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NeoCon Preview

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

By Mara Bollettieri

 

This year NeoCon celebrates its 50th anniversary of showcasing innovative flooring designs for the commercial contract market. The three-day event kicks off June 11 at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago.

The exhibition will feature thousands of new flooring products from a plethora of manufacturers and includes 100 CEU seminars, various programs, special anniversary celebrations, marquee presentations and more.

Following are some of the latest commercial products that will be on display during the show.

Aquafil USA

Econyl regenerated nylon opens up endless possibilities for architects, designers and carpet producers seeking a synthetic covering or carpet that performs beyond expectations.

With the addition of 28 new colors, Econyl yarn is now available in 170 options, all eligible for LEED points. Designers can create performance-driven carpets with Econyl while giving their clients an innovative sustainable solution.

According to Aquafil, Econyl regenerated nylon means no waste, no new resources—just endless possibilities.

Altro Floors

Altro Orchestra resilient flooring has been engineered to create the ideal environment to heal, learn and live. For demanding areas with constant foot traffic, this vinyl sheet provides comfort underfoot and sound reduction. With a grand palette of 40 colors, designers can create the right atmosphere for their spaces.

Altro Orchestra is a 2.8mm sheet vinyl made with 22% rapidly renewable, bio-based content and is certified for low VOCs, thereby helping facilities achieve LEED goals.

American Biltrite

ABPure rubber flooring tiles with Nfuse technology are ready to use right out of the box. The patent-pending treatment allows foot traffic immediately after installation. This tile requires time-consuming set up; is extremely durable against soiling, staining and scuffing; significantly reduces installation downtime; is easier to clean and is declared Red List free.

Cleo Contract

Cleo Contract is a patented construction that combines engineered performance with visual artistry. It has a waterproof, flexible core that is 85% limestone and contains zero PVC, plasticizers, phthalates or chloro-chemicals. Solvent-free, high-fidelity digital imaging offers nearly unlimited design possibilities with nuances in shading and detail. An ultra-low VOC, high-performance clear coating delivers durability and performance.

DuChâteau

DuChâteau’s Vinyl DeLuxe Grand offers unique visuals and a European aesthetic in a durable and low-maintenance flooring option. Available in 7- and 9-inch-wide plank formats, Vinyl Deluxe Grand is the latest chapter in luxury engineered floating floors with LuxCor waterproof core, easy click installation and attached HushWalk underlayment. This collection captures the beauty of wood and appeals to residential and commercial customers.

EF Contract

New materials for product development often focus on a single feature—lightweight, durable, tech-enabled. The EF Contract Design Studio played with these concepts in its new Kicks collection, inspired by innovative materials and interpreted through the company’s own innovative tufting and high-performance backing technologies. These inspirations produced a collection that is versatile, while the modular formats enable designers to create complex installations as well as unified, simple fields of texture.

Fletco Carpets

LockTiles is a unique carpet tile shape with laser-cut edges that interlock to fit together in all directions, meter for meter, no matter the size of the area. LockTiles guarantees an effective installation with a homogeneous surface, making the joints less visible. It is for users who want the best in flat-woven carpet tiles and its advantages yet still desire the look of broadloom.

Flexco

The FreeFlex rubber tile collection embodies true flexibility. A variety of new sizes offer patterns and textures with the durability and resilience of rubber. Sizes include: 6 x 36, 12 x 36 and 18 x 36, These additional sizes complement the company’s existing collection of 12 x 12, 18 x 18 and 36 x 36 tiles.

Johnsonite

Pentagonals from Johnsonite, a Tarkett brand, is a collection of three distinct shapes created with Cradle to Cradle certified rubber flooring. Johnsonite has turned three convex polygons into rubber tiles; each is available in Johnsonite’s full rubber flooring line, meaning designers can choose from nearly limitless textures and colors to create truly unique flooring. Rubber flooring is naturally slip resistant with shock-absorbing qualities as well as acoustic properties. The line is also sustainable.

Karndean Designflooring

Textum from the Opus collection was inspired by forms in concrete. It was created as a hybrid abstract wood visual that combines the grain detailing and plank format of traditional European oak flooring with the effect of imprinted concrete. These 36 x 6-inch planks act as a wood visual but can also be used with design strips to create the look of porcelain tile without the practical drawbacks. It features a 20 mil wear layer and a 15-year commercial warranty.

Mannington Commercial

The Cirro collection, a non-vinyl alternative to LVT, is a thermoplastic composite resilient tile that offers the same versatility as LVT. Cirro does not contain any ortho-phthalate plasticizers and is a low-emitting product. In addition, its sustainable construction features recycled content. Available in 20 visuals, it’s designed to bring beauty and sustainability to any space. Featuring 16 wood visuals in 71⁄2 x 48 and 41⁄2 x 36 plank sizes, two stone patterns and two abstract visuals in 18 x 18 and 12 x 24 tile sizes.

Metroflor

Metroflor will showcase the new Aspecta Ten Tilt and Tones collection. The latest LVT design breakthrough pairs four new geometrically and biophilically inspired Tilt tiles with the neutral Tones tile palette. The 24 x 24 tiles are presented in four color groups, each consisting of unique Tilt tile designs that can be paired with two companion Tones tiles. The line is suitable for most commercial environments.

Mohawk Group

Pivot Point ERT responds to a world population that continues to urbanize with patterns and colors inspired by nature and an alternative chemistry, Red List-free, PVC-free enhanced resilient tile. Using biophilic principles, its design motifs can contribute to reducing stress, enhancing creativity, improving well-being and expediting healing. It features wood, textile and stone visuals, and is designed to achieve Living Product Challenge Petal Certification.

Raskin Industries

Raskin’s Elevations AcoustX meets the demand for something unique in the flooded LVT market with fashion-forward, proprietary designs created by Michael Raskin, CEO. The enhanced aesthetics of AcoustX complement the product’s performance.

AcoustX’s pre-attached underlayment offers an acoustic solution while reducing installation time (no sound-abatement layer is required). AcoustX can be installed over most existing hard surface floors. As part of its construction, it includes a solid fiberglass sheet.

Shannon Specialty Floors

Teknoflor Naturescapes HPD is the brand’s first organic sheet good made with ecuran, an organically derived polyurethane composite material processed from plant-based oils such as castor oil and naturally occurring minerals like chalk. This resilient sheet flooring has all the advantages of sheet vinyl—durability, easy maintenance and versatility—without the PVC. It comes in 24 designs across three distinct styles that can be used independently or together.

Shaw Contract

Haven is a collection of modular carpet tiles designed to add the comforts of a residential space to the contract market. It conveys the warmth of the home in all places where people connect with colleagues and friends by utilizing color, texture and pattern. By blurring old distinctions between domestic and commercial spaces, it embraces a more nuanced understanding of how society lives today—finding home wherever creativity takes the end user.

Tandus Centiva

Tandus Centiva, a Tarkett brand, will exhibit Color Play—a product based on the company’s latest design research in education and healthcare spaces. The palette includes 24 hues in each of the three pattern options for a total of 72 product solutions. Color Play features Tarkett’s TechTonic—a shift forward in performance for hard surface floors. Its advanced new polyurethane technology is super tough and resists scratching, abrasions, scuffing and staining.

 

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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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Starnet members host pre-NeoCon event

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

By Steven Feldman

New York—Three New York City-based Starnet commercial flooring contractors recently collaborated on a pre-NeoCon product showcase featuring about 10 Starnet vendors. Consolidated Carpet, Lane’s Floor Coverings & Interiors and Architectural Flooring Resource promoted the event, dubbed Inspiring Possibilities, which featured inspirational speaker John Maclean.

“The theme is twofold,” said Umberto Aponte, vice president of Lane’s, which spearheaded the event. “‘Inspiring’ is Maclean, and ‘possibilities’ is what Starnet and its contractors give the A&D community. Those possibilities include specification to post-installation, maintenance and everything in between throughout the continental U.S. and Hawaii.”

According to Aponte, the idea was born about a year ago at the Starnet spring meeting in San Diego, where Maclean was the keynote speaker. (Maclean is an Australian triathlete who was paralyzed in a bicycling accident when he was 22.) He subsequently became the first paraplegic to finish the Ironman World Championship and the first to swim the English Channel. In 2014, he completed the Nepean Triathlon without using a wheelchair after regaining some use of his legs through Ware K Tremor therapy. His story is one of perseverance, triumph and philanthropy to motivate others to bend their challenges into successes.

Lane Brettschneider, owner of Lane’s Floor Covering, came up with the idea to have an event in New York City with Maclean as the headliner. The idea was to get the Starnet Worldwide name further entrenched into the A&D community through a Starnet-driven event that could educate them on what Starnet members and vendors bring to the table.

About 140 members of the A&D community attended and took advantage of the opportunity to connect with higher-level executives from Starnet vendors, according to Aponte. Those that participated in the event included Tarkett, Johnsonite, Tandus Centiva, Gerflor, Milliken, Atlas, Masland, Mannington Commercial, HB Fuller and J+J.

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My take: Random ramblings from NeoCon

July 3/10: Volume 32, Issue 2

By Steven Feldman

 

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 3.46.11 PMHow can 2017 have less than half of it remaining? Time really does fly. Walking around NeoCon last month made me realize just that. There was no way we could be five months removed from Surfaces. Then again, show management is probably saying there is no way it’s been five years since they changed the name to TISE, or The International Surface Event, and I still refer to it as Surfaces. (That’s because most of you do, too.)

Anyway, as the ADD kicks into high gear as the years go by and my brain goes in 100 different directions, here was what I was thinking about on the plane ride home from NeoCon:

If only I booked the 1:30 or 4:30 and not the 2:30, we wouldn’t have been stranded an extra day in Chicago… Kudos to Metroflor for going the extra mile in creating awareness for its Aspecta brand with a public area on the first floor of the Merchandise Mart where attendees could stop in and get a smoothie. This in addition to a well-attended party at the Godfrey… Encryption, the subway tile-looking carpet tile planks from Milliken, is an innovative design… Does anyone know how to fold a fitted sheet?… Great to see old friend and former Bentley boss Anthony Minite heading up the U.S. operations for Denmark-based Fletco. There’s a good story there…

Impressed with the huge Tarkett/Tandus Centiva/Johnsonite/ Desso space on the third floor. Bringing everything together makes all the sense in the world…Speaking of the third floor, there may be more attendees per square foot in the Mohawk space than anywhere else… And speaking of Mohawk, Gavin DeGraw headlined its annual NeoCon soiree. Great performance, but would have preferred Earth Wind & Fire… I think Aquafil is one of the best-kept secrets in this industry. What they do with fiber from a color and sustainability standpoint is unmatched…

Always love the Bentley showroom design on the 10th floor… Speaking of high floors, no more elevator waits for me. Take a non-NeoCon elevator to a non-NeoCon floor, like 12 or 13, and walk down. I should have thought of that 20 years ago… They may not be a household name, but Taj Flooring has some innovative designs. With the right exposure they could make some noise in the next few years… I miss not seeing Don Miller at the Roppe booth. Hopefully next year… I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent an idiot from cutting in at the front…

The Raskin purchase of To Market is sure to pay dividends… I like what companies like Gerflor and American Biltrite are doing in the U.S…. Gibson’s vs. Mastro’s vs. Gene & Georgetti. Who wins?… I am expecting Atlas to be more visible going forward with rumors of some new branding on the horizon… While carbon neutral is the buzzword for many, Interface is moving forward with the first carbon negative carpet tile a few years down the road… Noticed more companies with Declare labels than years past…

At the end of the day, though, one of my favorite aspects of NeoCon is seeing executives of competing manufacturers visiting each other’s showrooms and spaces. There is a certain camaraderie unseen at other events. It’s more than just checking out the competition. There is a palpable level of respect and friendship. I like that.

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Tarkett products earn 14 Starnet honors

tarkett-logoSolon, Ohio—Tarkett’s Johnsonite and Tandus Centiva brands were recently honored at the prestigious Starnet Design Awards. The two brands were featured in a combined 14 award-winning projects, including six gold, four silver and four bronze. Starnet members entered more than 100 projects featuring the two brands.

The Starnet Design Awards launched in 1998 to spotlight the innovative use of flooring in commercial design. A panel of three professionals hand-selected from respected commercial A&D design firms serve as the judges. Judging is open to Starnet members within the People’s Choice category.

“It’s always an honor to hear our name and products associated with these awards,” said Rusty Joyce, senior vice president of sales, Tandus Centiva. “These are projects entered by people who have used our product, are proud of their work and stand behind it. It speaks volumes about the quality of our brands for these respected Starnet members to turn to them year after year.”

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Tarkett introduces updated Johnsonite Safe-T-First system

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 3.25.09 PMSolon, Ohio—Tarkett, the worldwide leader in innovative flooring and sports surfaces solutions, has introduced its updated Safe-T-First system (STF). In compliance with International Building Code requirements, the revamped STF utilizes photoluminescent technology to provide a complete escape path marking system through emergency egress stairwells and hallways that may go dark in the event of a fire or other unexpected power outage.

Photoluminescence is a phenomenon caused by non-toxic, inorganic strontium aluminate crystals absorbing light source energy. During a fire or other unexpected power outage, the stored energy is released in the form of a yellow-green light. Particularly at a low location, where smoke is less dense, STF outlines continuous pathway elements to facilitate orientation and minimize panic.

Safe-T-First can be used as an entire system or as individual product solutions.

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Tarkett introduces Acczent Flourish

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 12.09.55 PMSolon, Ohio—Tarkett, a worldwide leader in innovative flooring and sports surfaces solutions, has introduced Acczent Flourish, its heterogeneous sheet flooring. As one of the most versatile commercial sheet vinyl products available today, Acczent Flourish delivers the look and feel of LVT while providing optimal hygienic performance.

“Acczent Flourish has been designed and tested to enhance infection protection and overall performance across health care facilities,” said Jeremy Salomon, senior product manager, Johnsonite.

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Tarkett’s Johnsonite Arcade Rubber Sheet achieves Cradle to Cradle Bronze Certification

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 4.44.08 PMSolon, Ohio—Tarkett, a worldwide leader in innovative and sustainable flooring and sport surface solutions, has achieved the Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Bronze Certification 3.1 for its Johnsonite Arcade Rubber Sheet flooring. This certification is the first of its kind earned by a rubber manufacturer.

“This certification differentiates our rubber products from anything else on the market,” said Diane Martel, vice president of environmental planning and strategy, Tarkett. “By continuously putting products through material assessments and re-evaluating our technology, Tarkett demonstrates an unmatched commitment to the principles of C2C. We will continue offering the best possible flooring solutions for our customers as part of our mission to become a completely C2C certified company by 2020.”

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Johnsonite, Tandus Centiva earn Best of NeoCon, HiP Awards

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Chagrin Falls, Ohio—Johnsonite and Tandus Centiva (both Tarkett brands) have been recognized with 12 separate and distinctive awards for their innovative products during NeoCon 2015, the largest commercial interiors show in North America.

Johnsonite’s Safe-T-First and Acczent products received the following awards:

  • Contract Best of NeoCon Silver-Healthcare Flooring: Acczent Flourish
  • Interior Design HiP Honoree: Safe-T-First
  • Interior Design HiP Honoree: Acczent Flourish
  • Buildings Money Saving Products: Acczent

Tandus Centiva received the following awards for its wide range of products and designers Suzanne Tick and Jhane Barnes:

  • Contract Best of NeoCon Gold-Broadloom/Woven: Indent
  • Contract Best of NeoCon Gold-Hard Surface: Asymmetric
  • Contract Best of NeoCon Silver-Modular: Avant
  • Interior Design HiP Winner-Product Designer: Jhane Barnes
  • Interior Design HiP Winner-Work Place Flooring/Carpet: Indent
  • Interior Design HiP Honoree-Accessories: MetalEdge
  • Interior Design HiP Honoree-Education Flooring: Maelstrom
  • Interior Design HiP Honoree-Work Place Flooring/Hard Surface: Asymmetric