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Inaugural event sets the stage for future growth

October 27/November 3, 2014; Volume 28/Number 10

By Jenna Lippin

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 10.09.36 AMMiami—In the aftermath of the debut of Surfaces East, or The International Surface Event (TISE) East as it is officially known, show manager Hanley Wood has been left with something to build on for 2015.

While TISE East was never designed to be anywhere near as large as its Las Vegas counterpart, the event, which encompasses Surfaces, StoneExpo/ Marmomacc Americas and Tile Expo, lived up to those who had realistic expectations, particularly Hanley Wood. “To launch a show with 50,000 square feet is huge,” said Dana Teague, vice president. “People aren’t launching shows very much anymore in the first place, so it was a big risk. But it says a lot about the industry that we have had the response we have.”

She added that she was happy with the number of exhibitors and is seeking about 10% growth across the board for 2015. “That’s reasonable, and we can support that growth.”

Teague cautioned that realistic expectations must prevail with a show of this nature. “TISE East was designed to be a regional show. [Miami] is strong with designers and architects. We do have some national people here, but a good 75% will be from the Southeast region.”

In fact, it was this regional draw that attracted most exhibitors. Take Dream Weaver, for example. According to Melvin Silvers, the company’s founder, the biggest motivator to exhibit was its lack of presence in the Southeast. “We thought some of the customers we haven’t had before would come here. We’ve also added four territory managers in the last six months, so we wanted to see if we could open up the new territory here.”

Some companies used the show as a networking opportunity more so than a launching pad for new product, but not Dream Weaver. “Our theme for this show was ‘Mardi Gras comes to Miami,’” Silvers noted. “We have some new colorations, some blended tonals, double space dye, and some other new things coming out.

“This show will be successful in our minds if we get some new customers,” he continued. “If we can get the top 50 customers in the area to come see us, that’s a success for us.”

The theme at Dream Weaver’s booth was Mardi Gras Comes to Miami, helping to draw attention to some new offerings.
Dream Weaver’s Mardi Gras Comes to Miami booth.

Some companies, such as Stanton Carpet, were hoping to parlay the success they traditionally have at Surfaces in January into some new business. “It just made sense to try [East],” said Jonathan Cohen, COO. “The Surfaces muscle, and knowing we have a fair amount of East Coast companies who don’t come to Vegas, lent to our decision.”

While Cohen was not expecting Las Vegas traffic, “We’re still looking at our core—the flooring retailer. It’s good for them to see new things they can’t see day to day because it’s just not out yet, or displays they don’t have.”

Unfortunately, after the show wrapped, Cohen told FCNews that his expectations fell short.

Kane Carpet was another carpet supplier using Surfaces East as an opportunity to highlight new displays that showcase top carpet offerings. According to Bruce Kurtz, vice president of sales and marketing, the company saw a “great opportunity” in exhibiting at a second show, “as there has only been one show for the whole industry up until this point.”

One of the highlights for Kane at Surfaces East was its new carpet tile line, the Royal Empire Series, which consists of broadloom that’s carved and then clipped into tiles for residential or commercial use. “A lot of the young people are looking for carpet tile, but everything offered is very commercial looking,” Kurtz explained. “This is a residential product—a brand new product that’s available now.” Among the new merchandising systems highlighted by the company was an 8-foot Shagtacular display featuring Kane’s leading shag designs.

Once the show wrapped, Kurtz reported that the new displays were, in fact, one of the most successful parts of the show for the company. “People we showed the new displays to went crazy for them. We absolutely got the green light on them. People were actually coming by to take pictures of the displays. Those displays are particularly successful in the South Florida market thanks to those contemporary looks. And the carpet tiles were picked up big time.”

Kurtz said the show was also a triumph for the Kane team as they gathered every morning to discuss the results at Surfaces East to adjust what would be best to show at Surfaces in January. “We brought in the best people, went through a good amount of product and got much accomplished.”

Beyond carpet

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 10.14.56 AMHard surface companies also found value in exhibiting at Surfaces East. Max Woods, for example, used the event as a platform to showcase its rebranding from Max Windsor Floors. Company owner Peter Spirer acknowledged the risk of showing at a first-time event, but considered Max Woods at an advantage as the show helped inspire the supplier to be ready with new product and branding for the fall.

“We were able to get a marvelous amount of things done in time for the fall selling season,” he said. “We think we’re going to have a good leg up no matter what; we will be delivering our products introduced at this market long before those who are introducing in Vegas. We felt it was timely for us, it forced us to hit a deadline, and it made us think and make decisions about how we want to merchandise, which is a very big factor in our business.”

Brand exposure was a major driver for Max Woods’ strong presence at the show, which included women airbrushed to match the company’s wood displays. “We also knew the trade press would be here, and we might have a chance of being a compelling place to visit,” Spirer continued. “It’s more about the exposure to the industry thinkers—the major retailers move mountains with their opinions, and their opinions are usually expressed through what they buy. This is for them. Our program is poised to work with the largest retailers.”

After the show, Spirer said Max Woods accomplished its goals for Surfaces East, which were establishing its brand and giving attendees an idea of the scope of the products the supplier now offers. “On my personal score card, I would rate it very high in terms of what we were after. Our organization was very pumped about the show. We really did well.”

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 10.15.44 AMOn the resilient side, FreeFit was one of the few LVT suppliers at the show, which suited Ray Pina, vice president of sales and marketing, just fine. “There’s a risk or uncertainty with a new show, but we have the opinion that it’s better to be an innovator and be here while others aren’t. If we can build business with contractors in the Miami area, it’s a win for us. We’re meeting people we wouldn’t have met. I’m looking at it as a Miami trade show—I’m not looking to get customers from Wisconsin here. If I can walk out of here with three or four new customers in Miami, I’m good with that.”

Also showcasing its hard surface wares was Nuvelle engineered wood floors and laminate, a private-label brand from Florida distributor Suncrest Supply. Dewevai Buchanan, president of Nuvelle, said Surfaces East “paid for itself” with the positive response to some of its hottest products, like Beach House, which includes 32 plank variations. “As far as new customers, we’ve seen people from [as far as] California and Brazil. For us this show has been great. We said if we get five customers out of this, that’s perfect. We’ve already done that in the first day. We will absolutely come back.”

Jeffrey Castor, vice president of sales for Diversified Industries, also cited Surfaces East’s connection to Latin America as a benefit of exhibiting at the show. He noted that he wouldn’t normally get to meet these potential customers, nor would they make the trip to Las Vegas for Surfaces. “I also got to meet with a lot of OEMs who are here. All in all, there was a good showing from retailers—I met people from Colorado, California, Florida, all over. I think the show, for its first year, is good. I think there’s definitely a ramp-up period. I foresee in three year’s time this show really growing.”

Attendee response

Nuvelle reported considerable traffic in its booth, with the  innovative Beach House laminate receiving rave reviews.
Nuvelle’s Beach House laminate.

Positivity wasn’t just on the exhibitor side of the show. Attendees—while many were from the local area—responded well to the event, citing the show’s educational sessions as one of the brightest highlights.

Thomas Crook, manager and owner of East Coast Flooring in Ocala, Fla., said Surfaces East was simply more convenient for him, as he was able to get in his car and drive as opposed to jumping on a plane. “I like things in Las Vegas, too, but I think Miami is a better venue overall for a business type of event,” he noted. “The education portion for the most part has been very good. They had a nice selection in classes. On the show floor, we’ve seen new things we’re excited about, particularly from distributors. I hope they continue to [host this show].”

Another local dealer, Laura Hessler of Hessler Paint and Decorating Center, with locations in Delray Beach and Boynton Beach, Fla., agreed the education at Surfaces East was a major draw. As the leader of Hessler’s decorating department, she said she finds it “very beneficial to keep up on things, get questions answered and get information from professionals.

“I would still go to Vegas if they didn’t have an event here, but it was an hour drive south and much more affordable,” she continued. “If this show becomes large enough and offers everything the Vegas show does, for sure I would come here again. I would go to both.”

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FreeFit installation certification program taking hold

October 13/20, 2014; Volume 28/Number 9 

By Louis Iannaco

Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 10.11.41 AMFive years ago, FreeFit luxury vinyl tile (LVT) was introduced into the U.S. market. A glueless loose-lay product, it was billed as having the “best-in-class wear layer” along with the “best warranty in the LVT market.” But with all the benefits and attributes attached to what many believe to be a truly innovative product, it still has to be installed properly for said benefits to be realized.

By investing in and launching an installation certification program for retailers and their installers, FreeFit saw this process would be just as solid as the product itself. And it looks like its efforts are paying off.

When FreeFit was first introduced, the concept was that no tape was needed along the perimeter, noted Ray Pina, FreeFit’s vice president of sales and marketing, and the executive charged with educating installers and retailers on how best to install the company’s product. With FreeFit you don’t need tapes or glue for it to hold itself in place, “but you do need to secure the product on the perimeter.

“Originally,” he explained, “the instructions were that you had to place it tight against the wall, and that held it in place. However, installers insisted on leaving an expansion gap because that’s what they are familiar with regarding wood and laminate. They wouldn’t place it tight against the wall. That would open up everything and release the pressure.”

Also, very few walls are truly square, Pina noted, “so if you push the floor against the wall, your two planks won’t be square; one will be sticking out a bit. When you install the next row, there is a gap, and if you multiply that by every row, there will be space.”

To rectify what was happening in the field, FreeFit invested $50,000 last fall so it could educate those interested on how best to install the product. “There’s a large variety of glues out there,” he said. “Most residences can be loose laid with FreeFit—you just have to secure the perimeter with Gecko Tape, Gecko Glue or other approved LVT adhesives, so there was a learning curve.

“For the past year my job has been to educate,” Pina said. “In some ways, talking with new distributors of the product is better because I’m giving them up-to-date information. The difficult part is going to those who have had the product longer, received the original message and now are being trained on a new message. And many installers don’t want to hear what you have to say. They think, ‘I’ve been doing this for a long time.’”

If it’s a new distributor, Pina said, “they are bringing in all of their biggest customers and we’ll get them educated on a new product. If it’s an existing account, it can be someone who may have had a problem with FreeFit. Here’s an opportunity for them to be face to face with the manufacturer. Nine times out of 10, by the time I’m done they realize, ‘Oh, I didn’t acclimate it’ or, ‘That makes sense, I used the wrong glue.’ Where they came in accusatory, they wind up leaving educated.”

Each distributor promotes the program before Pina hits town, “then it’s a week-long event where I travel to different branches. In the morning, I’m doing the presentation for retail owners or large contractors,” covering everything from acclimation to using the correct adhesives.

Then, in the afternoon, as the installers are returning from their jobs, another event will be presented. “When it comes to training,” he concluded, “we go to them. If they’re willing to give us the time, we love it, because an educated customer is a happy customer, and there are fewer, if no, problems.”

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NeoCon preview

May 26/June 2, 2014; Volume 27/Number 28

NeoCon is the largest trade show for architects and designers in North America, attended by more than 40,000 professionals from the A&D community. With five floors of exhibitors occupying permanent and temporary spaces, visitors have an infinite amount of hard and soft surface product awaiting their perusal. In addition, NeoCon will host a slew of seminars, many eligible for CEU credits, along with expert keynote speakers and educational programs. FCNews received a sneak peek at what some companies will unveil and highlight at the show.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.02.50 PMAbet Laminati

Two high-pressure laminates will be highlighted. The Parade collection touts bold digital design, durability and easy maintenance in 4’3 x 10 sheets. In addition, Root, from the Legni collection, features a realistic, wood-like surface and is available in seven patterns with a slightly raised texture. Legni wood grain laminates are available in 4 x 10-foot sheets. All products are Greenguard certified with low VOC emissions. FSC certification was just received in Italy, where the laminates are manufactured, and the company is currently attaining an FSC certification for North America.

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.03.10 PMAmerican Biltrite

American Biltrite will showcase two LVT lines, Mirra and Sonata; AB Pure, a revolutionary colorfast rubber line, and Stonescape, a 100% VOC- and PVC-free polyolefin flooring. Mirra is a highly resistant LVT for heavy commercial applications, while Sonata is a fashion-forward and affordable commercial line. The company is particularly enthusiastic about AB Pure, which it considers a “revolutionary patented rubber line.” With a striking, expansive palette of 36 vivid colors, there is an impressive colorfastness, meaning visuals won’t change over time. In addition, the company said Stonescape is its “greenest” product, free of plasticizers, phthalates, chlorine and halogens. Stonescape can be safely disposed in landfills and creates very little smoke in the event of a fire.

 

 

 

 

Aquafil

Aquafil is currently touting Econyl yarn, developed from the Econyl Reclaiming Program established by the Aquafil Group to recover nylon 6 waste. The BCF (bulk continuous filamints) division produces nylon for synthetic carpet flooring, which is used in products such as Desso’s Airmaster and Visions collections and Interface’s Net Effect. The Econyl Regeneration System helps avoid the unnecessary waste of polyamide material. The innovative process recovers nylon from waste such as carpet, clothing and fishing nets, and transforms it back into virgin raw material for new products. Aquafil will reclaim close to 26,000 tons of pre- and post-consumer waste this year; Econyl products will contain at least 50% post-consumer content in 2014.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.03.44 PMBentley

New Bohemian and Light Play are two new collections. New Bohemian features Antron Lumena solution-dyed type 6,6 nylon and is available in High PerformancePC broadloom, as well as 18 x 36 and 24 x 24 NexStep cushion tile and Afirma hardback tile. Light Play offers two carpet styles—SoHo Daw and Melrose Dusk—featuring Antron Legacy type 6,6 nylon. The line is available in 24 x 24 NexStep cushion tile and Afirma hardback tile. Melrose Dusk is also offered in 18 x 36 planks. Both collections are Cradle to Cradle, NSF 140 and CRI Green Label Plus certified, and they are produced in the only LEED-certified carpet manufacturing facility.

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.04.17 PMBolyü

Bolyü will take the wraps off three new carpet collections—Fluid and Fractured, Suit and Tie, and InnerCircle—a new entry in its Level hybrid line, Monogram, as well as the Luxury Vinyl Tile Design Collection. Fluid and Fractured includes two modular carpet tile styles that embody the technology of design and construction, while InnerCircle is a modular tile designed to deliver a bold composition of color, pattern and texture. The Luxury Vinyl Tile Design Collection combines high definition digital imaging technology and state-of-the-art manufacturing processes to create new abstract designs. The four carpet products feature Nexterra backing, which is UL certified as NSF 140 Platinum and includes post-consumer recycled content.

 

 

 

CBC

Continuing the company’s overall theme of transparency, CBC Flooring’s Halo, Takiron and Ceres brands will all be included as NeoCon highlights. The performance of Ceres Sequoia will be elevated with a new, enhanced construction featuring the high-performance PET technology that had been an industry exclusive to Halo Free. The new Sequoia with PET vs. polyolefin has 30% greater taber abrasion and scratch resistance, a clearer wear layer to enhance the design, better installation properties and reduced lead times. Pricing has also become more competitive.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.05.40 PMFlexco

Celebrating 65 years of business, Flexco continues to tout its Made in the USA products. Base Sculptures is a wall base with appealing aesthetics as well as increased durability, easy installation, moisture resistance and decreased maintenance. With eight different profiles, Base Sculptures possesses the qualities of real wood without the high price tag or time-consuming finishing process. The collection is offered in 40-foot seamless rolls with three profiles that include color-coordinated corner blocks. Base Sculptures is FloorScore and SCS certified.

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.09.47 PMForbo

Marmoleum Modular is a naturally sustainable tile collection comprised of 44 colors and three coordinated sizes designed to mix and match for endless design possibilities. Available in 10 x 10, 20 x 20 and unique 10 x 20 rectangular tiles, Marmoleum Modular is currently the only floor tile that is USDA Bio-Preferred Certified 100% biobased. Made from natural, renewable ingredients, it features inherent antimicrobial and antistatic properties that improve indoor air quality and resist bacteria growth without chemical additives.

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.06.09 PMFreeFit

FreeFit will highlight its new 6 x 48 Intaglio RW filled-in-cracked wood visuals, as well as 12 x 24 Rectangulo tiles. In addition, its 18 x 18 HDCT (hi-definition carpet tiles) will be displayed. In terms of product features, FreeFit will focus on its virgin vinyl core. The company’s offerings do not contain recycled filler material, nor do they contain harmful phthalates like DOP and DEHP. This also provides exceptional flexibility and weight, allowing the floors to both contour to and conceal subfloor imperfections. Due to FreeFit products’ pure construction, they are also antibacterial by design and fully recyclable. Products from the company can be loose laid using only FreeFit’s Gecko Tape (or approved adhesives) to secure the perimeter, or full spread for commercial environments.

 

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.07.33 PMInterface

The premise behind Human Nature, a new global collection, is that workplace interiors inspired by nature can inspire innovative thinking. Biomimicry and biophilia are highlighted influences, and the collection’s five tiles speak to natural design both aesthetically and in terms of diverse touch. Made with 100% recycled content nylon yarn, Human Nature will be manufactured on four continents in six Interface factories that are, on average, 39% more energy efficient and consume 83% less water than when the company began to rethink its impact on the environment two decades ago. Additionally, these facilities now receive an average 35% of their energy from renewable sources.

 

 

 

 

 


Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.08.32 PMJ+J/Invision

The focus at NeoCon will be the Bespoke collection, which will be displayed in the company’s “London Calling”-themed space. The line will come in three styles, two in broadloom and modular and one in broadloom only. Targeting the high-end, corporate segment, Invision is highlighting the very crisp, bold colors and design of Bespoke. A new plank modular collection to coordinate with Bespoke is Inception, which will stray from historically popular 24 x 24 and 18 x 18 sizes. All products are NSF 140 certified.

 

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.09.19 PMJohnsonite

New products at NeoCon 2014 include Minerality, a rubber tile and plank, and GemStone solid vinyl tile (SVT), which is ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and FloorScore certified, and is part of the Johnsonite ReStart Recycling and Reclamation Program. In addition, new textures will be added to Johnsonite’s extensive line of rubber tiles — Brushed, Concrete and Leather Textured. Lastly, Melodia 2.0 and Aria 2.0 homogenous vinyl sheet and tile flooring update the existing Melodia and Aria collections with an expanded color palette.

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.10.24 PMKarndean

Karndean will use NeoCon to highlight its Opus, Art Select Woods and LooseLay collections. Designed with commercial specifications in mind, Opus features large-format floor tiles and wood effect planks that are simple to work with and easily installed. Karndean LooseLay is an award-winning, glueless line that features 12 plank and eight stone designs. LooseLay is ideal for commercial applications and is 100% recyclable. Art Select Woods includes realistic wood visuals, handcrafted textures and intricate grains. All products have low VOCs and adhesives are free from harmful emissions.

 

 

 

Mannington Commercial

Two products will serve as the focal point at NeoCon: Enlighten, a PVC-free homogeneous sheet offering, and Design Local, a modular carpet tile collection. Enlighten is a polyolefin/rubber homogeneous composite sheet that provides a high-performance, PVC-free solution for healthcare environments. It delivers through-chip construction, low maintenance, greater comfort underfoot, easy installation and enhanced acoustical properties. In addition, Enlighten contains 5% post-consumer recycled content, 4% rapidly renewable content and has FloorScore and NSF/ANSI-332 Gold certification. To develop Design Local, Mannington teamed with 18 members of the A&D community in Seattle, Nashville and Philadelphia to create a collection of coordinating carpets inspired by each city. Design Local is backed on rEvolve thermoplastic polyolefin or InfinityRE Modular; EPDs have been issued for both backings.

Metroflor

NeoCon will mark the launch of Aspecta, a new global brand from Metroflor that focuses on the architecture and interior design community. The brand includes a range of 56 wood grain planks and 50 stone and abstract tile floors developed for the global design community. The dry-back flooring offers a breadth of design expression spanning metal, abstract, solid hues, concrete, and wood and stone visuals, enhanced by the authentic textures.  Aspecta views sustainability as a fourth pillar of excellence in the luxury vinyl flooring business (with design, color and texture as the first three). The plant in which Aspecta is produced has attained ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 for tiles and planks, which together with their adhesives are FloorScore certified to assure strict quality standards and good indoor air quality.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.11.04 PMMohawk Group

With four product launches, one particular introduction that stands out is Breaking Form, a modular carpet collection offered in 12 x 36 planks. The company collaborated with architect and designer Mac Stopa, whose innovative designs feature bold colors and three-dimensional patterns. Breaking Form is made with DuraColor nylon fiber technology with 30% recycled content and EcoFlex ICT premium vinyl modular backing system, which includes 35% pre-consumer recycled content and is Gold NSF/ANSI-140 certified. Additional products that will be unveiled at NeoCon include Why Y—also designed with Stopa—a new LVT collection with a unique Y shape, offered in 18 x 18 tiles; Simply Tailored, Karastan Contract’s latest broadloom line, and New Vintage, a modular plank offering with 12 x 36 selections.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.11.23 PMPacifiCrest

Three dynamic cut loop products that will be showcased at NeoCon are Lava, Molten and Ember. The line includes three coordinating patterns created from Ultron Ombré nylon 6,6 in a 25-color palette. Lava is a tribute to igneous rock created by cooled lava, and Molten takes its inspiration from a molten lava flow. Ember is reminiscent of the glowing ash of a smoldering fire. PacifiCrest carpet is third-party certified to CRI Green Label Plus standards.

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.11.45 PMParterre Flooring Systems

Parterre will launch a new resilient plank called Vertu. The collection features 33 new designs that embody the artistry of nature and weathered wood designs. These designs, named after famous artists and pieces, can either accent bolder patterns or create a neutral, inviting commercial space. Parterre’s products are made with 25% post-consumer and 20% post-industrial recycled material.

 

 

Patcraft

Patcraft will unveil a new collection (name TBA) that offers designers the opportunity to mix hard and soft surface products in a way that has never been available before. Created specifically for multi-faceted, high-demand collaborative spaces, the design enables spaces to be designed with mixed materials and shifting shapes, providing unique alternatives for the commercial market to define spaces where only walls and furniture have been able to do so in the past. This modular offering is constructed using EcoWorx backing, the industry’s first 100% non-PVC backing system, emitting low VOCs and contributing to LEED project certification. The collection’s resilient selection is made of 22% recycled content.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.12.12 PMRoppe

Five products will be highlighted at NeoCon: Health & Learning rubber and vinyl tile, Marble Fiesta rubber tile, Northern Timbers vinyl plank, Hammered Marble rubber tile and Pinnacle Plus rubber wall base. The company’s products offer a wide range of environmental benefits, including FloorScore certification, CHPS (Certified in Healthcare Privacy and Security) and meeting NSF 332 criteria. Visitors at the booth will have the ability to navigate the company’s website to help interested designers and potential customers easily find the product details they need—from LEED information and the Flooring Designer function to seeing products in action.

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.12.32 PMTandus Centiva

Thin Lines modular carpet tile will be launched at NeoCon. Building off classic geometry, Thin Lines brings sophisticated line work to the next level, intentionally using pattern as a way to connect spaces. Using a classic neutral palette against intense color play, the installation methods are unlimited. Thin Lines is 100% recyclable through Tandus Centiva’s closed-loop recycling program. It is also constructed using Aquafil’s Econyl fiber, a 100% recycled BCF nylon — 50% pre-consumer and 50% post. The company will also introduce an Environmental and Health Statement (EHS) on ethos, a backing option for its Modular and Powerbond platforms. Ethos is made from recycled PVB, which is an abundantly available waste film from post-consumer windshields and safety glass.

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.12.50 PMUpofloor

Upofloor will expand its PVC-free range of products with new designs and sizes in sheet, tiles and planks. It will also highlight the world’s premiere Quartz line with 83 designer options in marbled, chipped and unicolor designs. According to the company, Upofloor’s strongest attribute is quality. Its products are environmentally sound: Upofloor Quartz Tile consists mostly of natural raw materials, and the use of plasticizers is minimal. Only biobased, nontoxic and phthalate-free options are accepted, ensuring extremely low emissions into indoor air and the ability to be recycled.

 

 

 

 

USFContract

In illustration of its “bigger, bolder, better” theme, USFContract will introduce several new products. Stratum XL is the latest in engineered luxury vinyl plank, extending the company’s Stratum ELV line. Stratum XL is the longest and widest vinyl plank available, measuring 9 x 72. Stratum ELV will now have a broader assortment of visuals and decors in the 500 series with 5 x 48 planks; the 700 series, measuring 7 x 48, and a first-to-market format of 18 x 24 tiles with the 1800 series. USFContract has also extended the Citadel Collection with Palisades, which features the industry’s biggest plank at 10¼inches wide and a little more than 9 feet long. All Stratum ELV and Stratum XL products are Greenguard Gold certified, while all floors in the Palisades collection are 100% FSC Pure.

 

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Distributor appointments

Volume 27/Number 23; March 17/24, 2014

Wood Pro, Custom Wholesale Floors expand into LVT with FreeFit

Auburn, Mass.—Wood Pro, headquartered here, and its affiliate Custom Wholesale Floors, headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., have signed exclusive agreements to distribute FreeFit LVT throughout their territories. The combined distributorships, which previously focused on wood flooring, operate out of 12 locations and service territories spanning between Maine and Connecticut in the Northeast and from North Carolina to Florida in the Southeast.

“Adding FreeFit allows us to differentiate ourselves from the competition in a market segment that is growing,” said Tony Benvenuti, CEO, Wood Pro/Custom Wholesale Floors. “We couldn’t ignore LVT any longer, but we didn’t want a commodity product. As experts in wood flooring, we have already established a customer base that will see the complimentary nature of an easy-to-install, waterproof floor.”

IVC US, Denver Hardwood partner

Dalton—IVC US will partner with Denver Hardwood to distribute its Moduleo luxury vinyl tile and plank (LVT) flooring. Based out of Denver, Denver Hardwood services various locations in the Rocky Mountain region, including Colorado, New Mexico and southeastern Wyoming.

“Moduleo has made a splash in the market since its launch last year, and we are looking forward to contributing to its growing reputation and success,” said Enos Farnsworth, president of Denver Hardwood.

The partnership followed IVC US’s announcement of its plans to build the largest LVT plant in North America. “Their investment coupled with the strength of Denver Hardwood is sure to be a winning combination,” Farnsworth said.

RA Siegel to carry Urban Floor products

City of Industry, Calif.—Urban Floor has added The RA Siegel Co. in Mableton, Ga., as its exclusive distributor in Georgia, Alabama and Florida. R.A Siegel will carry Urban Floor’s full product lineup, which includes the Urban Lifestyle Collection, comprised of four different series; Mountain Country Collection, a hand-crafted line that carries a sense of Old West individualism; Welcome Home Collection, which offers a value price; Royal Court Collection, offering a unique look in multiple widths; Presidential Signature Collection, offering a vintage feel; Villa Caprisi Collection, inspired by Italian design and flair, and the Composer Collection, which captures the look and feel of reclaimed hardwood floors.

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FreeFit shows commitment to autism care

Volume 27/Number 23; March 17/24, 2014

By Steven Feldman

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 4.08.35 PMStudies show that consumers are more inclined to do business with companies that support a cause that resonates with them, especially when price and quality are equal. This is one reason many business entities regularly publish corporate social responsibility reports for all to see. Continue reading FreeFit shows commitment to autism care

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A look back: Retailers hail 2013’s top introductions

Volume 27/Number 21; March 3/10, 2014

By Ken Ryan

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 10.38.45 AMThe lifeblood of any flooring retailer’s success consists of uniquely different products that provide an opportunity to make money. Fortunately for many dealers, 2013 was a good year in that regard, as distinctive products across all flooring surfaces sparked consumers’ interest and generated greater selling opportunities.

FCNews spoke with several retailers about some of their top-selling products in 2013. Continue reading A look back: Retailers hail 2013’s top introductions

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Resilient Floating Floor Guide: LVT suppliers offer dealers many options

By Ken Ryan

Feb. 17/24 2014, Volume 27/number 21

The growth of luxury vinyl tile is making it more difficult than ever to stand out from the pack. That reality merely serves to motivate R&D departments in developing feature-rich offerings for distributors and dealers.

The opportunity that exists in the growing LVT market is what prompted Beaulieu, for example, to enter the category in 2013. Beaulieu is just the latest of more than a dozen resilient flooring companies working to differentiate their LVT offerings—whether by locking system, price or visual appeal.

Following is a look at some of the newest offerings in the resilient floating floor category:

Armstrong

Product/collection: Luxe Plank/Tile; Duality; CushionStep

Floating floor type: Luxe Plank/Tile, FasTak installation; Duality, loose lay or glue-down; CushionStep, modified loose lay or glue-down with either releasable or permanent adhesive

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 1.07.58 PMRetail price range: Luxe Plank/Tile, $3.99-$5.29 per square foot; Duality,  $3.29-$3.99 per square foot; CushionStep, $1.99-$2.99 per square foot with either releasable or permanent adhesive

About the product: Positioned as the ideal flooring choice for home or business, the designs of Luxe Plank and Luxe Tile replicate the color, texture and fine detail found in authentic hardwood and natural stone. Topped with a rugged urethane wearlayer, Luxe Plank and Luxe Tile are engineered to resist scratches, scuffs and stains in light commercial settings. Armstrong’s  FasTak installation allows the floor to be walked on immediately.

Additionally, Duality offers high-definition designs with MasterWorks technology along with CleanSweep G that provides ease of cleaning, and superior stain and antimicrobial protection. The ToughGuard Flex layer enhances durability.

With CushionStep, a CushionCore construction adds to the product’s warmth and comfort level.

 

Beaulieu

Product/collection: Good Vibrations, Timeless Charm

Floating floor type: Välinge 2G locking system

Retail price range: $4.99-$5.99 per square foot

About the product: Good Vibrations, which comes in a 12 x 24 aged-weathered plank, targets the consumer who is less concerned about price than style and design. “It is about price but it is also about aesthetics,” said Paul Dominie, national sales manager. “A man might buy an ugly floor because it is cheap, but a woman won’t buy an ugly floor.”

Dominie said Beaulieu “can’t keep up” with the request for Good Vibrations and Timeless Charm, which were on display at Surfaces. Samples will be out in the next three weeks. “Dealers really loved the look,” he said.

Cryntel

Product/collection: EZLay, FreeGrip

Floating floor type: EZLay, releasable product; FreeGrip, loose lay

Retail price range: $2.99-$3.99 per square foot

About the product: EZLay is available in 6 x 36 and 6 x 48 x .098 gauge planks; tile sizes are 12 x 12, 18 x 18, and 12 x 24 x .098 gauge. Any piece of EZLay can be lifted and refitted, and it installs over most subfloors.

FreeGrip Stay n’ Place plank and tile, which is available in the same dimensions as EZLay, does not require glue or paper and can be laid on most subfloors. Both products come with a UV-cured polyurethane coating and pure virgin vinyl construction. “It’s an extremely versatile product,” said Barron Frith, vice president and general manager.

EarthWerks

Product/collection: EarthWerks Loose Lay Aurora Collection, LinkWerks Rapid Clic

Floating floor type: Aurora, loose lay; LinkWerks, Unilin click

Retail price range:  Varies

About the product: LinkWerks and EarthWerks Loose Lay have been an integral part of EarthWerks’ business.

The EarthWerks Loose Lay Aurora Collection requires no locking mechanism or need for full-field adhesive, so it can be easily removed and reused elsewhere. LinkWerks Rapid Clic is designed to meet unusual subfloor challenges, said Jonathan Train, vice president of EarthWerks. “LinkWerks Rapid Clic is a complicated product to make and quality is paramount. The formulation of our core is critical and we pride ourselves on having the best in the industry. In fact, we are so confident in our recipe that we do not require fiberglass, unlike most other producers of click LVT.”

Both EarthWerks Loose Lay Aurora and LinkWerks Rapid Clic are commercially rated.

FloorFolio

Product/collection: FloorFolio Click

Floating floor type: Click

Retail price range: Approximately $2.50 per square foot

About the product: FloorFolio Click is a 4mm product with a 12 mil wearlayer. Part of the Timber collection, this is the first click product introduced by FloorFolio.

“True to FloorFolio’s values, this product will be well-styled and competitively priced,” said Michael Freedman, president and CEO.

FloorFolio plans on offering its click product in various styles and patterns within its complete LVT collection in the near future.

FreeFit

Product/collection: FreeFit

Floating floor type: Loose lay, perimeter secured or fully adhered

Retail price range: $2.50-$5.00 per square foot

About the product: FreeFit’s commercial collections are 4mm thick, with a 20mil wearlayer; planks are 6 x 36 and tiles are 18 x 18.Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 1.13.52 PM Residential products are 3.2mm thick with a 12mil wearlayer. They come textured, knotted and embossed-in-register in a 6 x 36 plank.

Hallmark

Product/collection: Hallmark San Simeon

Floating floor type: EZ Loc Unilin locking system

Retail price range: $3.69 per square foot

About the product: San Simeon is a 7 x 48, 4mm thick, 20 mil wearlayer product finished with the company’s Surface Guardian Pro UV-cured ceramic finish, which includes the antimicrobial agent Nanocontrol. The product features domestic visuals and reclaimed looks with an embossed-in-register texturing that enhances the realism of the product. San Simeon comes with a lifetime residential and 10-year commercial warranty.

IVC

Product/collection: Moduleo, Flexitec

Floating floor type: Moduleo: luxury vinyl planks and tiles, click system; Flexitec: luxury fiberglass sheet vinyl, loose lay up to 25 yards

Retail price range: Moduleo, $3.29-$3.89; Flexitec, $1.11-$2.66

About the product: Both Moduleo and Flexitec are 100% water resistant, and they also resist scratches, scuffs, stains and indentations. In addition, Moduleo by IVC US features a double fiberglass core for maximum dimensional stability. High-definition printing techniques and embossing technology give Moduleo LVT the look and feel of natural materials. Extra-large formats and technical innovation used during the Moduleo printing process help eliminate pattern repeats, allowing a greater variety of planks and tiles to refashion the individuality of nature.

The 2014 Flexitec VI collection includes new and fresh on-trend patterns, designs and colors, and is considered suitable for active households.

Karndean

Product/collection: LooseLay

Floating floor type: Loose lay

Retail price range: $5.09 per square foot

About the product: Karndean Designflooring’s LooseLay LVT product features a glueless format that is easy to install due to its non-stick backing system.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 1.15.45 PMMannington

Product/collection: Adura Luxury Vinyl Flooring

Floating floor type: Luxury Vinyl Planks (traditional Plank and Distinctive Plank), LockSolid locking system

Retail price range: $3.99–$5.49 per square foot

About the product: Adura offers the award-winning styling that Mannington is known for, in a floor that’s as durable as it is aesthetically pleasing. LockSolid, the company’s patented locking system, is the only locking system with a no-gap guarantee. Planks are available in a variety of sizes—4 x 36, 5 x 48 and 6 x 48.

Metroflor

Product/collection: Engage; Metroflor Dryback

Floating floor type: Engage, Uniclic; Metroflor Dryback, dry back

Retail price range: Engage, $3.76-$6.36 per square foot, depending on product; Dryback, $1.68-$5.42 per square foot

About the product: Engage locking LVT by Metroflor offers a solid vinyl floating floor solution for residential and commercial applications. The line presents a broad range of authentic wood and stone looks that can be installed directly over most existing hard surfaces quickly and efficiently with Uniclic locking technology.

Engage will transition some existing collections to a new Unifit locking profile and introduce a long plank format (8.66 x 48½).  A new entry-level 4.0mm plank named Premier will become the “good” series in a good (premier)/better (essentials)/best (select) program.

Metroflor’s branded Metroflor luxury resilient plank and tile is ready to launch. It is a multi-width, 20 mil product in 5 x 7 widths with a micro-beveled edge. An 8 mil Crescent Edge product, Metroflor-branded selections present an upgraded specification in both performance and aesthetics to the current 6 mil offering.

Mohawk

Product/collection: Simplesse

Floating floor type: Uniclic

Retail price range $3.49-$3.99 per square foot

About the product: Made from 100% virgin vinyl material, Simplesse is ideal for high-traffic living areas due to its dent and scratchScreen Shot 2014-02-24 at 1.17.15 PM resistance. The collection features Mohawk’s patented Uniclic technology, which allows for fast, easy, worry-free installation. Simplesse planks click into place and can be installed quickly, which the company said helps retailers close the sale with customers who are on a deadline.

Raskin Industries

Product/collection: Elevations, Loft

Floating floor type: Floating

Retail price range: Elevations, $4.99 per square foot; Loft, $3.99 per square foot

About the product: The success of Elevations (5mm thick), which was introduced two years ago, has been the catalyst for launching Loft, Raskin Industries’ newest floating LVT.

“Elevations was our first entry into the perimeter glue/loose lay product category and has proven to be a quality product because of the fiberglass sheet,” said John Hunter, vice president of sales. “Loft (4mm thick) will now primarily target the residential customer.” Hunter noted that the product’s rounded edge offers a grouted feature that consumers are requesting.

Shaw

Product/collection: Park Avenue from 5th & Main Collection

Floating floor type: Shaw’s Versalock floating plank

Retail price range:  $5.50 per square foot

About the product: Before it was installed at heavily trafficked Grand Central Terminal during the holiday season—part of Shaw Industries’ Red Carpet sponsorship—the company’s Park Avenue LVT first had to undergo rigorous testing to make sure it was traffic worthy.

“We were excited but not surprised with our Park Avenue product performing at Grand Central,” said Clark Hodgkins, category manager for resilient. “It has to be one of the most highly tested products. It has exceptional lasting ability and has been very successful in the market.”

Tarkett

Product/collection: Tarkett FiberFloor

Floating floor type: Fiberglass-backed resilient sheet

Retail price range: N/A

About the product: Tarkett’s structured foam technology, Technicore, ensures uniform structure and provides consistency, stability and indentation resistance. FiberFloor is certified asthma and allergy friendly by the Asthma & Allergy Foundation. It is also FloorScore certified and phthalate-free for better indoor air quality.

USFloors

Product/collection: COREtec Plus, COREtec Plus XL

Floating floor type:  Unilin angle/tap profile

Retail price range: COREtec Plus, $4.49-$4.99; COREtec Plus XL, $5.39-$5.99

About the product: Building on USFloors’ successful 2013 introduction of the patent-pending COREtec Plus glueless engineered luxury vinyl plank, the company started 2014 by nearly doubling the number of products in its LVT collection. The expanded assortment includes 5 x 48, 7 x 48 and 12 x 24 tiles, along with a new 18.5 x 24 selection. All products are 8mm thick.

COREtec Plus XL is 72 inches long by 9 inches wide and is 8.3mm thick. Its rustic-to-modern hardwood visuals feature exceptional clarity, a 20 mil commercial wearlayer and two coats of UV-acrylic for added stain resistance. COREtec Plus XL products are Greenguard Gold certified for indoor air quality and backed by lifetime wear/waterproof/structure warranties and a 10-year commercial wear warranty.

Points of differentiation

Armstrong: Top designs, new game-changing installation in luxury vinyl plank

Armstrong offers not one, not two, but four unique vinyl structures to meet virtually any performance and installation need—one that’s right for any lifestyle, décor or budget. Duality is the ultimate in comfort and durability combined into one floor. CushionStep has an unexpected level of comfort and warmth underfoot provided by its CushionCore construction. StrataMax provides the ultimate hard working and stain-resistant floor for the busiest of rooms and its ToughGuard II construction adds an unparalleled level of durability. Armstrong’s Traditional Felt offers best-in-class stain protection combined with ToughGuard durability. The latest in floating resilient floors includes Luxe Plank and Luxe Tile with FasTak installation. A collection that is visually appealing, highly water resistant and incredibly durable, Luxe is an ideal flooring for any home or business. The striking designs replicate the attractive color, texture and fine detail found in authentic hardwood and natural stone. Sturdy fiberglass-reinforced planks and tiles are appropriate for high-moisture areas and are highly resistant to rips, tears and gouges. Topped with a rugged urethane wear layer, Luxe Plank and Tile will resist scratches, scuffs and stains to guarantee floors will look newer longer, even in light commercial settings. And now the beauty and performance of Luxe features brand-new FasTak Installation—the quickest and easiest installation available, with no glue, pads or special tools needed. Simply position the plank or tile and press into place. With FasTak no drying time is required, so the floor can be walked on immediately. Luxe installs smoothly over most existing subfloors, including those with imperfections. The innovative, nylon-infused, pressure-sensitive adhesive allows Luxe to be easily repositioned during installation and then tightly grips/bonds to the subfloor.

Karndean: LooseLay lends itself to customization

An illustration of product innovation is Karndean LooseLay, an award-winning alternative to click LVT and laminate flooring. Taking its place as the most innovative new format of luxury vinyl flooring, Karndean LooseLay is designed for quick and easy installation. Offering superior fitting times, Karndean LooseLay’s unique friction grip backing and increased dimensional stability secures the floor firmly in place without the need for adhesives in many installations. The collection’s large-scale planks and tiles, combined with the fact it’s quick and easy to fit, means reduced installation time and costs. What’s more, Karndean LooseLay can be installed over most hard floors as long as they’re smooth, sound and dust-free. Rather than looking uniform and manufactured, each Karndean plank or tile has its own individual grain and appearance. Consumers can create an even greater individualized floor by laying the planks and tiles at different angles or patterns to create a customized arrangement. Among the distinguishing characteristics of a Karndean floor are the highly customizable product ranges. With 12 planks and eight tiles available, customers have the ability to create and design a floor that is unique to their personal style and space.

FreeFit: Patented, pure construction and versatile

FreeFit is the originator and multi-patent holder of loose lay LVT. The company currently holds three patents on the utilization of geometric patterns and protrusions on the backing of LVT. Composed of virgin vinyl, FreeFit and FreeForm are thick, extremely flexible and contain no harmful phthalates, recycled scrap or filler material of dubious origin, such as recycled Asian tires, power lines and toys. FreeFit is antimicrobial and antibacterial by design as well as Greenguard Children & Schools certified for contributing to the healthiest of indoor environments. Because FreeFit products are 4mm thick and available in 6-inch increments (6, 12, 18, 24, 36 and 48 inches), they can be easily mixed and matched. And because they’re not limited by locking systems or peal-and-stick strips, they can be installed facing any direction, quadrupling their pattern differentiation. When installed by a certified FreeFit installer, FreeFit is protected by an “Anything Goes,” no questions asked, 15-year commercial and limited lifetime residential warranty. FreeFit installs loose laid, perimeter secured or fully adhered depending on site conditions and application. FreeFit and its affiliate GTP Racing auto race team raise funds to support those living with autism. (More on this in an upcoming issue of FCNews.) For more information, call 631.946.9555 or email ray.pina@teamgtp.com.

Shaw Industries: Park Avenue passes the durability test

Park Avenue, a resilient floating plank from the new 5th & Main collection, is applicable for a wide range of residential and commercial installations. The line offers resilient flooring’s simple installation, lasting durability and easy maintenance with diverse design options. Shaw’s 5th & Main collection debuted as part of the performance test at Grand Central Terminal’s Holiday Fair in November 2013. Park Avenue was installed in Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal, giving a fresh look to this iconic building and adding the appearance of fine aged hardwood to the floor. For six weeks, Park Avenue endured an extreme durability test. The result? It is still beautiful and still an excellent resilient flooring choice. With Park Avenue, Shaw’s resilient-vinyl plank floors create warm, inviting rooms. These planks are designed for heavy-traffic areas and stand up to the toughest real-life tests, the company said, even Grand Central. Installation is easy and quick, thanks to Shaw’s innovative no-glue option—VersaLock AG technology. In VersaLock AG styles, planks are laid directly over the subfloor with minimal floor prep and no messy adhesives. They simply lock together. The VersaLock system makes this style an easy remodeling or first flooring adventure. Shaw’s Park Avenue resilient flooring is a no-fuss solution to many flooring needs. It offers high style without high-drama maintenance, the company said, and is extremely durable. Other Shaw resilient flooring offerings are available using VersaLok AG technology.

USFloors: Sound and secure installation

What distinguishes USFloors’ COREtec Plus and COREtec Plus XL engineered luxury vinyl floors from ordinary glue down and solid locking LVT floors is the patent-pending construction. COREtec Plus floors are waterproof and durable like vinyl, yet rigid and easy enough for a single mechanic to install like laminate. The rigid plank of COREtec Plus eliminates subfloor telegraphing that can result in a floor with the wavy appearance that often appears in glue down and solid locking LVT installations, thus resulting in a dissatisfied end user. The rigidity of the 8mm thick COREtec Plus plank also makes it easier for the installer to handle, especially when installing a COREtec Plus XL plank that measures 6 feet long by 9 inches wide, minimizing the time it takes to install the floor. The company’s new angle/tap glueless installation profile provides a sound and secure installation that is intended to achieve minimal callbacks. Gary Keeble, product and marketing manager, said the extruded high density, waterproof core is dimensionally stable under normal conditions, removes the need to have transition strips every 30 feet in large areas, thus eliminating the trip hazards presented by unsightly t-molds required by ordinary floating floors. Keeble added that COREtec Plus and COREtec Plus XL engineered luxury vinyl floors are unlike all of the run-of-the-mill LVT floors that are flooding the flooring market and driving prices to a commodity level. COREtec Plus and COREtec Plus XL allow retailers to further capitalize on this exploding category by presenting consumers with a new, innovative, feature-rich and profitable LVT product.

EarthWerks: Continuing to stay ahead of the curve with multiple formats

Experience. Availability. Reliability. That is what EarthWerks believes differentiates its LVT from the competition. Considered one of the pioneers in LVT, EarthWerks has more than three decades of experience in innovating, designing and producing LVT. That gives the company—along with its distributors and retailers—a very large advantage. EarthWerks continues to bring new and innovative product to the market and stay ahead of the curve. Today, the company stocks upwards of 300 SKUs in LVT in the United States, which means a customer can find the quality she wants, whether commercial or residential, order it and know she can get it quickly, instead of finding out it can take months. At Surfaces 2014, EarthWerks’ Loose Lay Aurora Collection was the company’s focus. Quieter to walk on than ceramic, laminate or hardwood, and warmer and softer under your feet, it is impervious to moisture and spills, and is 100% recyclable. Aurora has been engineered with the company’s special backing and a glass fiber reinforcement layer creating additional dimensional stability. It is made with EarthWerks’ Tuff Shield, a double-coating method that adds extra strength to its urethane protectant coating. Because of EarthWerks’ special construction and coatings, maintenance is a snap; simply sweep and damp mop. And if damaged, it is easily repaired–pop one plank out, pop another one in. In addition, LinkWerks from EarthWerks continues as a leader in the glueless locking, floating floor category. Utilizing the patented Unilin click system, the Rapid Clic Collection continues to deliver high performance as a solution to unusual subfloor challenges in commercial and residential situations. Aurora and LinkWerks: Loose lay technology and click technology with the quality and availability customers demand.

Metroflor: Style meet substance in full range of applications

Metroflor’s LVT products run the gamut of specification, installation and price/value options. To that end, dealers can offer their customers the most appropriate—and profitable—Metroflor LVT solution for every job in every category: grip-strip, clic and loose lay. If a customer feels grip-strip is the fastest and easiest way to install LVT, dealers don’t have to persuade them otherwise with Metroflor. If clic is more advantageous or loose lay is the optimal solution, Metroflor offers all three solutions under one umbrella—with the company’s signature quality, style, price and performance. Where speed, value and ease of installation are driving factors, there’s Konecto grip-strip. Faster and less complicated, it’s frequently installed in multi-family and dormitory environments. Konecto is also built to last with a tough ceramic bead finish appropriate for virtually every environment, including healthcare. For residential, commercial, retail or corporate environments, many look to Metroflor’s Engage brand: an early entrant in the clic arena. Utilizing virgin vinyl and fiberglass stabilizing layers, Engage’s authentic wood and stone looks can be installed directly over most existing hard surfaces quickly and efficiently. Traditional dryback LVT has universal appeal both residentially and commercially. Metroflor’s branded Metroflor resilient flooring offers one of the finest alternatives to wood, ceramic and stone with sophisticated designs, tough wearlayers and finishes, and inherent moisture resistance, according to the company. Whether it’s grip strip, clic or dryback, Metroflor said it consistently delivers performance, design and profitability for industry partners who know they can count on the company every step of the way.

Mannington: Technology gives company a ‘lock’ on floating floors

In 2010, Mannington introduced LockSolid technology into its line of Adura Luxury Floors. This revolutionary technology, coupled with Mannington’s award-winning styles and designs, created what has been called “the best-performing floating luxury vinyl. Ever!” Since then, the LockSolid method has been implemented on dozens of Mannington’s Adura plank and tile designs. Utilizing Mannington’s extensive locking system experience, Adura with LockSolid technology delivers superior joint and shear strength. This proprietary locking system is fully licensed and patented. In fact, it’s the only locking system that comes with a No-Gap Guarantee. “The exceptional strength of the joint in a LockSolid product alleviates the inherent problems of the adhesive-based floating systems currently on the market,” said Ed Duncan, senior vice president of residential marketing at Mannington. Those familiar with the simplicity of today’s laminate locking system will also find Adura with LockSolid technology very easy to install in that there are no heavy tools, adhesives or underlayments required. And it installs more than 50% faster than traditional glue- down floors, Mannington said. Consumers love LockSolid, according to Mannington, not only because it uses no glues (thus, no odor), but because the floor can be put into service immediately after installation. To help demonstrate the ease of installation, Mannington has created a video, available on mannington.com and via the Mannington Flooring channel on YouTube: youtube.com/manningtonflooring.

Mohawk: Simplesse offers easy installation, unmatched durability, cutting-edge style

In response to heightened demand and preference for the product category, Mohawk has developed an assortment of LVT products within its Simplesse collection that feature innovative installation methods, durability options and style. Mohawk has a reputation for introducing products that employ the most innovative technologies in the flooring industry, and Simplesse is no exception. It utilizes Mohawk’s patented Uniclic technology, which the company said outpaces all other glueless locking systems in reliability and joint integrity. Consumers gravitate to the fact that Simplesse is not only aesthetically appealing but also durable. In addition to an array of fashion-forward hardwood and tile looks, it’s a good choice for high-traffic areas because it offers superior dent and scratch resistance. Also, because Simplesse is highly resistant to moisture, it can be installed anywhere, even in areas where there can be standing water like kitchens and bathrooms. This versatility appeals to consumers. Mohawk’s Simplesse is FloorScore certified, meaning it meets the indoor air quality emissions criteria of LEED, CHPS, the Green Guide for Health Care, and is recognized by a long list of healthy building programs. Simplesse is manufactured with 100% virgin vinyl containing no recycled content, which is a major benefit Mohawk retailers can leverage with their customers. Many competitive LVT products contain heavy metals, mercury and harmful chemicals, which can be found in recycled content. This gives retailers peace of mind when they sell Simplesse because consumers can have complete confidence that the Mohawk LVT floors are safe for their families.

 

 

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FreeFit: Educating industry on loose lay is priority No. 1

St. Peter’s University in Jersey City, N.J., recently  installed 15,000 square feet of FreeFit.
St. Peter’s University in Jersey City, N.J., recently
installed 15,000 square feet of FreeFit.

January 6/13, 2014; Volume 27/Number 18

About five years ago the U.S. market was introduced to a new type of luxury vinyl tile: a true loose-lay product where no adhesive was required. The brand was FreeFit, and since its introduction others have rolled out competing products.

The company last year broke the mold once more when, in its search for a vice president of sales and marketing, it tapped Ray Pina, whose 13 years as a trade publication editor covering the resilient category gives him a unique perspective that an industry “insider” may lack. FCNews recently sat down with Pina to discuss FreeFit and some little known but important aspects of LVT. Continue reading FreeFit: Educating industry on loose lay is priority No. 1

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FreeFit cleared for third U.S. patent

Hong Kong — FreeFit, the original line of loose lay luxury vinyl tiles and planks, has been granted a “notice of allowance” for a third U.S. patent, according Samuel Apicelli, patent attorney and partner at Philadelphia-based Duane Morris.

FreeFit was awarded its first U.S. patent for non-skid-backed loose lay LVT in October 2012. On Sept. 1, 2013, FreeFit was granted a second patent protecting the use of diverse geometric shapes for non-skid, glueless and clickless installations. The third and most recent patent, expected to be finalized this spring, protects the use of all protrusions on the back of flooring – including those utilizing adhesives – for use in non-skid, loose lay installations.

“The examiner has allowed this patent, which is yet another variation of the FreeFit technology,” Apicelli said. “ I expect this third patent to issue within the next few months.”

FreeFit CEO and inventor Dave Reichwein said, “Our only interest is to keep developing patented, innovative technologies that make a real difference.”

Depending on the work environment, FreeFit can be completely loose laid, perimeter secured or fully adhered in both residential and commercial environments.

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FreeFit granted second loose lay LVT patent

Sept. 16/23 2013, Volume 27/number 11

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 11.24.08 AMHong Kong—FreeFit has been granted a second U.S. patent, broadening its intellectual property related to loose lay luxury vinyl tile (LVT), according to Samuel Apicelli, a leading patent attorney and partner at Philadelphia-based Duane Morris. FreeFit was granted its first loose lay LVT patent Oct. 31, 2012, which covers the symmetric, self-grip rings employed on the back of its phthalate-free virgin vinyl core. This most recent patent, granted Sept. 1, covers the entire range of geometric possibilities being employed by newcomers into the loose lay LVT market, including triangles, diamonds and wavy lines, Apicelli said. Continue reading FreeFit granted second loose lay LVT patent