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Staying ‘home’ creates local jobs

Volume 26/Number 25; April 29/May 6, 2013

By Matthew Spieler

America was built by manufacturing, and flooring companies such as Shaw continue to employ U.S. workers.

When considering the Made in the USA movement, one area discussed consistently is how it helps create jobs for American citizens. Since the recession hit its nadir—and energy and transportation prices began to soar—there has been a resurgence of companies either touting how they continue to keep their manufacturing in local communities or, in many cases, bringing back some or all of their production to U.S. soil.

While the flooring industry was one of the hardest hit by the economic downturn, manufacturers and suppliers are quick to point out they continue to do their part to keep American communities thriving by producing their goods domestically. Continue reading Staying ‘home’ creates local jobs

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Environment, safety at head of domestic production

Volume 26/Number 25; April 29/May 6, 2013

By Matthew Spieler

Flooring manufacturers such as HomerWood have been honored for their environmental activities.

Few countries, if any, have as many laws as the U.S. regarding the protection of the health and safety of its people and the environment, from the federal level to local municipalities. In addition, green building rating systems have put a greater emphasis on how far a product travels, rationalizing the closer it is to the jobsite, the less energy required to get it there.

While some may complain about the abundance of regulations, the flooring industry, in many ways, has deemed these rules advantageous to producing products in the U.S.

Randy Merritt, president of Shaw Industries, said the company’s commitment to safety, health and the environment spans past compliance. “Our sustainability practices go beyond basic federal or state requirements. We aim to be an innovation leader, producing products that minimize waste, utilize renewable energy in production when possible and safeguard our natural resources. Shaw has recycled more than 600 million pounds of post-consumer carpet from 2006 through 2011, a major milestone for the growth of carpet reclamation.” Continue reading Environment, safety at head of domestic production

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Quality control: Key advantage to local mill production

Volume 26/Number 25; April 29/May 6, 2013

By Matthew Spieler

With production in Barnwell, S.C., Kronotex is able to check for quality control, something extremely important for producing goods under the Formica brand.

Dalton—Mohawk is hitting the road this year and taking its SmartStrand with DuPont Sorona with it. The mill will continue to prove SmartStrand’s performance attributes in the coast-to-coast “License to Spill” carpet showdown tour in partnership with the nationally syndicated lifestyle television show, “The Better Show.”

The tour, which will make at least 12 stops, will showcase the cleanability and performance of SmartStrand at festivals and home show events. Attendees are invited to spill everything from ketchup and Kool-Aid to wine and coffee on SmartStrand carpet to see if it will clean with just water or mild detergent. Mohawk will promote its local Floorscapes and ColorCenter members at each tour stop and encourage consumers to visit their nearest aligned retailers to take advantage of promotional offers. Continue reading Quality control: Key advantage to local mill production

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Industry starting to tout Made in the USA message

Volume 26/Number 25; April 29/May 6, 2013

By Matthew Spieler

Marketing Made in the USA has become an important component to manufactuers’ promotional activities.

Style, performance and price are still the main drivers of consumer purchases, but as more Americans express a desire for domestically produced goods it is becoming increasingly important for companies that make their products in the U.S to market that fact.

Flooring is no different, and the industry is starting to take that message to heart with more companies making Made in the USA part of their marketing initiatives.

“Does the industry as a whole do a good job promoting Made in America? asked George Kelley, president and CEO of Kronotex, maker of Formica branded laminate floors. “No. Our job is to market this more aggressively. The Formica brand is celebrating 100 years of U.S. roots; we have to get the distribution and retail community excited and proud to emphasize Made in America as a positive when working with their customers. We strongly believe consumers are looking for reasons to buy American-made products.” Continue reading Industry starting to tout Made in the USA message

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Made in the USA: Domestic doesn’t have to mean more expensive

Volume 26/Number 25; April 29/May 6, 2013

By Matthew Spieler

For companies like Armstrong, which has 14 U.S.-based factories, local production provides numerous cost benefits, such as greater speed to market.

One of the main reasons companies have cited for exiting the U.S. in favor of making or sourcing their products internationally is price, namely the cost of labor and regulations, which they say hamper their ability to effectively compete with products coming from countries that do not put a value on either.

While this is something with which it is hard to argue, many flooring companies point out the cost differential is not as steep as most think, allowing them to offer products and services equal to or better than those that are imported. Continue reading Made in the USA: Domestic doesn’t have to mean more expensive

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Mullican Flooring expands domestic production

Oak sangria from Mullican’s LincolnShire Collection is one of the "Made in the USA" engineered floorings now being manufactured at the company’s Johnson City, Tenn., location.

Johnson City, Tenn. – Mullican Flooring, a leading manufacturer of quality hardwood floors, has added a new collection of engineered flooring called LincolnShire to its growing roster of  “Made in the USA” products.

Mullican recently moved its headquarters to a new location in Johnson City, Tenn., where the company began manufacturing engineered products for the first time on American soil. With the newest collection, the company now offers consumers two lines of American-made engineered flooring – LincolnShire and HillShire. Continue reading Mullican Flooring expands domestic production

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What happens in Vegas shouldn’t stay in Vegas

by Celia Payne

Las Vegas—Surfaces 2012 presented the opportunity to shine—even brighter than the Vegas strip. The successful protagonists at the show know you must set yourself apart among a sea of introductions. Continue reading What happens in Vegas shouldn’t stay in Vegas