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DuChâteau promotes Don Bufalini to product innovation manager

San Diego—DuChâteau has named Don Bufalini its first product innovation manager. In his new position, Bufalini will play a critical role in helping the company bring new products to market. He will primarily be responsible for product design and development, quality control, researching product and industry developments, and monitoring trends.

Bufalini has 15 years of experience in the flooring industry. He joined DuChâteau in 2007 when it was just forming and has been promoted to several roles within the company during his career, including developing product samples, outside sales, strategic planning, marketing, account management and customer service. He most recently served as West Coast regional sales manager. 

“Don was our very first hire, so he has been us with since the beginning,” said CEO and co-founder, Misael Tagle. “He understands DuChâteau’s mission better than anybody and his depth of knowledge about architectural finishes is truly unmatched. We wouldn’t be where we are today without Don’s efforts in a number of different capacities over the years, and we know he will do great things as our product innovation manager.”

In his new role, Bufalini will focus on product innovation at DuChâteau’s headquarters in San Diego. He reports to Lynn Fulks, chief marketing officer.

“Don will play a key role as we continue to grow and expand into new product categories,” Fulks said. “He has been actively involved in product development since he started with the company. His extensive experience in helping develop styles, patterns, and colors and vast knowledge of the industry make him ideally suited to lead this new product development and innovation program.”

Bufalini said he is embracing the opportunity to help keep DuChâteau at the forefront of product innovation and offering unique visuals and designs.

“I joined this company because I believed in the vision of co-founders Misael Tagle and Benjamin Buzali,” said Bufalini. “I look forward to developing new, beautiful products that will continue to set us apart and meet the needs of our growing customer base.”

 

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Cissell joins DuChâteau

San Diego— DuChâteau has named Gary Cissell as the company’s first buying group and national programs manager.

In the newly established role, Cissell will be responsible for formulating and implementing a corporate strategy for expansion into new markets, such as retail, commercial builder groups and national account arenas. He will help the company’s growing salesforce expand its efforts to reach new group accounts, and better position their product offerings to their individual customer bases. He is based in Omaha, Neb. and reports to Todd Gates, DuChâteau’s vice president of residential sales.

“With his extensive experience in the retail flooring segment and his background in working alongside suppliers to develop successful programs, Gary is the perfect leader for this new initiative,” Gates said. “Gary will be the dealer’s inside man, developing programs from the perspective of our dealers for the long-term growth of our customers.”

Cissell has close to 30 years of experience in the industry, holding executive positions with several successful companies throughout his career. He was a founding member of the National Floorcovering Alliance in 1991 and served as president of the organization from 1994-2004.

“DuChâteau is well-known for offering uniquely beautiful products and continues to look for new and better ways to serve its customers at the same time,” Cissell said. “It’s clear that this customer-centric culture guides every decision and that really resonated with me. This position presented an interesting opportunity to apply my background and experience to a different side of the industry, and I look forward to helping sell DuChâteau’s innovative, one-of-a-kind products to new channels.”

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DuChâteau selects Tim Ryan as new wood flooring director

San Diego –DuChâteau has named Tim Ryan its first wood flooring director. In this new role, Ryan will be responsible for training the company’s sales and customer satisfaction teams about the technical aspects of DuChâteau’s wood products in support of its sales and customer service goals. He will provide guidance in product development and innovation as a member of the company’s design council, and be actively involved in claims management, quality assurance and facility oversight. 

Ryan brings more than 30 years of experience in the flooring industry, with an extensive background in hardwood products. His expertise includes sales management, marketing, merchandising, manufacturing, pricing and purchasing. He is based in Arizona and reports to Jim Heaton, DuChâteau’s chief operating officer.

“Tim has extensive scientific knowledge of wood and the processes and technologies that are used to create hardwood flooring options,” Heaton said. “His design and technical expertise, and experience with successful sales and distribution channels, will be a tremendous asset as we continue to grow in existing and new markets throughout the U.S.”

Ryan previously served as managing partner of The Ryan Group, a consulting firm that provides sales and marketing services to manufacturers, distributors and installation companies in the flooring industry. His firm also worked with architectural and design firms to help supply hardwood flooring options across multiple industries and channels.

“DuChâteau is an established leader in the wood flooring industry with impressive plans to continue its growth,” Ryan said. “I look forward to working with the leadership team to develop and market unique products that continue to differentiate the company and exceed customer expectations in support of this vision.”

 

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DuChâteau names Rick Wagner West Coast regional manager

San Diego—DuChâteau has named Rick Wagner its new West Coast regional manager. Wagner brings more than 30 years of diverse experience in the flooring industry. He will lead a West Coast sales team that includes 11 territory managers. He will also be responsible for coaching, training and developing new incentive programs to drive sales and increase market share in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Arizona and other key markets in the West. 

Wagner’s expertise includes budgeting, planning, purchasing, inventory management, vendor relations, and customer service and relations. He is based in the Bay Area and reports to Todd Gates, DuChâteau’s vice president of residential sales.

“Rick has a strong track record of successful sales and his teams have achieved explosive growth wherever he’s been,” Gates said. “He is passionate about inspiring others and is well-known and respected in our industry. Rick’s experience and expertise will be a tremendous asset to our sales programs not only in the West, but in other markets across the country.”

Wagner joins DuChâteau from B.R. Funsten, where he spent 11 years in different managerial roles, most recently serving as vice president of the residential division. Under his guidance, the company grew significantly, expanding into new product categories and new territories in California, Arizona and Nevada. Prior to B.R. Funsten, he was the national builder manager at Mannington Mills for 10 years and held sales positions with Royalty Carpet Mills and Tuftex Carpet Mills.

“I’ve watched DuChâteau continue to outpace the industry with innovative products and designs since its founding almost a decade ago,” Wagner said. “The company’s culture and collective passion for creating new products and reaching new customers make it a very attractive place to work. I love what I do and it’s inspiring to be surrounded by others who believe in what they’re doing as well.”

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NeoCon Preview

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

By Mara Bollettieri

 

This year NeoCon celebrates its 50th anniversary of showcasing innovative flooring designs for the commercial contract market. The three-day event kicks off June 11 at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago.

The exhibition will feature thousands of new flooring products from a plethora of manufacturers and includes 100 CEU seminars, various programs, special anniversary celebrations, marquee presentations and more.

Following are some of the latest commercial products that will be on display during the show.

Aquafil USA

Econyl regenerated nylon opens up endless possibilities for architects, designers and carpet producers seeking a synthetic covering or carpet that performs beyond expectations.

With the addition of 28 new colors, Econyl yarn is now available in 170 options, all eligible for LEED points. Designers can create performance-driven carpets with Econyl while giving their clients an innovative sustainable solution.

According to Aquafil, Econyl regenerated nylon means no waste, no new resources—just endless possibilities.

Altro Floors

Altro Orchestra resilient flooring has been engineered to create the ideal environment to heal, learn and live. For demanding areas with constant foot traffic, this vinyl sheet provides comfort underfoot and sound reduction. With a grand palette of 40 colors, designers can create the right atmosphere for their spaces.

Altro Orchestra is a 2.8mm sheet vinyl made with 22% rapidly renewable, bio-based content and is certified for low VOCs, thereby helping facilities achieve LEED goals.

American Biltrite

ABPure rubber flooring tiles with Nfuse technology are ready to use right out of the box. The patent-pending treatment allows foot traffic immediately after installation. This tile requires time-consuming set up; is extremely durable against soiling, staining and scuffing; significantly reduces installation downtime; is easier to clean and is declared Red List free.

Cleo Contract

Cleo Contract is a patented construction that combines engineered performance with visual artistry. It has a waterproof, flexible core that is 85% limestone and contains zero PVC, plasticizers, phthalates or chloro-chemicals. Solvent-free, high-fidelity digital imaging offers nearly unlimited design possibilities with nuances in shading and detail. An ultra-low VOC, high-performance clear coating delivers durability and performance.

DuChâteau

DuChâteau’s Vinyl DeLuxe Grand offers unique visuals and a European aesthetic in a durable and low-maintenance flooring option. Available in 7- and 9-inch-wide plank formats, Vinyl Deluxe Grand is the latest chapter in luxury engineered floating floors with LuxCor waterproof core, easy click installation and attached HushWalk underlayment. This collection captures the beauty of wood and appeals to residential and commercial customers.

EF Contract

New materials for product development often focus on a single feature—lightweight, durable, tech-enabled. The EF Contract Design Studio played with these concepts in its new Kicks collection, inspired by innovative materials and interpreted through the company’s own innovative tufting and high-performance backing technologies. These inspirations produced a collection that is versatile, while the modular formats enable designers to create complex installations as well as unified, simple fields of texture.

Fletco Carpets

LockTiles is a unique carpet tile shape with laser-cut edges that interlock to fit together in all directions, meter for meter, no matter the size of the area. LockTiles guarantees an effective installation with a homogeneous surface, making the joints less visible. It is for users who want the best in flat-woven carpet tiles and its advantages yet still desire the look of broadloom.

Flexco

The FreeFlex rubber tile collection embodies true flexibility. A variety of new sizes offer patterns and textures with the durability and resilience of rubber. Sizes include: 6 x 36, 12 x 36 and 18 x 36, These additional sizes complement the company’s existing collection of 12 x 12, 18 x 18 and 36 x 36 tiles.

Johnsonite

Pentagonals from Johnsonite, a Tarkett brand, is a collection of three distinct shapes created with Cradle to Cradle certified rubber flooring. Johnsonite has turned three convex polygons into rubber tiles; each is available in Johnsonite’s full rubber flooring line, meaning designers can choose from nearly limitless textures and colors to create truly unique flooring. Rubber flooring is naturally slip resistant with shock-absorbing qualities as well as acoustic properties. The line is also sustainable.

Karndean Designflooring

Textum from the Opus collection was inspired by forms in concrete. It was created as a hybrid abstract wood visual that combines the grain detailing and plank format of traditional European oak flooring with the effect of imprinted concrete. These 36 x 6-inch planks act as a wood visual but can also be used with design strips to create the look of porcelain tile without the practical drawbacks. It features a 20 mil wear layer and a 15-year commercial warranty.

Mannington Commercial

The Cirro collection, a non-vinyl alternative to LVT, is a thermoplastic composite resilient tile that offers the same versatility as LVT. Cirro does not contain any ortho-phthalate plasticizers and is a low-emitting product. In addition, its sustainable construction features recycled content. Available in 20 visuals, it’s designed to bring beauty and sustainability to any space. Featuring 16 wood visuals in 71⁄2 x 48 and 41⁄2 x 36 plank sizes, two stone patterns and two abstract visuals in 18 x 18 and 12 x 24 tile sizes.

Metroflor

Metroflor will showcase the new Aspecta Ten Tilt and Tones collection. The latest LVT design breakthrough pairs four new geometrically and biophilically inspired Tilt tiles with the neutral Tones tile palette. The 24 x 24 tiles are presented in four color groups, each consisting of unique Tilt tile designs that can be paired with two companion Tones tiles. The line is suitable for most commercial environments.

Mohawk Group

Pivot Point ERT responds to a world population that continues to urbanize with patterns and colors inspired by nature and an alternative chemistry, Red List-free, PVC-free enhanced resilient tile. Using biophilic principles, its design motifs can contribute to reducing stress, enhancing creativity, improving well-being and expediting healing. It features wood, textile and stone visuals, and is designed to achieve Living Product Challenge Petal Certification.

Raskin Industries

Raskin’s Elevations AcoustX meets the demand for something unique in the flooded LVT market with fashion-forward, proprietary designs created by Michael Raskin, CEO. The enhanced aesthetics of AcoustX complement the product’s performance.

AcoustX’s pre-attached underlayment offers an acoustic solution while reducing installation time (no sound-abatement layer is required). AcoustX can be installed over most existing hard surface floors. As part of its construction, it includes a solid fiberglass sheet.

Shannon Specialty Floors

Teknoflor Naturescapes HPD is the brand’s first organic sheet good made with ecuran, an organically derived polyurethane composite material processed from plant-based oils such as castor oil and naturally occurring minerals like chalk. This resilient sheet flooring has all the advantages of sheet vinyl—durability, easy maintenance and versatility—without the PVC. It comes in 24 designs across three distinct styles that can be used independently or together.

Shaw Contract

Haven is a collection of modular carpet tiles designed to add the comforts of a residential space to the contract market. It conveys the warmth of the home in all places where people connect with colleagues and friends by utilizing color, texture and pattern. By blurring old distinctions between domestic and commercial spaces, it embraces a more nuanced understanding of how society lives today—finding home wherever creativity takes the end user.

Tandus Centiva

Tandus Centiva, a Tarkett brand, will exhibit Color Play—a product based on the company’s latest design research in education and healthcare spaces. The palette includes 24 hues in each of the three pattern options for a total of 72 product solutions. Color Play features Tarkett’s TechTonic—a shift forward in performance for hard surface floors. Its advanced new polyurethane technology is super tough and resists scratching, abrasions, scuffing and staining.

 

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DuChâteau names Dennis Whitler customer service manager

San Diego—DuChâteau has named Dennis Whitler its new customer service manager. Whitler will oversee DuChâteau’s customer service and claims teams, providing training and coaching programs designed to offer the company’s clientele with the highest levels of customer support. He will also be tasked with helping support the company’s sales operations, warehouse and delivery functions, while providing call center support and guidance on product maintenance. 

Whitler has more than 30 years of diverse customer service experience, including 10 years in senior management positions. His expertise includes customer experience and retention, project management, technical support and vendor management. He is based at DuChâteau’s headquarters in San Diego and reports to Jim Heaton, the company’s chief operating officer.

“Dennis has a long and impressive track record of building highly effective customer service teams, which is critically important to our business,” Heaton said. “As we grow in existing markets and expand into new ones, it will be imperative that we continue to provide a truly exceptional customer experience that aligns with the elegance, style and beauty of our products. Dennis and his team will ensure we meet this goal.”

Whitler joins DuChâteau from HD Supply, where he served as a customer service and call center manager for special orders for the previous two years. Prior to that, he spent 28 years in numerous roles with Cox Communications.

“The opportunity to join a successful, reputable company like DuChâteau and to put my stamp on the customer service side of the business was very attractive to me,” said Whitler. “I look forward to growing and molding the team and helping the company continue to set the standard for outstanding customer service in our industry.”

 

 

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DuChâteau names Doug Robinson Midwest regional sales manager 

San Diego—DuChâteau has named Doug Robinson as its new Midwest regional sales manager. 

Robinson, who has more than 35 years of sales and marketing experience in the flooring industry, will oversee the company’s sales team in the Midwest, leading 11 territory managers in support of DuChâteau’s growth initiatives and expansion into new markets. He will be responsible for increasing the company’s market share in territories such as Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Louis, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, among others. Robinson, based in Pittsburgh, will report to Todd Gates, DuChâteau’s vice president of residential sales.

“Doug has extensive experience in the flooring industry at many levels, including retail, distribution and manufacturing,” Gates said. “His knowledge of the marketplace and proven ability to coach and motivate his sales teams will be a tremendous asset in helping us further penetrate the market with all of our products and through all available channels.”

Robinson joins DuChâteau after spending the previous three years in regional manager positions with EarthWerks Flooring, USFloors and Stonewood Flooring in the Northeast. Prior to that, he served as vice president of sales and marketing for Certified Carpet Distributors for 15 years.

“DuChâteau is recognized as a leader and trendsetter in the flooring business,” Robinson said. “I’ve been in this industry a long time and no one can compete with the unique combination of flooring options, design, texture and finishes that DuChâteau offers. I look forward to helping tell the company’s story and bringing its different product lines to new markets.”

 

 

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DuChâteau names Scott Campbell chief financial officer

San Diego—DuChâteau has appointed Scott Campbell as the company’s new chief financial officer. He will be based at the company’s headquarters in San Diego and reports to Misael Tagle, CEO; and Benjamin Buzali, president.

Campbell, who has more than 25 years of developed financial expertise, will be responsible for managing DuChâteau’s financial resources and leading its strategic investments as part of the organization’s growth initiatives. His expertise includes cross-functional leadership, strategic planning and execution, contract review and negotiation, and planning and managing growth with improved profitability.

“Scott has extensive experience in working with successful privately held companies and has the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit that DuChâteau looks for in its leaders,” Tagle said. “He has helped growing companies invest strategically and increase their productivity, sales and profitability. We are pleased to have someone with Scott’s experience join us at this important juncture as we continue to expand into new markets as a lifestyle brand and design leader.”

Campbell previously served as CFO of Road Runner Sports, a leading provider of running and walking gear with 36 stores in 11 states nationwide. He held the position from 1997-2003 and again from 2008 until leaving to join DuChâteau. Campbell was also corporate controller at Patagonia, an innovative, global company specializing in the manufacture and multi-channel distribution of premium outdoor clothing, outdoor gear, footwear and luggage. He began his career in public accounting with Ernst & Young and earned his MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.

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DuChâteau names new East Coast regional manager

San Diego—DuChâteau has selected Joseph Patterson as its new East Coast regional manager. In his new role, Patterson will oversee the company’s East Coast sales team, working with 11 territory managers as DuChâteau expands into new markets in the eastern United States.

Patterson will be responsible for coaching, training and the developing new incentive programs to drive sales and increase market share in 19 states. He is based in Atlanta and reports to Todd Gates, DuChâteau’s vice president residential sales.

“Joseph has extensive experience managing successful teams in multiple sales channels that will help introduce our new product lines to both commercial and residential customers,” Gates said. “DuChateau started increasing production earlier this year based on growing interest in luxury vinyl products, including in major markets in the east. After our first conversation with Joseph about bigger challenges, we knew his history of success and energy would drive market penetration wherever customers are looking to be at the forefront of emerging style trends.”

Patterson joined DuChâteau in 2016 as a residential territory manager and quickly established himself as key member of the sales team and top performer. Prior to joining DuChâteau, he was a regional sales manager for Armstrong Flooring, where he managed several direct reports and relationships with distributors in the greater Atlanta region, while driving sales in multiple flooring categories.

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Wood: Category finds a new home—on the walls

Vertical applications coordinate, contrast with floors 

May 8/15, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 24

By Reginald Tucker

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 2.38.08 PMUsing flooring materials on the walls is by no means a new concept. Tile manufacturers have been doing it for years, and laminate flooring suppliers have also recently started to get in on the act. Now hardwood flooring producers are having success by finding multiple uses for their products by dressing vertical surfaces to either complement a particular commercial or residential interior, or to better coordinate with a given hardwood flooring collection or pattern.

“Wood on the walls is a trend that will continue and grow as it is a way to get color and texture on the walls while maintaining a monochromatic look,” said David Holt, senior vice president, Mohawk. “Also, it is much easier to change wood and laminate walls than ceramic walls.”

But the best part about using existing hardwood planks or strips on the walls is you don’t have to necessarily redesign the product. “All of our hardwood collections are perfect for vertical applications,” Holt explained.

In that same vein, engineered wood floors from Shaw are also approved for wall installations. “Coveted wood visuals offer a rustic, natural charm in these non-traditional applications,” said Natalie Cady, hardwood category manager.

Other major manufacturers are encouraging retailers and designers to utilize hardwood flooring in unconventional ways. At USFloors, for instance, the company’s popular Castle Combe line of handcrafted floors is suitable for both horizontal and vertical installations. The natural oil finishes provide the look and feel of an ancient reclaimed floor and combines it with the modern performance features of a 21st century engineered floor. According to Jamann Stepp, director of marketing and product management, the wide portfolio of products allows customers to make a bold design statement when installed on vertical surfaces. “This allows the designer or homeowner to make a personal statement or add a customized element to the home.”

The operative word here being “custom” when it comes to wall installations. So says Ron Sadri, principal owner of Provenza Floors, which specializes in unique, one-of-a-kind hardwood floors in colors, patterns and designs that can’t be easily shopped. The company, he said, extends that design capability to that area of its business that produces wall coverings.

Customers looking to coordinate their hardwood flooring installations with accents walls have no shortage of options. The Cabin Pine series from Mercier, for example, matches well with the company’s long-plank, rough-textured boards. “Whether the consumer is looking to add to the rustic charm of her home, or simply give a bit of pop to an otherwise bland space, she will find the perfect look and feel in one of the six featured colors that will harmonize beautifully with the rest of the decor,” said Michel Colin, director of marketing. “You can’t ignore the lightness of pine boards when looking for a quick and easy install, as they can simply be glued to the wall.”

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 2.38.01 PMBelieving this is a trend that’s going to have legs, several manufacturers that have developed specific programs and collections for wall applications are putting significant marketing, promotional and product development resources behind those collections. Case in point is DuChâteau, which presents an exclusive line of wall coverings and doors by architect, builder and entrepreneur Joe Langenauer, who has been creating artistic interior wall coverings and doors since DuChâteau’s inception. The combination of the designer’s vision, style and experience with DuChâteau’s innovative finishing techniques paved the way for the official launch of DuChâteau wall coverings and doors divisions in 2013. According to Jose Alonso, creative director, each product Langenauer designs is infused with his cosmopolitan Mexican roots and heavily influenced by modern European trends. “His door designs are all created within the precepts of modern design, contemporary architectural lines, combining woods, leathers, fabrics, metals and other materials usually found in European luxury sports cars.”

Coming from an architectural background, Langenauer notes, “You learn to understand and appreciate the power of a proud line or the delicate nature of a well-planned curve.”

DuChâteau is not the only company putting a major thrust behind its wood-for-walls program. Via the launch of its Rowlock Plus wall coverings line in 2016, Johnson Hardwood Floors is looking to leverage the still-strong consumer demand for hardwood in general. Rowlock Plus wood wall panels are constructed from all natural wood materials. Each undressed wood piece is sanded and stained by hand to preserve the native design and characteristics of the wood species. Species include acacia, hickory, oak and walnut; a plantation pine backer layer provides additional durability.

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 2.38.18 PM“Johnson Hardwood’s Rowlock Plus is the newest transformation from its predecessor, Rowlock,” said Silver Pae, director of marketing. “Maintaining the elegance of all natural wood, we’ve also created a variety of styles to suit the tastes of our ever-changing generations. From vintage to modern and even eclectic, Rowlock Plus provides a diverse approach for those who want to have a unique design to their home while bringing out their own personal vision.”

While installers are already familiar with common methods of installing wood flooring, manufacturers provide in-depth instructions to make sure the job goes smoothly. For instance, Johnson Hardwood provides specific instructions covering virtually every facet of the installation, from calculating materials, locating the wall studs and spreading the glue to installing the panels and end caps.

Johnson Hardwood’s Rowlock Plus line was a big draw at its Surfaces booth in 2016—the year in which the company earned an award in the “Best Booth over 1,200 square feet” category. The 3,500-square-foot booth was the brainchild of Yuying Chiu, a design consultant for the company. According to Bill Schollmeyer, CEO of Johnson Hardwood Floors, the objective was to achieve an easy flow that encouraged customers to browse through the different areas. “We focused on vignettes that highlighted our Rowlock product to show some creative settings, both residential and commercial,” Schollmeyer said. “We wanted to showcase a mix of current products that are strong sellers—like English pub and Alehouse—innovative new products like Rowlock, and concept products like many of the oil finish colors that we showcased.”

Cabin Pine wall accents from Mercier's Nature Collection.
Cabin Pine wall accents from Mercier’s Nature Collection.