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Kennedy launches Revolution Mills

From left: Chris Williams, Charlie and Zach Kennedy

Huntersville, N.C.—Residential carpet may be stagnant in a waterproof world, but don’t tell that to Charlie Kennedy. The longtime Gulistan and Phenix executive has launched Revolution Mills with a focus on innovation and performance.

Kennedy began his career at Bigelow in Greenville, S.C., before moving to Pinehurst, N.C., to begin working with JP Stevens, later named Gulistan. After more than 30 years in product development he became president. Five years later, he sold his interest and launched Phenix Flooring in Dalton.

Since its inception in 2016, Revolution Mills has strived for quality. The company currently offers high performance, soft solution-dyed polyester along with carpet tile and SPC. It is headquartered here, with product distribution out of Dalton.

Zach Kennedy, Charlie’s son, and his son-in-law, Chris Williams, run the day-to-day operations. Zach Kennedy, who heads up sales and marketing, most recently spent nearly 14 years at Phenix selling to national accounts, distributors and local dealers. Williams, who heads up the company’s operations, brings extensive knowledge to Revolution Mills from his 23 years at Lowe’s, notably serving as the hardwood flooring, area rug and paint merchant. His most recent role was overseeing Lowe’s global sourcing team while based in Shanghai.

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Patcraft’s Tangible Hue energizes environment with colors, textures

Cartersville, Ga.—Patcraft has introduced its latest carpet tile collection, Tangible Hue. Inspired by the appeal of creating bright, uplifting spaces, products are infused with color, offering designers, end users and facility managers a range of color palettes for impactful commercial design. Available in 24” x 24” tiles, patterns combine texture, light and energy to create playful and energetic spaces.

“Studies show that color has a profound connection and impact to the human brain’s perception of environments,” said Shannon Cochran, Patcraft vice president, creative and design. “Color can motivate, excite or calm, inspire creativity and self-expression or improve focus. Tangible Hue inspired our design team to consider how changing the variables of color can impact behavior within a space.”

Tangible Hue includes three dynamic patterns designed to complement one another in a lively interaction between shape, color and texture. Color offerings include saturated primaries and stable neutral tones that are enriched and uncomplicated, and these sophisticated twists create a complex dimension on the floor. Products are ideal for wayfinding and crossover spaces that create balance and impact with multi-functional outcomes.

Constructed with Solution Q Extreme, Tangible Hue is Cradle to Cradle Certified Silver and offers a beautiful design option within high-demand environments. Products are backed with a lifetime warranty against stain, colorfastness to light, static and abrasive wear for maximum performance and appearance retention.

 

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LVT, carpet tile make the (commercial) grade

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

By Ken Ryan

 

Flooring executives say there are several reasons why LVT and carpet tile—two modular options—represent the fastest growth and most popular flooring types for commercial interiors.

Modular flooring categories offer numerous options, enough to address virtually any budget, performance need or design requirement, according to Quentin Quathamer, commercial brand and marketing manager for Philadelphia Commercial, a division of Shaw Industries. “Modular flooring offers flexible design options via installation pattern. Combined with style, color and shape selection, a distinctive design can be easily achieved. They also mitigate less-than-perfect site conditions where less than smooth or dry subfloors exist, which can be budget-restricting hurdles or delay the use of the space you just designed or renovated.”

Others say carpet tile lends itself to enhanced design because designers can use the modularity of the tile to create spaces within a space and help with wayfinding. Nathan Stevenson, vice president of product management, Mohawk Group, noted that carpet tile is a good choice “for when you are renovating a commercial space with pre-existing furniture where you can essentially lift the case goods in the area an installer is working, replace the flooring underneath, lower the furniture, move to the next tile and keep the process moving along. Carpet tile’s benefits and flexibility help specifiers and end users meet many of their goals for commercial environments.”

In recent years, traditional LVT emerged as a versatile and durable product offering myriad design options to provide an excellent value proposition. “The traditional LVT market continues to evolve with modification that impart various performance attributes,” said Kurt Denman, chief marketing officer/executive vice president, sales, Congoleum. “Modifications to the base can deliver improvements in sound rating, indentation or installation options. Changes to the thickness of the wear layer can be made based on the type of space, the maintenance schedule and anticipated level of foot traffic to ensure optimal performance. Combine performance options with an array of design options, relative ease of installation and competitive price point, and you have a strong value proposition.”

Many flooring observers also agree that LVT is the smart choice for commercial applications because it offers a bevy of benefits other flooring surfaces cannot. “From a design standpoint,” said Alan Rowell, director of sales for Aspecta by Metroflor, “LVT fits in with the more European contemporary look that is gaining popularity in commercial settings.”

Flexibility and versatility are two other attributes in LVT’s favor in the commercial segment. “We often think about our tile products as building blocks, and our customer has the ability to control how the floor defines their space, regardless of whether it is carpet or LVT,” said John Crews, manager of Lifestyle Studio, Shaw Contract.

Amanda O’Neill, senior product manager for Armstrong, said that because LVT’s composition includes PVC, the product is much more resistant to damages in addition to being water and scratch resistant. “LVT’s flexibility in terms of modular shapes and sizes, broad palette of colors, durable long-lasting performance and easy maintenance make it idea for many commercial spaces. Plus, improved embossing techniques give LVT a much more realistic look than laminate.”

For Mannington’s Al Boulogne, vice president of commercial resilient business, LVT’s success in the commercial arena is all about versatility, as it can solve many installation-related issues. “Floating versions and more traditional glue-down versions of LVT, coupled with specialty adhesives, solve moisture issues from the subfloor,” Boulogne said. “Solid core products can also go over existing subfloors helping the end user avoid the high cost of ripping up tiles. Plank and tile formats in LVT also help to make repairs of damages much easier.”

Mark Tickle, director of marketing, American Biltrite, said the nearly unlimited visuals and colors differentiate this waterproof vinyl product in a commercial setting. “Simple maintenance, no stripping and waxing [needed]; then there is the much lower cost for installation and maintenance with a simple damp mop. Finally, better technologies have made it more durable to commercial traffic use.”

Applications for every segment

The question is not which commercial segments favor carpet tile/LVT but rather which commercial segments don’t? Indeed, markets like education, corporate, healthcare, government, hospitality, student housing and retail all are thriving with LVT and carpet tile applications.

The general consensus is the two big commercial growth segments are hospitality and workplace. Both are relatively new segments for LVT. “Having the right design for the workplace has been the challenge in such a legacy, carpet-oriented segment,” Boulogne said. “By coordinating design with what works on the soft surface side, we can make the transition a comfortable one for designers.”

Hospitality’s acceptance of LVT over soft surface products has grown lately due to health/hygiene concerns and LVT’s longer life cycle. By the same token, VCT is losing ground within education because LVT is easier to maintain and does not have an institutional look and feel. Milton Goodwin, vice president of commercial sales for Karndean Designflooring, allowed that the hospitality segment is turning away from carpet and hard tile because it is difficult to keep the grout clean. “The cleanability of LVT is a big thing. LVT doesn’t harbor dust and allergens; there is softness underfoot; it is hygienic and offers upscale looks without the costs.”

Cali Bamboo has seen significant growth among its hospitality, multi-unit housing, gym and retail storefront clients. These sectors are looking for flooring that can be installed easily and won’t have to be maintained or replaced as often. “Our customers also like the improvements in the luxury vinyl look that Cali Vinyl’s HiFi Imaging allows,” said Tom Hume, vice president of marketing. “The introduction of improved LVT has opened doors to clients who tend to shy away from hardwood or carpet.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Carpet: State of the industry—Higher-end goods boost residential end of the market

August 28/September 4: Volume 32, Issue 6

By Ken Ryan

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 11.43.04 AMAfter a slow start to 2017, the residential carpet category gained some traction in the second quarter, resulting in a 2% rise in sales over the year-ago period, with units up 0.5% overall in the first half. Executives cited sales of better goods, an uptick in consumer confidence and price increases that have firmed up the marketplace.

The U.S. carpet category continues its ever-so-slight recovery from the Great Recession, its growth held in check by hard surfaces. “We have seen patterns, loops and differentiated product at the upper end doing disproportionately well and outperforming the medium end of the market,” said Tom Lape, president of Mohawk Residential.

T.M. Nuckols, executive vice president of residential business for the Dixie Group, which oversees the Dixie Home, Masland and Fabrica brands, agreed that better goods at the higher end of the spectrum and well-styled products are seeing the greatest activity in the residential market these days. If the products offer soil and pet stain protection—as many of them do—it’s a plus.

The 2% growth in residential carpet is a welcome sign for a category that has shown little to no growth in the last three years. In 2016, for example, FCNews’ research showed carpet sales down 1% to $8.7813 billion while total volume—which includes carpet and area rugs—gained 1.2% to 11.22 billion square feet.

There are some positive signs in housing that should favor a boost in carpet sales going forward. Between July 2016 and July 2017, U.S. home values increased 6.8%, according to Zillow, the online real estate database interest. That number is expected to rise another 2.7% within the next year, the company said. This uptick in home prices has helped boost consumer confidence among homeowners, which has increased two months in a row. As a consequence, the residential replacement market has experienced growth as spending on remodeling projects has moved higher. While most of that spending has been for hard surfaces, soft goods have not been shut out entirely.

However, rising home prices are a double-edge sword because it prevents many would-be buyers, especially older millennials, from entering the market. The flip side is that has resulted in a more robust multi-family segment. The multi-family production index (MPI), which provides a composite measure of three key elements of that market—construction of low-rent units, market-rate rental units and “for-sale” units, or condominiums—jumped 8 points to 56 in the second quarter as all three components increased.

“Improved units can be attributed to a fairly good builder market in both multi-family and single family as well as the return of home equities in the retail remodel sector,” said Brad Christensen, vice president, soft surface portfolio management, Shaw Floors.

Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 11.43.21 AMThe Main Street segment of the business continues to perform reasonably well, with carpet tile continuing to grow in both small, local businesses and specified commercial. Broadloom, however, continues to lose share in both sectors.

Market research has shown consumers desire the warmth and comfort of carpet in their homes. To meet that need manufacturers are focusing on the look and feel of carpet more so than fiber type. As Christensen explains: “Consumers want a stylish, high-performing carpet that complements their uniquely curated living spaces and demand both design and function in a variety of price points.”

Rodney Mauter, executive vice president of residential marketing for Lexmark, sees value and fashion, especially, as the primary inspiration for consumers. “She wants her bedrooms and family rooms to be just as much of a statement as the rest of her home. As carpet manufacturers we must continue to exceed performance standards while offering more color and fashion choices.”

The dwindling middle
Carpet continues to play well in certain regions, in particular the upper Midwest and Northeast, observers say. Meanwhile, both the low and upper ends of the market are showing fairly brisk activity. Engineered Floors, the No. 3 carpet company, is flourishing in the lower-end polyester market, which continues to be strong. The upper end, which counts Dixie, Shaw (Tuftex) and Mohawk (Karastan), continues to shine. However, the mid-range market—$8 to $13—is struggling. “Rather than building products that fit your assets, build products that fit your customers’ needs,” Lape explained. “We have to figure out a way to create compelling products for our retailers even if it is hard.”

Innovative offerings
Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 11.43.26 AMMohawk’s SmartStrand is an example of a compelling product that has enjoyed tremendous reception at the retail level, with new iterations like SmartStrand Reserve giving dealers more profit potential. “SmartStrand Reserve has hit the market with very solid acceptance across our dealer base,” Lape said. “Our prior research told us consumers loved luxurious soft performance carpet, and since our launch earlier in 2017 our research has now been proven true with the introduction of SmartStrand Reserve.”

Several advancements in technology have driven today’s exceptional quality, performance and styling looks. Improved yarn systems offer softer hand along with a range of visual aesthetics coupled with enhanced performance and durability. According to Susan Curtis, senior vice president, product development for Phenix, developments in tufting technology continue to open new ways to design creative carpets. She said additional attributes are being engineered into carpet products that enhance the consumer’s use and experience with the product.

Mark Clayton, president of Phenix, said innovations in tufting technology have provided opportunities for manufacturers to create more compelling textures and color palettes for the consumer.

Technology’s contribution to carpet has kept it as a viable flooring solution especially in the areas of improved stain, soil, wear and fade resistance—in addition to affordable pricing. That’s according to James Lesslie, executive vice president at Engineered Floors, whose company introduced an advanced polyester extrusion process fiber system called Apex SD.

Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 11.43.32 AMAt Shaw Floors, its LifeGuard waterproof backing system is now offered as a trade-up option for dealers. In 2017 Shaw added LifeGuard to its Anso Color Wall in a Titanium collection with 150 new SKUs. “We’re listening to consumers more than we ever have before and adapting our strategies to meet their needs,” Christensen said. “Making LifeGuard an optional upgrade on more styles is just one example of this new approach.”

Products that offer stain and soil protection continue to resonate with consumers, the majority of whom own pets, studies show. To that end, the Dixie Group introduced a significant number of new products under the Stainmaster PetProtect brand, including many new carpet styles under its Dixie Home and Masland lines.

Phenix’s Cleaner Home carpet, meanwhile, features built-in Microban antimicrobial technology to protect against the growth of stain- and odor-causing bacteria and mold. Recognizing consumers’ growing desire for a cleaner home without cleaning more, Phenix combined these three unique components—a new fiber with two proactive technologies—to create this new carpet collection.

In terms of innovation and initiatives perhaps no one has been as busy as Engineered Floors. “Our top innovations are hard to pinpoint because 2017 has been so busy for us,” Lesslie explained. “So far this year, we’ve launched a totally new website, expanded our social media, broken ground and are in the process of completing a new modular carpet manufacturing facility, added several new Main Street commercial products through our Pentz brand and introduced Apex SD. And we’ve got four more months to go.”

 

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Carpet pushes back against hard surface

July 3/10: Volume 32, Issue 2

By Ken Ryan

 

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 2.29.45 PMCarpet’s share of the overall flooring market has dropped from 50.9% of dollars in 2006 to 41.5% in 2016, according to FCNews estimates. While the downward trend has not been dramatic, it has been steady and consistent.

Carpet mill executives don’t need to look at statistics to know what is happening in the marketplace. The big ones (i.e., Mohawk and Shaw) have already transformed into total flooring solutions companies, well positioned to take advantage of any flooring trend. As Seth Arnold, vice president of residential marketing for Mohawk Industries, explained, “We are not working to stem the tide on anything. Our business is about meeting consumer demand wherever that may be.”

The smaller mills have options, too. Some have entered the hard surface category; others are contemplating such a move. And there are some who have stuck to their soft surface knitting, redoubling their efforts to deliver differentiated product.

So what are carpet mills to do about combating the inexorable gains of hard surface? Some advocate promoting the benefits of carpet. “It’s softer, warmer, more comfortable, quieter and safer than hard surfaces,” said T.M. Nuckols, executive vice president of the residential business for Dixie Home. “We also make beautiful styles and designs that can complement the many looks available in hard surfaces.”

Rodney Mauter, executive vice president, Lexmark Residential, has his own ideas. “We must keep driving the positives of carpet; after all, no one takes a nap on a hardwood floor, no one plays with the baby or puppy on a tile floor.”

Others say it is the carpet industry’s duty to continue to explore innovation and technology. “Whether it’s through style, design or performance, soft floor covering will continue to evolve and develop and ultimately remain a viable flooring option to consumers long into the future,” said Mike Sanderson, vice president of product marketing, Engineered Floors.

Soft, durable carpet provides a healthy profit margin for flooring dealers, especially when sold with pad. Some observers say the industry needs to drill down on that. “First and foremost, we need to put an end to the continuation of the race to the bottom in terms of PET pricing and overall devaluation of the category,” said Brad Christensen, vice president, soft surface category management, Shaw Floors. “The industry collectively needs to do more to promote the many benefits of soft surfaces, none more tried and true than its value compared to other surfaces. We don’t need to give it away.”

Other mills find focusing on a particular niche is beneficial. Stanton, for example, has grown its business by being selective about its patterns and offerings. “It’s about being thoughtful about the design part of it,” said Jonathan Cohen, CEO. “You can use existing technology that is out there to create something fresh. We can step it up a couple notches and produce something that is really good looking.”

Indeed, executives say there is no substitute for continually innovating to create new and compelling products. “Homeowners are no longer interested in 50 shades of beige,” Mauter said. “They demand every room of the home to denote personal style while providing comfort and performance. Easy care and maintenance is also important; products must clean easily and last.”

Ongoing initiatives
Research indicates that consumers shop by look and feel rather than fiber type. To that end, carpet mills are developing products that look great and can withstand high-traffic areas. That is no easy feat, but driving innovation is the only way to keep carpet relevant, executives say. “Carpet can be on the cutting edge of home décor,” Dixie’s Nuckols said.

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 2.30.06 PMTo address the hard surface opportunity for soft surfaces, Phenix has introduced a line of products that speaks to specific needs and that provide unique solutions for the consumer. In 2017 it introduced more patterns and textures to address the fact that carpet is often being used within individual rooms—as opposed to the entire home. “It allows the consumer to use carpet as a focal point of the room’s design,” said Mark Clayton, president and CEO of Phenix Flooring. “We also recognize the fact that broadloom carpets are often being used to create one-of-a-kind area rugs that can be used in conjunction with hard surfaces, so this provides additional opportunities to expand pattern and textural designs.”

Other companies are combining hard surface and soft surface in the same display systems to create a coordinated look for the home. Shaw’s TruAccents carpet collection pairs bold styles and patterns with hard surface visuals on a single merchandiser. “We understand that consumers want both hard and soft surface products in their homes, and this gives them a convenient, one-stop destination for ease of shopping and comparison,” Christensen said.

Mohawk is a total flooring company, and within that scope carpet remains a very significant piece of business. “How do we keep carpet part of the conversation?” Arnold asked. “The relentless focus we have on innovation, which is true of all our categories, is really true of carpet. We invest to stay competitive. The success we have with SmartStrand and all the innovations we brought to market has allowed us to keep carpet a profitable category.”

For companies that don’t have the depth and breadth of a Mohawk or Shaw, there are still niches to fill. Foss, for example, has focused on promoting non-woven, needle-punch broadloom and carpet tile products as an appealing and affordable accessory—or outright alternative—to traditional flooring. “Many consumers who prefer hard surfaces are attracted to our products because of their beauty and warmth combined with the attractive look and durability of a low-pile floor,” said Brian Warren, senior vice president of sales and marketing. “Not to mention, our products provide the consumer with a higher level of affordability and versatility because they work in virtually any application or market.”

Advice for dealers
While carpet manufacturers continue to explore ways to recoup market share, executives also believe flooring dealers can do their part to help combat the growth of hard surfaces. Strategies range from offering custom rugs made of broadloom to creating vignettes showing stairs with carpet inserts to upselling customers to better goods.

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 2.30.16 PMLexmark’s Mauter, for example, said his company coaches its retailers to think outside the norm by using different patterns with the same colorway to create subtle differences throughout the home without the need to change paint color or furniture. He also suggested making custom rugs out of broadloom to facilitate room size and dimensions and to create additional revenue.

Mohawk, for its part, emphasizes “X-plusing,” which is educating and selling the consumer on why trading up makes sense. As Arnold explains: “A consumer walks in and is planning to spend ‘X’ and instead of being traded down to lower priced goods—which are often lower-quality goods and reinforces the notion that carpet isn’t made well—offering a smaller selection of better quality product rather than a sea of sameness would be a better option. It’s about great marketing and storytelling. If you provide that customer with a compelling reason to trade up to a premium product like SmartStrand Silk you can X plus them 10%, 20%.”

Arnold said the successful retailers understand that less is more and having the right product at the right price point is key. “You have to set up your showroom for trade-up possibilities and allow consumers to feel the difference. Telling compelling stories and presenting extraordinary product is the formula for retailers.”

Clayton advised retailers to remind the consumer of the true benefits of carpet and hard surfaces and be sure they understand the potential challenges of each product. “Some consumers and their lifestyles would actually benefit from the utilitarian benefits of soft surfaces, not to mention the design opportunities.”

Shaw’s Christensen suggests retailers can help drive excitement by touting the many styling benefits and performance features. “Carpet today has a compelling performance story while also offering breathtaking visuals in a wide array of styling options. Retailers can continue listening to the needs and concerns of consumers and establish credibility by suggesting the right flooring solution for every space and every consumer appetite. There is no doubt that carpet will continue to play an important role for consumers. People forget that carpet is the largest category and still has a dominant position in peoples’ homes, and carpet remains a very import product to help drive this.”

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Carpet industry donates carpet tile to charities

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 1.49.20 PMChicago—Nearly 11,000 pounds of carpet were discarded from showrooms at TheMART in Chicago since NeoCon 2017. Instead of taking the used carpet to landfills, carpet manufacturers and local non-profit organizations have collaborated to repurpose the carpet for social good.

Designs for Dignity, one of the nonprofit collaborators, will use the carpet to renovate the workspaces of other Illinois nonprofits. This partnership is viewed as a win-win-win as carpet tile is diverted from landfills to beneficial reuse; nonprofit organizations gain effective workspaces to nurture growth and success of their missions; and renovation cost is minimized by utilizing in-kind donations and volunteer design and construction support, allowing nonprofit organizations to direct more resources to achieving their mission.

“The carpet industry continually seeks solutions to keep carpet out of landfills,” said Robert Peoples, executive director of the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE). “Repurposing used carpet generated from renovations for NeoCon is just one example of the carpet industry’s commitment to sustainability.”

Participating carpet manufacturers include Atlas Carpet Mills, Bentley Mills, Interface, J+J Flooring Group, Milliken & Co., Mohawk Group, Shaw Industries Group and Tandus Centiva.

More than 21,000 square yards of carpet tile from showrooms at TheMART Chicago have been donated to non-profits since 2010.

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Engineered Floors breaks ground on new carpet tile plant

EF-TILE-PLANT-050317-1Dalton—Engineered Floors recently broke ground on a new carpet tile manufacturing facility in Dalton, Ga. The initial phase of the plant will total 520,000 square feet and is expected to open January 2018.

“This plant is sign of continued growth and marks the beginning a new era for Engineered Floors,” said James Lesslie, executive vice president of sales and marketing. “As the popularity of modular carpet tile has grown, especially for Main Street applications, Engineered Floors is answering this need with a new state-of-the-art facility.”

In 2016, Engineered Floors launched its Pentz Commercial Flooring Solutions brand to be sold through its dealers and with collections that offer modular as well as broadloom styles.

“Our commitment to the modular carpet segment continues our commitment to be the flooring brand of choice now and in the future,” Lesslie said.

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Philadelphia Commercial debuts new carpet tile backing

PhilaDalton—Philadelphia Commercial is launching StrataWorx tile, a lightweight, efficient carpet tile backing. As the result of advanced engineering and cutting edge technology, StrataWorx opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for carpet tile.

Featuring easy installation and efficiently packaged boxes of 20 tiles, StrataWorx boasts endless potential as Philadelphia Commercial’s newest complement to its premier EcoWorx backing. StrataWorx will accompany EcoWorx as a new and innovative backing system and, working together, both will take carpet tiles to new levels.

The Design Smart collection, the first line of products to feature StrataWorx, was created to extend the accessibility of carpet tile to the broadest range of applications in spaces previously untouched with carpet tile. The collection will feature three 24 x 24 styles in six colors each. All of the initially launched styles will offer Quickship and are Green Label Plus certified with a 10-year warranty.

For more information about StrataWorx, contact your local Philadelphia Commercial sales representative or visit philadelphia-commercial.com. Also, follow @phlcommercial on all social channels to enter the company’s Smart Space Gadget Giveaway.

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Bentley Mills, Balta join forces

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 4.02.34 PMLos Angeles—Balta, a leading Belgium-based manufacturer of textile floor coverings including Modulyss commercial carpet tile, has agreed to acquire Bentley Mills. The acquisition leverages market, product and sales synergies of both brands—a benefit to customers worldwide.

“On their own, Bentley and Balta are strong, iconic brands in their respective markets,” said Ralph Grogan, president of Bentley. “By strategically coming together, we’ll bolster our collective industry-leading commercial carpet tile offerings. On behalf of everyone at Bentley, we’re honored to be part of the Balta family and look forward to continued growth and innovation.”

Balta will tap into Bentley’s sales force and market power to accelerate growth of its European Modulyss carpet tiles in the U.S. Additionally, Bentley’s carpet tile lines will be sold worldwide through Balta’s expansive distribution network.

There are no expected changes in leadership, employees or geography for Bentley.

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Shaw opens $85M carpet tile facility

New plant to bolster manufacturing capacity, recycling capabilities

December 5/12, 2016; Volume 31, Number 13         

By Ken Ryan
screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-9-11-07-amShaw Industries, the largest carpet tile producer in North America, officially unveiled its new carpet tile manufacturing facility in Adairsville, Ga., on Dec. 1. The $85 million facility, which became operational this quarter, will provide added capacity and recycling capability for the company’s Patcraft, Philadelphia Commercial and Shaw Contract modular carpet brands.

Known as Shaw Plant T1, the 600,000-square-foot facility complements the company’s existing carpet tile manufacturing, recycling and warehouse facilities in Cartersville, Ga., and in Nantong, China. The China facility opened in mid-2013 to serve the Asia Pacific market.

Vance Bell, chairman and CEO, who spoke during the ribbon-cutting event, noted that Shaw already invests hundreds of millions of dollars annually in new and expanded facilities, enhanced equipment, technology and processes, and improved distribution systems. “This is a prominent example of that commitment,” he explained, adding the new factory would allow Shaw to innovate across its broad portfolio of products for both residential and commercial applications.

Brenda Knowles, vice president, commercial marketing and product development, said there is a great deal of innovation built into this facility in terms of design features, dimensions and patterns. “The efficiencies that it has will continue to drive further innovation.”

In the commercial market, carpet tile represents an estimated 54.6% of the market in dollars and 44% in volume (FCNews, June 27) and is growing in the high single digits. It is growing robustly in the commercial arena at the expense of a declining broadloom segment. “There have been years over the past six to eight years where there has been double-digit growth in carpet tile,” Knowles said. “We see a bright future for continued growth.”

Shaw’s carpet tile facility currently employs 170 associates. The company estimates the plant will create 500 new jobs once it reaches full capacity. The carpet tile equipment takes up about one-third of the 600,000 square feet of space, which is all under one roof. There are plans to add more equipment in the building and, ultimately, more buildings to the 115-acre industrial site.