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NeoCon preview

May 26/June 2, 2014; Volume 27/Number 28

NeoCon is the largest trade show for architects and designers in North America, attended by more than 40,000 professionals from the A&D community. With five floors of exhibitors occupying permanent and temporary spaces, visitors have an infinite amount of hard and soft surface product awaiting their perusal. In addition, NeoCon will host a slew of seminars, many eligible for CEU credits, along with expert keynote speakers and educational programs. FCNews received a sneak peek at what some companies will unveil and highlight at the show.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.02.50 PMAbet Laminati

Two high-pressure laminates will be highlighted. The Parade collection touts bold digital design, durability and easy maintenance in 4’3 x 10 sheets. In addition, Root, from the Legni collection, features a realistic, wood-like surface and is available in seven patterns with a slightly raised texture. Legni wood grain laminates are available in 4 x 10-foot sheets. All products are Greenguard certified with low VOC emissions. FSC certification was just received in Italy, where the laminates are manufactured, and the company is currently attaining an FSC certification for North America.



Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.03.10 PMAmerican Biltrite

American Biltrite will showcase two LVT lines, Mirra and Sonata; AB Pure, a revolutionary colorfast rubber line, and Stonescape, a 100% VOC- and PVC-free polyolefin flooring. Mirra is a highly resistant LVT for heavy commercial applications, while Sonata is a fashion-forward and affordable commercial line. The company is particularly enthusiastic about AB Pure, which it considers a “revolutionary patented rubber line.” With a striking, expansive palette of 36 vivid colors, there is an impressive colorfastness, meaning visuals won’t change over time. In addition, the company said Stonescape is its “greenest” product, free of plasticizers, phthalates, chlorine and halogens. Stonescape can be safely disposed in landfills and creates very little smoke in the event of a fire.






Aquafil is currently touting Econyl yarn, developed from the Econyl Reclaiming Program established by the Aquafil Group to recover nylon 6 waste. The BCF (bulk continuous filamints) division produces nylon for synthetic carpet flooring, which is used in products such as Desso’s Airmaster and Visions collections and Interface’s Net Effect. The Econyl Regeneration System helps avoid the unnecessary waste of polyamide material. The innovative process recovers nylon from waste such as carpet, clothing and fishing nets, and transforms it back into virgin raw material for new products. Aquafil will reclaim close to 26,000 tons of pre- and post-consumer waste this year; Econyl products will contain at least 50% post-consumer content in 2014.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.03.44 PMBentley

New Bohemian and Light Play are two new collections. New Bohemian features Antron Lumena solution-dyed type 6,6 nylon and is available in High PerformancePC broadloom, as well as 18 x 36 and 24 x 24 NexStep cushion tile and Afirma hardback tile. Light Play offers two carpet styles—SoHo Daw and Melrose Dusk—featuring Antron Legacy type 6,6 nylon. The line is available in 24 x 24 NexStep cushion tile and Afirma hardback tile. Melrose Dusk is also offered in 18 x 36 planks. Both collections are Cradle to Cradle, NSF 140 and CRI Green Label Plus certified, and they are produced in the only LEED-certified carpet manufacturing facility.





Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.04.17 PMBolyü

Bolyü will take the wraps off three new carpet collections—Fluid and Fractured, Suit and Tie, and InnerCircle—a new entry in its Level hybrid line, Monogram, as well as the Luxury Vinyl Tile Design Collection. Fluid and Fractured includes two modular carpet tile styles that embody the technology of design and construction, while InnerCircle is a modular tile designed to deliver a bold composition of color, pattern and texture. The Luxury Vinyl Tile Design Collection combines high definition digital imaging technology and state-of-the-art manufacturing processes to create new abstract designs. The four carpet products feature Nexterra backing, which is UL certified as NSF 140 Platinum and includes post-consumer recycled content.





Continuing the company’s overall theme of transparency, CBC Flooring’s Halo, Takiron and Ceres brands will all be included as NeoCon highlights. The performance of Ceres Sequoia will be elevated with a new, enhanced construction featuring the high-performance PET technology that had been an industry exclusive to Halo Free. The new Sequoia with PET vs. polyolefin has 30% greater taber abrasion and scratch resistance, a clearer wear layer to enhance the design, better installation properties and reduced lead times. Pricing has also become more competitive.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.05.40 PMFlexco

Celebrating 65 years of business, Flexco continues to tout its Made in the USA products. Base Sculptures is a wall base with appealing aesthetics as well as increased durability, easy installation, moisture resistance and decreased maintenance. With eight different profiles, Base Sculptures possesses the qualities of real wood without the high price tag or time-consuming finishing process. The collection is offered in 40-foot seamless rolls with three profiles that include color-coordinated corner blocks. Base Sculptures is FloorScore and SCS certified.



Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.09.47 PMForbo

Marmoleum Modular is a naturally sustainable tile collection comprised of 44 colors and three coordinated sizes designed to mix and match for endless design possibilities. Available in 10 x 10, 20 x 20 and unique 10 x 20 rectangular tiles, Marmoleum Modular is currently the only floor tile that is USDA Bio-Preferred Certified 100% biobased. Made from natural, renewable ingredients, it features inherent antimicrobial and antistatic properties that improve indoor air quality and resist bacteria growth without chemical additives.



Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.06.09 PMFreeFit

FreeFit will highlight its new 6 x 48 Intaglio RW filled-in-cracked wood visuals, as well as 12 x 24 Rectangulo tiles. In addition, its 18 x 18 HDCT (hi-definition carpet tiles) will be displayed. In terms of product features, FreeFit will focus on its virgin vinyl core. The company’s offerings do not contain recycled filler material, nor do they contain harmful phthalates like DOP and DEHP. This also provides exceptional flexibility and weight, allowing the floors to both contour to and conceal subfloor imperfections. Due to FreeFit products’ pure construction, they are also antibacterial by design and fully recyclable. Products from the company can be loose laid using only FreeFit’s Gecko Tape (or approved adhesives) to secure the perimeter, or full spread for commercial environments.






Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.07.33 PMInterface

The premise behind Human Nature, a new global collection, is that workplace interiors inspired by nature can inspire innovative thinking. Biomimicry and biophilia are highlighted influences, and the collection’s five tiles speak to natural design both aesthetically and in terms of diverse touch. Made with 100% recycled content nylon yarn, Human Nature will be manufactured on four continents in six Interface factories that are, on average, 39% more energy efficient and consume 83% less water than when the company began to rethink its impact on the environment two decades ago. Additionally, these facilities now receive an average 35% of their energy from renewable sources.






Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.08.32 PMJ+J/Invision

The focus at NeoCon will be the Bespoke collection, which will be displayed in the company’s “London Calling”-themed space. The line will come in three styles, two in broadloom and modular and one in broadloom only. Targeting the high-end, corporate segment, Invision is highlighting the very crisp, bold colors and design of Bespoke. A new plank modular collection to coordinate with Bespoke is Inception, which will stray from historically popular 24 x 24 and 18 x 18 sizes. All products are NSF 140 certified.






Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.09.19 PMJohnsonite

New products at NeoCon 2014 include Minerality, a rubber tile and plank, and GemStone solid vinyl tile (SVT), which is ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and FloorScore certified, and is part of the Johnsonite ReStart Recycling and Reclamation Program. In addition, new textures will be added to Johnsonite’s extensive line of rubber tiles — Brushed, Concrete and Leather Textured. Lastly, Melodia 2.0 and Aria 2.0 homogenous vinyl sheet and tile flooring update the existing Melodia and Aria collections with an expanded color palette.



Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.10.24 PMKarndean

Karndean will use NeoCon to highlight its Opus, Art Select Woods and LooseLay collections. Designed with commercial specifications in mind, Opus features large-format floor tiles and wood effect planks that are simple to work with and easily installed. Karndean LooseLay is an award-winning, glueless line that features 12 plank and eight stone designs. LooseLay is ideal for commercial applications and is 100% recyclable. Art Select Woods includes realistic wood visuals, handcrafted textures and intricate grains. All products have low VOCs and adhesives are free from harmful emissions.




Mannington Commercial

Two products will serve as the focal point at NeoCon: Enlighten, a PVC-free homogeneous sheet offering, and Design Local, a modular carpet tile collection. Enlighten is a polyolefin/rubber homogeneous composite sheet that provides a high-performance, PVC-free solution for healthcare environments. It delivers through-chip construction, low maintenance, greater comfort underfoot, easy installation and enhanced acoustical properties. In addition, Enlighten contains 5% post-consumer recycled content, 4% rapidly renewable content and has FloorScore and NSF/ANSI-332 Gold certification. To develop Design Local, Mannington teamed with 18 members of the A&D community in Seattle, Nashville and Philadelphia to create a collection of coordinating carpets inspired by each city. Design Local is backed on rEvolve thermoplastic polyolefin or InfinityRE Modular; EPDs have been issued for both backings.


NeoCon will mark the launch of Aspecta, a new global brand from Metroflor that focuses on the architecture and interior design community. The brand includes a range of 56 wood grain planks and 50 stone and abstract tile floors developed for the global design community. The dry-back flooring offers a breadth of design expression spanning metal, abstract, solid hues, concrete, and wood and stone visuals, enhanced by the authentic textures.  Aspecta views sustainability as a fourth pillar of excellence in the luxury vinyl flooring business (with design, color and texture as the first three). The plant in which Aspecta is produced has attained ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 for tiles and planks, which together with their adhesives are FloorScore certified to assure strict quality standards and good indoor air quality.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.11.04 PMMohawk Group

With four product launches, one particular introduction that stands out is Breaking Form, a modular carpet collection offered in 12 x 36 planks. The company collaborated with architect and designer Mac Stopa, whose innovative designs feature bold colors and three-dimensional patterns. Breaking Form is made with DuraColor nylon fiber technology with 30% recycled content and EcoFlex ICT premium vinyl modular backing system, which includes 35% pre-consumer recycled content and is Gold NSF/ANSI-140 certified. Additional products that will be unveiled at NeoCon include Why Y—also designed with Stopa—a new LVT collection with a unique Y shape, offered in 18 x 18 tiles; Simply Tailored, Karastan Contract’s latest broadloom line, and New Vintage, a modular plank offering with 12 x 36 selections.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.11.23 PMPacifiCrest

Three dynamic cut loop products that will be showcased at NeoCon are Lava, Molten and Ember. The line includes three coordinating patterns created from Ultron Ombré nylon 6,6 in a 25-color palette. Lava is a tribute to igneous rock created by cooled lava, and Molten takes its inspiration from a molten lava flow. Ember is reminiscent of the glowing ash of a smoldering fire. PacifiCrest carpet is third-party certified to CRI Green Label Plus standards.



Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.11.45 PMParterre Flooring Systems

Parterre will launch a new resilient plank called Vertu. The collection features 33 new designs that embody the artistry of nature and weathered wood designs. These designs, named after famous artists and pieces, can either accent bolder patterns or create a neutral, inviting commercial space. Parterre’s products are made with 25% post-consumer and 20% post-industrial recycled material.




Patcraft will unveil a new collection (name TBA) that offers designers the opportunity to mix hard and soft surface products in a way that has never been available before. Created specifically for multi-faceted, high-demand collaborative spaces, the design enables spaces to be designed with mixed materials and shifting shapes, providing unique alternatives for the commercial market to define spaces where only walls and furniture have been able to do so in the past. This modular offering is constructed using EcoWorx backing, the industry’s first 100% non-PVC backing system, emitting low VOCs and contributing to LEED project certification. The collection’s resilient selection is made of 22% recycled content.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.12.12 PMRoppe

Five products will be highlighted at NeoCon: Health & Learning rubber and vinyl tile, Marble Fiesta rubber tile, Northern Timbers vinyl plank, Hammered Marble rubber tile and Pinnacle Plus rubber wall base. The company’s products offer a wide range of environmental benefits, including FloorScore certification, CHPS (Certified in Healthcare Privacy and Security) and meeting NSF 332 criteria. Visitors at the booth will have the ability to navigate the company’s website to help interested designers and potential customers easily find the product details they need—from LEED information and the Flooring Designer function to seeing products in action.





Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.12.32 PMTandus Centiva

Thin Lines modular carpet tile will be launched at NeoCon. Building off classic geometry, Thin Lines brings sophisticated line work to the next level, intentionally using pattern as a way to connect spaces. Using a classic neutral palette against intense color play, the installation methods are unlimited. Thin Lines is 100% recyclable through Tandus Centiva’s closed-loop recycling program. It is also constructed using Aquafil’s Econyl fiber, a 100% recycled BCF nylon — 50% pre-consumer and 50% post. The company will also introduce an Environmental and Health Statement (EHS) on ethos, a backing option for its Modular and Powerbond platforms. Ethos is made from recycled PVB, which is an abundantly available waste film from post-consumer windshields and safety glass.


Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.12.50 PMUpofloor

Upofloor will expand its PVC-free range of products with new designs and sizes in sheet, tiles and planks. It will also highlight the world’s premiere Quartz line with 83 designer options in marbled, chipped and unicolor designs. According to the company, Upofloor’s strongest attribute is quality. Its products are environmentally sound: Upofloor Quartz Tile consists mostly of natural raw materials, and the use of plasticizers is minimal. Only biobased, nontoxic and phthalate-free options are accepted, ensuring extremely low emissions into indoor air and the ability to be recycled.






In illustration of its “bigger, bolder, better” theme, USFContract will introduce several new products. Stratum XL is the latest in engineered luxury vinyl plank, extending the company’s Stratum ELV line. Stratum XL is the longest and widest vinyl plank available, measuring 9 x 72. Stratum ELV will now have a broader assortment of visuals and decors in the 500 series with 5 x 48 planks; the 700 series, measuring 7 x 48, and a first-to-market format of 18 x 24 tiles with the 1800 series. USFContract has also extended the Citadel Collection with Palisades, which features the industry’s biggest plank at 10¼inches wide and a little more than 9 feet long. All Stratum ELV and Stratum XL products are Greenguard Gold certified, while all floors in the Palisades collection are 100% FSC Pure.


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Carpet tile blends style, substance and practicality

May 26/June 2, 2014; Volume 27/Number 28

By Ken Ryan

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 11.48.54 AMModular carpet is quickly becoming the go-to choice in commercial applications as specifiers leverage the product’s attractive styling and multiple format options along with ease of installation and maintenance benefits.

According to flooring executives, carpet tile now represents about 60% of the total revenue—and 50% of volume—in the commercial carpet market, a percentage that has only increased in recent years.

“I think the looks today in modular carpet are far superior to what they were a few years ago,” said Dan Frierson, CEO, The Dixie Group. “People have found ways to develop styling that is really attractive; at the upper end of the business, beautiful products is what it is about and I think that can be accomplished with broadloom as well as modular, which gives customers a choice.”

Natalie Jones, vice president, commercial brand development and creative product, Mannington Commercial, said carpet tile is clearly a design element in today’s commercial interiors. “Advancements in tufting technology, unique yarn processing capabilities and the introduction of different size formats are all creating looks we have never seen before. The result is a portfolio of design components with complex textures, rich aesthetics and colors, as well as formats that allow the designer to combine elements in ways that are tailored to the unique needs of each project.”

The functionality and maintenance benefits that modular carpet offers are among the factors that have fueled growth in the corporate, K-12 and higher education markets. But there is also cost to consider; in sectors where budgets are tight, carpet tile has fared well because it is a lower-cost alternative in comparison to products such as marble or tile.

Bill Blackstock, regional vice president of sales in the Americas for Milliken, said designers are elevating the flexibility of modular carpet and creating large patterns—in addition to original carpet design—by using color and strategically placing carpet tile in a space. “Gradations of color with an ombré [shaded or graduated in tone] effect are very popular, as well as expansive patterns, like the argyle design displayed with our recent Inis Mór collection.

“In today’s world, with information readily available on a global scale, design trends are happening quicker than ever, and that is influencing carpet tile trends,” Blackstock continued. “Another great thing about carpet tile is that collections can be easily switched for a different pattern or color, affording designers and end users greater flexibility to update office spaces easily over time.”

The benefits of carpet tile are applicable across all markets. Modular is easier to install than broadloom and requires less space for keeping extra product, which is especially important in challenging projects such as high-rise buildings. The use of carpet tile allows facility managers to easily keep inventory and simply replace individual tiles as needed.

John Stephens, vice president of marketing for Shaw Contract Group, said carpet tile continues to increase its share in sectors like hospitality and healthcare, in large part because of the product’s versatility and multiple format options. The variety of sizes available with modular carpet tile ranges from squares to rectangles, with the most common choices being 24 x 24 and 18 x 36.Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 11.50.33 AM

“We will continue to play with tile sizes and innovations,” Stephens said. “Our Hexagon tile has been a strong success.”

Jones said she is seeing a great deal of interest in the rectangular plank format; to serve that market opportunity, Mannington will introduce several new collections in the 18 x 36 format. “We also have seen a significant trend back to texture as a key design differentiator—we like to say that ‘texture is the new pattern.’ And there has been a wonderful return to color. Neutrals are warming up and customers are specifying vibrant, saturated colors to pair with those neutrals.”

Todd van der Kruik, vice president of design at Bentley Mills, said the shape of carpet tile allows for the customization of a space in a much faster and direct way.

“The smaller size of modular means it has a mobility that

its clunkier broadloom cousin doesn’t,” van der Kruik said. “This enables easier access to hard-to-reach office space, especially in larger metropolitan areas. When all of these choices are made available with the same surface design, the specifier gains complete control of the environment and can truly design the floor that is right for [that project].”

Executives said yet more reasons for carpet tile’s growth is its ability to coordinate with hybrid resilient flooring in pattern and performance without a need for transition strips in between. There is also the flexibility of backing systems in modular carpet. Products can now be purchased with a cushion backing that quiets the space, adds comfort and saves energy in the building, thereby reducing the environmental footprint.


Interface, the leading producer of modular carpet, this year launched, offering the A&D community the opportunity to create unique carpet tile compositions for hospitality projects. A Design Your Floor tool on the website can be used to generate floor layouts with square and plank styles pulled from the complete product portfolio, allowing users to visualize their designs with a few clicks.

Technological advancements have also yielded hybrid or crossover products that blend soft and hard flooring surfaces. Svelte, for example, is the first product from Bolyü’s new category of precision flooring called Level, which is engineered to produce the best features and characteristics of soft and hard flooring surfaces.

In addition, FreeFit’s hi-definition carpet tile (HDCT) is suitable for situations where the familiar and comforting visual of carpet is desired but the water resistance and durability of LVT are required. Also, in environments where allergies and asthma can be an issue, HDCT is a solution because it is composed of virgin vinyl, is antibacterial by design and doesn’t trap particles the way real carpet does.

The popularity, functionality and value of carpet tile has grown to such an extent that retailers like Grigsby’s Carpet Tile & Rug in Tulsa, Okla., have created large, dedicated spaces for commercial flooring, with carpet tile as a centerpiece. “The end user likes the fact that carpet tile is easier to replace,” said David Stover, vice president at Grigsby’s. “Plus, it is not a whole lot more of an investment up front, but you are going to get a lot more life out of it.”

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Bolyu Contract names Campos EVP of sales

Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 1.00.51 PMAdairsville, Ga. — Bruce Campos has been promoted to executive vice president of sales for the Bolyu Contract division of Beaulieu Commercial, effective May 5.

Campos has been with Beaulieu since 1994 and has served most recently as the divisional vice president of contract sales for the Central Mountain division.

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Greenbuild 2013: Transparency, LEED are universal topics of conversation

Health impacts take center stage

Dec. 9/16 2013; Volume 27/number 16

By Jenna Lippin

Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 12.08.25 PMPhiladelphia—No matter where you looked, no matter to whom you spoke, the primary topic of conversation at Greenbuild 2013 was transparency. Much of that could be attributed to the official, long awaited unveiling of LEED v4, where changes and updates from previous versions centered on providing greater transparency as it relates to products and processes.  Continue reading Greenbuild 2013: Transparency, LEED are universal topics of conversation

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LSI Floors moves to direct distribution in U.S.

Screen Shot 2013-10-14 at 8.11.49 AMToronto — LSI Floors, manufacturer of luxury vinyl tile and plank flooring, said it is moving to direct distribution throughout the U.S.

The company said the change replicates its own model used in Canada.

“The direct approach has proven to be very successful for us in the Canadian market and is one we know will be appreciated in the U.S.,” said Rick Penhallegon, the recently appointed U.S. sales manager.  Continue reading LSI Floors moves to direct distribution in U.S.

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Bolyu names Cushman VP of marketing

48a9a846-80c9-4bc2-b679-9078d27b65e9fullAdairsville, Ga. — Bolyu Contract has named Rob Cushman vice president of marketing. With over 20 years of experience in the carpet, flooring and interiors markets, Cushman comes to Bolyu most recently as vice president of sales and business development at Artaic – Innovative Mosaic.

Prior to Artaic, Cushman was a partner and senior marketing consultant with Daniel+Douglas+Norcoss, where he oversaw significant market research programs, strategic planning initiatives and execution of branding and product placement campaigns for Patcraft, Shaw, Durkan, Design Origins, BP Amoco, The Carpet and Rug Institute, Daltile, Mannington, Amtico and many other interior design and floor covering focused industry verticals.

Cushman began his career in the carpet industry at Shaw in 1989, where he contributed to many of the 20-plus brands and the various market segments to which Shaw catered.

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Contract state of the industry

Improved economy facilitates sector growth

by Jenna Lippin

With the help of a recovering economy, the contract/specified market awoke in the early months of 2013 from its slumber. With revived sales, many manufacturers are developing products that stray from the traditional designs so common in the contract realm while staying abreast of environmental and sustainability efforts. FCNews discussed the state of the contract industry with some of the industry’s commercial flooring leaders to get their take on the activity for the first part of the year and what they expect for the remaining two-thirds. Continue reading Contract state of the industry

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NeoCon East focuses on high design, government

By Melissa McGuire

Show traffic exceeded the expectations of Bolyü’s Glenn King, vice president of marketing.

BALTIMORE—The premier design exposition for commercial interiors on the East Coast returned for its 10th year to the Baltimore Convention Center on Oct. 17 and 18 with 272 exhibitors, 30 continuing education unit- (CEU) accredited programs, and the latest in the most on-trend, cutting-edge products.

“In our 10 years of NeoCon East, we’ve seen a steady growth each year,” said Mark Falanga, president, Merchandise Mart Properties, the show’s owner.

After an initial stint in New York City the first two years, hosting the show in Baltimore was no accident. “NeoCon East is very important,” he explained, “because this region, in general, and Washington D.C., in particular, has a high turnover as a result of government election cycles, lawyers and consultants that come and go, and agencies that shrink and expand from year to year. These people need offices and work spaces.” Continue reading NeoCon East focuses on high design, government

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Beaulieu introduces new carpet for multi-family units

Dalton—Coming off its second year-in-a-row recognition by Sherwin-Williams as Vendor of the Year, Beaulieu enters the 2011 NAA show loaded with a portfolio of new carpet styles for the multi-family and condo markets. All new Beaulieu carpets have the company’s Magic Fresh or  Puralex built-in odor reducing treatment to rid the indoor air of annoying pet, cooking or smoking smells. Continue reading Beaulieu introduces new carpet for multi-family units

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Bolyu and LSI Floors partner in U.S. distribution agreement

Adairsville, Ga.—In a move that will simplify the specification of flooring and increase client service, Bolyu and LSI Floors, a supplier of luxury vinyl tiles and planks, announced a joint distribution agreement. This agreement will see the full weight of the Bolyu sales network support the sales and distribution of LSI Floors throughout the United States. Continue reading Bolyu and LSI Floors partner in U.S. distribution agreement