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Latest bamboo, cork intros stir visual interest

April 2/9, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 21

By Lindsay Baillie

 

Touting qualities such as durability, comfort underfoot and water resistance, cork and bamboo products provide the industry with eco-friendly flooring suitable for both residential and commercial applications.

Following is an overview of some of the newest cork and bamboo innovations that promise to captivate consumers not only with updated visuals, but also with reasonable price points.

Bamboo Hardwoods

Bamboo Hardwoods’ new Symphony line features a hybrid of rigid core with a natural strand woven bamboo wear layer. The line combines the natural beauty of authentic bamboo floors with a waterproof rigid core allowing for installations in even the most undesirable locations.

Symphony is available in 72 x 51⁄8 x 9⁄32 planks and features a four-sided Uniclic locking system. Its 1.2mm strand woven bamboo veneer is wire brushed and stained. Symphony will be available in June in two colors: anise and currant.

Torlys

CorkWood brings together the look of wood, the durability of laminate and the comfort of cork. It comes in two collections: CorkWood Designer, which features 6-foot planks in nine colors, and CorkWood Elite, available in planks spanning nearly 4-feet long and five colors. CorkWood is engineered with a HDF smart core for dent resistance and a 3mm (Designer) or 2.5mm (Elite) thick top layer of compressed cork. It also includes the Torlys CorkPlus attached underlayment for added warmth and sound insulation.


WE Cork

WE Cork’s Corkoleum is a 3mm rolled cork flooring with a rubber and cork base and a cork veneer. Ideal for glue-down applications, Corkoleum is a very low, thin product. Made up of mainly cork, the flooring is marketed as being quiet, comfortable, warm and water resistant. Corkoleum is ideal for wet areas in both residential and commercial settings.

Also from WE Cork is a line of wall panels available for both residential and commercial applications. Available in two different visuals—brick, which comes in three different colors, and bark—WE Cork’s line of wall panels can be used for decorative purposes as well as a sound insulator.

Wellmade

Wellmade unveils a variety of new bamboo looks as part of its Opti-Wood flooring collection. Opti-Wood couples the performance virtues of rigid core flooring technology with real bamboo or hardwood wear layer veneers. The product features Wellmade’s Hydri-HDPC technology, a moisture protection system that seals out topical moisture and boasts a 100% waterproof HDPC core.

Wellmade’s new bamboo flooring is just over 5 inches wide, 48-plus inches long and 8.5mm thick, and features the Uniclic locking system. Colors range from traditional carbonized to multi-color and character-driven glazing options.

Cali Bamboo

Cali Bamboo has launched GeoWood, an engineered hardwood floor combining real timber layered over GeoCore—Cali’s stabilizing limestone composite foundation. The design layer atop each GeoWood plank is up to 1.2mm thick and features sustainably farmed bamboo and lumber from Lacey Act-compliant managed forests.

Made with AquaDefy technology, GeoWood boasts proven moisture protection, making it ideal for bathrooms, kitchens and below-grade spaces such as basements. Shielded by a 10-coat scratch resistant finish, GeoWood is ideal for spaces with heavy traffic, large dogs and the wear and tear of everyday life.

USFloors

USFloors’ current Cork Canvas collection is a digitally enhanced cork floor that features travertine decors. Digitally enhanced cork floors provide the beauty, depth and texture consumers expect in a natural stone or hardwood floor while maintaining the advantages of cork.

This flooring uses digital print technology to capture the colors, nuances, grains and textures of real stone and hardwood. These visuals are printed directly on a cork top layer, which is applied to an HDF core. A durable, embossed hot coat finish is applied to the cork top layer, while additional cork is added as an attached underlayment.

Wicanders

Wicanders Cork GO is a budget-friendly floating floor made with the company’s cork double layer. The collection comes in 10 cork visuals and contains all the signature Corktech benefits found in Wicanders’ products. Cork GO acts as a noise buffer between the floor and the rooms underneath and reduces walking sound up to 53%. The floor also acts as natural thermal insulation.

Cork GO provides a unique comfort in movement, even when walking barefoot. It also has a longer life span due to its elasticity, compressibility and ability to absorb high shocks

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Power of brands: Quality products, service stand out in a crowd

August 14/21: Volume 32, Issue 5

By Lindsay Baillie

Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.51.42 PMA well-known brand has great influence in the mind of the consumer; it can affect her positively or negatively, research shows. According to Latham & Co., a brand consultancy, a strong brand contains incredible power—not just how it is perceived in the world, but also how it redefines the competitive landscape, connects with prospects and influencers, creates memorable experiences, builds lasting relationships and helps leaders better manage people, resources and profits.

For many flooring dealers, brands matter, especially when products and services are backed by the companies they represent. “A strong brand brings awareness of mind,” said Kevin Rose, president and owner, Carpetland Color Tile, Rockford, Ill. “This is good for all flooring retailers as we battle for the consumer’s disposable income.”

A strong brand can also draw attention to a particular flooring store. As Mary Ann Gore, office manager, Bridgeport Carpets, Alpharetta, Ga., explains: “For example, if a customer is new to an area and does an Internet search on local retailers, she is typically going to look for a product that is familiar to her.”

While name recognition holds a certain importance for flooring brands, dealers can also benefit from established name recognition. Case in point is Ted’s Abbey Carpet & Floor, with multiple locations in Alabama. “We have really tried to market our store’s names to the consumers in our market area,” said Ted Gregerson, president and owner, “We feel like we have done a really good job of it, because consumers in our market refer to us as simply ‘Abbey.’ We feel if our consumers trust us and our own Abbey brand, then they will have confidence in all the products we sell.”

The strength inside the original COREtec floors
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.39.29 PMUSFloors is regarded as the originator of the WPC category—true disruptors and innovators in the industry. It is committed to providing beautiful and durable floors at an excellent value while minimizing the impact on the environment whenever possible. The COREtec brand is focused on providing an exceptional customer experience throughout the new flooring purchase.

USFloors knows today’s consumers value authenticity over perfection—from brands, experiences and daily life. They seek to engage with brands that mirror that authenticity—brands that stand up for what they believe and deliver upon it. Expectations of a brand’s intuitive nature drive their interest. When it comes to purchasing a new floor, they want to make a smart, practical choice—one that reflects their originality and can be enjoyed for years to come. USFloors addresses these consumer needs in a way that satisfies and delights them from initial inspiration to final installation. COREtec is perfect for expressing the originality and creativity that lives within them. USFloors provides an ever-evolving portfolio of waterproof floors that embody style and strength that can withstand whatever real life has in store for the consumer.

In addition to authenticity, consumers share a common driving need for simplicity in this era of ever-expanding choices. The number of flooring options has expanded dramatically, leaving today’s consumers feeling overwhelmed and under extreme pressure to make the right purchase decisions. With the average floor shopping process lasting more than five months, consumers will reward easy, simple and trustworthy brands. They seek out brands that receive high accolades on style and performance and are recommended by peers with real world experiences.

The entrepreneurial passion that lives within the core of USFloors drives the company to redefine the way consumers discover COREtec floors. Consumers are drawn to attributes that inspire them and shopping experiences that match the high standards they set for the products themselves. Today’s consumer can identify an original, and USFloors believes they applaud an approachable brand that is smart, modern and bold. They can feel the commitment of style and performance and appreciate the result of the American dream. They recognize products that are unique and sustainable and want to be loyal to the brands that deliver on a promise. As the original COREtec floors, USFloors is rewarded by their sense of style and practical purchases.

USFloors is thrilled to be at the helm of this young industry brand. The company sets no boundaries and has an endless future of solutions ahead. COREtec will erupt into 2018 with vigor to share its successful innovations and leadership with consumers nationwide. Throughout it all, USFloors will continue to create value and a healthy platform for growth for its retail partners.

USFloors and COREtec—authentic to the core.

 

The power in the family of brands
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.39.39 PMMohawk enjoys global brand recognition as the world’s largest flooring manufacturer. With facilities and manufacturing operations across the nation, Mohawk is committed to American-made manufacturing and the communities and families it impacts on a daily basis. From product conception to the manufacturing process to the transportation of products, Mohawk employees are providing the foundations for homes and businesses around the world.
The power of brand and its attributes is vastly important for infrequent purchase categories such as flooring. Strong branding gives consumers peace of mind, allowing them to feel confident about their investment. Retailers–both large and small–leverage the power of the Mohawk brand around the world each and every day.

Mohawk and its family of brands are among the most well known in the flooring industry. These include: Aladdin, American Olean, American Rug Craftsmen, Century, Columbia, Daltile, Durkan, IVC, Karastan, Marazzi, Moduleo, Mohawk Group, Mohawk Home, Pergo, Q-Wood, Quick-Step, Ragno and SolidTech. The company’s vertically integrated manufacturing and distribution processes provide competitive advantages in the production of carpet, carpet tile, rugs, ceramic tile, laminate, hardwood, stone and luxury vinyl flooring. The enterprise-wide innovations yield products and technologies that are differentiated in the marketplace.

The organization invests heavily in the Mohawk brand by way of lead generation, advertising, digital marketing, public relations, merchandising, point-of-sale, innovative products and national promotions, just to name a few. These efforts result in high consumer recognition and increased profit margins for Mohawk’s retailers.

The primary reason Mohawk invests in its family of brands is to deliver qualified consumer leads to its valued retail partners. The current pace of change in the flooring industry requires new programs that give its retailers the inside track to stay ahead of the competition.

 

A brand built on service, innovation and progress
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.39.44 PMHonesty, integrity and passion set the stage 50 years ago and have served as the foundation from which Shaw Floors was established. Since that time, the company’s values remain true while Shaw Floors has transformed from a single category producer to a leading, total flooring brand with a forward-focused dedication to servicing our customers and the end-user consumer. Shaw is proud of its heritage and grateful for the confidence retailers have demonstrated over the years.

The celebration of Shaw’s 50th anniversary this year is marked by its corporate vision of creating a better future: for its customers, its people and the communities it serves. As Shaw reflects on the important milestones of its past, it is reminded that progress isn’t achieved by resting on previous successes, but by looking to the future and empowering its associates to lead the company into a new era of innovation.

One thing that remains constant is the Shaw Floors brand is synonymous with flooring expertise. The company prides itself on being pioneers of design and innovation and won’t settle for anything less than exceptional service. All of these elements are trademarks of the Shaw brand, reinforced each year through the many surveys and rankings voted on by its valued retail partners. Shaw Floors feels honored that the breadth of its product portfolio earns the company the unique ability to provide consumers with flooring that makes sense for their space. Through our products and services, the consumer’s design vision comes to life.

Shaw Floors has demonstrated continuous leadership not only through its company values but also through cutting-edge innovations such as: its patent-pending Floorté PRO collection, offering the industry’s first direct-glue rigid core products; its completely redesigned EPIC Plus engineered hardwood line featuring the Extreme Nature collection, which boasts the longest, widest hardwood planks made in the USA; its revolutionary LifeGuard waterproof carpet backing technology protecting against life’s mishaps to give consumers the cleanest carpet for healthy living; and its exclusive sound-abatement research and proprietary intelligence depicting a comprehensive landscape of today’s consumer. These products and services, plus many others, provide retailers with solutions that ultimately give consumers confidence in their investment. Shaw Floors will continue heavily investing in its shared industry in an effort to drive market understanding, demand and brand preference, and it appreciate the partnership with retailers.

 

A name synonymous with unique style, fashion and design
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.39.51 PMDealers and distributors who carry the Provenza brand attest to its association with high style and design. After all, according to Ron Sadri, president, it was Provenza who helped usher in the handscraped trend about 20 years ago. The company said it was also responsible for innovations such as custom-infused colors, oil finishes and other creative surface treatments such as reactive staining—a technique that’s common across the industry today.

“Our focus on setting the trend for fashion and design in hardwood flooring makes us truly unique,” Sadri said. “Our distributors and retail partners see us as the leader in our market while others are followers.”

That industry recognition was demonstrated at Surfaces 2017 earlier this year, when Provenza walked away with a Best of Show award in the category of style and design for its Colour Nation Lighthouse Cove collection, a line of wide-plank flooring featuring multiple stains, colors and surface treatments. “It was a confirmation from the judges and the dealers that our products stand out from everyone else,” Sadri said. “People really understand Provenza and they appreciate the creativity we put behind every line we produce.”

But for Provenza, high style and design doesn’t necessarily have to translate into products that exceed the reach of mainstream consumers. “We always try to make products that are affordable to the consumer,” Sadri said. “That makes it easier for dealers to go to our products and pick everything from good quality and moderate pricing all the way up to a designer look.”

 

A leader in private labeling
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.39.56 PMBBOSS is a true industry leader when it comes to the specialty of private labeling. Established in 2008, this fast-growing company is intent on raising the bar for private label and providing its clients with new ways to sustain long-term growth in today’s highly competitive wood flooring market.

The BBOSS approach begins with a factory direct relationship and eliminating unnecessary costs. Dealing direct with the manufacturer and U.S. supporting offices gives clients peace of mind that they have both local and international support.

BBOSS attributes its tremendous success to providing clients with a unique partnership, which helps them drive business while reducing their costs. Additionally, BBOSS offers a full breadth of products, from entry level to multiple upgraded visuals, all from one mill, with the flexibility to mix on any order as needed.

With one of the most knowledgeable and experienced teams in the industry, BBOSS stays on top of ever-changing market trends related to engineered and solid hardwood flooring. The team partners with each private label client, guiding them through the process of developing and growing their own brand and designs products that meet consumer trends and are tailored to their specific market. BBOSS provides a high level of customer service, thanks in part to the company’s award-winning education and training programs.

But perhaps the best advantage of all is BBOSS offers differentiation in all facets of private label, which is a unique way for a retailer’s brand to stand out in an otherwise crowded market.

To learn more about private labeling, contact BBOSS at bbossinc.com or call 855-442-2677.

 

Better together
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.40.01 PMFor more than 130 years, Tarkett has been at the foundation of creating more beautiful spaces and unlocking the infinite possibilities that happen when people come together.

Tarkett is creating together, honoring its values of collaboration to create something worth more than the sum of its parts. The company is building brands together by uniting its family of brands—Tandus Centiva, Johnsonite and Desso—to ensure they are designed to work together.

Tarkett is designing together, working with designers inside and outside the industry to challenge the way floor coverings can be used.
It is also working together to deliver products and ideas that anticipate where the workplace is headed.

Tarkett is inspiring together, pushing the boundaries of design and using its flooring in bold new ways. More importantly, Tarkett is doing good together, leading sustainable business practices and prioritizing the health of people and the planet.

At Tarkett, together is simply better.

 

Providing quality, service and coordinating products for every hardwood floor
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.40.06 PMPennwood continuously pursues high standards in manufacturing and marketing of flooring transitions, stair products and vents. The Pennwood staff studies and researches trends in design, color and finish.

The company currently matches 6,000 different hardwood floors, ranging in color, style and textures with standard boards all held in the Pennwood Color Library. Pennwood employees take pride in their craftsmanship and as long as the company has the color standard, it can custom produce a retailer’s stair treads or flooring transition with a normal turnaround time of two to three weeks.

Pennwood believes in partnering and can customize a program for a retailer’s specific needs. The company can produce various fixed lengths in moldings and stair treads. It also offers random length flooring transitions up to 12 feet, which is increasingly popular in the builder and multi-family market segments.

Today the Pennwood brand means uncompromising value, known for innovation and a driving force within the industry. Pennwood is synonymous with a “we can do” attitude.

 

A brand is best built in person
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.40.10 PMA brand is a company’s biggest asset, according to Thomas Trissl, principal, HPS Schönox. Furthermore, cultivating relationships is a crucial part of building a company’s brand.

“All the advertising and marketing we do is important, but nothing replaces the value of face-to-face conversations like those we have on a daily basis on the jobsite with installers, in an office with architects/designers or in the warehouse with our distributors,” Trissl explained. “A brand mirrors the expectation of prospective customers and the experience of existing customers.”

Schönox, HPS North America has developed a promotional strategy of combining multimedia, product education and exceptional customer support while maintaining communication to strengthen existing relationships and establish new ones.

With these relationships, the Schönox brand can grow and build a legacy that presents key qualities in the market.

Exceptional quality, service and knowledge
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.44.13 PMThe two factors that consistently and unequivocally set a brand apart from others in its category are quality and service, and Bamboo Hardwoods does just that.

From the company’s humble beginnings growing bamboo and innovating products from its own groves to becoming an industry powerhouse, Bamboo Hardwoods’ foundation of bamboo knowledge has always given it a competitive edge. Every product made is done so with meticulous quality and care using premium adhesives, finishes and modern technologies, while taking time to produce the perfect product. In addition, Bamboo Hardwoods has revolutionized bamboo flooring by focusing on what consumers demand most: trendsetting style and design. The emphasis on aesthetics elevated bamboo flooring from a niche product to being regarded as another attractive choice in the hardwood flooring category.

When it comes to customer service, Bamboo Hardwoods transcends the business-client relationship by focusing on establishing rapport and sincere connections with its customers. With multiple warehouse locations across the United States and fully stocked East and West coast warehouses, customers can rest assured knowing they will promptly receive the product desired.

Bamboo Hardwoods is dedicated to continuing its reigning status as a pioneer of the specialty flooring industry.

 

A brand with a vision
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.44.20 PMThe Novalis Innovative Flooring brand was started in 1984 and began actual production of product in 1986–the first luxury vinyl flooring facility built by anyone in China.

Since that time, Novalis has accomplished a record of other “firsts”: Novalis was the first Chinese LVT manufacturer to achieve ISO 9001 certification. Novalis was the first with an ISO 14001 environmental certificate. And Novalis is the first and only Chinese LVT brand certified with OHSAS 18001. Novalis was very happy to be the first Chinese LVT manufacturer with a fully localized Environmental Product Declaration, Health Product Declaration and Declare labeling, all being introduced in 2015.

On this foundation of sustainable, quality design and engineering accomplishments, Novalis launched its NovaFloor brand in North America over five years ago. NovaFloor is made primarily for the American floor covering retail channel, and is sold through distributors and their dealers for the residential and Main Street commercial markets.

At NeoCon East 2015, Novalis officially unveiled its new commercial LVT brand for North America called “AVA.” AVA stands for Advanced Vinyl Artistry and is made for the commercial specified market. Capri Cork manages the AVA brand in the U.S. and Canada through its extensive list of dedicated commercial agents.

Always guiding the brand’s development is its “vision” that encompasses three key principles: art, quality and nature.

When it comes to LVT, Novalis views “art” as the authentic reproductions of natural elements to create imaginative, inspiring spaces.

Novalis “quality” means an investment in the research and performance to make the best LVT possible.

And the Novalis vision for “nature” is all about producing its product responsibly while conserving energy and resources.

Learn more at novalisinnovativeflooring.com.

 

Innovative brand spread its wings
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.45.39 PMEngineered Floors, the third-largest carpet company in the world, has continued its singular mission to be the flooring brand of choice. This year Engineered Floors revamped its digital presence with a new website to align its family of brands under a common theme: “We have one mission. Make the best carpet in the world.” The new site (engineeredfloors.com) showcases Engineered Floors’ complete family of brands and its drive to “intersect” with customers’ desires for style, durability, comfort, quality and tradition. It combines new room scene photography, links to the company’s varied social media platforms and advanced functionality to make it easier and more engaging to use.

The company’s new website, along with the new signature for its advertising, reinforces the strength of Engineered Floors in its collection of brands, each aimed at a specific flooring segment. The Engineered Floors family of brands consists of: Dream Weaver for residential replacement; Pentz Commercial Flooring Solutions for Main Street; DWellings for new home construction; and Engineered Floors Multifamily.

The company is also bringing to market new innovations including a commercial polyester fiber, advanced polyester extrusion (Apex SDP) under the Pentz Commercial Solutions brand. The offering includes the styles Revival and Revolution, which join the widely successful original Apex SDP styles Quicksilver and Fast Break.

In addition, Engineered Floors is rapidly completing a new, state-of-the-art carpet tile manufacturing facility in Dalton. The move is in response to the growing demand for modular carpet tile for Main Street applications.

The initial phase of the plant, expected to open in January 2018, will total 520,000 square feet. This will be the fourth new facility the company has built in northwest Georgia since 2009.

 

The power of a strong brand partnership
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.45.43 PMWith more than 65 years of proven innovation, market leadership and dedication to quality, Scotchgard has the protective products and brand strength to help make our partners successful. A brand partnership with Scotchgard Protector strengthens the value of the host brand and creates opportunities that can:

•Increase edge over competition
•Build brand equity in new markets
•Increase sales
•Grow market penetration
•Expand credibility to both brands

The Scotchgard brand name has been synonymous with protection for multiple generations. Invented in the 1950s and protecting floors from their owners since the 1970s, Scotchgard Protector has become one of the leading brands of stain, spill and soil protection in markets around the world.

When companies have a history of selling products that are dependable, reliable and in line with consumer needs, consumers begin to develop trust in the product and loyalty to the brand. The real power in the Scotchgard Brand is that it represents that one last thing consumers want when they purchase a product—peace of mind. It can close the sale.

 

Where innovation is a way of life
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.45.48 PMPhenix Flooring is more than just another manufacturer—it’s a flooring experience. From designing and developing premium products to its commitment to advancing research, development and production through the latest state-of-the-art technologies, Phenix makes innovation a way of life. Through this commitment, Phenix continues to grow and serve its customers with passion, values and an unwavering dedication to the production of quality products.

With the launch of the Cleaner Home collection, Phenix delivers on this mantra by offering a line rich in color and design with proactive technologies such as Microban, Opulance HD and Surefresh that provide optimal antimicrobial protection, stain resistance and prolonged beauty at an affordable price.

Above all, Phenix strives to deliver the highest standard of service to its clients. As a Pharr Family company, Phenix is backed by generations of manufacturing genius, flanked by supportive brands.

 

Powered by quality and service for more than 30 years
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.45.57 PMOffering superior quality products has always been Mirage’s No. 1 priority. Maintaining this quality consistency is the daily challenge and a goal that each employee strives to attain. This commitment to excellence speaks to the dedication, devotion and knowledge of Mirage’s people—from the worker in the plant to the sales representatives in the field.

That quality extends to the service it provides. For more than 30 years the staff at Mirage has pursued a common goal: To go above and beyond customer expectations and adapt to her needs. This is what Mirage’s legacy is built on.

The numerous quality awards Mirage has received in the last decade—more than 30—is a testament to the company’s unwavering efforts. Indeed, quality has powered the Mirage brand for more than 30 years and will continue to for another 30 years. This success does not mean Mirage can rest on its laurels; quality is a journey, not a destination.

 

Steeped in tradition
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.46.02 PMFor over 60 years, DriTac Flooring Products has manufactured premium-grade adhesives and installation solutions for the wood and resilient floor covering markets.

DriTac was established in 1956, offering one product—DriTac 6200—that continues to stand the test of time several decades later. Since then, DriTac, via its state-of-the-art laboratory and research facility in the U.S., has expanded its product line and is currently one of a few adhesive manufacturers to offer all the major technologies: urethane, MS polymer, pressure sensitive, acrylic and more. DriTac has become a leader in developing wood flooring adhesives that offer sound and moisture control with a single-component, one-step application.

A trailblazer in cultivating environmentally friendly flooring adhesives and installation products, DriTac offers a full line of zero VOC, zero solvent and independently tested products that have been certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label Plus Program for Indoor Air Quality.

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Bamboo, cork intros offer flair for the dramatic

March 27/April 3, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 21

By Ken Ryan

 

As sub-segments of the hardwood flooring category, cork and bamboo are heralded for their eco-friendly attributes. Beyond their notable green characteristics, however, new cork and bamboo products are also renowned for their stunning visuals, durability, comfort underfoot and water-resistant properties.

Following is an overview of some of the latest products cork and bamboo suppliers have to offer.

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 10.54.16 AMBamboo Hardwoods
Bamboo Hardwoods’ Manor Clove flooring (pictured) features engineered strand woven bamboo with a multi-ply core. Strand woven bamboo ranks over 3000 on the Janka Hardness Scale and is a great option for both residential and commercial installations. Each plank of Manor Clove has a unique appearance due to its handscraping. The product is FloorScore certified.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 10.54.21 AMCali Bamboo (cork)
Cali Bamboo offers GreenClaimed cork flooring, which is comforting to the body and warm to the touch underfoot. Its visuals range from Shoreline (natural) to products made to resemble more natural wood looks (Silverwood and Driftwood). Pictured is Sandalwood, an engineered cork. A total of eight colors are available.

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 10.54.26 AMCali Bamboo (bamboo)
Cali Bamboo offers a complete line of solid and engineered bamboo offerings. Cali Bamboo is ultra-low VOC with no added urea formaldehyde and features the company’s proprietary Fossilized manufacturing process that boasts twice the density of typical hardwood flooring products. Twenty colors encompassing unfinished, distressed natural, to cognac and vintage java (pictured) are available.

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 10.54.32 AMUSFloors (bamboo)
Muse Strand (pictured) from USFloors is the ideal strand bamboo floor for homes located in a wide range of climates. Muse Strand’s cutting-edge design features distressed and chiseled surfaces, hand sculpted scraping and wire-brushed enhanced grains. Fashion-forward stains and washes evoke a sense of artistry and inspiration. These bamboo floors are Greenguard Gold-certified for indoor air quality.

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 10.54.38 AMUSFloors (cork)
Natural Cork (pictured) floors from USFloors are made from the bark of the Portuguese cork oak. No trees are cut down to harvest the bark and cork trees produce new cork for re-harvest every nine years making cork a sustainable, environmentally friendly and rapidly renewable resource. Cork floors are quiet, warm and comfortable underfoot, durable and resilient. Natural Cork floors naturally resist mold and mildew, fire and pests.

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 10.54.46 AMWE Cork
Sunset Acacia, from the Serenity collection of digital print on cork, provides comfort, thermal and sound insulation from the sustainable cork base. This cork base is then cloaked with wood or stone visuals that extend the design options beyond the regular cork visuals in the Serenity collection stocking line. It is finished using a hot coat finish with an AC rating that the company said exceeds LVT in wearability.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 10.54.51 AM

Wellmade
Wellmade’s Strata composite bamboo plank couples the performance features of rigid core HDPC (high-density plastic composite) technology with the natural warmth and character of eco-friendly bamboo. Featuring a solid strand bamboo top layer, Strata (pictured) bamboo outperforms traditional engineered flooring while remaining stable and extremely water resistant in the most demanding environments. Quality performance features include HDPC rigid core, HardMax nano finish and Uniclic floating installation system.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 10.54.58 AMWicanders
Wicanders’ Hydrocork offers a low thickness floating solution with the benefits of floors with Corktech, a technology that helped create the innovative core board made of composite cork. Hydrocork is water resistant and stable while maintaining the resilient properties and comfort rendered by cork. Wicanders’ Hydrocork comes in 10 wood look visuals, including Arcadian Rye Pine (pictured).

 

 

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Bamboo Hardwoods to kick off ‘Triumph TR6’ Giveaway promotion

By Reginald Tucker

 

BHW car promotionBamboo Hardwoods is giving its retailer and distributor partners an opportunity to win big via its “Sell Bamboo, Win a Classic Car” promotion. Beginning April 1 and running through Sept. 30, 2017, retail salespeople can qualify to win a Triumph TR6— the popular ’70s era British classic car—just by selling an order of Bamboo Hardwoods brand flooring. Note: An order is defined as the sale of more than one box of product; accessory orders without flooring do not qualify.

How it works: Upon completion of a sale, the retail salesperson simply fills out a form via a dedicated link to be provided by Bamboo Hardwoods. Upon verification of the sale, the manufacturer will issue the salesperson a “lottery ticket” to be checked against a live drawing Bamboo Hardwoods will conduct on Oct. 2, 2017. The lucky winner will have the choice of driving off with the car or taking home the cash equivalent.

“It’s something very different and exciting,” said David Keegan, president and CEO. “With other spiffs where the retail salesperson gets $0.05 a square foot here, $0.10 a square foot there—they get lost in the shuffle or they’re intangible. But to have a chance to win a car like this is pretty cool and makes it fun.”

In the past, Bamboo Hardwoods has given away Vespas and offered retailers and distributors other incentives such as trips, but this is the first time the company has done something on this scale. Keegan believes it’s going to be a hit. “In talking with the RSAs last year a lot of them were really excited about the promotion. People can visualize themselves driving around town with the top down in this nice British sports car. The benefit for us is it creates awareness of our brand and bamboo products in general.”

The chances to win don’t end there. Over the course of the promotional period, every salesperson gets $50 per sale beyond the third sale of qualifying bamboo flooring products. “So they get cash just for selling the product, plus a chance to win the car,” Keegan said.

In addition to rewarding retail salespeople, Bamboo Hardwoods also plans to provide a cash award to the distributor sales representative associated with the retailer where the winning retail salesperson works. “This gets the distributor motivated to try to make sure everyone in their territory knows they have a chance to win this car,” Keegan added.

Contact your Bamboo Hardwoods distributor for more details about the promotion.  

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Bamboo Hardwoods announces new ownership

July 4/11, 2016; Volume 30, Number 27

By Reginald Tucker

Bamboo Hardwoods, formally one operating unit of the Aboeda family of five different companies, announced new ownership through a buyout from its existing management and manufacturing partner. The original grouping of principals and manufacturing partner have now become full-interest owners who will be solely focused on the Bamboo Hardwoods brand.

As a result of the changeover, David Keegan, president, increases his ownership stake and adds CEO to his title. Keegan, who brings more than 17 years of experience in the bamboo flooring category — mostly with Bamboo Hardwoods — has spearheaded the company over the past decade, raising its profile from a local retailer of bamboo products to a nationally recognized manufacturer of bamboo flooring sold through distributors and authorized retailers nationwide.

Hugh Gallagher, currently CFO, increases his ownership stake as well, expanding his role to include the title of COO. Gallagher has more than 10 years experience with Bamboo Hardwoods and was an integral member of the company’s manufacturing transition team. Additional ownership interest resides with Bamboo Hardwoods’ existing manufacturing partner group in China.

“Even though there is a change in ownership, very little will change from what our valued distributors and partners have come to expect from Bamboo Hardwoods,” Keegan explained. “The majority of changes will be on the back side of the business—mostly logistical and fulfillment aspects resulting in greater efficiencies, better terms and shorter lead times for our customers.”

What that means for Bamboo Hardwoods’ retailer and distributor partners is they will have greater access to inventories in the company’s Seattle and Atlanta warehousing operations. Likewise, with the increased focus on increasing capacity at the manufacturing plant, Bamboo Hardwoods’ distributors will also be able to build on their respective inventories. This, in turn, means faster shipments to the retailer and ultimately the consumer.

“Basically our partners throughout the chain will have a lot more confidence when they’re selling our products to the homeowner,” Keegan explained. “Previously, a lot of distributors were relying on our stock; now they are going to be able to tap into their own supply.” What is not expected to change, the company stresses, is Bamboo Hardwoods’ steadfast focus on quality, consistency and service. Renowned throughout the industry as a pioneer and well-respected innovator in bamboo flooring production since 1995, the company plans to build on that solid reputation moving forward.

“While this buyout is a significant milestone for us personally, our focus on providing a high-quality brand of bamboo flooring from a trusted manufacturer that proudly stands behind their products will remain unchanged,” Keegan said. “We’ll still make our floors at our state-of-the-art factory using all the best machines and best practices. Our focus will be stronger; we have a few more key new hires within management and operations and we have more inventory in stock than we’ve ever had.”

 

Medium- to long-range goals

Over the past few weeks and months Bamboo Hardwoods has been busy at work shoring up its distribution coverage around the country. Following on the heels of the recent signing of top 20 floor covering distributors NRF and All Tile (FCNews, June 6/13), the company announced plans to further support those new wholesale partners as well as others—including Medallion in California—with the primary goal of helping them build their inventories while increasing the number of displays out in the field.

“Right now we have roughly 1,000 displays standing at the retail level, but we plan to place 1,000 more by year’s end,” Keegan said. “We have a lot of room to grow and more areas to cover. Distributors are investing in displays at their level, and they are seeing an increased return on investment.”

Another key initiative revolves around driving brand awareness through marketing, education and, yes, good old fashioned face-to-face interaction with its retailer and distributor partners out in the field. “By focusing the main education points with our distributor partners, their salespeople and our salespeople and second with media ad campaigns to promote awareness as to what’s accurate (and not accurate) about bamboo flooring,” Gallagher explained. “We also want to start focusing on social media. We have some plans in place to develop a social media platform, which is going to make a big difference. We’re not only looking to start a conversation with people about bamboo but continue that conversation on an ongoing basis.”

Lastly, Bamboo Hardwoods plans to keep a finger on the pulse of the consumer market to ensure it continues to develop products and programs in line with consumer tastes. “It’s important we stay in sync with what the market is demanding,” Keegan said. “That’s something we want to continue relative to the marketing of the brand.”

Ultimately, according to Keegan, it’s about making it worthwhile for the dealer. “We’re seeing a renaissance with bamboo. To that end, we want to be an easy program that represents a profit for the retailer while driving efficiencies that will help our distribution partners service their customers.”

 

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Bamboo Hardwoods under new ownership

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 12.02.57 PMSeattle—Bamboo Hardwoods, formally one operating unit of the Aboeda family of companies, announced new ownership through a buyout from its existing management and manufacturing partner. The original grouping of principals and manufacturing partner have now become full-interest owners who will be solely focused on providing innovative, best-in-class bamboo products and service to the marketplace.

As a result of the changeover, David Keegan, president, increases his ownership stake and adds chief executive officer to his title. Keegan, who brings more than 17 years in the bamboo flooring category — mostly with Bamboo Hardwoods — has spearheaded the company over the past decade, raising its profile from a local retailer of bamboo products to a nationally recognized manufacturer of bamboo flooring sold through distributors and authorized retailers nationwide.

Hugh Gallagher, currently chief financial officer, increases his ownership stake as well, expanding his role to include the title of chief operating officer. Gallagher has more than 10 years experience with Bamboo Hardwoods and was an integral member of the company’s manufacturing transition team. Additional ownership interest resides with Bamboo Hardwoods’ existing manufacturing partner group in China.

“Even though there is a change in ownership, very little will change from what our valued distributors and partners have come to expect from Bamboo Hardwoods,” Keegan explained. “The majority of changes will be on the back side of the business—mostly logistical and fulfillment aspects resulting in greater efficiencies, better terms and shorter lead times for our customers.”

Bamboo Hardwoods is renowned throughout the industry as a pioneer and well-respected innovator in bamboo flooring production since 1995. To that end, Keegan stressed the company’s existing brand identity, marketing elements/programs and proprietary manufacturing processes will remain unchanged. “While this buyout is a significant milestone for us personally, our focus on providing a high-quality brand of bamboo flooring from a trusted manufacturer that proudly stands behind their products will remain unchanged.”

News of the ownership changeover at Bamboo Hardwoods comes on the heels of the company’s recent signing of two top 20 floor covering distributors: NRF and All Tile (FCNews, June 6/13.)

For more on this story—including an in-depth interview with the new owners—look for the July 4/11 issue of Floor Covering News.

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Bamboo Hardwoods inks distribution deals with All Tile, NRF

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 1.25.20 PMSeattle—Bamboo Hardwoods, an innovator in bamboo flooring and panel products since 1995, has entered into two distribution agreements with top 20 wholesalers All Tile and NRF Distributors. The new deals expand Bamboo Hardwoods’ nationwide distribution network.

Headquartered in Elk Grove Village, Ill., All Tile supplies 54 lines of building materials to clients throughout 14 states in the North Central region of the U.S. NRF Distributors, based in Augusta, Maine, services more than 3,000 retail stores encompassing all of New England as well as upstate New York and western Pennsylvania.

“Both All Tile and NRF are well known for representing top-quality flooring products and a growing customer base seeking bamboo flooring, so these partnerships are an ideal fit,” said David Keegan, president and CEO of Bamboo Hardwoods. “There is much upside potential for the bamboo category to become even more mainstream within these markets, and these partnerships will greatly benefit our collective growth for years to come.”

Bamboo Hardwoods offers 100% rapidly renewable, FSC-certified flooring products that are popular with designers, architects and homeowners who prefer using durable, environmentally friendly products. Known for providing quality bamboo products for more than 20 years, Bamboo Hardwoods offers a vast selection of colors and styles, with a large assortment of matching accessories and transition pieces to complement a wide array of residential and commercial décor styles.

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Bamboo Hardwoods donates flooring to Habitat for Humanity ReStore

bamboo hardwoods habitat donationSeattle—Bamboo Hardwoods recently donated 24,000 square feet of new flooring and transitions to Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Roswell, Ga., in partnership with The R.A. Siegel Company.

Habitat for Humanity ReStores are non-profit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials and appliances at a fraction of the retail price. Habitat for Humanity ReStores are owned and operated by local Habitat for Humanity affiliates and the proceeds are used to build homes locally and around the world.

“[This donation] will go a long way toward helping the community through Habitat’s efforts,” said Ann Congden, manager of Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Roswell.

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Palo Duro Hardwoods to distribute Bamboo Hardwoods

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 2.11.48 PMSeattle—Bamboo Hardwoods, a fast growing industry leader of bamboo flooring and panel products, has entered into a distribution agreement with Palo Duro Hardwoods. Palo Duro is a Denver-based wholesale hardwood flooring distributor that has grown to represent some of the hottest product lines throughout the Rocky Mountain region. Palo Duro will exclusively represent the entire Bamboo Hardwoods flooring product line from transitions to engineered and solid bamboo flooring options.

“Palo Duro is well-known for representing top quality flooring products and a growing customer base seeking bamboo flooring so this partnership is an ideal fit,” said David Keegan, CEO of Bamboo Hardwoods. “There is much upside potential for bamboo within [that] market.”

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Bamboo: Dispelling misconceptions, earning confidence

March 16/23, 2015; Volume 28/Number 19
By Amanda Haskin

Obsidian-USFloors“It’s not bamboo’s fault; it’s people’s fault,”  said Dan Harrington, senior product specialist at Galleher Hardwood and chair of the newly formed National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) bamboo standards committee.

Harrington’s statement is a firmly held belief among bamboo manufacturers when defending the misunderstood category. It quickly gained popularity in the early 2000s but has since been blemished by years of claims, complaints and confusion. Most consumers don’t understand it, retailers are afraid to sell it, installers don’t know how to install it, and questionable manufacturers and low-quality products have inundated the industry as a whole. But the reputable bamboo manufacturers that have been around since the beginning are far from giving up.

The early days

Many believe bamboo’s current problems are due partially to the fact it came into popularity too quickly, causing a flood of material on the market and resulting in price pressure from American buyers on Chinese manufacturers. But industry leaders stress that it is impossible to make a high quality strand bamboo product cheaply.

“The fact is that it costs a lot of money to manufacture a quality bamboo flooring product,” explained Tom Goodham, vice president of manufacturing and operations for Teragren and member of the NWFA bamboo standards committee. “If the product you are purchasing is inexpensive, one or more of the essential components or steps have been compromised. While you may get lucky, the costs of failure are high.”

Because of bamboo’s rapid rise, many entrepreneurs were starting bamboo factories without any technical product knowledge. “They were buying poor machinery, poor kilns; they were doing everything the cheap way,” said David Keegan, COO of Bamboo Hardwoods, also a member of the NWFA bamboo standards committee.

Myths and misconceptions

The misconceptions about bamboo began as soon as it rose to popularity. Keegan recalled a particular article published around 2000. “Bamboo was touted as being bulletproof, that you couldn’t dent it, but that wasn’t true because there wasn’t strand-woven bamboo yet. So [consumers] were disappointed because expectations were set too high.”

Today’s high quality strand products can be extremely durable and up to three times harder than oak. But Harrington made it clear that Janka hardness tests can be misleading as they were designed for wood, not bamboo.

Another misconception about bamboo is that it cannot be environmentally friendly if it is coming from China. However, companies like Teragren have proven that bamboo can be one of the most environmentally sound flooring options by partnering with the Bainbridge Graduate Institute as well as freight and other transit groups, to prove that all Teragren products are carbon negative at the time of delivery in North America.

Many consumers are also under the impression that bamboo simply does not perform well in certain areas of the country with extreme swings in humidity. But manufacturers are confident that quality bamboo that has been acclimated and installed properly should not have any issues.

Acclimation and installation

Parquet-WellmadeDue to the nature of the process of making strand bamboo, as well as the fact it is difficult to measure its moisture because of its density, bamboo floors are often not acclimated enough upon installation.

“When we come up against acclimation issues, it’s almost always strand, and it’s because of the density of the material,” said Caitlyn Kari, Teragren’s director of marketing. “Acclimation is all about bringing temperature and moisture content to equilibrium between the product and environment, and when you’re working with such a dense material the process just takes longer.”

Another issue is that many installers don’t know how to install bamboo correctly, and there have been no formal guidelines established. “Right now there are different standards depending on which manufacturer you buy from, and that creates confusion with both consumers and dealers,” said Gary Keeble, marketing manager, USFloors.

Setting standards

In June 2014, the NWFA established its bamboo standards committee, and manufacturers continue to sing the praises of this decision.

“There’s no right or wrong; there’s just the truth,” Goodham noted. “There are some things that are not open to interpretation—the flatness of a plank, the amount of gap that should be left during installation. We need a common language because if we don’t [have one], it hurts everybody.”

Kari added, “[The committee is] game changing. It clarifies the rules, and if everyone is playing by the same rules it makes it so much easier for everyone to do their jobs. And it guarantees the end consumer a higher quality, more reliable product.”

The future of the category

The general consensus among manufacturers is the bamboo industry has already started cleaning itself up. Through all the negative connotation manufacturers continue to laud bamboo’s endearing attributes. “Bamboo is among the most versatile, rapidly renewable and environmentally friendly natural resources on the planet,” said Steve Wagner, director of sales and marketing for Wellmade. “In the end, reputable manufacturers will regulate their own quality control and stand behind their products.”

Goodham also noted the strength of knowledgable, committed manufacturers helping bamboo prevail. “Through attrition we have already seen many small manufacturers drop out who were not able to uphold basic quality level standards. We are all learning from mistakes that have been made by others, and we are rising as a group.”