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Taking texture, realism to a new level

by Matthew Spieler

Talk of laminate’s demise may be greatly overstated, especially to those who at-tended Surfaces. Yes, sales have suffered more than most since the recession started. Yes, the category is under tremendous pressure from competing products like LVT. And, yes, margins are being squeezed razor thin. But none of this has stopped laminate companies from investing in technology and creating products that either mimic the real thing or have a unique look. Continue reading Taking texture, realism to a new level

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Specialty vendor, Stainmaster roll buy in spotlight

Las Vegas—When the National Floorcovering Alliance (NFA) meets here each year on the morning prior to Surfaces, one of the primary goals is to expose its members to vendors not present at the group’s two major gatherings in the spring and fall. Referred to as tier 2 suppliers, members have the opportunity to spend three hours with “specialty vendors” in a table-top trade show format, allowing them to fill in gaps and/or further differentiate their product lineup from their competition. Continue reading Specialty vendor, Stainmaster roll buy in spotlight

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Spring introductions: New products, innovations blossoming

Much of the U.S. may still be struggling to escape winter temperatures but the calendar says it’s officially spring. A time of rebirth and hope, not just in nature, spring is when consumers air out their homes and take a look at how to get the glum out of the house. One historical way has been to redecorate, with new floors and furniture and a fresh coat of paint. Spring traditionally marks one of the industry’s busiest selling times. Continue reading Spring introductions: New products, innovations blossoming

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Domotex asia/ChinaFloor: LVT takes center stage while ITC case is pending

SHANGHAI, CHINA—First it was the laminate category, in recent years it has been the wood sector, and while each still played a prominent role at this year’s Domotex asia/ ChinaFloor (DACF), it was the explosion of luxury vinyl tile (LVT) that dominated the 13th annual trade show here.

Not only was just about every resilient manufacturer showing some type of LVT product, a plethora of companies that up until this year focused on wood and/or laminate were unveiling their own versions of LVT. Continue reading Domotex asia/ChinaFloor: LVT takes center stage while ITC case is pending

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Domotex asia/ChinaFloor: U.S. mills expand into Asia as Eastern mills grow in west

SHANGHAI—Massive earth-quakes. Powerful hurricanes. Countries struggling to survive economic collapse. Many would say the world is turning upside down. This is certainly so in the world of flooring—but unlike world events, it is for the betterment of everyone, it seems.Domotex asia show floor

While China remains the most important sourcing market for all kinds of products (73% of the country’s exports end up in the U.S.), flooring including, there is an interesting trend that was played out among the 8.5 football field-sized halls that made up the 12th annual Domotex asia/ChinaFloor (DACF) here last month. Western-based manufacturers continue to see mainland China as a major opportunity for sales of products bearing their brand, while Chinese mills that have set up shop in the U.S. have seen their market share grow as retailers and distributors look for alternatives in this tough economy. Continue reading Domotex asia/ChinaFloor: U.S. mills expand into Asia as Eastern mills grow in west