Volume 28/Number 6; September 1/8, 2014
By Ken Ryan
Surfaces remains the preeminent launch pad for new flooring products, but the fall selling season for 2014 is proving to be fairly brisk as well with several manufacturers introducing new offerings for distributors and the specialty retail channel.
For example, Armstrong is beefing up its signature laminate and hardwood flooring lines. The company is adding to its Architectural Remnants laminate collection with Global Reclaim, 18 unique planks blending reclaimed exotic wood looks—apple wood, eucalyptus and maple—with dusty blush tones.
Within its Rustics Premium collection, Armstrong is introducing Forestry Mix, “a harmonious blend” of hickory, white oak and red oak, along with three colors, all with 24 planks displaying the varied stain characteristics of each species. To round out the new laminate offerings, Millwork Block features 18 planks that resemble premium oak strips, assembled into planks, glazed with stain and enhanced by an undulating surface treatment.
In addition, Armstrong is adding walnut and cherry to its popular American Scrape hardwood collection. The new floors have a lighter, more refined scrape with rich colors and wide planks resembling a vintage hand-scraped floor. The new walnut and cherry floors—available in 6-inch wide planks—include a light scraping style combining hand-crafted and timeworn textures.
Timeless from Congoleum is a new luxury vinyl plank and tile line scheduled to launch in October. Inspired by nature, Timeless recreates the finest intricate graining and textures with more than 100 wood and stone options that range from refined to rustic. The line features 45 Degree, a diagonal plank design that allows for a full diagonal floor or a unique herringbone or chevron. The Impressions collection from Timeless combines classic wood visuals with a natural leaf pattern overlay. These designs can be used alone or in combination with the Hickory pattern for a customized look.
Two new fall introductions are Olde Grey from the Riverstone collection and Weathered Black from Vinyl Deluxe Click. Olde Grey is an evolution of hand-sculpted hardwood flooring that blends in with both old and new interiors. Hand distressing and raised knots give Riverstone “a raw and organic contour that feels rustic yet modern,” the company said.
Olde Grey includes light and dark shades, hand sculpting around the wood knots, and wire brushing to create a finer texture.
Vinyl DeLuxe Click, DuChateau’s signature LVT featuring realistic texture, pattern and color, is intended to create the rich warmth of natural hardwood in a durable, low-maintenance alternative to its wood flooring collections.
FloorFolio Industries is debuting a click flooring product for the first time. FloorFolio Click is marketed as a durable installation system featuring a snap-and-lock method with no need for an adhesive.
“Even though FloorFolio is late in the game to launch our click product, we felt we needed to be able to introduce a product that conformed to our core values of this company,” said Michael Freedman, president and CEO. “With FloorFolio Click, it certainly lives up to those expectations.”
FloorFolio Click is available in all wood and stone collections.
Horizon Floors is expanding its Montage European Oak series with the introduction of the Ferno collection, a distressed, handcrafted, lightly brushed hardwood floor with an eco-friendly natural oil finish. “Each plank enhances the inherent grain patterns of European oak and creates a classic look,” said Alex Shaoulpour, president.
Ferno will be sold through the company’s national distribution network.
Inhaus by Classen is taking the wraps off a high-tech flooring product called “Neo,” which is Latin for “new.” Neo is created with wood-based biological materials without PVC, is free of chemicals such as chlorine or phthalates and is highly water resistant.
The product combines natural wood and food-safe polypropylene to create a highly stable substrate. The new production technology enables successful manufacturing without the use of additives such as plasticizer or chlorine and has the added benefit of no additional chemicals to off-gas into the home or environment.
“We view Neo as having the good attributes of laminate,” said Derek Welbourn, CEO. “The product is very robust and scratch resistant. It installs like a laminate, snaps together like a laminate but is similar to floating LVT, and highly water resistant.”
IVC US is looking to “breathe new life” into the laminate category with Balterio—36 products arranged in three different style categories, including Traditions, Heritage and Metropolitan, with 12 new SKUs in each line.
The products are available in 8mm and 12mm thickness and varying plank sizes. Balterio offers a high-density core for dimensional stability, and is wear and moisture resistant. With IVC US’ PressXpress click locking mechanism, which was developed in-house, Balterio’s installation can be completed up to 50% faster than that of other laminate products.
Karndean is launching LooseLay Series 3 with six new SKUs. Jenne Ross, product manager, said the new release is due to “overwhelming demand.” The products launch in mid-October.
Karndean is also introducing a new line of design strips compatible with the company’s portfolio of glue down planks and tiles. “Our design strips create a customized look that coordinates with any interior finish,” Ross said. “Furthermore, they are made from LVT, which means there’s no need to worry about cracking, discoloration or harboring dirt.”
In conjunction with these new products, Karndean is offering a bi-fold presenter sales tool. Each bi-fold presenter includes a physical sample of the new strips to help retailers sell Karndean product.
The company is making a big splash with its new American Concepts laminate flooring. The 57-SKU collection encompasses 7mm square edge to 12mm embossed-in-register handscraped products with a four-sided bevel and attached pad.
American Concepts’ “best of the best” wood visuals are intended to give independent dealers a brand and collection that will resonate with customers, and appeal to those who want to buy Made in the USA products.
For fall 2014, Metroflor will introduce Engage Premier Plank. With a 4.0mm gauge and an 8 mil wear layer with ceramic bead, Premier rounds out the “good” level of the company’s good (Premier)/better (Engage Essentials)/best (Engage Select and Reserve) platform.
The nine Engage Premier SKUs consist of maple and weathered, distressed oak looks with a fashion-forward modern wash.
“The Engage spectrum comes full circle with the addition of Premier,” said Russ Rogg, Metroflor president and CEO. “Its residential good looks coupled with Engage LVT’s performance attributes— easy, fast installation and low maintenance—offer the perfect package for both residential and light commercial applications, especially multi-family units and private offices.”
Engage Premier Plank is warrantied for 12 years residential, three years light commercial.
Mirage has expanded its accessories portfolio with a new square-edged stair nosing line. The principal advantage of the new collection is its ability to adapt to contemporary designs without sacrificing the sturdiness and quality of Mirage moldings. The product is available on maple and red oak in 5- and 6 ½-inch widths with semigloss and Cashmere finishes in seven colors.
Mirage has also expanded its Imagine and Herringbone collections. The Papyrus, Linen and Rock Cliff lines in Imagine are now available in 3¼- and 4¼-inch widths on Old Maple with Cashmere finish. The company’s successful Herringbone Collection now includes a 5-inch width. Fourteen color options on different species within Herringbone are now available on special orders of at least 500 or 1,000 square feet, depending on the product.
The demand for commercial business continues to expand, particularly for modular carpet. To take full advantage of this opportunity, Mohawk’s Aladdin Commercial unit is launching six new products for specialty dealers.
Contemplate features seven solution-dyed nylon colorations that interweave to create visual depth and surface interaction.
Ruminate is an elongated, variegated loop pattern consisting of seven mottled multi-colorations.
Sweeping Gestures reflects the random, flowing weathering that occurrs in nature, while Onward Bound is based on urban architectures and landscapes.
Lastly, Commingle and Compound is composed of neutral colors mixed in with randomly chosen end-of-lot yarns diverted from Mohawk’s excess yarn lots.