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My take: Award of Excellence—Behind the winners

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

By Steven Feldman


Now that the 22nd Annual Award of Excellence winners have been announced, we can dig a little deeper and try to provide a little commentary on the results. In what seems to be the case each year, there were some surprises interspersed between the usual suspects as you will find on page 22. But with the voting surpassing 2,200 ballots this year, we are confident the winners are well deserving of the honors bestowed upon them by the retail and distribution communities.

Just for the record, every vote is vetted. Any ballot that is submitted from manufacturer personnel is deleted. As well, we often find the same retailer voting multiple times. Only his or her first vote is counted; the rest are eliminated.

While FCNews publishes only the winners in each category, it is interesting to look behind the numbers and analyze the vote counts. The most interesting aspect of the voting came in the Resilient – Commercial category, where Johnsonite had won the past two years in a landslide. This year, however, Mannington Commercial turned the tables in very convincing fashion. Given how almost all the votes come from flooring retailers, I surmise they were endorsing Mannington’s Main Street offerings.

The Hardwood B category, won by Anderson Tuftex this year, is traditionally one of the most contentious. Finishing close behind the newly combined brand were Somerset, Mullican, USFloors and Mirage. Those five companies commanded 58% of the vote. Eleven companies in this category scored at least 50 votes.

Speaking of contentious categories, the new Hardwood C group fit the bill. This was the first year we separated some of the smaller suppliers into their own class, 17 to be exact. So we really had no idea what would happen. When the dust cleared, it was HomerWood pulling away by a comfortable margin in a category that saw seven of those 17 companies garner at least 100 votes. Those who performed admirably here were Cali Bamboo, Triangulo, Monarch and Urbanfloor.

I was also interested to see what would happen in the LVT B category once we jettisoned USFloors to the new WPC/Rigid Core classification. Close race between Karndean Designflooring, EarthWerks and Metroflor, which together earned nearly two-thirds of the vote.

One of my favorite categories is Laminate B. Why? Because there are eight companies competing there, and each garnered at least 5% of the vote. No company received fewer than 100 votes and four had at least 250, or 11%.

So, when I was a statistics major in college before switching to economics, I learned the more times you flip a coin, the better the odds of a 50/50 split between heads and tails. But that’s not the case when it comes to voting. The more votes you have, the more one candidate will assert itself. But not when it comes to the Award of Excellence. In the Cushion A category, it was a two-horse race between Carpenter and Leggett. And it was akin to Affirmed-Alydar in the 1978 Belmont Stakes. Over 2,200 votes, and just 14 separated the pair.

As for tile, the last time Dal-Tile lost the A category, Bill Clinton was in office. And kudos to Emser for winning the B category for the second year in a row after increasing its share of the voting from 9.8% to 13.7% to 15.8% to 16.2% these last four years. This is another company growing by leaps and bounds.

One last observation, and I said this last year as well: We have noticed a huge disparity in the voting between ballots cast online and those captured in person at Surfaces. While 95% of the voting is done online, those companies that do not exhibit at Surfaces garner a much lower percentage of the votes in the paper balloting done at the show. I’m sure Informa Exhibitions, our co-sponsor in the competition, will be happy to hear that.

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Award of Excellence: Mohawk returns to winner’s circle as Best Overall

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

By Ken Ryan


Garden City, N.Y.—For the third year in a row, Mohawk Industries was voted Best Overall Manufacturer—one of four Mohawk-branded honors, and six in all for Mohawk Group—in FCNews’ 22nd annual Award of Excellence competition.

Mohawk won for Best Carpet Manufacturer (Group A), Best Commercial Carpet Manufacturer and Best Laminate Manufacturer (Group A), as well as Best Overall. Further, two Mohawk companies took home top honors, including Dal-Tile, which was named Best Ceramic Manufacturer (Group A) for an unprecedented 20th consecutive year. Karastan won top honors for Area Rugs.

“At Mohawk, we continue to invest heavily in the future,” said Tom Lape, president of Mohawk residential, who attended the annual affair at the Garden City Hotel with several members of the Mohawk team. “We are honored that retailers recognize our products, such as the industry’s first hypoallergenic soft flooring—Air.o; our SmartStrand franchise and our revolutionary wood flooring—RevWood, as innovations that contribute to their business success and consumer satisfaction. Mohawk is not only thankful for their resounding endorsement of our products but also of our hardworking employees whose talent and dedication earned our company these prestigious awards.”

Dal-Tile has done what no other company or brand has done—won the award for two decades running. According to John Turner, president, the victory laps never get old. “Winning the Award of Excellence is meaningful to Dal-Tile because it reinforces how our customers feel about their relationship with our business and how they value our Daltile, American Olean and Marazzi brands,” he said. “Each team member plays a critical role in ensuring that we forge relationships with our customers through superior service and products that lead the industry in style, innovation and quality. Our long history of success in this awards program illustrates our commitment to excellence and the significant partnerships we enjoy with our customers.”

Mohawk wasn’t the only dominant company. It was a big night for Shaw Industries and its divisions as well, with five awards. Shaw won Best Manufacturer for LVT (Group A) and Best Manufacturer for Hardwood (Group A); Anderson Tuftex took home top honors for Carpet (Group B) and Hardwood (Group B), while USFloors took first place in the inaugural WPC/Rigid Core category.

“The Award of Excellence is a coveted and respected industry award and receiving this award for both LVT and hardwood is an immense honor for Shaw Floors,” said Herb Upton, vice president, hard surface. “We’re thrilled to see our latest hard surface products have been well received, and these awards confirm Shaw Floors leads the way in hard surface innovation.”

Drew Hash, vice president, Shaw hard surface products, added, “To be chosen for these prestigious awards by our retail partners speaks to the success of Shaw’s efforts to put customers at the forefront of all we do. We thank our dealers and Shaw associates who make our shared achievements possible.”

For the first time a separate category for WPC/Rigid Core was established, a nod to the explosiveness of the waterproof vinyl flooring segment. USFloors, marketer of the highly successful COREtec brand of WPC, won the award for WPC/Rigid Core after taking top honors for LVT the previous two years. “To achieve an Award of Excellence from your customers is the most meaningful and valuable recognition any company can wish for,” said Piet Dossche, president of USFloors. “I am very proud and honored to receive this trophy on behalf of our entire team of dedicated people who are working hard to provide the best product and service to our retail partners. The revolution our COREtec product has created in the WPC product category has been great for our customers who have embraced this exciting new product wholeheartedly. Thank you, FCNews and Informa Exhibitions, for organizing this yearly contest and event.”

Being part of the Shaw family, Dossche added, has given USFloors more opportunities to grow the COREtec business. “We are committed to remain the leader in this category and building COREtec into a strong consumer brand.”

Among the repeat winners, Emser Tile won for the second year in a row in Ceramic (Group B), and Inhaus took top honors for Laminate (Group B), marking its second consecutive year in the winner’s circle. “Emser Tile is proud to be recognized by our customers and receive the FCNews Award of Excellence,” said Bob Baldocchi, chief marketing officer. “As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, this recognition validates our service promise commitment to our customers and inspires us to continue to find new ways to innovate and enhance the overall customer experience.”

Derek Welbourn, CEO of Inhaus, commented: “We feel extremely fortunate and are honored that our customers voted for us. We have a passion for our product offerings and strive to create products that people are excited about both in terms of innovative design and quality. In our eyes, this award is a recognition of our efforts, and we are very appreciative of that.”

A new classification (Group C) was established for the first time to recognize quality, smaller-scale companies. In carpet, Southwind won for Group C while HomerWood was honored in hardwood.

“Southwind and all of our employees are honored to have won this Award of Excellence,” said Richard Abramowicz, executive vice president. “It is a team effort—not one individual. Southwind strives to bring to market the most innovative and forward-thinking products that provide solutions to the marketplace. We would like to thank our valued customers for recognizing our efforts for this award.”


Sponsored by FCNews and Informa Exhibitions, proprietors of The International Surface Event (TISE), the Award of Excellence is a way for manufacturers’ customers—retailers, distributors, designers, installers and specifiers—to honor the companies they feel consistently provide the best service, professionalism of sales force, management responsiveness, value, design, B2B, handling of claims and ease of doing business.

“The Awards of Excellence are honors bestowed to manufacturers by the heart and soul of the flooring industry—the retailers,” said Dana Teague, vice president, Design Group, Informa Global Exhibitions. “It is a pleasure and an honor for Informa/Surfaces to co-sponsor this year’s awards with Floor Covering News. We are delighted to share our enthusiasm for innovation with brands that continually strive for excellence. Surfaces is the platform that manufacturers use to launch or highlight many of the winning products to the delight of the thousands of retailers, distributors, designers and installers that come to Las Vegas every January. Congratulations to the recipients of this year’s awards.”

Readers of FCNews, as well as other industry personnel visiting trade shows such as Surfaces (and not employed by a manufacturer), voted between October 2017 and the end of March 2018 for the companies they felt best met established criteria in the following floor covering categories—Carpet, Commercial Carpet, Area Rugs, Resilient, Resilient Sheet, Resilient Commercial, Hardwood, Tile, Laminate, Cushion/Underlayment, WPC—as well as the Best Overall mill. Ballots were featured in FCNews and readers could mail or fax them back, as well as vote online and at industry events such as Surfaces.

While the category awards were done on a simple, one-vote-per-category/company format, the Best Overall award required voters to fill in their choice for first, second and third place. Votes were weighted so that first place was worth five points, second place worth three points and third place one point. Point totals were tabulated and the company with the most in each was named the winner.

As has been done for the previous nine years, individual category winners were selected in two or three groups based on their volume. Also, manufacturers did not have to pay a fee to be eligible to receive a vote, which has been customary since the first Award of Excellence competition. Any and all manufacturers of floor covering products in the above-referenced categories were allowed to receive votes.

More than 2,200 votes—representing flooring retailers, distributors, designers and installers—were cast, with more industry professionals voting online than ever.






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Armstrong hardwood sets design stage for retail

Lancaster, Pa.—Commercial designers, interior architects and visual merchandisers of retail spaces are turning to hardwood to create unique spaces and now Armstrong Flooring is expanding this design potential by bringing the warmth and natural beauty of wood from the floor to the wall at Global Shop, booth #2216.

“Hardwood is the most coveted type of flooring, so it’s no wonder that it’s also successful as an interior wall design in retail, whether in boutiques or restaurants,” said Sara Babinski, Armstrong Flooring, hardwood design manager. “On the wall, the carefully crafted textures and tones of wood bring natural warmth and authenticity into the retail environment.”

Many of Armstrong Flooring’s engineered wood products, such as Woodland Relics, can be used on walls. Woodland Relics captures the essence of reclaimed, weathered wood, as random and varied as nature itself. Every plank is crafted using hand-staining, sanding and woodworking techniques that showcase textures and tones. The collection includes a varied sampling of multiple species, widths, colors and textures, all of which are mixed together in random fashion to create a highly custom look.

On the floor itself, wood has an elegance beloved by customers and retailers alike, as a genuine hardwood can carry the motif and experience of the entire establishment. Designers can choose from durable, on-trend collections such as TimberBrushed, which offers artistic techniques like liming and deep etching; American Scrape hardwood, a rustic, hand-scraped look that features distinctive graining and knots in a vibrant palette of golds, grays, reds and browns for a rich texture; and Performance Plus, which combines the look of hardwood and commercial performance.

HomerWood, a premium hardwood brand from Armstrong Flooring, offers classic to contemporary designs for floors in a range of species, colors, styles, textures and surface treatments. New collections at Global Shop include fresh visuals that combine wire-brushing techniques with distinct color washes and variable width designs. The varied tones and random patterns capture the coveted essence of reclaimed hardwoods.

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HomerWood launches HomerWood University

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 4.44.54 PMTitusville, Pa.—HomerWood Premium Hardwood has launched HomerWood University with a curriculum that focuses on teaching retailers to sell premium products in the new economy.

“The idea that consumers are only interested in the lowest price is a misconception and is all too prevalent in our industry today,” said Paul Walker, general manager, HomerWood. “Making this assumption and leading the sales process in this direction does a disservice to the consumer and arbitrarily limits their choices.”

HomerWood University is facilitated by John Neugent, HomerWood’s regional manager.

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HomerWood retailers get a glimpse inside production

Titusville, Pa. – HomerWood and distributor Tom Duffy Co./B.R. Funsten is making sure to keep retailers competitive in today’s market by taking them right to the source. The premium hardwood manufacturer hosted several retailers from the Fairfield, Calif.-based Tom Duffy network, including Jeff and Wendy Meltzer of Los Angeles-based Universal Hardwood and Jeremy Probell and Jennifer Shaw on behalf of Pioneer Floors of Santa Barbara, Calif., as well as Donovon Johnson of Finishing Touch and Andy Moore with Precision Flooring.

“In promoting and selling HomerWood, our sales partners need to effectively tell our story and convey our value message,” said Paul Walker, general manager, HomerWood. “When a flooring retailer is effectively presented with all that HomerWood offers to their business, we get 100% buy-in.” The retailers were able to see how the mill employees work together to create the product and how well they interacted with each other. “The teamwork that we saw was great and it was refreshing,” Meltzer said.

And while the mill tour was eye opening for the group, it also provided them with an education that they could bring back to the show floor to help boost future sales.

Meltzer noted that after being on the tour, she could sell HomerWood even more confidently than she could before. “The quality control at the mill is great,” she said. “I can tell them all about quality control and how so many eyes are on a piece of product before it goes out the door.

“HomerWood’s history and product offering is unique, and communicating this ‘story’ to our customers improves our own selling opportunities,” she continued. “But my favorite part is that HomerWood products are Made in America. That’s still a huge story and it’s something I am proud to tell my customers.”

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Why sourcing, milling and finish quality matter

May 12/19; Volume 27/Number 27

By Ken Ryan

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 10.49.24 AMBy the time a hardwood floor is installed, the final product has endured a lengthy journey that includes harvesting, transporting, milling, finishing and selling.

There is risk for error at various points throughout the hardwood production process, which is why responsible sourcing, precise milling and proper finish are crucial factors in ensuring a quality product is delivered.

“What distributors and dealers are looking for when selling a hardwood product is peace of mind,” said Luc Robitaille, vice president of marketing at Boa-Franc, makers of the Mirage brand. “No one wants callbacks due to product defects or low quality.”

Harry Bogner, senior vice president of hardwood at Unilin, a Mohawk company, said the importance of sourcing, milling and finishing becomes clear at various stages of the manufacturing process.

“From the manufacturer’s perspective, high quality milling and finishing ensure that a product will fit together correctly and perform,” he said. “As a manufacturer, I always want to provide a high quality product so I have happy customers who will buy from us again and who will go out and tell all their friends, ‘I have a Mohawk hardwood floor and it is great.’ Also, manufacturers obviously don’t want claims coming in, and quality milling and finishing help avoid that.

“For the consumer, what a hardwood floor really comes down to first and foremost is color,” Bogner continued. “The most important thing to a customer is that the color she ordered is the color she received. After that, it is about durability; is the floor going to hold up? That is where the milling piece comes in.”

Following is a closer look at the important steps that go into a finished hardwood flooring product.


Several flooring companies have joined the National Wood Flooring Association’s (NWFA) Responsible Procurement Program (RPP), a joint initiative between leading environmental groups and industry manufacturers committed to producing and promoting wood floors that come only from environmentally and socially responsible sources.

“Everything we have in our line, whether we manufacture it or it is sourced elsewhere, has to come by verified sources,” said Dan Natkin, director of hardwood and laminate for Mannington, which is a member of the NWFA RPP. “You have to be thorough in this process. The thing is, we have to put our name on these products. We are not some fly-by-night brand.”

Mannington’s mantra, “Make first, source later,” reflects how the company does everything it can to make products in its own facilities. When it has to go outside, it puts its sources through a rigorous stress test—from the financial stability of the company to supply chain and third-party verification.

Other companies, whether affiliated with NWFA RPP or not, are taking similarly proactive approaches. Max Windsor Floors, for example, looks for quality, reliability and responsibility when sourcing hardwood products, according to Peter Spirer, CEO. “Factories in China are priced pretty much alike, so cost isn’t the issue in how we judge suppliers,” he explained. “We don’t depend on the factories for creating new product lines. We prefer to submit the specs and colors for matching. What we need is on-time shipment and maintaining original quality standards. Additionally, the factory management must accept responsibility for manufacturing defects, should they arise.”

To ensure the best quality, Max Windsor uses independent inspectors to check for product color match and construction as the production materials are being packed. Spirer’s management team visits suppliers at least once a quarter to review all issues and plan for new products.

“We are building constructive relationships with our suppliers which extend far beyond the norm,” Spirer said. “The lifeline and ultimate success of an importer is reliant on its factory suppliers. Period. It almost doesn’t matter whether the factory is owned by the importer or is supplying on an OEM basis. What matters most is the continuing dialogue with factory management. Call it brainwashing, training or anything else. It’s the continuity of message that will win the day.”

Ron Oliver, vice president of sales and marketing for Hallmark Flooring, said raw material sourcing has been a significant problem for manufacturers. Hallmark is facing back orders for the first time in five years, primarily for walnut and hickory. However, according to Oliver, the company is better positioned than others to deal with the issue.

“Unlike many others that source in China, we provide the raw material and our own quality control people work in the factories, keeping an eye on the production,” he explained.

“For us, the strength is being able to buy our own logs and lumber, which we have been able to do for the last number of years. To the saw mills, we are not some invisible player; we are actually someone who isScreen Shot 2014-06-17 at 10.50.04 AM buying directly from them.”

Oliver said there is roughly half the capacity in the market as there was five years ago. The reason? The extended downturn rid the industry of many loggers, saw mills and even transportation companies. “While the economy is improving, the diminished infrastructure is putting a squeeze on raw materials,” he said. “You look at ¾-inch solid. Some of the majors have had four, five and even six price increases. From a raw materials standpoint that constitutes a challenge for the industry.”


Milling is a key step in ensuring a precise fit and easy installation. On the technical side, expertly milled boards should fit together perfectly, with no noticeable variations in thickness. “Milling is extremely important in maintaining consistency and to ensure there are no over-wood issues,” said Drew Hash, vice president of hard surface product marketing, Shaw Industries. “The milling process also gives our floors the structural integrity needed to create a quality hardwood product.”

Bogner added that precision milling is especially critical to ensure planks of click-wood products—such as those from Mohawk, Q-Wood and Columbia—fit tightly together for a strong, lasting connection.

While hardwood manufacturers each utilize different methods for milling, most use digital calipers, a precision instrument that accurately measures internal and external distances.

Mannington uses a tool called Smartscope, which measures profile conformance. Originally designed for high-precision steel work, Smartscope has been adapted for use in flooring. “This system is accurate to the thousandth of an inch and allows us to be extremely consistent from run to run,” Natkin said.

Using a more traditional method, HomerWood employs Amish craftsmen as part of its millwork process. “Quality is everything here,” said Kathy Barker, operations manager at HomerWood. “The differentiator is the hands-on approach, the number of people we have involved in the process, and the speed … which is slow.”

From beginning to end, a team of inspectors (as many as 74) are involved in the millwork. They each make mental notes and physical decisions during the process. “All of our employees are cross trained,” Barker said. “They have a full understanding of the inspection process, and they make decisions every step of the way that affect the final product. From the time it comes in—even when it is unloaded—we have testing and criteria that have to be met. There are checkpoints at each step of the process.”

To assure color consistency, Mohawk vigilantly monitors the color processing during each production run. Trained eyes continuously match to a color master board to ensure that the resulting color is within variance. “Use of improved color booths that simulate multiple light environments also helps ensure that customers can rely on our hardwood to be the most consistent products on the market when it comes to color,” Bogner noted.

Also concerned with meticulous production, once Armstrong’s trees are harvested, the company puts the product through a process that ensures the board has the right moisture content and proper grading. The company’s manufacturing method includes dozens of inspection points, from the moment the wood touches the line until it goes into a box.

“We have 70-plus pairs of eyes look closely to make sure [the floor] meets spec,” said Milton Goodwin, vice president of hardwood products. “We also spend a lot of time on the front end; it starts with the ability to buy quality lumber. The tree we use [in the Appalachian region] grows slowly and has a beautiful look to it; it’s in a part of the world that has no chance of being overharvested.”


Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 10.51.01 AMFinishing hardwood is a crucial point in the milling process, often the determining factor in the purchase decision, as well, executives said. Whether it is to reduce scratches or add beauty, the R&D behind finishes continues to evolve with many companies marketing their own proprietary products.

The European tradition of using oils and wax to create natural wood flooring surfaces is one trend illustrated by the U.S. market. Gary Keeble, product and marketing manager at USFloors, said that at one time USFloors and DuChateau Floors were the only U.S. companies with oil-based finishes. “That was [around] 2007 and 2008; we were it,” he said. “Now I can count at least 10 companies with oil-based finishes.”

Keeble explained that an oil finish provides a “uniquely distinct” look when compared to an aluminum oxide finish. “Oil penetrates into the wood, not on top. The more you oil it, the more it will develop a richer look.”

He added that a disadvantage with aluminum oxide is that it develops micro scratches. “Over time it refracts the light and makes it look dull. Oil doesn’t leave micro scratches; that is one unique benefit it offers.” A floor with an oil-based finish is also usually sold at a higher price, providing dealers with greater margin opportunity.

Among the companies touting new oil-based finishes is DuChateau, which markets a proprietary Hard-Wax Oil finish, described as a non-pollutant, non-toxic, ultra-low VOC product with no biocides or preservatives. According to the company, the special features of the finish allow the oils to penetrate deeply into the wood pores to enhance the look while the wax remains on the surface to maintain a natural matte finish and create a protective layer.

Mirage uses a product called Nanolinx for its prefinished wood flooring. Robitaille said the finish is made of the smallest particles possible. “Nine times smaller than a hair, the crosslinked particles make the finish more flexible to preserve the floor’s original appearance and prevent cracking,” he explained. “Each particle molds perfectly to the shape of the hardwood floor and this creates the clearest finish in the industry. Therefore, it avoids a plastic-look effect that is seen too often with competing products.”

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HomerWood introduces color catalog for POP displays

Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 2.34.01 PMTitusville, Pa. – HomerWood, a manufacturer of premium hardwood flooring, has introduced a color catalog for point-of-purchase display. The catalog showcases HomerWood’s rich flooring designs, which are available in an array of colors, styles, textures and surface treatments to fit any décor. The catalog encompasses looks that are designed to provide inspiration to both designers and homeowners.

“The new product catalog is completely redesigned to show off our extensive line of products in a beautiful and sophisticated way, and also speaks to the HomerWood commitment to American-made and domestically-sourced hardwoods,” said Wendy Wescoat, marketing manager.

For information, call HomerWood Premium Hardwood Flooring at 1-814-827-3855 or log onto

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HomerWood names its top distributors for 2013

Left to right: Ryon Ganser, Belknap White; Paul Walker, HomerWood; Rich Vanbuskirk, Belknap White; Sean Connolly, Belknap White; Mike May, HomerWood.
Left to right: Ryon Ganser, Belknap White; Paul Walker, HomerWood; Rich Vanbuskirk, Belknap White; Sean Connolly, Belknap White; Mike May, HomerWood.

Titusville, Pa.  – HomerWood has announced that Belknap White and BR Funsten/Tom Duffy Company have been named Co-Distributors of the Year for 2013.

“Both Belknap White and BR Funsten/Tom Duffy Company are wonderful partners for HomerWood and we are thrilled to recognize them,” said Paul Walker, general manager, HomerWood. “From the top down, they epitomize everything you could wish for in a business partner and we are very grateful for all of their support.  Both have fully embraced our recent product and merchandising initiatives and have leveraged these to achieve significant growth for our companies in 2013. We thank Raymond, Curt and their entire teams and are proud to be associated with them.”

Mansfield, Mass.-based Belknap White is one of the top 10 flooring distributors in the nation and serves New England, New York and Northern New Jersey.   “We value and are thrilled with our partnership with HomerWood,” said Ray Mancini, president, Belknap White. “They have both a high quality product line and high quality employees. It’s like doing business with family. We look forward to our continued partnership.”

BR Funsten/Tom Duffy Company is a market leading distributor and serves Arizona, California and Nevada with more than 27 locations.  “We are thrilled to be recognized for our efforts with HomerWood in 2013,” said Curt Thompson, president and COO of B.R. Funsten. “We have a very strong partnership that starts at the local level and extends to the top of their organization and it’s through this strong collaboration that we’ve achieved success.  We are already off to a great start in 2014 and look forward to an even greater relationship.”



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HomerWood’s expanded portfolio increases sales opportunities for dealers

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 12.50.45 PMTitusville, Pa. — A strong foundation means continued growth and success for HomerWood, which is laying the groundwork for a winning 2014.

“We have done a lot to make sure we are poised for growth in 2014 and beyond,” said Paul Walker, general manager of HomerWood. “We have new merchandising that’s proven to be very effective at retail; we have been better at conveying our strong value-proposition story and we’ve worked hand-in-hand educating distribution so that they are great brand ambassadors for HomerWood.”

HomerWood has been channeling its design and manufacturing expertise to grow business for its distribution and retailer partners. “Retailers report intense focus on turning every store visitor into a buyer,” Walker said. “Their request to manufacturers: ‘Give me products that make it easier to attract consumers, at prices that enable me to close the deal.’”

Katie Gresham, showroom manager, Elite Flooring Specialists, said Elite was excited to set up its new HomerWood Premium Hardwood Display. “With the large samples showing off all of the unique finishes, treatments and colors in all of the domestic species, we knew it needed the perfect spot in our showroom.”

Susie Axlerad of Northbrook, Ill.-based Lewis Floor & Home recently added HomerWood to the product mix. “Although HomerWood is a relatively new wood line for Lewis Floor & Home, I have to say that they have been a really great partner,” she said. “The company has gone above and beyond.”

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Wood: Solid still has its advantages over engineered

Nov. 18/25 2013; Volume 27/number15

By Ken Ryan

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 2.39.07 PMEven as engineered hardwood flooring gains in market share, solid remains a strong and viable portion, with some executives saying the selection enjoys the perception among consumers of offering greater value than engineered. Continue reading Wood: Solid still has its advantages over engineered