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Patcraft launches new modular collection, BioSymmetry

Cartersville, Ga.—Patcraft’s newest modular collection, BioSymmetry, is designed to explore the natural definition of visual balance through transparency of shape and pattern. The collection’s three styles—Natural Form, Rebalance and Instinct—are available in 24” x 24” tiles that offer variation in scale from small to large. The gradated shift in pattern and color plays on the idea of positive and negative elements, creating organic designs and visual variation across the floor.

“Inspired by the process and capabilities of the product machinery, the design team combined an interplay of positive and negative pattern elements that were developed using natural textures,” said Shannon Cochran, vice president of creative and design, Patcraft. “BioSymmetry features texture and scale, revealing an organic approach to geometric flooring design.”

Constructed with Solution Q Nylon and a multi-level pattern loop, BioSymmetry also features Patcraft’s innovative StrataWorx backing. StrataWorx is a lightweight, durable backing which offers maximum efficiency in manufacturing, transportation and installation.

BioSymmetry is Cradle to Cradle Certified Silver. Products are backed with 10-year warranties against stain, colorfastness to light, static and abrasive wear for maximum performance and appearance retention.

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DriTac introduces concrete moisture control system

Clifton, N.J.—DriTac Flooring Products has launched a new and improved “green” concrete moisture control system—the New & Improved MCS 7000. This system dramatically reduces the rate of harmful moisture vapor emissions up to 100% relative humidity (RH) and 25 lbs. down to levels accepted by most flooring manufacturers prior to the installation of wood, resilient, carpet tile and all floating floors.

Manufactured in the USA, DriTac New & Improved MCS 7000 consists of a two-component epoxy—Component A (1-gal) and Component B (.79 gal)—which are mixed to form a coating that is applied to the surface of the concrete subfloor. The system offers a superior perm rating and enhanced moisture warranty when used with approved DriTac flooring adhesives for residential and commercial applications.

This easy-to-mix-and-apply formula allows for same-day installations with a six-hour cure time. New & Improved MCS 7000 can be roller, squeegee or trowel applied with a coverage rate of 300-350 square feet/mixed unit. It is easy to clean when wet and colored green for easy identification. This user-friendly solution can also serve to isolate old cutback adhesive residue.

The premium-grade moisture control system has been certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label Plus Program for Indoor Air Quality. It touts DriTac’s “green” certification, designated for flooring installation solutions that contain zero VOC and zero solvents. New & Improved MCS 7000 also helps contribute to LEED credits, will not promote the growth of mold and has low odor.

For more information, visit: DriTac.com.

 

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Spectra joins Starnet Worldwide-Fuse Alliance task force

Dalton, Ga.—Spectra Contract Flooring has joined the Starnet Worldwide Commercial Flooring and Fuse Alliance joint task force. Established in 2017, the task force focuses on critical issues facing the commercial flooring industry and elevating the flooring contractor profession.

The task force is currently focusing on solutions for the two biggest challenges facing flooring contractors today: recruiting and training labor, along with avoiding floor failures with an emphasis on moisture issues. Because labor is a challenge in all construction trades, the task force is working on proactive tactics to keep the flooring labor pool sufficient to meet demand.

“Our goal is to work collectively to dramatically reduce floor failures for the benefit of the entire industry,” said Jeanne Matson, president and CEO of Starnet Worldwide Commercial Flooring Partnership. “This goal, plus addressing other critical industry issues, is better accomplished working together.”

Moisture is a hot-button topic since many new solutions have hit the market from sundry and product manufacturers that sometimes creates confusion for architects, designers and end users. This situation creates an opportunity for flooring contractors to guide these customers toward the best solutions.

“We are excited to join the task force because we are dedicated to helping reverse the shortage of skilled flooring installers and address the issue of moisture’s impact on flooring installation,” said Jim Pels, general manager of Spectra Contract Flooring. “By working together to innovate the way we recruit and then train installers to follow industry standards, the task force has an opportunity to create better outcomes for our customers.”

 

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Tarkett’s Tandus Centiva launches Tailored Twist collection

Solon, Ohio—Tarkett debuts Tandus Centiva’s Tailored Twist collection. This vibrant, carefully tailored modular carpet line combines inventive design with sustainability using the company’s ethos Modular with Omnicoat technology recycled PVB film backing.

“With Tailored Twist, we looked to the intricate stitching of a hand-tailored suit, that careful detailing that makes high fashion so special, and translated it into a modular carpet to create an intentional, tailored space,” said Terry Mowers, vice president of commercial design, Tarkett North America. “The four patterns within the collection allow designers to create individualistic spaces with adventurous use of color.”

Tailored Twist features the following four patterns that can be used individually or combined for a custom feel:

  • Tailored, the base style for the collection, provides a slightly larger scale print in grounding neutral tones.
  • Tailored Plaid features Tailored as the dominant style and a tartan pattern along the tile’s edge.
  • Tailored Bloom interprets a floral inspiration along the edge of Tailored tiles.
  • Tailored Madras is a value-engineered, mid-scale plaid in a palette that coordinates with Tailored.

Featuring 162 possible combinations in its palette and patterns, Tailored Twist offers complete personalization. The collection’s designers followed key principles of pattern mixing, scaling and coloring so every design feels whimsical but not erratic.

For more information, visit: tarkettna.com.

 

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I4F names Kees Verhaaren as CFO

Willemstad, Curaçao—I4F has appointed Kees Verhaaren as chief financial officer, with immediate effect.

As I4F’s CFO, Verhaaren will oversee the financial management of I4F’s licensing business, companies and partnerships. He also will become a primary member of the company’s Operational Excellence team, assuring the continuous quality of I4F’s processes and procedures.

Verhaaren joins I4F from Unilin, where he spent a total of 11 years. For the last eight years, Verhaaren held the role of finance director for Flooring Industries Limited, Unilin’s IP company located in Luxembourg. In this position, he managed all administrative and finance related matters for Unilin’s IP business. He was also responsible for finance and a board member for Mohawk Group’s entities in Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Verhaaren played a key role in supporting Mohawk’s expansion and M&A activities.

“Kees is another extremely valuable addition to our fast-expanding team,” said John Rietveldt, CEO, I4F. “His extensive financial and international knowledge of the global flooring IP industry brings immediate depth and experience to our licensing operations. He will support us with I4F’s administrative and financial infrastructure to organize our rapidly growing portfolio in licenses and volumes.”

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ASCER to hold 17th Tile of Spain Awards

Castellón, Spain—The Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Association (ASCER) will hold its 17th edition of the Tile of Spain Awards. The event is intended to promote the use of Spanish ceramic tiles in architecture as well as interior design projects both in Spain and abroad.

The panel of judges is made up of internationally acclaimed professionals working in the architecture and design sectors. Chairing the panel is the Argentinean architect Jorge Silvetti, founder of Machado and Silvetti Associates, located in Buenos Aires and Boston, and former dean of architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD). ASCER collaborates with the GSD through the Network of Ceramic Tile Studies departments.

Silvetti is joined on the panel by Elías Torres; Portuguese architect Ricardo Carvalho; Jordi Garcés, a partner at the Garcés-de Seta-Bonet studio and former winner of the Interior Design category; and Ramón Monfort from the Castellón College of Architects.

The awards include three categories: Architecture, Interior Design and the Final Degree project. The winners of the two main categories—Architecture and Interior Design—will each receive a cash prize of 17,000 euros. The panel of judges are also entitled to give special mentions in either category. The third category—the Final Degree project, which targets students of architecture—has a cash prize of 5,000 euros.

Individuals from both Spain and abroad are invited to submit to all three categories. Entries may be submitted until Wednesday, Oct. 24. For more information and/or to register, visit: tileofspainawards.com.

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Michael Picco joins Natural Stone Institute executive committee

Oberlin, Ohio—Natural Stone Institute has selected Michael Picco, president and founder of PICCO Engineering, to join the association’s executive committee as assistant secretary.

“I am honored to have been selected to the Natural Stone Institute executive committee,” Picco said. “Having worked in the industry for over 30 years, I hope to use my experience and work closely with my peers to help facilitate the continued use of natural stone and growth of the market.”

David Carnevale, president of Carnevale & Lohr and 2018 Natural Stone Institute president, looks forward to the experience Picco will bring to this leadership position. “Coming from the technical side of the natural stone industry, Michael will broaden the diversity and perspective of the executive committee, which has historically been mostly comprised of quarriers and contractors,” Carnevale said. “He is the perfect candidate to keep the institute focused on being the leader in technical research and education for natural stone.”

Nominations are currently being accepted for two seats on the Natural Stone Institute board of directors. Nominations are for Zone 5 (South Central: Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas) and Zone 7 (Pacific: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington). These nominations are due Friday, Aug. 31. To learn more, visit: naturalstoneinstitute.org/boardelections.

 

 

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Cali Bamboo hires Tidmore as business development director

San Diego—Cali Bamboo has named industry veteran Tom Tidmore its new director of business development. Tidmore is known for spearheading new trade partnerships, sales management and sales operations, as well as repositioning within multiple building materials and home improvement companies including Shaw Industries, Interior Specialists, and Pirch Kitchen and Bath. He brings over 30 years of industry experience with a focus on manufacturing, distribution, and dealer and commercial flooring.

“Tom has a solid track record of taking companies to the next level,” said Doug Jackson, president and CEO, Cali Bamboo. “He also has a knack for reinforcing these organizations when they’re poised for a new boom in growth, just as we’re seeing at Cali. We’re excited to be on the precipice of that wider playing field, and with leaders like Tom joining the team we’re more ready than ever.”

Cali has long supplied its building products like solid and engineered flooring, luxury vinyl plank and composite decking across a disruptive omnichannel platform, and it already operates a residential direct-to-consumer channel, dealer channel, big box channel and a trade channel.

It’s the latter that Tidmore eyes with particular interest.

“It’s this professional channel that we’re expanding,” he said. “You can see in our 81 Net Promoter Score that we have incredible brand loyalty with the consumer. We’re applying that commitment to a world-class experience to our trade partners by developing new ways to support their needs."

That business development acumen will now be directed at accelerating Cali’s already aggressive growth, right on the heels of the company’s 10 year on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies list.

“This is the right time for Tom to come aboard,” Jackson said. “It’s the right time for Cali, and the right time for our partners—both current and future ones. Our omnichannel reach is getting stronger, broader and smarter. And we’re just getting started.”

 

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Exclusive to FCNews: Mohawk—Domestic manufacturing is good for the flooring industry

By Steven Feldman

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal included vinylflooring as one of the top 20 products imported from China in 2017. According to the article, vinyl flooring, in the 13th spot, accounted for $1.78 billion in import value and the top 20 products collectively listed accounted for $75 billion in import value. This obviously makes flooring a target as President Trump seeks to generate tariff revenue on $505 billion in exports China sends to the U.S.

Some businesses have supported the tariffs, but others have said tariffs would hurt their profits or lead to higher prices for customers. The White House says China represents a fundamental threat to the U.S. that needs to be countered, even at the cost of pain to the U.S. economy.

Within the flooring industry, Mohawk Industries recently came out in support of tariffs, citing its significant investment in domestic manufacturing. “In the past four years Mohawk has invested in eight plants to the tune of at least $650 million,” said Brian Carson, president. “The United States is a very important market, and we invest heavily here in technology and jobs to develop world-class products for our customers and consumers.”

It has been argued that the proposed tariffs will lead to American job losses. “That is nonsensical,” Carson said. “Flooring is not an impulse purchase. Jobs will not be lost as a result of the proposed tariffs. Quite the contrary, when we create demand in the marketplace for new and innovative products and services, jobs are created for consumers, jobs are created for retailers, jobs are created for distributors and jobs are created for manufacturing. The thought that buying offshore somehow creates jobs here just does not pass the logic test.”

Carson said all Mohawk is seeking is a level playing field. “We believe that investing in domestic manufacturing technology creates more enduring value for the consumers and dealers than simply building warehouses. I recognize that there may be some products that don’t make sense to make domestically. LVT is not one of them. I believe there are many companies sourcing products not because it’s necessary, but because it’s easy. Investing in assets andinnovation to make the products where consumers experience real differentiation over the long term is good for our customers, dealers, consumers, employees—everyone in the supply chain.”

This is not to say Mohawk is anti-import. Quite the contrary, Carson said. “Mohawk is the world’s largest flooring company and the most global flooring company. We obviously believe in global trade and international markets. We source products; sourcing is a very important part of what we do to augment our manufacturing capabilities. We partner with incredibly high-quality suppliers. But we also know not all companies and countries provide a level playing field for global trade. And when we see that, we fight for change in all the markets. North America is obviously an important market, and we are going to fight for what’s right here, just as we are going to fight in all markets.”

A level playing field is what drives innovation, Carson said, not just in flooring but all products. “I wish more companies would invest in hard surface technologies in North America. I think it would be great for the industry. It puts manufacturers on their A game. Good and fair competition is fundamentally good for our industry and always good for consumers.”

But does a level playing field necessarily benefit the consumer? After all, there is significant innovation coming from China, as evidenced by recent product introductions from companies such as USFloors, Shaw, Karndean, Raskin, Wellmade, EarthWerks, Metroflor, Novalis and many others. “Broadly speaking, I think a level playing field benefits the flooring industry because it ensures fair competition, and fair competition promotes investment,” Carson said. “When you can compete on your merits, people will invest behind the ideas and innovate products, creating jobs in the communities where we live, work and play.”

Carson cited engineered wood as a category that today is primarily imported from China and has suffered in the innovation department. “It’s hard to believe, but there was a time when engineered wood was new. At some point, all products mature, and this category devolved to largely imported product with little differentiation. Long-term value deteriorated for everyone, including the distributor, the dealer, the manufacturer and ultimately, the consumer. What keeps product vibrant is more constant innovation. Mohawk is always committed to innovating new products, features and benefits. If there is no manufacturer that will do it, how does the product stay unique as it matures?”

It has been argued by many economists thatthe proposed tariffs will increase cost to the consumer. Since the tariffs cannot be fully absorbed by the supply chain, the tariffs will be passed on, in part, to the consumer, who will pay higher prices for flooring products. “I don't subscribe to that,” Carson said. “When the industry thinks about what the American consumer will be paying for flooring, it can’t be isolated to simply product costs. We think about the entire supply chain cost, including transportation, the cost of inventory, warehousing, logistics and freight and when the entire supply chain cost is taken into account, the American consumer actually benefits from domestically manufactured flooring products.”

Carson also addressed the notion that the proposed tariffs will lead to fewer and less innovative choices for the American consumer. Mohawk takes a different view, believing it would help some manufacturers compete in other areas of the world. “We know that when we own our assets and we can apply our new ideas, technology and our experience-based know-how, we are able to differentiate and innovate for our local consumers in a way that is unmatched,” Carson said.  “Moreover, our stewardship and control of our domestically produced product sustainability and our corporate responsibility to the communities we serve is second to none and world-class by any standard.”

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Flexco partners with Apollo Distributing Company

Tuscumbia, Ala.—Flexco has added Apollo Distributing Company as its newest distributor partner in the Northeast.

Apollo Distributing Company, based in Fairfield, N.J., is carrying the full Flexco product line of resilient flooring, wall base and accessories to its distribution network in the New York City metropolitan area, Long Island, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut.

“We are very excited to have Apollo Distributing Company as a Flexco partner,” said Brian Dubois, national sales manager, Flexco. “Like Flexco, Apollo Distributing Company is a family-owned business with several years of business experience in the flooring industry. Their respected sales team, distribution network and valued reputation in the marketplace make Apollo a great fit.”

To learn more about Flexco, visit: flexcofloors.com.