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Resilient: In a contested field, sheet vinyl still competes on value, visuals

June 11/18, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 26

By Mara Bollettieri

 

There’s no denying that LVT and WPC have nipped some market share from sheet vinyl, but by no means is the workhorse subcategory down for the count. Although other resilient formats are growing in popularity, the product still has a place in the flooring industry today, offering benefits to residential and commercial markets.

Thanks to new technological enhancements and product design innovations, resilient sheet is showing it can hold its own against the onslaught of hard surface competition both within and outside the category.  “WPC is getting all the attention today, but sheet vinyl has been waterproof since long before WPC came on the market,” said Mary Katherine Dyczko-Riglin, product manager of residential sheet vinyl, Mannington.

Mannington is working to remind retailers and consumers of the many benefits of sheet vinyl, such as its durability and ease of maintenance. With the company’s Revive collection, it’s promoting these positive attributes while providing dealers with unique and on-trend visual options to make it more appealing to customers. Dyczko-Riglin also emphasized the affordability of the product as a key benefit. “The key to sheet’s success is to remind people that it has those great features and benefits,” she explained.

Other industry executives believe enforcement is the key. “We are continually reminding our customers of the advantages of sheet vinyl—installation ease, quiet, comfortable, durable, inexpensive and future flexibility,” said Liz Marcello, director of residential products–marketing, Tarkett. To that end, the company plans to launch a new sheet vinyl product, TruTEX, which has the ability to dissolve moisture and is mold and mildew resistant while providing strength. According to Marcello, with this new sheet vinyl product, Tarkett is hoping to “create more excitement” around this flooring category.

Mannington and Tarkett are not alone. IVC, a Mohawk brand, is doing its part to keep sheet top of mind. “The attributes of sheet vinyl, such as durability and waterproof features, all go hand in hand with still offering the most economic resilient product in the category,” said Amie Foster, senior product director, IVC U.S.

Suppliers are also leveraging sheet vinyl’s other attributes. “The versatility of sheet vinyl makes it an ideal solution for any number of residential, commercial and project-oriented applications,” said Kurt Denman, chief marketing officer and executive vice president of sales, Congoleum. “This multi-tasking capacity has allowed sheet vinyl to journey into builder, multi-family and residential-remodeling applications.”

Emphasis on design

Technological advancements have allowed manufacturers to deliver updated sheet vinyl looks that have more realistic visuals. Many suppliers are leveraging new printing techniques to deliver stylish visuals that today’s consumers demand.

“Sheet vinyl’s upgraded visuals and its competitive pricing make it a competitive flooring option,” said Clark Hodgkins, director of resilient, Shaw Floors. “This isn’t the dated vinyl sheet that once graced the kitchens and bathrooms of old.”

Advancements in printing technologies, according to Hodgkins, allow for new pattern creations and gives sheet the ability to better mimic popular visuals like wood and tile. He believes costumers can get beautiful visions at a “fraction of the cost,” compared to other resilient flooring. In particular, he cited Shaw’s DuraTru sheet line, which features realistic visuals.

Other manufacturers are also leveraging technology to render improved looks. “Products like Mannington’s sheet vinyl are highly styled with embossed-in-register, realistic visuals—in all constructions,” Dyczko-Riglin explained. “If you think about it, sheet vinyl is also the ultimate long and wide product as well.”

A case in point, according to Dyczko-Riglin, is Mannington’s Revive collection—a line that draws its inspiration from natural materials. “Revive patterns are inspired by popular porcelain looks, which are making consumers do a double-take,” she said. “It allows them to get the aesthetic they are looking for.”

Equally important as aesthetics, supplier say, are the performance advantages resilient sheet provides. This is particularly critical in situations where hygienic conditions are a major requirement, such as healthcare applications.

“Vinyl sheet floors are seamed by heat welding, which fuses the sheet together and creates strong, clean, aseptic seams that resist the penetration of dirt and moisture,” said Dave Bailey, associate product manager, Armstrong Flooring. “New material and coating technologies have enabled a wider range of colors and patterns, better wear resistance, reduced maintenance requirements and improved chemical and stain resistance.”

Like many products in its lineup, Armstrong’s sheet vinyl products have been enhanced with its signature Diamond 10 technology. According to Bailey, the technology boasts resistance to stains, scratches and scuffs while providing high-indentation performance.

IVC’s Foster feels sheet vinyl has the advantage in this regard. “Visuals continue to challenge the best LVTs, hardwoods and ceramic looks, so the consumer is getting an economic product with enhanced visuals.”

End-use applications

A majority of the suppliers told FCNews that an advantage of sheet vinyl is the product’s ease of installation. This attribute makes the product suitable for a range of applications and environments, be they residential or commercial.

Beauflor, for instance, is seeing its Blacktex fiberglass sheet vinyl being installed in the builder and property management segment. That’s due in no small measure to the product’s exclusive black-textile backing, which allows for loose lay installations up to 500 square feet. “Manufactured housing and RV markets love Beauflor’s sheet for our proprietary 16 foot, 4-inch width capability on a dimensional stable, cold-crack proof, waterproof and flexible construction,” said Michael Finelli, director of strategy, product and marketing.

Then there are products like Forbo’s Marmoleum, which is being installed across a range of both commercial and residential applications. “This USDA- certified, 100% bio-based product also fits the bill for sustainable-minded customers looking for healthy flooring options,” said Lori Lagana, marketing manager, Forbo Flooring. “It’s ideally suited for a variety of commercial and residential applications, ranging from patient rooms, classrooms, hallways and boutiques, to kitchens, bedrooms and family rooms.”

Tarkett’s Marcello sees its FiberFloor being used in multiple rooms in the home for single families. She believes it’s the ideal floor for kitchens, bathrooms, great rooms and/or laundry rooms. She also mentioned its usage in multifamily homes as well, where it is typically installed in spaces that see a lot of use and foot traffic. Also, when paired with its ProSheet Plus 3 product, Tarkett’s FiberFloor and TruTEX sheet vinyl products have the ability to be installed over existing floors. Since TruTEX is moisture resistant, along with being resistant to both mold and mildew, it works in areas that tend to get wet, such as basements, laundry rooms and bathrooms, Marcello added.

Mannington’s sheet vinyl, according to Dyczko-Riglin, is going down in wet areas such as kitchens, laundry rooms, mudrooms and bathrooms.

All of this is no surprise given the category’s waterproof attributes. Shaw Floors’ Hodgkins believes these qualities make sheet vinyl the go-to product for areas of the home that are prone to spills, messes or accidents. “Consumers don’t have to worry if their beloved pet tracks mud through the house or their children make a mess—Shaw’s DuraTru sheet vinyl will maintain its look and shape,” he explained. Shaw’s sheet goods, he noted, features OptiClean technology—an innovation that offers an extra boost of stain resistance.

But sheet vinyl is not just a utilitarian floor as far as installation, maintenance and upkeep are concerned. At the end of the day, proponents say, consumers will select the product because they love the way it looks, along with its suitability for a variety of installation scenarios.

“We’re seeing ArmorCore installed throughout a living space—including entryways and hallways—because of its visual continuity across multiple substrates and subfloor conditions,” Congoleum’s Denman said. He sees this as partly due to the trend of open-concept living in homes, and the continuity of a singular floor to “visually open up smaller spaces.”

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Xpress Global Systems: Going the extra mile

May 28/June 4, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 25

By Reginald Tucker

In today’s hypercompetitive distribution economy, it’s no longer enough to simply move products from point A to point B. In order to gain an advantage, wholesalers must also go above and beyond by offering value-added services to manufacturers and retailers alike.

That’s precisely the edge that Xpress Global Systems, formerly Crown Transport, claims to offer its partners across the supply chain. “We’re the largest nationwide transportation hauler for the floor covering industry,” said Darrel Harris, CEO of the Chattanooga, Tenn.-based distributor. “Xpress Global is a company that’s been around for 40 years.”

According to Harris, Xpress Global Systems’ fleet entails nearly 300 trucks, and the company owns roughly 600 pieces of trailing equipment. From a logistics standpoint, about 75% of its freight originates out of Dalton, with approximately 20% coming out of the Southern California area.

“The majority of our business that we handle is LTL—less than truckload—shipments predominantly for floor covering businesses,” Harris explained. “We also have a fair amount of our business dedicated to warehousing. We store freight for our customers, and most of the time that freight then finds its way onto our trucks for local distribution.”

Xpress Global Systems also maintains a brokerage division (XTMS) that’s able to arrange transportation, truckload brokerage and LTL if it’s outside the scope of the company’s normal activities. Operating out of Xpress Global System’s Tunnel Hill, Ga., facility, XTMS is designed to provide additional services for the company’s large customer base in the region.

Harris cites additional competitive advantages. “By far it’s our expertise in handling floor covering, specifically rolled goods. Our employees are very well trained, experts in their field. It’s a type of product that requires special handling. You hear so many different stories in the industry about carpet being damaged when shipped using general commodity carriers. It’s not that we never had that problem, but it’s a very low claims percentage. Less than half of 1% of our shipments result in a claim, because we take great care of our equipment. Plus, our network is set up to make sure the carpet is handled properly.”

But it’s not just soft goods. Xpress Global is also equipped to handle pallets of hard surface products such as LVT. “We really put a big focus on the hard surface of segment of the business,” Harris said. “What’s really good about it from a transportation perspective is those goods commingle well in a transportation mode. Over the past few years we have really put a focus on exploring those opportunities with our customers.”

Creative solutions 

Xpress Global Systems also excels in what Harris refers to as “reverse logistics.” For example, if freight is delivered to a retailer but the shipment is rejected, Xpress can arrange to send it back to the originating mill. “We can assist the retailer for any reason that might create a scenario where they would need to return the product,” Harris explained.

Another competitive advantage Xpress Global Systems offers is its sheer size and scale. “There’s no one that has the broad coverage area to match our 33 facilities across the country,” Harris said. “That is something that’s very unique and special in this particular space focused on floor covering.”

So why would a retailer prefer to have Xpress Global ship their products from a mill as opposed to just paying the mill to have the product shipped to them? Harris explains the thought process. “What we find is many retailers don’t always take the time to really understand their overall freight costs or the logistics behind it. So there could be significant cost savings with us. Also, we have capabilities in so many different areas that are all built around floor covering, which translates into other solutions we could bring to the table that they might not even be aware of. For example, we can store goods for clients in various parts of the country without them having to spend the extra funds to basically put brick-and-mortar facilities in. In essence, they can use our facilities as an opportunity to position their freight for their customers, and we can  handle shipping it out for them. So there’s just a lot of creative things we can do by opening up those discussions directly with the retailers.”

Robbie White, senior manager of distribution and logistics for Beauflor, is a believer. “Xpress Global has given us a lot of capacity that we didn’t have. But they have also worked with us on drop trailers, especially on nationwide coverage of rolled goods. With the proactive reporting they provide, we don’t have to wait on exceptions to come up. They’re really good at managing those exceptions for us.”

Other Xpress Global Systems customers attest to the distributor’s high level of service. Jared Warnack, vice president of Lowe’s division for Phenix Flooring, has been a client for more than 15 years—and for good reason. “They are a very integral part of our company. They service the majority of the nation for us, and they do a wonderful job.”

Warnack attributes that track record to the leadership at Xpress Global Systems. “When Darrel Harris [CEO] came on board, he changed some of the policies to help improve customer focus. For example, he created a customer advisory board comprising logistics personnel from most of their major manufacturer customers, and we talk about issues we face every day in the industry. Xpress Global Systems then uses that feedback to improve their service and offerings. That’s why so many specialty retailers and big box stores use them as their preferred carrier.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NRF prioritizes service for partners at NEFM

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

By Steven Feldman & Mara Bollettieri

Uncasville, Conn.—Winter turned to spring on March 19 as things were heating up at NRF Distributors’ New England Flooring Market (NEFM). With 110 vendors showcasing their latest wares to an estimated 320 customers, Terry Gray, vice president of marketing, was anticipating the one-day event to generate $3 million in business. Every vendor offered some type of special to encourage retailers to make the trip to NEFM and spend.

“This is their local Surfaces,” Gray told FCNews. By her count, only 10 retailers who signed up for the NEFM attended Surfaces. “Instead of flying to Vegas and spending all that money, they can spend a night here and buy new displays and meet executives of the brands they sell.”

The NEFM concept began nearly 40 years ago, when it was held in NRF’s Augusta, Maine-based warehouse. The market eventually outgrew the venue and has been held in casinos for the last 10 years, attracting customers from Maine to Pennsylvania. NRF now hosts three markets a year for its customers—two in Connecticut and one in New York.

One initiative the distributor was focusing on at this event was its newly launched social media platform, NRF Social, which aims to help retail customers build their Facebook and Twitter presence. Michael Gallicchio, social media manager of NRF Social, explained how the program familiarizes itself with the retailer and adapts to his or her specific community and product line. This allows the program to produce a library of personalized content. “What we try to do is engage the community through social media in the name of the retailer and target people who are showing the tendency toward home improvement services. Once we do that, more than likely when people go to buy flooring, they’re going to be thinking about the local retailers first.”

The program costs anywhere from $99-$149 a month depending on the level of service. Ninety-nine bucks a month includes posting content and pictures; for $149 a month, retailers receive content plus paid Facebook ads. Gallicchio emphasized how putting money behind Facebook advertising can be extremely beneficial to a retailer’s business. “For hardly any money, comparatively speaking to what existed 20 years ago—when people spent thousands of dollars in ads—you can deliver a branded message with pictures, specs and product knowledge that will help people make decisions on the fly.”

Around 30 to 40 stores have signed on to NRF Social since its launch in October, and at least a dozen more were added at the show, Gallicchio shared. “NRF had the foresight to not guess what consumers do. We studied it.” The platform allows retailers to maximize their time on the floor with customers while the social media experts handle the advertising.

NRF’s social media team held a four-month pilot program, where it tested numerous types of messaging and online advertising through social media platforms. The data collected from this study revealed what consumers best respond to, so a local retailer can hyper-locally target consumers in his or her community.

NRF has also launched a campaign promoting the “shop local” movement with service, honesty, options and pricing providing the basis for the acronym SHOP. NRF has adorned the back door of its 68 trucks with the signage and is also providing POP material in the form of stickers to retailers. “The idea is to get people to buy specialty flooring products from their local retailer,” Gray said. “It’s a way to drive more traffic into stores. We are driving the fact local stores do it better.”

NRF is also using its trucks to promote its vendors. For example, 28 trucks sport the Tarkett logo and a large room scene visual plastered on the side. “We’ve been doing that since 1988,” Gray said. “We don’t know of any other distributor doing that. It’s the best advertising you can get. That will last 12 years; the trailer will die before the label comes off.”

Gray noted that NRF was up about 6% in 2017 and, like just about everyone, is riding the crest of the LVT/WPC/SPC wave. Beauflor and Raskin are new vendors joining Tarkett, which NRF has handled for five years. “Actually, the last two or three years have been great,” Gray said.

That is not to say NRF is strictly growing because of hard surface. Gray pointed out that carpet is still a big part of the distributor’s overall sales. “Carpet remains 30% of our business. I have carpet in stock all the time.”

Service with a smile 

Service has been, and always will be, something Gray believes is an NRF hallmark. “Truck drivers deliver to every single store twice a week—roll goods, boxed goods, palletized goods. Generally speaking, customers never have to wait more than a week for anything. We even have 400 customers who have given the truck drivers keys to their stores, so they can deliver early in the morning. Sometimes we even start the coffee maker.”

Delivery of product begins long before NRF drivers show up on a retailer’s doorstep. In many cases, product comes from overseas, which requires astute management to ensure proper inventory. “If you are buying containers from China, you must factor in how many weeks and months it takes to get product,” Gray noted. “You need 15 to 18 weeks inventory if it’s coming on a container. You have to have a purchasing system for all the different items. You have to factor in all the nuances of each product lines.”

Retailers attending the NEFM attested to NRF’s focus on service. Jeff Hosking, owner of Payless Floors, North Attleborough, Mass., shared the advantages of using the distributor for his local business. “The pricing is better when you buy it in bulk, and they’re great people to deal with. We’ve worked with them now for a lot of years, and we’ve found them to be very honest when we have an issue. They back up what they say. They help us sell our customers with product knowledge and offer training.”

When asked what separates NRF from other distributors, Hosking did not hesitate to respond. “They’re more attentive. The service is 100% better than most of the other distributors.”

Even retailers who are new to the game are impressed with the service NRF provides. Eileen Nash and her husband, Dylan O’Malley-Joyce, recently opened The Floor Works in Bethlehem, N.H. She shared how they recently had a problem with some of their flooring and NRF resolved the issue. “The manufacturer blamed the installer, so NRF got us an inspector. It turned out to be a flooring defect, and NRF had everything fixed [just] like that.”

As an added bonus, NRF has a printing department and another that handles sampling for wood and ceramic. NRF also offers its customers products to sell on a private-label basis. “We always thought it was important for customers to have their own lines,” Gray said. “Everyone can go on their phones and say, ‘I can buy it cheaper.’ But private-label products can’t be shopped.”

Manufacturers also attest to the value NRF provides. “They’re just efficient,” said Stephan Guindon, executive director, NA, Venture Carpet. “The reputation they’ve built in the marketplace is something I haven’t seen in other areas of the country.”

If reputation is No. 1, then product knowledge is a close second. Bruce Hammer, vice president of sales at Ribadao Wood Boutique, was one who commended the distributor’s familiarity of his products. “They have an extremely knowledgeable sales staff that can talk in depth about the unique species we offer.”

Raskin Industries is a relatively new supplier, only four months into the relationship. “I would say they dominate New England more than any other distributor dominates their own marketplace,” said Ted Rocha, vice president of sales. He likened his partnership with NRF to being a part of an extended family. “They have great support from areas that are very difficult to get to.”

Mike Lewandowski, general manager of American Olean, is also pleased with NRF as a distributor partner. “They support all our new launches and every effort we do in the market.”

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Gilford-Johnson meeting ranked ‘best one yet’

March 19/26, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 20

By Ken Ryan

 

“Driving Performance Together in 2018” was the theme of Gilford-Johnson’s ninth annual Advantage Partners conference earlier this month. Judging by the robust turnout—100 flooring dealers, 19 vendors and 208 total attendees—the one-day meeting was a resounding success.

“More people, more customers and a great deal of optimism and energy—probably our best one yet,” said Dennis Cook, president and CEO of Gilford-Johnson, ranked No. 17 among FCNews’ top 20 distributors with $90 million in sales.

Cook, who returned to the helm of Gilford-Johnson to replace Scott Roy, said the event, which included a trade show and awards dinner, was refreshing because he was able to spend quality, one-on-one time with customers. “That was my primary objective—trying to understand some of their issues. I certainly went around to all of our vendors and thanked them for their participation. Most of the customers I spoke to had really good years in 2017, from 5% up to a 15% increase, and some even more than that. They were quite enthused about 2018. We are certainly excited about 2018 as well.”

Rob Purkins, senior vice president of sales for Gilford-Johnson, who has been at all of the conventions, concurred. “I believe this was the best Advantage Partner event we have hosted in the nine years of the program. We had a great turnout. Our dealers were optimistic about business, and every vendor at the show was swamped the entire day.”

The event was held at the Belterra Casino Resort & Spa in Florence, Ind., just over the Kentucky border. However, attendees traveled by automobile from as far away as Georgia. “We had people from Atlanta, east Tennessee, Nashville,” Cook explained. “We had some people drive from as far away as Atlanta and Dalton to come to the show.”

Many attendees were first-timers, which Cook saw as an encouraging sign for a distributor that boasts an impressive array of suppliers—among them Raskin Industries, Inhaus, Johnson Hardwood Floors, IVC, EarthWerks, Beauflor, Tarkett/Johnsonite and Somerset.

Jodie Doyle, vice president of product management for Gilford-Johnson, said the Advantage Partners event is an opportunity to showcase the latest and greatest products that will hit retail stores in the coming months. “We were really happy to show off the Johnson Premium Reservoir collection, which is our first entry into the waterproof wood segment. The response to that product and all of our new introductions was really gratifying.”

Bill Schollmeyer, CEO of Johnson Hardwood, called it a “great dealer function,” adding, “It’s been a while since I’ve attended a dealer function for a major distributor and it was fun to be part of it. You really get a feel for the relationships Gilford-Johnson has with their customers.”

Cook, who had retired to Alabama but remained a director at the company, was asked to return at the beginning of the year. He said he is happy to be back and will be there as long as needed. “I was asked the question of how long I will be staying a number of times during the meeting,” he recalled. “I have no time frame. My goal is to make this company flourish. We have a lot of opportunities that we can take advantage of.”

At the evening awards ceremony, Carpet Specialists of Louisville, Ky., was named Gilford-Johnson Dealer of the Year for 2017.

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William M. Bird partners with Beauflor

Charleston, S.C.—William M. Bird will partner with Beauflor to distribute the manufacturer’s brand of residential and commercial vinyl flooring in the Southeast. The new product offering will be available throughout William M. Bird’s entire territory including Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and the Florida panhandle.

“We are proud to partner with Beauflor and align with a manufacturing company that shares our vision and values,” said Maybank Hagood, CEO of William M. Bird. “We are very excited to offer our customers high quality, beautifully designed and profitable new options in vinyl flooring. Our entire team is very impressed with the Beauflor line and we are confident our customers will be as well.”

In support of the new product launch, William M. Bird will provide merchandising, marketing materials and product knowledge training to its customers. Beauflor is the first of many new partnerships that William M. Bird will be announcing over the next few weeks.

For more information, visit wmbird.com.

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Beauflor highlights new collections at Surfaces

Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-12.49.05-PMLas Vegas—Beauflor, a global leader in flooring solutions which now manufactures in the U.S., continues to innovate its North American product offerings with new collections revealed at The International Surface Event (TISE). Following are the company’s newest collections ranging from luxury vinyl to cushion vinyl to engineered wood and more.

Beauflor’s new Blacktex collection of Luxury Vinyl Roll (LVR) offers stone tile and wood plank designs that not only feature color depth, but also closely mimic the textures of their natural counterparts. LVR is warm and soft underfoot, water resistant, environmentally friendly and easy to install, clean and maintain. In addition, LVR provides sound absorption qualities and offers loose lay up to 400 square feet.

Jazz, Beauflor’s latest commercial collection of Cushion Vinyl, lays a solid foundation for any home related scenario or day-to-day flooring incident. The floor is backed by a 10-year warranty and Power Bac backing for added durability.

Beauflor has added eight new designs to its PURE luxury vinyl tiles and planks. PURE is easy to install, and eliminates headaches with lightweight construction and unique leveling properties made possible by Beauflor’s proprietary Rigid Composite Board technology. PURE leverages Beauflor’s patented DreamClick technology and 360-degree design, which makes it faster to install than other traditional click and glue down systems.

Beauflor’s new collections of Engineered Wood Flooring include: El Paso, which mimics American Oak; Sonoma, inspired by American Hickory; Nantucket, which possesses a reclaimed lumber look reminiscent of American Red Oak; Aurora, which has an aged appearance evocative of Plantation Grown Seringa Hardwood; and Annapolis, designed to resemble classic American White Oak.

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Resilient: Anatomy of a winning product

December 19/26, 2016: Volume 31, Number 14

Some products tout high-performance capabilities such as waterproof attributes and resistance to scuffing, scratching and heavy foot traffic. Others, meanwhile, focus on aesthetics—be they visuals that aim to replicate natural materials such as wood and stone, or more abstract designs that draw their influences from art and geometry. These products run the gamut from more recent introductions to the resilient category to existing products that have evolved and improved over time.

The common denominator across the vast majority of these resilient flooring products is the impact they have had on a category that continues to reinvent itself through innovation and imagination.

Following are some examples of the qualities that define winning products.

 

screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-3-14-20-pmEarthWerks: Parkhill
The EarthWerks Parkhill premium WPC collection has been expanded to include six new SKUs of embossed in register 7 x 48 planks featuring a 20 mil wearlayer as well as six new 12 x 24 tiles. Suited to fit any décor, whether it’s residential or commercial, the Parkhill line features 2G click installation and Tuff Shield for added durability.

 

 

 

 

screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-3-14-26-pmShaw: Floorte
The innovative flooring line uses high-definition printing for a hardwood or tile look that is highly authentic. Its Fold N Go locking system is precision-engineered for an easy installation. Its waterproof qualities make it ideal for high-moisture areas like basements, bathrooms and mudrooms. Floorté has been expanded with two new platforms: Alto and Valore.

screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-3-14-32-pmNovalis: NovaCore, NovaCore XL
NovaCore was introduced by Novalis as a high-performance core (HPC) plank under licensed technology from Unilin and USFloors. NovaCore is made in standard 6 x 48 planks, and NovaCore XL comes in 9 x 60 planks. Both have 10-year light commercial and limited lifetime residential warranties. NovaClic Fd technology aims to ease installation and conforms to irregular subfloors.

 

screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-3-14-38-pmUSFloors: COREtec Plus
USFloors made its entry into LVT with COREtec and has since emerged as the pioneer in the burgeoning category of WPC. Recent iterations include COREtec Plus, essentially a hybrid floor that combines the best features of LVT with the best features of laminate. COREtec Plus features a 1.5mm wear layer of virgin LVT, a 5 mm core structure, and a 1.5mm attached cork underlayment for an overall thickness of 8mm.

 

screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-3-14-45-pmDuChâteau: American Guild Premium Vinyl
American Guild, a new line of luxury vinyl plank and tile flooring from DuChâteau, captures the natural beauty of wood and stone. Available in a variety of trendy visuals, the collection offers distinct colors, textures and patterning in a durable, low-maintenance resilient flooring option. In addition, DuChâteau launches the Sovereign Edition (from the Atelier Series), which features EIR technology and a ceramic-reinforced finish.

 

screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-3-14-54-pmArmstrong: Vivero
The award-winning Vivero luxury flooring features patent-pending Diamond 10 Technology for optimal durability. The floor planks are 100% waterproof, are pet and family friendly and easy to clean. Vivero offers two flexible installation options and features the patented IntegriLock System. Vivero offers four collections—Rustics, Exotics, Traditional and Stones.

 

screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-3-14-59-pmMohawk: SolidTech
Mohawk launches SolidTech, a luxury vinyl product that combines the strength and visual of real hardwood with the durability and cleanability of luxury vinyl tile or laminate. Featuring thick, rigid construction, SolidTech planks look and feel just like real hardwood. They are 50% denser than average composite core flooring so SolidTech planks will not telegraph visual imperfections.

 

screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-3-15-04-pmCongoleum: DuraCeramic
DuraCeramic, one of Congoleum’s legacy products, continues to draw attention among consumers and throughout the industry. According to the company, the line was ranked the No. 1 hard surface product by Consumer Reports. DuraCeramic is not your run-of-the-mill LVT product. It is made with a limestone composite base and fortified with a polymeric resin for stability.

 

screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-3-15-09-pmAmorim: HydroCork
Amorim, makers of the Wicanders brand, recently took the wraps off HydroCork, an innovative product line that couples the top benefits of both LVT and WPC. Utilizing Corktech technology, HydroCork floors provide enhanced performance acoustics that facilitate up to 53% noise reduction. It also offers thermal qualities.

 

screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-3-15-15-pmBeauflor: Pure
Beauflor’s Pure plank and tile collection offers easy maintenance, exceptional sound absorption, is 100% recyclable, 100% waterproof and features a polyurethane finish for long-lasting protection. It can easily withstand heavy loads and high traffic areas. Pure also incorporates DreamClick, a 360° locking system that is one of the strongest in the LVT market.

 

 

 

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Resilient: Beauflor pushes innovation with cushion vinyl

screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-10-46-20-amAs one of the leading players in the sheet vinyl flooring category, Beauflor offers a wide and varied selection of cushion vinyl rolls and vinyl planks that are suitable for both commercial and residential applications.

Its cushion vinyl, manufactured at a state-of-the-art production facility in Wielsbeke, Belgium, has drawn raves for its realistic and natural visuals. Also noteworthy are the products’ performance and maintenance attributes. Eric Erickson, vice president of marketing for Beauflor, cited the sound absorption and waterproof properties as among its leading attributes.

Beauflor’s new Blacktex line features a new backing that allows the 16 mil wear layer product to be loose laid up to 400 square feet. According to the company, it will not tear and needs minimal subfloor prep. Beauflor recently revamped the entire line with new looks and colors. Beauflor is also launching its new Avenues collection, with a width of just over 16 feet and built on a construction it says will not tear.

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Beauflor taps Distribution Jacques-Cartier to cover parts of Canada

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-12-49-05-pmAtlanta–Beauflor continues to expand its North American distribution network with new partner Distribution Jacques-Cartier. The distributor will offer the full line of Beauflor cushion vinyl flooring as well as click luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and planks in eastern Canada.

“This welcome addition to our distributor network allows Beauflor to be closer to our Canadian customers, providing a superior service and product delivery experience,” said Steve Roan, Beauflor’s sales and marketing director for North America.

Customers in Ontario, Quebec and Maritimes will now be serviced by Jacques-Cartier for access to Beauflor products, including cushion vinyl rolls and PURE click vinyl planks.

“This announcement is one of the proudest moments for Distribution Jacques-Cartier,” said Marie-Line Dion, owner of Distribution Jacques-Cartier. “We are very pleased to become the Beauflor distributor for Eastern Canada, as we are always keen to offer our customers quality product lines with a choice of design trends at competitive prices.”

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Beauflor expands North American distribution network

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 11.27.05 AMWielsbeke, Belgium—Beauflor, a brand of BFS USA, has expanded its distribution network to include Kennedy Flooring. Kennedy Flooring will offer Western Canada the full line of Beauflor cushion vinyl flooring as well as LVT.

“This welcome addition to our distributor network allows Beauflor to be closer to our Canadian customers by providing better service and product delivery,” said Steve Roan, Beauflor’s sales and marketing director for North America.

Lou Kennedy, president of Kennedy Flooring, added, “Our sales team is confident that taking on Beauflor will elevate Kennedy Flooring’s presence as a leader in our market.”