproof floors. Featuring a wood veneer wrapped around a waterproof core, it can be stained and blended to match any visual.

Pedross
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 4.10.41 PMThe digital print department at Pedross, which was founded in 2010, aims to bring top quality printing to the marketplace. The company’s self-designed, state-of-the-art printing system offers printing on both real wood veneers and paper foil, and produces approximately 90,000 linear feet per day.

“The floor style—regardless if it is wood, stone, vinyl, fumed, oiled, smoked, reactive or individual styles—is digitally scanned and transferred at a ratio of 1:1 onto the veneer creating a three-dimensional look that merges with the floor,” said Joe Albany, national sales manager. “The picture can also be manipulated in order to guarantee the best result possible.”

While Pedross is currently producing digital printing on real wood veneers, it is in the process of developing a new form of printing technology. “The next phase we’re working on—and will introduce in spring 2018—is actually digitally printing on the molding profiles itself, so you can actually feel texture,” Albany explained.

Pennwood
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 4.10.47 PMPennwood currently matches over 6,000 different hardwood floors, ranging in styles, textures and colors with standard boards—all held in the company’s library. If Pennwood does not have a color a customer needs, it will match its products to the standards the customer supplies.

“We offer hardwood prefinished moldings, architectural prefinished moldings, floor and wall vents, and retro treads and risers as well as solid treads and risers—all with the ability to match the 6,000 colors we have in the color library or by having the customers send a sample of what they want matched,” said Kraig Coxon, executive vice president.

Pennwood carries the basics of species and colors in stock for a quick-ship program. In addition, the manufacturer can create custom colors with a typical turnaround of two to three weeks.

Seneca Millwork
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 4.10.56 PMSeneca offers a ColorMaster system that gives customers the opportunity to review and approve the accessory’s potential appearance with their floors. After the customer approves the ColorMaster, Seneca begins the matching process. To date, the company has over 11,000 appearance combinations on file for most popular hardwood flooring brands.

“Today’s floors have become very unique and artistic—from hand-scraped designs, to distressed, antiqued or wire brushed,” said Cindy Huff, marketing special projects coordinator. “Very light and very dark stains are trending, as are the gray floor tones. Matte and satin finishes have also gained in popularity. Although matching transitions to these specialty floors can be a challenge, Seneca has embraced this trend and offers custom matching as needed. For example, we offer 10 different versions of hand scraping alone. If we don’t already have the perfect finish in our color lab—we will create it.”

Versatrim
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 4.10.51 PMVersatrim offers a variety of programs to flooring dealers including its Distributor Inventory program, Match All Floors (MAF) partnership program and a combination of MAF and a direct ship/stocking program. All of these programs include custom matches for flooring.

“We offer most profiles with no minimums under our standard stock inventory, which has approximately 54 color options,” said Tina Keeton Emery, office and sales manager.

The company also offers custom matching for all industry-standard flooring trims and new-to-market LVT/WPC trims. Some of these profiles include: SlimTrim, a three-in-one molding with PVC core; VersaEdge Xtra Tall, a stair nose with aluminum core; a moisture-proof trim line offered in T-molding, end cap, reducer and quarter round; and SlimCap, a new end cap/baby threshold with PVC core that makes its debut this month.

Versatrim is looking forward to the release of SlimCap to its LVT/WPC line. “This product will give the customers a straight edge option to neatly finish off carpets or sliding glass doors,” Emery explained.

Zamma
Zamma aims to differentiate its made-to-match moldings from others in the market by using a unique manufacturing process, according to the company. When these products are constructed the company uses the actual PVC or laminate from the floor product itself. Through this process Zamma is able to make the transition profiles match the exact flooring design.

Peter Spielman, president, said the company uses this process instead of “digital UV ink systems that do not have the same light refraction as the designs on the floor.” By using the actual PVC or laminate Zamma is able to achieve the same designs being manufactured into the flooring.

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Retail education: The real science behind WPC

FCNews Ultimate Guide to WPC: July 17/24, 2017

By Bill Treiber

 

Screen Shot 2017-07-31 at 9.49.50 AMThe emergence of WPC (wood plastic composite) core flooring into the LVT and LVP product sector has accelerated in recent years. In this article, I explain what WPC is and how it differs from other products in the market.

Though it may be defined differently depending on the person/company you ask, WPC cores are basically a mixture of thermoplastics, wood particles/ fibers and other added materials like stone. These components are generally combined above the melting temperature of the thermoplastic and then mixed with different polymers to make various WPC products. Most likely the first product you saw in the building profession that used WPC was decking material. Today, a full array of products can be seen in the market—including flooring.

The most commonly used plastics for this type of application are polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE). Next to PE, PP is the second most widely used plastic in the world. PP is lighter, stronger and stiffer than PE. However, it is also more brittle. This factor makes its use in WPC products very low.

Polyethylene is the most common plastic used for consumer goods, but be aware that there is more than one variation of PE. There are also linear low-density PE and very low density PE, which is seldom used due to flexural weakness. Polyethylene, when used in WPC, is mostly high-density PE. Polyethylene has a high resistance to wear and withstands the effects of weather, chemicals in the sulfuric acid families, as well as nitric and hydrochloric acids. It is also highly resistant to oxidation—a common concern for exterior products.

Product attributes. The use of WPC in commercial products is growing rapidly. For many years only extruded products were available. The main reasons for extruded plastics are their ability to produce products from recycled plastics that otherwise cannot be recycled. In essence, it offers an alternative to pure virgin thermoplastics more commonly used in injection molding processes. Being that its composition is tightly extruded recycled plastics, fibers and polymers, the product is not only environmentally friendly but structurally sound—thanks in no small part to the heating and melting of the components at very high temperatures. With such a solid product, temperature changes that would normally affect other materials do not impact WPC. This enables the use of radiant heat with WPC products without worrying about adverse effects from the warmer temperatures.

The most notable characteristic of WPC is its waterproof qualities. The product’s well-known resistance to water damage makes it superior to other products found in high moisture exposure areas such as bathrooms, kitchens and entryways. This inability to attach water particles to itself also creates an antimicrobial product, thereby eliminating potential for bacteria to grow.

Ongoing developments

The future looks bright and strong for WPC’s application to the flooring industry. The ability to finish flooring products with a LVT or LVP wear layer and use WPC as a core backer creates endless options. Currently 7.5mm- to 8.5mm-thick WPC floors are most common. Look for WPC floors to fluctuate in thicknesses from 5mm to 12mm. With the desire for more recycled product choices, WPC provides a viable option going forward in the product niche. When looking about at all of the positive product attributes, it’s safe to say that WPC flooring is here to stay for a while.

 

Bill Treiber is technical sales and education manager for Artistic Finishes (Moldings Online). He began his career in the lumber industry and built a strong sales record in wood flooring distribution for more than 15 years.

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Technology making today’s molding choices more flexible

In recent years, the industry has seen laminates become more realistic and wood-like, ceramic and porcelain tile achieve the look of slate, travertine and marble—even carpet looks and feels like it never has before. As technology advances, so do the products manufacturers are able to create. The same holds true for the moldings segment. Continue reading Technology making today’s molding choices more flexible