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Milliken & Company named to Forbes Best Employers list

Spartanburg, S.C.—For the second year in a row, global diversified manufacturer Milliken & Company was included among America’s Best Mid-Size Employers. Compiled by Forbes magazine, the 2019 list recognizes the top 500 highest-rated employers with 1,000 to 5,000 U.S.-based employees and spans 25 different industries.

“We strive to be a company where every associate feels empowered, valued and engaged,” states Halsey M. Cook, president and CEO for Milliken & Company. “Being recognized as a foremost employer in the U.S. helps affirm our ongoing commitment to provide a diverse and inclusive workplace culture.”

Fostering this culture requires a multi-faceted approach, the company said, from developing associates’ professional careers to promoting new inclusion activities. In the past year, Milliken has expanded its associate network programs to connect with minority groups, including women and veterans, as well as highlighting minority associates through internal initiatives. The company has also implemented unconscious bias training for managers, an addition to its regular trainings and learning modules. Milliken’s commitment to engaging with associates is an ever-evolving initiative that reflects the needs of its associates and allows the company to remain on the forefront of important leadership and inclusion conversations.

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Tile of Spain unveils new designs at Coverings 2019

APARICI_Luxor2

Luxor by Aparici

Miami- Tile of Spain, the international brand representing 125 ceramic tile manufacturers belonging to the Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturer's Association (ASCER), exhibited a wide variety of new product innovations and trends from Spanish tile manufacturers at Coverings 2019. 

During the 4-day tile and stone exhibition, 98 Spanish ceramic and stone manufacturers showcased new lines. Highlights of the Spanish manufactures include:

Luxor by Aparici. Paying homage to glamour of the 20's with a current flair, this exquisite collection exhibits an abundance of veining and color variations within its design.

The Amazonia collection from Colorker. Encompassing the latest trends of graphic prints, geometric shapes and bold color, the Amazonian collection is full of vibrant details.

Dune brings to life a wide variety of decorative tile. Different linear designs and a play on light and shadows, the Deluxe collection modernizes the traditional crackle motif for a perfectly imperfect look. 

Equipe Ceramicas presents Village. Equipe is playing with new sizes in this collection (5 x 5 to 2 1/2 x 5, 2 1/2 x 8). Available in a range of colors from soft pastels to bold Mediterranean hues, Village is a collection of small sizes with big design.

Fanal introduces Heritage, a collection mimicking the look of natural wood, however presented in a glazed porcelain range that translates well to any aesthetic.

Harmony introduces Dash. With its grid-like pattern, ever-changing rectangular compositions can be created to combine different shapes and lengths both vertically or horizontally. This collection comes in a 20x20cm format and available in 6 different colors.

A leader in the arena of large formats is Inalco. Senda features grey brushstrokes on a gentle stone-like relief. Delicate, versatile and designed to appeal to all, Senda is ideal for both commercial and residential use.

Living Ceramics introduces Allure, a collection of ceramic tile that conveys the strength, character and temperament of the stone on which it is inspired. Veins are carefully treated to highlight its personality and a brush hammered finish evokes the texture of the natural stone it replicates. Living Ceramicas was also honored at Coverings 2019 for Best in Show.

Metropol presents the Arc Collection, a reinterpretation of industrial sheet metal with subtle shade variations for a natural effect. Arc is available in both floor and wall tile formats.

Spanish manufacturer Natucer brings back the basics with impactful designs and finishes using subway tiles. The Piastrella collection moves the traditional subway tiles one step further with vibrant colors, irregular borders, mixed finishes, intricate designs and striking reliefs.

Vives also brings charismatic personality to the scene with Hanami. This collection blends a timeless style with modern hues to express a certain joie de vivre through color and design.

Realonda's Donegal series is a fresh take on the classic terracotta look. This new collection combines natural tones with decorative design and is available in a trending hexagonal shape.

Saloni introduces Foundry, a collection that pairs worn metal with delicate detail resulting in an industrial chic look.

Tau extends its wildly successful Ascale collection with Belvedere, a black marble look that is available in two finishes, polished and matte. A Think & Mix color palette flows through entire series for a seamlessly cohesive look.

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Karndean Designflooring launches Van Gogh rigid core format

Export, Penn.–Karndean Designflooring now offers best-selling designs from its Van Gogh range in a rigid core format, in addition to the existing glue down luxury vinyl format.

According to the company, Van Gogh glue down provides homeowners with peace of mind that planks will be permanently adhered to the subfloor and allows them to personalize their floor by choosing the direction and pattern in which planks are laid. This format also allows for the addition of “design strips” to create an inlay border or shiplap effect. Alternatively, Van Gogh rigid core is a floating floor that clicks and locks into place without the use of adhesive. This format is the company’s quietest to walk on, ideal for upstairs rooms in the home where consumers wish to minimize noise transfer to rooms below.

“By offering these 14 colors in both glue down and rigid core, consumers can first choose a color that matches their space and then select the format that better suits their needs. Homeowners may even choose to use both formats throughout the home by enjoying the designability of our glue down planks on the ground level and the acoustic properties of rigid core in upper levels,” Larry Browder, chief sales & marketing officer, said.

With its textured emboss and replication of natural woods, Van Gogh continues to be a go-to range within the LVT sector. Popular favorites now available in rigid core include Reclaimed Maple, Aged Redwood, Country Oak and Vintage Pine. Van Gogh planks are sized 48 X 7, feature a 20-mil wear layer suitable for commercial applications.

Like all Karndean rigid core products, Van Gogh rigid core planks feature the company’s proprietary, 100% waterproof K-Core technology for installation over most existing hard floors, without the worry of exposing subfloor imperfections. With this technology, install teams can turn jobs quickly without the use of adhesive. Van Gogh rigid core also features an acoustic foam backing that does not promote the growth of mold, mildew and bacteria. Unlike cork backings, this layer will not flake apart on the job site. These planks are secured in place with a patented and proven click-locking mechanism.

Both formats are finished with K-Guard+ surface protection, which uses polyurethane technology to provide a hygienic and durable surface that, unlike aluminum oxide coatings, will not turn white if scratched or leave stress marks when handled. Both lines are backed by a 15-year commercial warranty and lifetime residential warranty.

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I4F augments licensee protection with new labelling system

Willemstad, Curacao–I4F, a group of companies providing patents and technologies to the flooring industry, is introducing new measures designed to further protect its complying licensees.

The company also said it has provided notice to terminate license agreements with two manufacturers—Jiangsu Simo New Materials Co. Ltd. and Weifang Green Residence Floor Material Co. Ltd.—following material breaches of contracts, despite several unanswered notifications to comply. These include a failure to submit volume reports for products using I4F’s patented technologies as well as the non-payment of contractual fees.

 

As from the second quarter of 2019, I4F will roll-out its new holographic labelling system to all I4F licensees as well as initiate a license compliance audit program. These new measures are designed to extend the scope of protection for all complying I4F licensees.

“Mutually respecting all contractual obligations is essential and normal business practice for all professional parties involved in a license agreement,” said John Rietveldt, I4F’s CEO. “As a patents and technologies company, we make it our business to ensure that all our complying licensees are fully protected from those taking part in non-compliant activities by attempting to use licensed technologies for free. These new measures aim to ensure that the lay of the land is fair and equal for all I4F licensees.”

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Patcraft unveils Monochrome, Surface Tone collection

Cartersville, Ga.—Patcraft’s newest resilient tile collection, Monochrome & Surface Tone, is designed to transform space and experience. Featuring abstract visuals with a natural yet sophisticated aesthetic, this collection offers simplicity to promote connection and inspire creativity through the use of visual variation in the tile’s finish, the company said.

With products inspired by natural stone, the abstract organic visuals are said to uniquely enhance the built environment. “With the Monochrome products within this collection, we sought to bridge the divide between two contrasting finishes: matte and gloss,” said Kelly Stewart, hard surface designer for Patcraft. “We saw opportunity for these looks to help designers move beyond ordinary flooring installation designs. We chose a tile format and rich neutrals and dynamic brights to leverage the most opportunity from the gloss finish and the simplicity of the matte look.”

Monochrome Matte is available in 18 X 36 tiles, and the complementary Monochrome Gloss accents are available in 9 X 36 tiles. Intended only for accents and borders, Monochrome Gloss’s installation is limited to no more than 20% of a space. Surface Tone is available in 11 refined colorways ranging from neutrals to brights and is offered in 9 X 36 tiles.

“These influential visuals work together to create a fluid yet dynamic aesthetic,” said Stewart. “The Monochrome & Surface Tone collection represents what can be accomplished when polarizing looks are artfully brought together to create a thoughtful flooring collection.”

Featuring a 20-mil wear layer for superior durability, the collection is polish and buff optional. The 5mm product construction allows for installation alongside carpet without the need for transition, and an ExoGuard finish provides enhanced scratch and stain resistance.

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Rising transport costs take their toll on distributors

March 19/26, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 20

By Ken Ryan

New government regulations have exacerbated the ongoing trucker shortage in the U.S., resulting in higher inbound freight costs for flooring distributors that could spread across the entire supply chain.

The problem is twofold: More than 70% of the goods Americans consume are carried on the nation’s highways, but a new report says the industry needs to hire roughly 90,000 new truckers each year to keep up with demand. At the same time, new government regulations—including implementation of the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate—are forcing some smaller trucking firms and individuals out of business, thereby worsening the shortage and creating problems like product shortages and delivery delays.

Observers say there is no reason to think the labor situation in the trucking industry should get better any time soon. In the short term, truckers must switch from logging their hours on paper to doing it electronically by April 1or face penalties; drivers will no longer be able to fudge their hours on paper to stay on the road longer.

“There has been a shortage of truckers for quite a while,” said Bob Weiss, CEO of All-Tile/Carpets Cushions & Supplies, a top five flooring distributor based in Elk Grove Village, Ill. “What is compounding the problem are new regulations that are tighter.”

Scott Rozmus, president and CEO of FlorStar Sales, a top 20 wholesaler based in Romeoville, Ill., said the biggest issues they are facing are delays and the difficulty of finding available, reliable carriers. “Obviously, costs are going up, too, but ultimately the consumer will need to bear those costs.”

Other distributors are feeling the impact as well. Carrollton, Texas-based Adleta, another top 20 flooring distributor, had to go out and hire additional drivers because of the shortage. “It’s no easy feat to find a driver with a clean and safe driving record,” said John Sher, president. “[As a result], all inbound freight has gone up dramatically. While we have been absorbing this, we will have no choice but to pass this on.”

The improving economy is adding to the problem. The reason: as more goods are shipped, more drivers are needed. It’s classic supply and demand economics. “There will be increased costs moving forward as the new cost structure realities begin to show themselves,” Weiss explained.

At issue is the ELD mandate, a federal rule that took effect Dec. 18, 2017 which requires trucking companies to record their hours of service on ELDs (devices that synchronize with a vehicle engine to automatically record driving time for more accurate hours of service recording). With ELD implementation, any delays at docks or warehouses will result in higher transportation costs for the shipper, according to transportation officials.

Jaeckle Distributors, Madison, Wis., has been operating with electronic logs since 2008, so the new ELD mandate hasn’t impacted the way it operates. However, it has impacted other carriers it works with and has added another layer of complexity for carriers who are new to it.

“We have not seen a significant rise in LTL [less than truck load] costs; however, I am seeing a decline in the overall service quality we’re experiencing with other carriers,” said Bill Simonson, vice president of operations. “We are finding increased damage and more occurrences of freight not being picked up. That is either due to lack of experience, shortness of drivers, or lack of hours available to drive.

“And, of course, you are dealing with a good economy, rising volumes and fewer drivers to move the freight. We’ve been adding drivers to our staff and we’re more confident with our ability to control quality in this environment than we are with some of the third-party carriers out there.”

Jeff Striegel, president of Elias Wilf, a top 20 distributor from Owings Mills, Md., said the implementation of electronic logs has prompted a tangible percentage of the smaller independent trucking companies to exit the business. “Losing 10%-12% is a dent in the overall capacity, which was strained to begin with,” he explained. “A lot of the drivers I am around have gotten older and they are not willing to spend the money [required of the electronic logs] into one truck; it has really shut down a portion of the trucking capacity, and there wasn’t an abundance to begin with.”

The American Trucking Association reports the industry has struggled with a driver shortage for the past 15 years. During the Great Recession, freight volumes dropped, allowing the industry to meet demand with fewer drivers. But when volumes recovered in 2011, the driver shortage became a problem again, the ATA found.

According to a study conducted by DAT Solutions, just one truck was available for every 12 loads needing to be shipped at the start of 2018—that’s the lowest ratio since 2005.

Striegel, as well as others, predicts the situation could get worse. “Hiring a driver is the hardest position to fill. Between [the government] closing loopholes and the new restrictions in place, it has put constraints on my existing fleet.”

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Guru-USA names national sales and marketing manager

Ontinyent, Spain–Estil Guru S.L. (Guru), a manufacturer of shower waterproofing products, has named Derick Cooper national sales and marketing manager for the U.S. and Canada. Cooper has early 30 years of experience across several industries covering sales, marketing, technical service, and product management. He most recently served as president of an independent sales agency.

He will be tasked with managing all sales and marketing efforts of Guru-USA, The company markets a waterproof membrane called Waterstop as well as a kit that includes an integrated shower drain. It is now launching Evolux Kit, the next generation in waterproofing products.

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Mohawk honored by Training Magazine for 12th consecutive year

UG_Campus_LeadsCalhoun, Ga.–For the 12th consecutive year, Mohawk Industries has earned a spot in the 2018 edition of Training magazine’s annual Top 125 rankings, the training industry’s premier awards program. Mohawk was recognized for outstanding training and development programs that help employees expand their skills and inspire their ambitions.

Mohawk has placed in Training’s top 10 on four occasions and is the only manufacturing company to repeatedly achieve such prestigious positions on the list. The numerical rankings will be formally announced in February at a black-tie event preceding Training magazine’s annual expo and conference.

“At Mohawk, training doesn’t stop when people learn the skills they need to perform their jobs,” said Becky Redd, Corporate Learning Director. “We train our sales force and customer support functions to exceed expectations through product knowledge and problem-solving skills, our technical teams to drive process innovation on the plant floor and in our warehouses and our line employees to deliver quality while maintaining a safe workplace.”

The company’s dedication to workforce development throughout the business is a way of creating value for customers and ensuring the continued success of the organization.

“One of the most exciting things about working at Mohawk is the potential all people have to expand their skillsets and to grow personally and professionally through company-provided resources,” Redd said. “Each day, hundreds of men and women throughout the company formally and informally train, coach and mentor employees so that they can fulfill their potential while helping the business achieve its goals. Our 12 years in Training magazine’s Top 125 reflects our commitment to continuously improving all aspects of the business, and I am so proud of the exceptional work that has gone into making our teams the best they can be.”

Now in its 18th year, Training’s Top 125 recognizes the world’s elite learning organizations. All companies are eligible to enter as long as their primary business is not selling training products and services.

 

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Anderson Hardwood, Tuftex Carpets unite to create Anderson Tuftex

Anderson Tuftex_StrollDalton–The strategic merger of Anderson Hardwood Floors and Tuftex Carpets of California will take effect Jan. 1, 2018, the company announced. Both of these brands have a long heritage in the flooring industry and are a natural fit to bring together into one premium brand: Anderson Tuftex.

Anderson Tuftex creates floors that are designed with intention and crafted with care. The brand will take a holistic and consumer-centric approach to marketing and product development. Today’s consumer demands a simplified shopping experience both in-store and online and Anderson Tuftex said that is listening to the expectations of consumers.

“The entire consumer journey is changing and has been for quite some time. Consumers are finding inspiration everywhere and are more directly connected with brands than ever before,” said Carrie Edwards Isaac, vice president, Anderson Tuftex.  “But purchasing flooring is complicated and consumers feel pressured to get it right. At Anderson Tuftex, it’s about simplicity. We don’t want to overwhelm consumers with options but, rather, craft intentional designs that serve as a canvas for their lives.”
Anderson Tuftex will be showcased at Shaw Connect 2018 winter markets and will unveil the new premium brand at Surfaces in Las Vegas. The future of these two legacy brands will focus on their new, collective brand identity by working with their valued retail partners to drive premium floorcovering sales.

“We’re committed to elevating the discussion with our customers and providing them with a beautiful product mix that they’re eager to sell,” said Trey Thames, vice president of sales, Anderson Tuftex. “By offering bold, yet timeless patterns and foundational colors in both hard and soft surface flooring products, we’re empowering our customers to create a seamless shopping experience for consumers.”

Anderson Tuftex is designing and producing coveted hardwood, carpet and rugs that enable retailers to take consumers from refined to rustic, with handcrafted products that offer a cultivated charm. There are many exciting things on the horizon for Anderson Tuftex, with several new styles making their debut in 2018.

“I am excited about the momentum around this new premium floorcovering brand and our ability to inspire discerning consumers by creating a meaningful experience,” said Tim Baucom, executive vice president, residential business. “The timing is perfect with the increased sophistication of today’s consumer and her desire for a brand like Anderson Tuftex that offers transparency and authenticity.”

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J+J Flooring Group partners with APPA to host facilities workshop

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-11-23-03-amDalton–J+J Flooring Group is partnering with APPA to present a Facilities Drive-In Workshop, Oct. 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Roosevelt University in Schaumburg, Ill.

In collaboration with APPA and Roosevelt University, J+J Flooring Group has developed a content focus that has strategic application to financial outcomes, student and faculty satisfaction and safety in education facilities. The session will consist of three topic areas: “Leveraging the Built Environments to Enhance Brand Power,” “The Emergence of Research-Based Design in Learning Environments” and “Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls.”

The workshop is geared to local area technical and non-technical facility professionals at all levels who work at public and private educational institutions, including K-12 schools, colleges and universities. Facility professionals at museums and libraries are also welcomed to attend.

The registration fee is complimentary and includes a continental breakfast and lunch but space is limited. All registrants will earn 0.4 CEUs, 4 PDH units and 4 LUs. Each session will include the use of audience-response technology, allowing attendees to participate with individual feedback and personalized interactivity.

Facility professionals can register at http://www.appa.org/roosevelt_j%26j/