Posted on

Award of Excellence: Mohawk returns to winner’s circle as Best Overall

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

By Ken Ryan

 

Garden City, N.Y.—For the third year in a row, Mohawk Industries was voted Best Overall Manufacturer—one of four Mohawk-branded honors, and six in all for Mohawk Group—in FCNews’ 22nd annual Award of Excellence competition.

Mohawk won for Best Carpet Manufacturer (Group A), Best Commercial Carpet Manufacturer and Best Laminate Manufacturer (Group A), as well as Best Overall. Further, two Mohawk companies took home top honors, including Dal-Tile, which was named Best Ceramic Manufacturer (Group A) for an unprecedented 20th consecutive year. Karastan won top honors for Area Rugs.

“At Mohawk, we continue to invest heavily in the future,” said Tom Lape, president of Mohawk residential, who attended the annual affair at the Garden City Hotel with several members of the Mohawk team. “We are honored that retailers recognize our products, such as the industry’s first hypoallergenic soft flooring—Air.o; our SmartStrand franchise and our revolutionary wood flooring—RevWood, as innovations that contribute to their business success and consumer satisfaction. Mohawk is not only thankful for their resounding endorsement of our products but also of our hardworking employees whose talent and dedication earned our company these prestigious awards.”

Dal-Tile has done what no other company or brand has done—won the award for two decades running. According to John Turner, president, the victory laps never get old. “Winning the Award of Excellence is meaningful to Dal-Tile because it reinforces how our customers feel about their relationship with our business and how they value our Daltile, American Olean and Marazzi brands,” he said. “Each team member plays a critical role in ensuring that we forge relationships with our customers through superior service and products that lead the industry in style, innovation and quality. Our long history of success in this awards program illustrates our commitment to excellence and the significant partnerships we enjoy with our customers.”

Mohawk wasn’t the only dominant company. It was a big night for Shaw Industries and its divisions as well, with five awards. Shaw won Best Manufacturer for LVT (Group A) and Best Manufacturer for Hardwood (Group A); Anderson Tuftex took home top honors for Carpet (Group B) and Hardwood (Group B), while USFloors took first place in the inaugural WPC/Rigid Core category.

“The Award of Excellence is a coveted and respected industry award and receiving this award for both LVT and hardwood is an immense honor for Shaw Floors,” said Herb Upton, vice president, hard surface. “We’re thrilled to see our latest hard surface products have been well received, and these awards confirm Shaw Floors leads the way in hard surface innovation.”

Drew Hash, vice president, Shaw hard surface products, added, “To be chosen for these prestigious awards by our retail partners speaks to the success of Shaw’s efforts to put customers at the forefront of all we do. We thank our dealers and Shaw associates who make our shared achievements possible.”

For the first time a separate category for WPC/Rigid Core was established, a nod to the explosiveness of the waterproof vinyl flooring segment. USFloors, marketer of the highly successful COREtec brand of WPC, won the award for WPC/Rigid Core after taking top honors for LVT the previous two years. “To achieve an Award of Excellence from your customers is the most meaningful and valuable recognition any company can wish for,” said Piet Dossche, president of USFloors. “I am very proud and honored to receive this trophy on behalf of our entire team of dedicated people who are working hard to provide the best product and service to our retail partners. The revolution our COREtec product has created in the WPC product category has been great for our customers who have embraced this exciting new product wholeheartedly. Thank you, FCNews and Informa Exhibitions, for organizing this yearly contest and event.”

Being part of the Shaw family, Dossche added, has given USFloors more opportunities to grow the COREtec business. “We are committed to remain the leader in this category and building COREtec into a strong consumer brand.”

Among the repeat winners, Emser Tile won for the second year in a row in Ceramic (Group B), and Inhaus took top honors for Laminate (Group B), marking its second consecutive year in the winner’s circle. “Emser Tile is proud to be recognized by our customers and receive the FCNews Award of Excellence,” said Bob Baldocchi, chief marketing officer. “As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, this recognition validates our service promise commitment to our customers and inspires us to continue to find new ways to innovate and enhance the overall customer experience.”

Derek Welbourn, CEO of Inhaus, commented: “We feel extremely fortunate and are honored that our customers voted for us. We have a passion for our product offerings and strive to create products that people are excited about both in terms of innovative design and quality. In our eyes, this award is a recognition of our efforts, and we are very appreciative of that.”

A new classification (Group C) was established for the first time to recognize quality, smaller-scale companies. In carpet, Southwind won for Group C while HomerWood was honored in hardwood.

“Southwind and all of our employees are honored to have won this Award of Excellence,” said Richard Abramowicz, executive vice president. “It is a team effort—not one individual. Southwind strives to bring to market the most innovative and forward-thinking products that provide solutions to the marketplace. We would like to thank our valued customers for recognizing our efforts for this award.”

Methodology

Sponsored by FCNews and Informa Exhibitions, proprietors of The International Surface Event (TISE), the Award of Excellence is a way for manufacturers’ customers—retailers, distributors, designers, installers and specifiers—to honor the companies they feel consistently provide the best service, professionalism of sales force, management responsiveness, value, design, B2B, handling of claims and ease of doing business.

“The Awards of Excellence are honors bestowed to manufacturers by the heart and soul of the flooring industry—the retailers,” said Dana Teague, vice president, Design Group, Informa Global Exhibitions. “It is a pleasure and an honor for Informa/Surfaces to co-sponsor this year’s awards with Floor Covering News. We are delighted to share our enthusiasm for innovation with brands that continually strive for excellence. Surfaces is the platform that manufacturers use to launch or highlight many of the winning products to the delight of the thousands of retailers, distributors, designers and installers that come to Las Vegas every January. Congratulations to the recipients of this year’s awards.”

Readers of FCNews, as well as other industry personnel visiting trade shows such as Surfaces (and not employed by a manufacturer), voted between October 2017 and the end of March 2018 for the companies they felt best met established criteria in the following floor covering categories—Carpet, Commercial Carpet, Area Rugs, Resilient, Resilient Sheet, Resilient Commercial, Hardwood, Tile, Laminate, Cushion/Underlayment, WPC—as well as the Best Overall mill. Ballots were featured in FCNews and readers could mail or fax them back, as well as vote online and at industry events such as Surfaces.

While the category awards were done on a simple, one-vote-per-category/company format, the Best Overall award required voters to fill in their choice for first, second and third place. Votes were weighted so that first place was worth five points, second place worth three points and third place one point. Point totals were tabulated and the company with the most in each was named the winner.

As has been done for the previous nine years, individual category winners were selected in two or three groups based on their volume. Also, manufacturers did not have to pay a fee to be eligible to receive a vote, which has been customary since the first Award of Excellence competition. Any and all manufacturers of floor covering products in the above-referenced categories were allowed to receive votes.

More than 2,200 votes—representing flooring retailers, distributors, designers and installers—were cast, with more industry professionals voting online than ever.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on

NTCA names winners of Five Star Contractor Project of the Year

Atlanta—The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) named the winners of its sixth annual NTCA Five Star Contractor Project of the Year Awards at Coverings 2018 here. 

NTCA’s Five Star Contractor Awards were presented for both commercial and residential tile installations. Many submissions were received and judged via the following criteria: Scope (size of project), Complexity (challenges), Technical Soundness (resolution of challenges) and Design & Presentation (overall appearance, layout and artistic value).

This year’s judges included: Kent Klaser of Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants, Inc., San Diego, Calif.; Gregory Mowat of Forensic Tile Consultants, San Diego, Calif.; Richard P. Goldberg of Professional Consultants International, LLC, Avon, Conn.

Sponsored by Daltile, NTCA Five Star Contractor Grand Prize Award winners received a custom plaque and were awarded two round-trip airfare tickets and a two-nights hotel stay in Atlanta for Coverings.

Christian Brothers Flooring & Interiors, Inc. of Lakeside, Calif., was the recipient of the NTCA Five Star Grand Prize Award for Commercial Project of the Year. The Mesa Commons installation in Irvine, Calif., resulted in a striking visual appearance, design and layout, and the complex environmental challenges overcome during construction are those a NTCA Five Star Contractor could solve easily with its specialized training.

Visalia Ceramic Tile, Inc. of Visalia, Calif., was the recipient of the Five Star Grand Prize Award for Residential Project of the Year. Workmanship and artistic qualities brought the Hoffman Residence in Fresno, Calif., to life. A challenging mixture of both natural stone and ceramic presented the opportunity for Visalia to showcase its Five Star Contractor skills.

David Allen Company of Raleigh, N.C., was the recipient of the Five Star Grand Prize Award for Commercial Elite Project of the Year (over $1 million). Nearly 80,000 square feet of marble and tile were meticulously installed in the new Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. Of the many complexities which presented themselves working in a metropolitan area, the narrow doorways offered a unique opportunity for this contractor to showcase its innovative thinking.

“We would like to thank our contest judges and sponsor for their support and, of course, all of the Five Star Contractor members who submitted incredible projects.” said Bart Bettiga, executive director of the NTCA. “Each of these winning installations, as well as the other submitted projects, clearly demonstrates the value of engaging an NTCA Five Star Contractor in such complex arenas.”

Posted on

Dal-Tile wins exclusive tile provider status

Dallas—Dal-Tile Corporation was recently named as the exclusive tile provider for Woodside Homes. With both companies keenly focused on offering products rich in style and design, this relationship provides homebuyers in Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah with a new resource to help achieve their desired home. 

“Woodside Homes self-describes as ‘Better By Design,’ and they put primary emphasis on helping home buyers customize their space with their own personal style,” said Mike Profilio, director of national accounts – Western U.S., Dal-Tile. “As their exclusive tile provider, Dal-Tile puts three of the world’s top tile brands (Daltile, Marazzi and American Olean) at Woodside’s disposal to create programs that meet all style and pricepoint needs.”

“Our strong brand awareness also enhances the home-buyer experience, while customers are exploring Woodside’s online Inspiration Gallery design platform and during their in-person Woodside Homes Inspiration Gallery visits,” added Profilio.

For product information, visit daltile.com, marazziusa.com and americanolean.com.

Posted on

Daltile’s One Quartz countertops featured on ‘Bargain Mansions’

Dallas—Tamara Day, host of “Bargain Mansions,” recently aired her love for Daltile’s One Quartz countertops on social media after featuring the product in several episodes of the show’s first season, currently airing on HGTV.    

“As you may have noticed in our houses on season one of ‘Bargain Mansions,’ I’m a huge fan of Quartz countertops,” said Day. “I love the clean and classic feel they bring to a kitchen. To me, it just feels elegant, and that’s the vibe I usually go for in my kitchens. What I love most about Quartz is it looks almost exactly like all-natural marble, but fortunately has all the benefits of granite—it’s indestructible!”

For additional product information, visit daltile.com.

Posted on

Daltile hosts black tie grand opening at Salt Lake City location

Dallas—Daltile recently dazzled the design community during the black tie grand opening of its new showroom in Salt Lake City. In addition, the event marked the relocation of an entire family of brands together in one building, including the Daltile Design Studio, Daltile Slab Gallery, Daltile Sales Service Center and a co-branded Marazzi-American Olean Showroom.

“Our black tie evening was a wonderful way to reveal to the local community that all of our brands are here together in one convenient new location,” said Chantel Wolters, manager of the Daltile Design Studio and Slab Gallery in Salt Lake City. “In particular, the Daltile Design Studio and Slab Gallery portion of our new venue is designed to be the hub of the larger Salt Lake City design community. We are an extension of our customers’ businesses and our showroom is intended to be the hub of ‘all things design’ in our area.”

Posted on

Dal-Tile develops mobile tile crusher

Dallas—Dal-Tile is committed to identifying ways to improve processes and implement sustainable initiatives that will reduce its impact on the environment. This past year, the company furthered its sustainability efforts by developing and implementing a “mobile tile crusher” for use at three of its production facilities.

“While 97% of our manufactured floor tile meets our high-quality standards, 3% does not, leading to waste,” said Robert Hurt, director of environmental, health and sustainability services for Dal-Tile. “A team was engaged to determine a way to efficiently crush and recycle scrap tile, without which a facility would never be able to achieve our Zero Landfill initiative. To limit the environmental impact of this waste, we developed the mobile tile crusher—a crusher that travels to three of our locations on a routine schedule.”

This customized solution not only pushed the boundaries of tile production, but also significantly cut costs for disposing of scrap tile wastes. The company conducted extensive research to ensure that the mobile system complied with environmental regulations and that the crushed material could be safely incorporated back into the manufacturing process.

“The development of the mobile tile crusher meant each of the plants could keep tons of scrap material from reaching landfills,” Hurt added. “Even though waste fired tile is inert and does not cause contamination, keeping this material out of a landfill makes more room for other wastes that cannot be recycled and extends the life of the landfill. By this process, we have proven how scrap tile, once deemed ‘unsellable,’ can be ground into consistent recyclable particles and safely go back into our new products.”

Posted on

Morpholio Board includes Daltile in top products 2018

New York, N.Y.—Morpholio Board, an interior design app, has named Daltile’s Black River Pebble Mosaic as one of the top products for 2018. Black River Pebble Mosaic, a natural stone tile mosaic with a stone cut finish, was included in Morpholio’s “Top Residential Products that Stand Up and Stand Out” for 2018.

Morpholio explained that trends tracked among its growing community of professional and non-professional interior designers, user data, influencer insights and Morpholio’s own curatorial team were all factors in naming the distinguished winners of the 2018 Products of The Year designation.

With products and styles for every budget, Daltile delivers the broadest array of tile with unmatched availability, helping customers bring any design imaginable to life.

For more information, visit daltile.com.

Posted on

Daltile awards winners of sixth annual Interior Design scholarship competition

Daltile Interior Design ScholarshipPhiladelphia—Daltile, in partnership with the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Foundation and the Booz Allen Hamilton Innovation Center, has awarded Baileigh Petty the grand prize of the sixth annual Daltile Interior Design Scholarship, presented by the ASID Foundation. A panel of experts from the design industry and beyond used their experience to judge and award scholarships to Petty and three finalists.

This year’s challenge was to reimagine the Booz Allen Hamilton Innovation Center using Daltile products and incorporating Fitwel components to create a stimulating, comfortable and futuristic space for employees. Students were asked to look at the entire Innovation Center space and identify areas of opportunity throughout the floor plan that could be redesigned to increase occupant health and comfort, while adhering to a $25,000 to $50,000 budget limitation.

Petty, a senior at Utah State University majoring in Interior Design, was named this year’s grand prize winner during a special event at the Daltile Philadelphia Design Studio on Nov. 15. In her winning project, Petty transformed the Center’s recharge room, a space for employees to take a break from their work, enjoy healthy snacks and coffee, and network with their colleagues in a relaxed environment. Her winning design showcased a variety of products from Daltile, including Fabric Art, Amity, Panoramic Porcelain Surfaces and Volume 1.0.

In addition to Petty, three runners-up were each awarded $2,500 scholarships. This year’s scholarship recipients are:

  • Grand-prize, $10,000 scholarship winner: Baileigh Petty, Utah State University
  • First runner-up, $2,500 scholarship winner: Brianne Brooks, Utah State University
  • Second runner-up, $2,500 scholarship winner: Amanda McRae, Utah State University
  • Third runner-up, $2,500 scholarship winner: Sasitorn Wangspa, Utah State University

Similar to last year’s competition, the school or university with the highest number of completed entries was awarded a $10,000 grant for their interior design program. For the second year in a row, Utah State University won the grant, with 70 students entering the competition.

For more information, visit daltiledesign.com.

Posted on

Daltile Interior Design Scholarship entries showcase tile

Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 9.36.12 AMDallas—Judging is currently underway for the sixth annual Daltile Interior Design Scholarship Competition, presented by the ASID Foundation. The designs entered by college students nationwide exemplify that tile is now widely used as a design element in today’s interior design world.

“Over the last five years, tile has emerged as a design element, whereas in the past, it was a utilitarian product,” said Shelly Halbert, director of product design for Dal-Tile and one of the judges for this year’s competition. “Five years ago we considered our Daltile products part of the tile industry. Today, they are part of the larger interior design industry.”

The 2017 competition challenged college students to reimagine the Booz Allen Hamilton Innovation Center in Washington, D.C., and to incorporate at least two Daltile products in their design vision. Daltile will award $27,500 in scholarships to aspiring interior design students who entered the competition from across the country. The panel of four judges is comprised of professionals from Daltile, OTJ Architects, Booz Allen Hamilton, and last year’s winner, Kristina Tribell of Abel Design Group. Winners will be announced on Nov. 15 at the Daltile Philadelphia Design Studio during NeoCon East 2017 in Philadelphia.

“While reviewing this year’s contest entries, I’ve noticed several consistencies among these young designers,” Halbert said. “As far as their overall style, student designs are generally falling into either modern or organic. Given free rein to use any two Daltile products in their concepts, the contestants overwhelmingly selected products that reflect many of today’s hottest trends in their tile choices—neutral colors and marble-looks, including white, gray and black, as well as traditional marbles in beige and brown. Lots of wood-look tiles, large format tiles and slabs, concrete looks and fabric-inspired tile products were also used. A few submissions showcase a blending of materials, such as wood-look and concrete-look tiles, creating eye-catching designs.”

For more information, visit daltiledesign.com.

Posted on

Beyond flooring: Daltile countertop program—A new revenue stream for retailers

October 9/16, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 9

 

Floor covering retailers are constantly seeking fresh ways to boost their bottom line, whether it’s expanding product offerings or entering new businesses altogether. To that end, with this issue FCNews launches its exclusive partnership with Dal-Tile, a major player in the countertop segment, in producing an ongoing editorial series that demonstrates how retailers can make money via this lucrative category.

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 9.47.13 AMA profitable market opportunity. The U.S. countertop industry—which includes anything in traditional countertop or the new, large-slab format—is estimated to be about $5 billion in sales annually, with roughly half of this coming from stone, quartz and the brand new category of porcelain slab. Quartz continues to grow at double-digit rates, and the new kid on the block, porcelain, is quickly becoming a significant part of the slab market and is expected to grow exponentially over the next few years. So, there is obviously money to be made by providing countertop products to retail customers. Also, consumers are already coming into flooring retailers’ showrooms to buy floor and wall tile for renovations, so why send them elsewhere to purchase their countertops? By adding countertops to the total sale, retailers can easily increase their profits.

Daltile: Your trusted partner. The fastest-growing countertop categories (stone, quartz and porcelain) are the product lines that Daltile is already an expert at producing. Daltile, a player in the stone and slab space since opening its first slab yard in 1999, has grown into a leading supplier of countertops over the years, spearheading innovation and evolution in the industry. The brand’s nationwide network includes high-end showroom/warehouse locations that stock and display an incredibly broad range of natural granite, marble and quartzite slabs as well as Dal-Tile’s One Quartz offering. By recently supercharging its existing business in countertops with renewed focus, new investments and innovations, Daltile is giving retailers the opportunity to win an even larger portion of the lucrative countertop market.

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 9.47.24 AMBy providing superior countertop solutions under the trusted Daltile brand name, the company is making it easier for retailers to execute a “complete sale,” comprising both tile flooring and countertop products.

Sales support, training. Success entails more than providing retailers with trendy products. Daltile’s newly enhanced countertop offering also comes with a comprehensive support package. “This includes training and certification programs for fabricators as well as effective merchandising vehicles for all customer segments,” said Paij Thorn-Brooks, vice president of marketing. “Extensive literature has also been created to effectively educate the retail sales associate, guide the consumer through the selection process, accurately convey the levels of style and design inherent in all of our large-format slabs and train the installer. We have put everything in place to help our retailers successfully add countertops to their existing businesses, and we also have the infrastructure to support them for continued success in this lucrative and fast-growing arena.”

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 9.47.32 AMAs Daltile further invests in the countertop industry, the brand will continue to be the customer’s leading resource for her product needs. Regardless of the vision or application, Daltile offers customers across the nation the products and resources they need to bring their designs to life.

Leadership in innovation. “Daltile’s new countertop focus is being driven by product and technical innovations,” said Matt Kahny, executive vice president. “We have launched porcelain slabs that deliver the incredible beauty of natural stone along with the durability and performance of porcelain. We have introduced proprietary, high-style granites and quartzites as well as new One Quartz products that cover a diverse array of designs. Innovation in style, design, technology and performance in everything we do.”

Thorn-Brooks credits Daltile with revolutionizing porcelain slabs. “We took countertops to the next level through investment and innovation, and style and design leadership in the porcelain slab arena. Daltile’s new Panoramic Porcelain Surfaces offer the ultimate in design and style flexibility.”

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 9.47.42 AMInvestments pay dividends. Daltile is investing significantly to develop and implement the tools and technologies needed to offer the products with which retailers can make more money in the countertop segment. “Our greatest investment is the new plant we are building in Tennessee to increase participation in quartz countertops,” Kahny explained. “This facility will be operational in 2018. Our investments also span several additional areas of our business, including establishing new Daltile Stone Centers to expand our network and get closer to our customers. We currently have centers across the country and will continue expanding in 2018.”