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Manufacturers debut offerings for spring season

By Jenna Lippin

Volume 26/Number 22; March 18/25, 2013

While we are only a few months into this year, there already is a renewed sense of optimism. Surfaces has quickly come and gone, but this does not mean opportunities are over for manufacturers to showcase new goods. Some are revamping existing lines while others are unveiling brand new designs. Continue reading Manufacturers debut offerings for spring season

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Wood: Innovations make category ripe for recovery

Direct print cork was all the rage this year, and leading the charge was Amorim. Michael Bennett, right, CEO, and Tim Tompkins, national marketing director, highlight the technology’s capabilities.

Highlights include digital printing, distressed, new strand woven and exotic concepts

By Matthew Spieler

Volume 26/Number 19; February 4/11, 2013

Wood flooring may have been one of the hardest hit categories when the housing and financial markets collapsed, but anyone walking this year’s Surfaces show floor would have been hard pressed to find any signs of a beaten industry. Rather, exhibitors of all sizes came out swinging for the fences with an array of styles and performance attributes to satisfy even the most demanding end users.

On the style side, mills displayed visuals that until now could not be achieved. But thanks to advances in technology, such as direct printing, cork suppliers are now able to offer products that no longer resemble cork but rather marble and tile as well as other types of traditional wood looks. Other visuals took advantage of distressed techniques to give the final product a worn, reclaimed look, such as wood salvaged from an old barn, while others simply took actual reclaimed wood and turned it into unique types of flooring. Continue reading Wood: Innovations make category ripe for recovery

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Surfaces 2013: Years of hope turning to confidence

From left: To highlight its new Composer collection, UrbanFloor serenaded visitors with classical music. The Max Windsor illusionist entertained attendees with ‘The Magic of Max.’ Quick•Step used oversized props to showcase the features of its laminate flooring.

Mills, dealers come out of hibernation poised for recovery

By Matthew Spieler

Volume 26/Number 19; February 4/11, 2013

Las Vegas—For the first time in roughly six years, the mood at Surfaces was neither dour nor hopeful. Instead, it could best be described as confident, as in confident the bottom of the trough has been reached and business is not only finally pointing in the right direction, but has started to steadily climb toward brighter times.

And while no one would say the industry is completely out of danger from the free fall it was experiencing at the height of the recession, nearly everyone at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center felt they were on firmer ground for the first time in recent years. Continue reading Surfaces 2013: Years of hope turning to confidence

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WFCA changes certification requirements

The World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) updated its Industry Certification program and reduced the cost from $149 to $99 for members for all three designations, Certified Flooring Executive (CFE), Certified Flooring Sales Consultant (CFS) & Certified Flooring Professional (CFP) (non-WFCA member application fees remain $249).

The requirements for the initial certification application process also changed. Written references are no longer required and education hours required for the initial certification reduced from 50 hours to 30 hours for CFE and from 30 hours to 20 hours for both the CFS and CFP designations. Certification renewal will now be every three years for all three designations, CFE, CFS and CFP, instead of two. The number of hours in continuing education required to renew certification increased from ten to fifteen hours for CFE; CFS & CFP remain at ten hours.

WFCA members who are certified under the program are now eligible to receive 75% in trade scholarship funds for approved training programs up to the maximum available.

For more information about WFCA certification, please visit http://wfca-pro.org/Certification.aspx.

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Improving economy gives hope

by Matthew Spieler

While every flooring category has been hit hard by the recession, perhaps none more so than wood—in the five years following its high water mark in 2006, the segment is down 40%. So it should come as no surprise as the economy shows signs of steady improvement manufacturers feel the slide is finally over. Continue reading Improving economy gives hope