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Armstrong Flooring launches Paragon solid hardwood

Armstrong Flooring Paragaon Solid Hardwood 4Lancaster, Pa.—Armstrong Flooring is revolutionizing the hardwood flooring industry with the introduction of Paragon solid hardwood with Diamond 10 technology, offering the timeless beauty of genuine hardwood and the ultimate in scratch resistance.

Paragon hardwood is made from 100% solid Appalachian wood and offers today’s most in-demand wood colors and textures. The collection features a variety of choices in both high- and low-gloss finishes. Three popular looks include smooth hardwood, for a timeless, consistently beautiful look; scraped, for richly textured floors that are full of character and built for rugged durability; and brushed, planks that are textured by gently removing the soft portion of the wood for a natural visual full of depth. All Paragon floors come with a lifetime limited residential warranty.

Martha King, world champion competitive wood chopper, is the brand ambassador for Paragon in Armstrong Flooring’s “The Floor is Yours” campaign, which includes television commercials on HGTV, digital advertisements, social media content and in-person activations. Whether selecting, chopping, cutting or generally imposing her will on wood, Martha perfectly represents the refined beauty and world-class toughness of Armstrong Flooring hardwood.

For more information, visit powerofparagon.com.

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NWFA Wood Floor of the Year contest accepting applications

 

NWFA new 2013 (4-C) 2St. Louis—The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) recently opened the application process for the 28th annual Wood Floor of the Year contest. Recognized as the “Academy Awards” of the wood flooring industry, this competition celebrates innovation and quality craftsmanship in wood floor installations.

“Over the years, we have had the honor of presenting more than 200 awards to the artists and craftsmen behind these incredible floors,” said Michael Martin, president and CEO. “We are looking forward to showcasing these remarkable floors once again during our 2018 Expo in Tampa.”

This year’s awards will include the following categories:

  • Best Restoration/Makeover: Entries in this category include all types of restorations, repairs or refinishes, in either a residential or commercial application. Applications can include jobsite finished, manufacturer finished, solid or engineered wood flooring.
  • Best Color & Finish Application: Entries in this category include jobsite-applied applications of dyes, reactive colorants, layered colors and faux finishing.
  • Best Circular/Curved Application: Entries in this category include any circular shape within a flooring system, such as circles, ovals, curves and bent material. Applications can include jobsite finished, manufacturer finished, solid or engineered wood flooring.
  • Best Parquet/Inlay Application: Entries in this category include any parquet pattern, medallion, marquetry or intarsia inlay. CNC and laser cut applications are acceptable, but must be identified.
  • Best Textured Wood Application: Entries in this category may include scraped, wire-brushed, distressed or any surface that is not traditional flat. Applications can include jobsite finished, manufacturer finished, solid or engineered wood flooring.

NWFA also will recognize the Members’ Choice Award. All entries submitted will be eligible to receive this award, which will be presented to the floor that receives the popular vote among NWFA members.

New this year, a Best of Social Media award will be featured. The floors will be featured on NWFA’s social channels, allowing followers to share, like and comment on their favorite. The floor receiving the most engagement will receive this award.

The NWFA has updated the submission period to Oct. 1-Nov. 30. This will provide adequate time for the judging process and time to correspond with winners prior to the public reveal at the NWFA Expo in Tampa, Fla., April 11-14, 2018.

For more information and to submit an entry, visit nwfa.org/wfoy.

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Wood: U.S. ‘domestic exotics’ broaden their appeal

September 11/18, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 7

By Reginald Tucker

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-15 at 3.46.08 PMAs demand for certain “tropical exotic” hardwood floors softens in the U.S., the popularity of several domestic exotic species has been steadily rising, industry observers say. While there continues to be niche market opportunities for tropical species such as Brazilian cherry, Santos mahogany and the like, more American consumers are leaning toward homegrown species such as birch, hickory and walnut, manufacturers say.

One of the primary drivers behind the market shift, which began in earnest about 10-12 years ago, is a change in preference of wood plank formats and construction. Many tropical exotics—known for their density and durability—perform well and look great. However, trends in the U.S. have leaned toward more textured, rustic and casual looks whereas many exotics convey a more formal, smooth appearance, experts say. Today tropical imported exotics tend to perform well in niche, regional markets as opposed to national, wide-scale acceptance.

Observers say the rapid rise in popularity of wider, longer planks also contributed to increased consumption of domestic exotic species. As manufacturers tell it, many of these popular looks such as birch, hickory and walnut lend themselves to extra long planks and wider boards. The reason being: wider, longer boards naturally show much more of the variation and character inherent in a lot of these domestic exotic species. Combine that with the incorporation of various surface texture techniques such as hand scraping, wire brushing and cerusing, and you have a winning recipe.

“Consumer preference continues to move toward wider and longer on the engineered side,” said Dan Natkin, vice president, hardwood and laminates, Mannington. “Demand for these types of products has really driven some changes, both in terms of investment in the U.S. as well as products sold in the market.”

Following are some of the U.S. domestic exotic products trending today.

American OEM
In keeping with its “Made-in-the-USA” mantra, American OEM offers popular domestic species, including hickory—both rotary peeled and sliced face—and walnut. The company sources classic hardwood from sustainably managed forests across North America. It then creates flooring products designed to showcase the rich natural colors, textures and features of each species. “When consumers buy our American-made hardwood, they can be sure they are buying the best flooring possible at a value unmatched in the industry,” said Allie Finkell, executive vice president.

Armstrong
Armstrong adds engineered hickory to its Prime Harvest and American Scrape collections. Featuring a range of colors, Prime Harvest easily coordinates with furniture, wall colors and other décor elements.

Conversely, American Scrape’s rustic texture complements hickory’s distinctive graining and knots. Additional Armstrong hardwood offerings—including Rustic Restorations and Woodland Relics—feature hickory and/or walnut and birch.

Johnson Hardwood
Popular species like birch and hickory populate the Frontier and Pacific Coast collections from Johnson Hardwood. Frontier’s offering consists of four colors in birch (Homestead, Tomahawk, Dakota and Bison), while Pacific Coast features eight colors covering a wide spectrum. Both are available in 5-inch-wide planks.

Mannington
Hickory and walnut species permeate several popular collections from Mannington, including the namesake American hickory, Blue Ridge hickory, American walnut and smokehouse hickory lines. Hickory, the hardest American wood, is known for its rich character and distinct graining. Versatile and adaptable, this floor is an ideal upgrade or addition to any room. Meanwhile, walnut—a species found in exclusive furniture lines—is among the most cherished of all American hardwoods.

Mercier
Mercier’s Element series—part of the Elegancia collection—has been expanded to include American walnut. The addition supplements existing domestic exotic species such as hickory and yellow birch. By design, the species highlights the wood’s natural, random character. The product’s black and blonde nuances create highly versatile floors designed to blend with virtually any style.

Mohawk
Weathered Vision, one of several newly launched products from Mohawk, aims to capture classic Americana and the rustic beauty of old structures such as barns. The collection, which features deep, sandblasted texture and heavy wire-brushed planks, characterize this homage to countryside living. Weathered Vision is available in popular long, wide planks (as broad as 7 inches in random lengths up to 6 feet) to satisfy consumer demands.

Mullican Flooring
Several collections in Mullican Flooring’s offering of trendy products have been expanded to include hickory, birch or walnut. For instance, the Merion and Devonshire and collections—both 3⁄8-inch-thick engineered products—feature hickory, while Castle Ridge, also 3⁄8-inches thick, is available in birch and sports a hand-sculpted surface texture. The Nature collection, a 3⁄4-inch-thick hickory product, has a lightly wire-brushed surface texture.

Shaw Floors
The Epic Plus collection of long 9¼ x 82½-inch-wide hardwood floors from Shaw Floors is stacked with domestic exotic species. Landmark walnut features two colors, while Landmark hickory offers a trio of captivating colors that add a multi-dimensional, time-worn feel. By comparison, Landmark hickory scraped includes a pair of colors complemented by soft, subtle texturing and hand staining. Lastly, Fremont hickory features scraped texturing that accentuates and highlights the wood’s natural grain, knots and rustic character. Six colors are available.

Wickham Hardwood
Mountain Home collection from Wickham offers an authentic distressed look due to hand-scraping techniques by the artisans in the tradition of Renaissance-era woodworking. New planks are hand sculpted, one at a time, to create unique custom flooring of timeless originality and distinction. No two planks are alike. Species available include birch, cherry and walnut.

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Hemisphere Imports’ not-so-secret weapon

September 11/18, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 7

By Reginald Tucker

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-15 at 3.41.22 PMFirst-time visitors to the Hemisphere Imports booth space at the recent CCA Global Partners convention (FCNews, Aug. 14/21) found out firsthand what all the fuss was about. The focus was on a unique species called kupay, a durable, dense hardwood sourced from Paraguay. While it might not be easy to pronounce (it’s also known by its genus name, “copaifera”), the allure is crystal clear.

“It’s a unique species with a look and coloration you cannot get in China,” said Hemisphere Imports president Tom Karol. “It provides an opportunity to sell the features and benefits of the product and sell up instead of down. It’s the only product in Paraguay that’s FSC certified, and it has this unique look and is very durable.”

The primary goal, according to Karol, is to bring innovation and unique styling to the market while giving retailers a chance to make more money. With a suggested MSRP range of $5.49-$6 per square foot, the line targets what Karol calls the “high middle” of the market. “Most of the good retailers are at about $6.99 so we’re right in that nice sweet spot of a product that has all the bells and whistles. It’s not an entry-level product, but it’s definitely mainstream.”

So what kind of margin can retailers make on this line? “Above average, profits,” Karol said. “We’re giving retailers something they can trade up, but not a big step up. Consumers will spend the extra money, if they like what they see.”

Beyond attractive price points and aesthetics, another attribute of the kupay species is its rigidity. On the Janka scale, it’s nearly as hard as hickory (1500) and it’s also very dense. According to Hemisphere Imports, this species stays very stable in both dry and moist environments—a trademark of many tropical species from that part of the world.

“I wouldn’t say it’s bulletproof, but for wood it’s pretty darn close,” said industry veteran Don Finkell, who co-founded the company along with Karol. Interestingly, the species made its debut years ago in one of the collections offered by Anderson Hardwood Floors—a company Finkell ran for many years. “We’ve called it different things—i.e., Spanish hickory, Patagonian pecan—and now that the Lacey Act has come on, we just call it what it is, kupay.”

To further strengthen the product, Hemisphere Imports employs eucalyptus—which is itself as hard as oak—as the core material. According to Finkell, this makes an already stable product even sturdier.

A rare find
Finkell and his team at Anderson came across kupay when it began researching species that would not only excite U.S. consumers but also offer an alternative to products that were linked to excessive harvesting in that part of the world. While it generated some interest in the early 2000s, he said it really took off when a hand-scraping texture was applied. “It was Anderson’s biggest seller at the time,” he recalled.

Fast forward to today, Hemisphere Imports believes kupay, perhaps no longer the best kept secret, may be poised for a resurgence. “No one else is selling this species, not that I’m aware, and that’s key to our distributors,” Karol said.

Abraham Linc, based in Bridgeport, W. Va., is a believer. Earlier this year the distributor rolled out the Canyon collection from Hemisphere Imports, and the reaction from retailers was swift. “It has 10 fantastic colors and great visuals that are not me-too looking products,” said Terry Warne, vice president. “The response among our customers who have seen it has been really good.”

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Shamrock names new director of operations

Jeremy Keel-1Memphis, Tenn.—Shamrock Plank Flooring, a manufacturer of hardwood flooring, has named Jeremy Keel—a previous employee—director of operations. In his new position, Keel will manage and direct plant operations in all Shamrock manufacturing facilities. He will be responsible for tuning up operations, optimizing processes and ensuring quality that meets or exceeds NWFA standards.

“I am glad to welcome Jeremy back and have him on the Shamrock team,” said Jack Shannon, Jr., president of Shamrock Plank Flooring. “He’ll be a big part of our strategic plan to strengthen our operational infrastructure. Jeremy brings experience and professionalism with him that will take us to the next level.”

Keel is returning to Shamrock from View, a manufacturer of “glass with an IQ” that is best known for its dynamic glass found in businesses like the headquarters of Overstock.com. He was previously the assistant operations manager at Shamrock.

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Wood: Canadian suppliers seek to play the ‘Q’ (as in quality) card

July 3/10: Volume 32, Issue 2

By Reginald Tucker

 

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 3.18.14 PMIn some circles, Canada is renown for developing some of the greatest hockey players—and teams—in the history of the sport. Well, the same could be said for the nation’s formidable forestry sector, which has produced some of the most prolific producers of hardwood flooring.

But it’s not just high volumes that some of these well-respected companies are cranking out. Many industry observers would argue that they manufacture some of the industry’s highest quality hardwood flooring products.

Take Rochester, N.Y.-based Installers Warehouse as an example. This wholesale flooring distributor ranks the Wickham line high on its portfolio of hardwood flooring products. Craig Dupra, president, has toured the Wickham plant on multiple occasions and is always impressed with what he sees. “Wickham has a unique business model in that it produces an enormous amount of product, but the company doesn’t apply a color or a finish until the product has been ordered by the retailer or distributor. I don’t know how it manages the logistics of it, but the company is very good at making a particular product for a particular customer and still gets it to my customer in 10-15 business days from the time the order is placed. This gives retailers an enormous amount of flexibility in terms of how the particular floor can be made regarding width, species, grade, color and sheen.”

Perhaps it’s the signature, tight-grained maple species native to the various Canadian forests where lumber used for flooring is predominantly harvested, or maybe it’s just an ingrained mindset embraced by the major wood manufacturers operating here, but there’s definitely something to be said about the quality of the upper-end hardwood flooring products originating from Canada. Marketplace reputation probably plays a role as well, observers say.

Abraham Linc, which took on the Wickham line late last year, also attests to the company’s focus on high standards. “Our entire team is excited to partner with Wickham and offer this line to our customers,” said Darren Abraham, president. “The high quality of the products, fashion-forward colors and design, combined with our commitment to inventory, delivery and sales support gives our dealers an exciting new line.”

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 3.18.31 PMAsk virtually any top distributor or retailer to corroborate many Canadian hardwood flooring manufacturers’ claims that their products are among the highest quality available on the market today, and you are not likely to find a lot of hesitation. Jaeckle Distributors, based in Madison, Wis., is a case in point.

“Mercier gives us a first-quality Canadian manufactured wood line that fits all possibilities in today’s ever-changing customer lifestyle,” said Steve Flanagan, product and marketing manager. “Mercier fits the consumer’s need anywhere from a quality entry-level product in their Pro Series to the most fashionable 7-inch pine long board or other popular species like hickory, maple, red and white oak, and their entire exotics series.”

Jaeckle’s experience with the Mercier brand continues to generate positive results. For 2016, Brad Myers, sales manager with Jaeckle Wholesale Distributors in St. Louis, won the manufacturer’s Best Salesperson of the Year award In addition, for the third straight year, Jaeckle Wholesale Distributors earned Wholesaler of the Year honors from Mercier.

Other top distributors are singing the praises of Canadian hardwood. For instance, No. 1-ranked Haines counts the Mirage Hardwood Flooring brand among its best sellers. “Mirage’s Flair collection features a next-generation finish called Duramatt, an extremely durable, low-gloss urethane finish that has the appearance of an oil finish without the maintenance required for oil,” said Shawn McCloskey, marketing manager. “Duramatt also contains anti-microbial agents and is 20 times more wear resistant than a conventional oil finish.”

Other Mirage distributors, including No. 4-ranked All Tile, applaud the virtues of not only the manufacturer’s high-quality products but also the company’s steadfast approach to manufacturing overall and attention to detail. So much so that All Tile recently decided to expand the territories in which it will distribute the Mirage brand. Specifically, All Tile’s single-source trading area for Mirage Flooring will be widened beyond Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, eastern Wisconsin, northern Indiana, Illinois and Michigan to include North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and all of Wisconsin.

“This is a great opportunity to provide a high level of quality service with outstanding customer service, inventory and technology to Mirage customers and help them selling the top-quality hardwood flooring brand on the market,” said Bob Weiss, president of All Tile, a Mirage wholesale partner since 2007. “We are very happy about extending our partnership with Mirage to a new territory.”

Focus on innovation
Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 3.18.20 PMMuch like their counterparts south of the border in America, most Canadian hardwood flooring manufacturers face stiff competition from other quality-minded suppliers operating in their market. To gain a competitive advantage, many employ proprietary techniques in their respective manufacturing processes. One common denominator, though, is the obligatory attention to detail.

That same emphasis on strict quality control measures is observed at Lauzon. As Priscilla Bergeron, brand manager, explains: “We have numerous points of control to make sure every step of the way our quality is maintained. This starts right from the forests where we choose which tree we’re going to cut all the way through to delivery to the retailer. We also have state-of-the-art equipment to make sure the quality is maintained consistently. We test and re-test to make sure everything we produce has the highest standards in the market. And we communicate that message to the marketplace.”

This focus on attention paved the way for innovations such as Sunshield, which is designed to mitigate the harmful effects of UV light. Lauzon also developed a titanium finish, which it says is one of the strongest coatings on the market. And then there’s Pure Genius technology, which aims to provide air-purifying capabilities for homeowners.

“We have won many awards for Pure Genious alone,” Bergeron said. “In 2015 we won the Best of IBS Award in Las Vegas and we also won the Bronze Innovation award from IIDEX Canada in the flooring category. We also won an innovation award at Domotex in Germany in 2015, and we ranked high among environmentally friendly products at the Greenbuild show as well.”

Even Canadian newcomers to the hardwood arena are looking to leverage the country’s reputation for quality products. For example, Uniboard Canada, which previously only produced laminate flooring, launched its first engineered hardwood flooring line (Kalista) at the NWFA convention in 2016. Since that time, the company has expanded the color and species offerings to give dealers and distributors more options.

Tapis Beaver, a Uniboard distributor based in Montreal, recently previewed the Kalista line and has high hopes for its potential in the marketplace. Already a longtime distributor of Uniboard’s laminate lines, Tapis Beaver is quite familiar with the manufacturer’s overall approach to product quality, high standards and service.

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 3.18.24 PM“We work more on the laminate side than any other product,” said Stephane Leveille, president, Tapis Beaver. “We placed around 150 displays since last December, and we sold about $1 million or more worth of product. We don’t have any complaints about the product. The quality is very good.”

Citing their innovative approach to manufacturing—as well as the proximity to its operations and customer base—Leveille hinted that there may be an opportunity to take on the Kalista brand down the road. “We have looked into the product but we didn’t start to sell it yet. We are still in discussions with Uniboard management to see how we could work with our customers.”

Other major Canadian suppliers are also garnering attention for their innovative approach to hardwood manufacturing. Earlier this year Satin Flooring took home a Best of Surfaces Award for Wirebrushed, part of the Generations engineered wood collection. The innovative, environmentally friendly product is treated with Satin’s proprietary, non-allergenic, formaldehyde-free Eco-Last finish with UV protection and an anti-microbial finish, which prevents bacterial and fungus growth. It also features the company’s SolidFused technology, which is used in its engineered flooring production.

According to Dennis Mohn, director of U.S. sales for Satin Flooring, the company only uses lumber from well-managed North American forests—a big selling point for both existing and potential customers. “As a leading user of one of nature’s most precious and inspiring resources, we have a special responsibility not just to our environment but also to each other.”

Many Canadian distributor partners generally believe all these attributes—product quality, attention to detail, responsible use of natural resources—translate into products that provide higher margin opportunities with low claims rates. “Wickham has allowed us to grow our business by leaps and bounds,” Installers Warehouse Dupra said. “By stocking the Wickham line, we have easily doubled our bottom line.”

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Wood: Latest Mirage offerings put focus on color, design

May 22/29, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 25

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-30 at 10.47.17 AMSaint-Georges, Quebec, Canada—Mirage has expanded its offering across four signature collections to meet growing consumer demand for trendy colors, patterns and designs.

The Sweet Memories collection, which hearkens back to the charm and authenticity of old-fashioned floors created via Mirage’s exclusive brushing and staining processes, gets two new colors: Gelato and Peppermint. Gelato is a beige-gray hue that imparts a distinctive, luxurious look ideal for minimalist modern décors, while Peppermint is a pure ash gray shade with hints of mineral streaks.

“It’s a fashionable addition that’s sure to be embraced for its timeless, classic style,” said Brad Williams, vice president of sales and marketing for Boa Franc, maker of the Mirage brand.

Both colors, which are available in maple, feature Mirage’s Classic technology in 3¼- and 4¼-inch widths, or engineered in 5-, 61⁄2- and 73⁄4-inch widths and in locking technology in 45⁄16 inches. Gelato and Peppermint are also available in yellow birch grade in a 4¼-inch width and Cashmere finish.

Next up, the popular Flair collection gets Nightfall, which conveys a rich yet classic look. The new color features velvety brown tones with golden highlights, giving homeowners flexibility in their design options. Like other colors in the Flair collection, Nightall features the natural look of oiled flooring without the maintenance hassles, achieved using Mirage Floors’ ultra-matte, highly resistant DuraMatt finish. Available in maple and red oak character grades, Nightfall comes in widths ranging from 4¼ inches (classic) all the way up to 5-, 61⁄2- and 7¾-inch widths (engineered).

Screen Shot 2017-05-30 at 10.47.23 AMMirage’s Admiration collection gets Cape Cod, a creamy beige Scandinavian-inspired tone that evokes seaside or coastal living. Cape Cod is available in maple and red oak species in 3¼- and 4¼-inch widths; in engineered formats ranging from 35⁄16, 5 and 6½ inches; and in a 45⁄16-inch locking format. It is also available in a yellow birch species in a 4¼-inch width and in a 35⁄16-inch engineered version. All formats feature Mirage’s semi-gloss, Cashmere finish.

Lastly, the Imagine collection gets Driftwood, a new color the company describes as a refined, highly nuanced gray shade that will add structure and character to any décor. “With its cork look and textured surface, this new color is perfect for modern, streamlined interiors,” Williams said.

The Imagine collection, which is designed for active families and pet owners, features a textured surface to help hide scuffing and scratch marks.

Driftwood is available in several species, including maple and red oak, and comes in a variety of widths ranging from 3¼ to 7¾ inches.

In addition to the new colors, Mirage is making select products in planks as long as 82 inches. According to Williams, the new lengths make any room in the house look bigger. Plus, because fewer boards are needed to cover a given area, fewer joints are visible, thereby resulting in a more seamless installation.

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Mullican Flooring introduces new, American-made solid collections

Wexford Oak NaturalJohnson City, Tenn.—Mullican Flooring has expanded its American-made solid product line with two new collections, Wexford and Nature. These collections are protected by the company’s Alpha A’Lumina Real World Finish, which carries a 25-year warranty. Each collection features the company’s patented Aqua Shield system and lifetime moisture warranty.

A European-inspired product line, Wexford combines three traditional North American sawing techniques to create a classic European look. This 3/4-inch-thick product is offered in 7-inch widths and random lengths up to seven feet. The collection’s prefinished version is available in six selections of oak, including Charcoal, Espresso, Harbor Mist, Natural, Saddle and Seabrook.

Nature, a 3/4-inch-thick hickory product, features a sawn surface texture. Available in a 5-inch width, this collection offers random lengths up to seven feet. The Nature collection includes four selections, including Espresso, Greystone, Natural and Provincial.

“Mullican continues to see strong interest in traditional hardwood flooring, including a robust demand for dark colors and textured surfaces,” said Brian Greenwell, vice president of marketing. “All of our prefinished and unfinished solid flooring is produced in the United States, along with a substantial amount of our engineered floors. We expect consumer preferences for American-made hardwood flooring to continue to increase in the years ahead.”

One of the nation’s top five hardwood flooring producers, Mullican also operates manufacturing facilities in Norton, Va.; Holland, N.Y.; and Ronceverte, WVa.

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Galleher invests in custom wood finishing plant

April 10/17, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 22

By Reginald Tucker
Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 11.12.09 AMPhoenix—Galleher, a top five floor covering distributor, has begun the process of building a factory here dedicated to the production of high-end custom-made wood flooring products. The new, 60,000-square-foot facility, which includes both production and warehouse space, is expected to be up and running by June 2017.

“Today, high-end contractors are turning more to prefinishing—either in their own shops or through custom prefinishing like ours,” said Todd Hamar, senior vice president, who conducted a tour of the site earlier this month. “The colors designers are demanding nowadays are often only achieved through processes like fuming, bleaching and reactive stains that are difficult—if not impossible—to work with on site. Designers are also increasingly seeking to customize texture in ways that are too tedious to achieve on the job site.”

That’s where the new facility comes in, Hamar said. The new plant—when completed—will offer the following capabilities:

Custom platforms. Customers can choose from a wide range of unfinished platforms Galleher stocks in house or it can press and profile the client’s custom-made engineered flooring in virtually any combination of species, grade, width or length. This includes reclaimed material.

Custom texturing. Services include precision wire-brushing, hand-scraping, tumbling and edge distressing.

Moldings and stair parts. Tread assembly, CNC cutting and finishing.

Reactive stains. Colors are applied and dried in a carefully controlled environment to maintain proper humidity levels—which is crucial to the reactive staining process.

Custom fuming. Ideal process for creating the base for popular colors such as neutral grays and browns.

State-of-the-art coating capabilities. Dedicated lines for UV oil and urethane finishes, plus vacuum coaters, standalone spray booth and a spray line. Hand finishing as well as commercial-grade finishes are also offered.

“By coloring and texturing in a shop, customers have the opportunity to work with these processes in a controlled environment using labor-saving machines,” Hamar said. “More importantly, clients have the opportunity to dial in the look and get approval before installation.”

When the plant is complete, Hamar estimates the facility will be able to process anywhere between 30,000 and 40,000 square feet per month. The site will also handle production of Galleher’s high-end Monarch Plank line.

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Mullican Flooring to expand U.S. hardwood production

Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 9.05.48 AMJohnson City, Tenn.—As part of its effort to broaden its domestic manufacturing footprint, Mullican Flooring, a leading manufacturer of quality hardwood floors, plans to bring full production of all sawn engineered products to the U.S. beginning early summer 2017.

Since 2012 Mullican Flooring has converted much of its engineered hardwood production from imported to domestic manufactured product, explained Neil Poland, president. “The transition of our sawn lines to the U.S. is a natural extension of that movement. Further, we are looking at this change as part of our effort to improve efficiencies and long-term value within the company. The move will allow us to tighten quality control as well as to stay true to a long-standing corporate commitment to support domestic production. As a 32-year old U.S. based company, we truly recognize that manufacturing is the foundation of the U.S. economy so transitioning the few remaining components of our production that remains overseas has been part of our long-term strategy all along. The start-up of our sawn production line is the first phase of a five-year expansion plan that will create 200 new jobs at our Johnson City production plant.”

The first product that will transition to the U.S. production facility is EuroSawn White Oak in a 7-inch width. The collection will be immediately available in six colors. Plans to transition additional overseas production to the U.S. will be announced in Q3.

In addition to its Tennessee-based facility, Mullican also has manufacturing operations in Norton, Va.; Holland, N.Y.; and Ronceverte, W.Va.