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Innovations4Flooring, Classen extend strategic partnership

Domotex, Hannover, Germany—Innovations4Flooring (I4F) has extended its strategic partnership with the Classen Group. Effective immediately, I4F obtains exclusive sublicensing rights for one of Classen’s IP portfolios, comprising over 500 patents, covering key flooring materials, specific locking patents as well as important inventions for digital printing and liquid laminate technology (LLT). This extended partnership follows the agreement between I4F and the Classen Group announced in January 2017.

“Our strategic partnership with I4F is now stronger than ever and, we believe, will confirm Classen’s strong technology capabilities as well as contribute to the delivery of strong results for the Classen Group,” said Arne Loebel, managing director of the Classen Group. “We chose to transfer sublicensing rights to I4F for this IP portfolio because Classen always strives to work with the best.”

I4F’s strategic partnership with Classen is key as I4F continues to support the industry with cutting-edge technology and innovation. “To remain competitive and profitable, the industry continues to demand cost-effective, open and more advanced solutions like digital printing and LLT which, as from today, here at Domotex, we can now sublicense,” the company said.

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Classen appoints Jürgen Resch to board of directors

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada—W. Classen GmbH & Co. KG (Classen), one of the largest laminate flooring producers worldwide, has appointed Jürgen Resch, managing director of sales, to the board of directors.

Resch has held various positions within the company over the past several decades, has in-depth experience within the industry and has been one of the key members responsible for building Classen market share in International markets. His intimate knowledge of the Classen operations and experience is welcomed at the board level as Classen continues to innovate and expand in international markets.

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Brisk fall for new product introductions

Volume 28/Number 6; September 1/8, 2014

By Ken Ryan

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 9.36.31 AMSurfaces remains the preeminent launch pad for new flooring products, but the fall selling season for 2014 is proving to be fairly brisk as well with several manufacturers introducing new offerings for distributors and the specialty retail channel.

For example, Armstrong is beefing up its signature laminate and hardwood flooring lines. The company is adding to its Architectural Remnants laminate collection with Global Reclaim, 18 unique planks blending reclaimed exotic wood looks—apple wood, eucalyptus and maple—with dusty blush tones.

Within its Rustics Premium collection, Armstrong is introducing Forestry Mix, “a harmonious blend” of hickory, white oak and red oak, along with three colors, all with 24 planks displaying the varied stain characteristics of each species. To round out the new laminate offerings, Millwork Block features 18 planks that resemble premium oak strips, assembled into planks, glazed with stain and enhanced by an undulating surface treatment.

In addition, Armstrong is adding walnut and cherry to its popular American Scrape hardwood collection. The new floors have a lighter, more refined scrape with rich colors and wide planks resembling a vintage hand-scraped floor. The new walnut and cherry floors—available in 6-inch wide planks—include a light scraping style combining hand-crafted and timeworn textures.

Congoleum

Timeless from Congoleum is a new luxury vinyl plank and tile line scheduled to launch in October. Inspired by nature, Timeless recreates the finest intricate graining and textures with more than 100 wood and stone options that range from refined to rustic. The line features 45 Degree, a diagonal plank design that allows for a full diagonal floor or a unique herringbone or chevron. The Impressions collection from Timeless combines classic wood visuals with a natural leaf pattern overlay. These designs can be used alone or in combination with the Hickory pattern for a customized look.

DuChateau

Two new fall introductions are Olde Grey from the Riverstone collection and Weathered Black from Vinyl Deluxe Click. Olde Grey is an evolution of hand-sculpted hardwood flooring that blends in with both old and new interiors. Hand distressing and raised knots give Riverstone “a raw and organic contour that feels rustic yet modern,” the company said.

Olde Grey includes light and dark shades, hand sculpting around the wood knots, and wire brushing to create a finer texture.

Vinyl DeLuxe Click, DuChateau’s signature LVT featuring realistic texture, pattern and color, is intended to create the rich warmth of natural hardwood in a durable, low-maintenance alternative to its wood flooring collections.

FloorFolio

FloorFolio Industries is debuting a click flooring product for the first time. FloorFolio Click is marketed as a durable installation system featuring a snap-and-lock method with no need for an adhesive.

“Even though FloorFolio is late in the game to launch our click product, we felt we needed to be able to introduce a product that conformed to our core values of this company,” said Michael Freedman, president and CEO. “With FloorFolio Click, it certainly lives up to those expectations.”

FloorFolio Click is available in all wood and stone collections.

Horizon Floors

Horizon Floors is expanding its Montage European Oak series with the introduction of the Ferno collection, a distressed, handcrafted, lightly brushed hardwood floor with an eco-friendly natural oil finish. “Each plank enhances the inherent grain patterns of European oak and creates a classic look,” said Alex Shaoulpour, president.

Ferno will be sold through the company’s national distribution network.Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 9.37.01 AM

Inhaus/Classen

Inhaus by Classen is taking the wraps off a high-tech flooring product called “Neo,” which is Latin for “new.” Neo is created with wood-based biological materials without PVC, is free of chemicals such as chlorine or phthalates and is highly water resistant.

The product combines natural wood and food-safe polypropylene to create a highly stable substrate. The new production technology enables successful manufacturing without the use of additives such as plasticizer or chlorine and has the added benefit of no additional chemicals to off-gas into the home or environment.

“We view Neo as having the good attributes of laminate,” said Derek Welbourn, CEO. “The product is very robust and scratch resistant. It installs like a laminate, snaps together like a laminate but is similar to floating LVT, and highly water resistant.”

IVC US

IVC US is looking to “breathe new life” into the laminate category with Balterio—36 products arranged in three different style categories, including Traditions, Heritage and Metropolitan, with 12 new SKUs in each line.

The products are available in 8mm and 12mm thickness and varying plank sizes. Balterio offers a high-density core for dimensional stability, and is wear and moisture resistant. With IVC US’ PressXpress click locking mechanism, which was developed in-house, Balterio’s installation can be completed up to 50% faster than that of other laminate products.

Karndean

Karndean is launching LooseLay Series 3 with six new SKUs. Jenne Ross, product manager, said the new release is due to “overwhelming demand.” The products launch in mid-October.

Karndean is also introducing a new line of design strips compatible with the company’s portfolio of glue down planks and tiles. “Our design strips create a customized look that coordinates with any interior finish,” Ross said. “Furthermore, they are made from LVT, which means there’s no need to worry about cracking, discoloration or harboring dirt.”

In conjunction with these new products, Karndean is offering a bi-fold presenter sales tool. Each bi-fold presenter includes a physical sample of the new strips to help retailers sell Karndean product.

Kronotex

The company is making a big splash with its new American Concepts laminate flooring. The 57-SKU collection encompasses 7mm square edge to 12mm embossed-in-register handscraped products with a four-sided bevel and attached pad.

American Concepts’ “best of the best” wood visuals are intended to give independent dealers a brand and collection that will resonate with customers, and appeal to those who want to buy Made in the USA products.

Metroflor

For fall 2014, Metroflor will introduce Engage Premier Plank. With a 4.0mm gauge and an 8 mil wear layer with ceramic bead, Premier rounds out the “good” level of the company’s good (Premier)/better (Engage Essentials)/best (Engage Select and Reserve) platform.

The nine Engage Premier SKUs consist of maple and weathered, distressed oak looks with a fashion-forward modern wash.

“The Engage spectrum comes full circle with the addition of Premier,” said Russ Rogg, Metroflor president and CEO. “Its residential good looks coupled with Engage LVT’s performance attributes— easy, fast installation and low maintenance—offer the perfect package for both residential and light commercial applications, especially multi-family units and private offices.”

Engage Premier Plank is warrantied for 12 years residential, three years light commercial.

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 9.37.33 AMMirage

Mirage has expanded its accessories portfolio with a new square-edged stair nosing line. The principal advantage of the new collection is its ability to adapt to contemporary designs without sacrificing the sturdiness and quality of Mirage moldings. The product is available on maple and red oak in 5- and 6 ½-inch widths with semigloss and Cashmere finishes in seven colors.

Mirage has also expanded its Imagine and Herringbone collections. The Papyrus, Linen and Rock Cliff lines in Imagine are now available in 3¼- and 4¼-inch widths on Old Maple with Cashmere finish. The company’s successful Herringbone Collection now includes a 5-inch width. Fourteen color options on different species within Herringbone are now available on special orders of at least 500 or 1,000 square feet, depending on the product.

Mohawk

The demand for commercial business continues to expand, particularly for modular carpet. To take full advantage of this opportunity, Mohawk’s Aladdin Commercial unit is launching six new products for specialty dealers.

Contemplate features seven solution-dyed nylon colorations that interweave to create visual depth and surface interaction.

Ruminate is an elongated, variegated loop pattern consisting of seven mottled multi-colorations.

Sweeping Gestures reflects the random, flowing weathering that occurrs in nature, while Onward Bound is based on urban architectures and landscapes.

Lastly, Commingle and Compound is composed of neutral colors mixed in with randomly chosen end-of-lot yarns diverted from Mohawk’s excess yarn lots.

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Välinge and Taizhou Huali extend LVT partnership

Viken, Sweden – Välinge Innovation and Taizhou Huali Plastic have extended their LVT partnership with a license for the use of Välinge’s patented technologies on fold down installation, including the 5G mechanical locking system. Additionally, with an indemnification on patents from Mannington Mills, Taizhou Huali Plastic is the first licensee on LVT that includes the 5G locking system.

“Our company have been cooperating with Välinge around locking systems since 2011 and we are convinced that this will be a way to further increase the demand for our products,” said Philip Yuan, general manager, Taizhou Huali. “With 3 mm flooring as well as the latest fold down installations, including Välinge’s 5G, our company shows that we are aiming to grow in the market.”

“Välinge’s new generation of 5G and fold down locking systems designed for LVT have proven to combine strength with very easy installation,” noted Per Nygren, executive vice president, Välinge. “After adding new technology to the Huali license agreement, the cooperation now covers a wide range of locking systems, including the indemnification from relevant IP holders in LVT like Välinge, Classen and Mannington. The upgrade with 5G and fold down in LVT is a trend we are convinced we will see more of in the future.”

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Laminate: Neither down nor out

Quick-Step’s quirky vignettes led to a Best of Surfaces award in the large booth category .

Segment gets longer, stronger

By Melissa McGuire

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

Las Vegas—Laminate may not have been the largest flooring category at Surfaces, but one thing was certain: The product still has a significant foothold in the marketplace. An overall consensus among retailers confirmed that while luxury vinyl tile is encroaching on laminate’s market share, the category not only has staying power, but growing power as well.

“Our business has grown 25%-30% this year alone,” said Doron Gal, CEO of Eternity Flooring. Headquartered in Pacoima, Calif., the company had positive feedback from the show and was very happy with the attendance. “We’ve seen more activity at this show than in years past. Even with the economy still down a bit, we’re seeing people buying.” Continue reading Laminate: Neither down nor out

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Executives see mechanical locking systems on the rise for hardwood

While mechanical locking systems have been all the rage in the laminate segment for over a decade, it is only within the last few years they have made their way into the hardwood category in earnest. And for those wood flooring manufacturers wanting to reach an audience interested in glueless installations, the timing and technology inherit in locking systems couldn’t be better.

“I personally see a growing trend in the use of mechanical locking systems for non-laminate products in North America,” said Bart Van der Stockt, managing director of Flooring Industries, the licensee of Unilin’s locking technologies. “More and more installers and end users see the installation advantages (time, cost, quality) of ‘clic engineered.’ In Europe, clic engineered [has been] the standard for several years.” Continue reading Executives see mechanical locking systems on the rise for hardwood