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Compliance: Suppliers reinforce pledge to health, safety and the environment

November 6/13, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 11

 

With consumers and commercial end users placing more emphasis on environmentally friendly products, suppliers are working hard to ensure the products they source and develop do not pose health risks to customers. More manufacturers are providing chain-of-custody documentation as well as relevant environmental and operational certifications to demonstrate their compliance with regulatory statutes pertaining to the production of a host of hard and soft surface products. Suppliers see this as an opportunity to reinforce the message that they are continuing to meet or surpass the guidelines and federal/local regulations governing the manufacturing of engineered floor coverings.

Following are some examples of how suppliers are keeping it clean by meeting or exceeding environmental compliance standards.

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 10.27.57 AMArmstrong has a long history of environmental stewardship, from reusing cork waste for linoleum floors in the early 1900s to planting hardwoods to replace the wood the company uses to make floors today. Today, sustainability continues as a core focus of its business.

The company’s products meet and have met the toughest standards for indoor air quality (IAQ) and environmental manufacturing for years. Armstrong Flooring recently achieved FloorScore certification for its solid hardwood products including the Armstrong, Bruce and Capella brands. All Armstrong wood manufacturing facilities including Beverly, W.Va.; Warren, Ark.; and West Plains, Mo.; are also now FloorScore certified. Supporting certification programs such as FloorScore help advance Armstrong’s corporate mission to the environment and green practices throughout the manufacturing industry. All totaled, more than 95% of all Armstrong Flooring products by volume are FloorScore certified, including engineered wood, laminate, luxury vinyl flooring, linoleum, vinyl tile, vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives.

While most of Armstrong’s volume is domestically produced, the company only accepts composite wood products that are certified to meet CARB requirements. In addition, on an annual basis the company randomly tests its products at the Hardwood Products Veneer Association (HPVA) lab in Virginia for Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements. As always, Armstrong is committed to providing the best quality, safest products by taking the steps necessary, including meeting and even exceeding regulatory requirements.

Furthermore, Armstrong has supply agreements in place requiring suppliers to follow CARB regulations. In addition to those agreements, the company is committed to taking actions to make sure it sources compliant products, has certificates and labels product properly. To support these initiatives, Armstrong has sourcing managers on the ground in China and product stewardship personnel in Lancaster, Pa., who ensure product compliance and regularly monitor that testing and certifications are up to date.

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 10.28.01 AMAll applicable Mannington flooring products comply with the California Air Resource Board’s (CARB) Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) 93120 Title 17, California Code of Regulations, and meet or exceed CARB 2 standards. The vast majority of Mannington flooring is also FloorScore IAQ certified, which means the products are independently certified by Scientific Certification Systems to comply with the emissions criteria of the California Section 01350 program. Both CARB and FloorScore test for formaldehyde. Any product that has met these stringent standards is considered a low-VOC product that will contribute to good indoor air quality.

Looking at individual product categories, Mannington laminate flooring is 100% made in the U.S. at its manufacturing facilities in North Carolina. The products are certified to a standard set by the North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA) called the NALFA LF-01 standard. In the hardwood category, more than 80% of Mannington’s engineered hardwood products are made in the U.S. at its manufacturing facilities in Alabama and North Carolina. All domestically produced Mannington hardwood products are FloorScore IAQ certified while all imported hardwood flooring products have been tested and comply with CARB 2. In resilient, Mannington sheet, Adura and porcelain do not contain formaldehyde. Furthermore, all three product categories have been certified to the FloorScore IAQ standard.

Mannington has a long-standing commitment to quality and safety. All of its products have passed third-party environmental testing and meet or exceed the highest standards in the industry.

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 10.28.06 AMMercier Generations products are Greenguard Gold Certified—the highest environmental certification on the market—and are made using 100% pure soybean oil. Mercier Generations flooring passes stringent environmental tests at every step in the finishing, dying and varnishing process in order to meet that standard. The Greenguard Gold Certification requirements comply with California’s Department of Public Health Services Standard Practice for Specification Section 01350 (California Section 01350) for testing chemical emissions from building products used in schools and other environments. Beyond that, every adhesive used in Mercier’s engineered products are free of urea-formaldehyde and hardwood plywood used in Mercier’s engineered products are CARB 2 compliant. In addition, laboratory tests reveal that Mercier Generations finish does not have any formaldehyde emissions and performs beyond the LEED norm and the environmental certification choice program regarding VOCs.

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 10.28.10 AMAt Boa-Franc, maker of the Mirage brand, everything is done with one eye on sustainable development because the company firmly believes there is no better way to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Its corporate values and strategies were geared toward sustainable development from the very beginning.

Some examples of this stewardship in sustainability measures include the procurement from vendors who practice responsible forestry methods according to the Lacey Act. In complying with this law, Mirage makes international environmental protection a priority as part of its approach to sustainable development. The Mirage brand guarantees customers peace of mind by providing them with hardwood floors made from natural resources that are soundly managed and legally harvested.

Furthermore, all Mirage products are manufactured in North American facilities, which enables complete control in all facets of production, including meeting implemented ISO-9001 standards. Mirage products are also FSC certified, meaning the raw materials used in the manufacturing process have been inspected and legally harvested in non-genetically modified forests where traditional and civil rights are respected.

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 10.28.14 AMMohawk’s commitment remains to responsibly manufacture and provide the highest quality engineered hardwood and laminate floors that meet strict U.S. guidelines. Products across the Mohawk Hard Surface, Quick-Step, Columbia and Pergo portfolios have earned the following health and sustainability certifications: CARB Phase 2, NALFA and FloorScore. In addition, all of Mohawk’s hardwood flooring is Lacey Act compliant, ensuring the timber used is responsibly harvested from sustainable forests, and Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers (AHMI) has verified data from the U.S. Forest Service that Appalachian Hardwood Territory timber—which Mohawk uses in select hardwood flooring lines—is sustainably certified.

Mohawk places a high priority on making certain the products retailers receive surpass the most rigorous testing. Mohawk, Quick-Step’s Q-Wood, Pergo and Columbia domestically produce engineered hardwoods. Also, Quick-Step, Pergo, Columbia and Mohawk’s patented glueless Uniclic technology provides fast, easy installation of laminate planks without adversely impacting indoor air quality.

Consumers want confidence in the products they buy. They want impartial experts to evaluate what materials are in a product and whether the way those ingredients are used in a particular product could be a concern. That’s where “green seals” or certifications can be very helpful.

That’s one of the key reasons why Shaw Floors goes beyond standards required by law to pursue independent, third-party assessments such as Cradle to Cradle, Greenguard, Green Label Plus, FloorScore and others.

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 10.28.18 AMIt’s important for retailers, as a homeowner’s trusted advisor, to understand the variety of product certifications available for flooring including what each certification tests for, how that information is tested (i.e. by an independent third party) and how frequent those tests occurred. Furthermore, it’s incumbent on manufacturers to ensure their products are verified and clearly labeled and that ongoing education and training is provided to retailers to help them communicate to customers what those third-party certifications mean. By providing ongoing training to retailers, information on point of purchase displays and on shawfloors.com, the company aims to provide information and tools to help consumers make their purchase decisions.

Shaw has a long-standing commitment to sustainability, and the company strives to build upon its legacy of leadership every day. The company carefully considers the impact of its products on the environment and on society throughout the life cycle of the floors. Shaw examines the ingredient materials, the impact of its supply chain, the use of natural resources and the ability to recover and recycle its products.

In addition, Shaw manufactures many of its own products and sources from strategic partners in the U.S. and internationally to offer a broad portfolio of products to meet diverse customer preferences. In doing so, the company sets high standards for itself and its suppliers. Shaw takes numerous steps to verify that its products—regardless of where or by whom they are manufactured—meet customers’ high expectations. This includes: performing manufacturing site inspections to ensure suppliers meet the same high-quality standards Shaw sets for itself; setting raw material specifications that restrict the use of certain chemical substances of concern; and ensuring all products meet the indoor air emissions requirements of California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Standard Method V1.1 (2010) and that relevant products meet California Air Resources Board (CARB) and Lacey Act requirements.

Beyond meeting regulatory requirements, Shaw employs third-party certifications to provide further confidence in the products it manufactures.

For example: 85% of the products Shaw manufactures are Cradle to Cradle Certified, including nylon and polyester carpet as well as solid and engineered hardwood. In addition, many of Shaw’s resilient products are FloorScore certified, and all Shaw manufactured carpet products are GLP certified. Lastly, all of Shaw’s hardwood and laminate flooring is Greenguard certified.

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 10.28.26 AMTarkett practices sustainability through its ‘closed loop circular design’ model, which is Tarkett’s way of best applying the Cradle to Cradle principles to support the development of the circular economy. The company works in partnership with the German scientific institute EPEA (Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency) to apply these principles across all its activities and product ranges.

Tarkett’s sustainable product design approach earned its recognition through its selection as one of the first companies to join the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circular Economy 100 program in February 2013.

Several product ranges have already received a Cradle to Cradle certification: Gold level for linoleum Veneto Essenza 100% linen produced in Narni (Italy); silver level for linoleum, also produced in Narni; wood manufactured in Hanaskog (Sweden) and Poland; and basic level for rubber made in the USA and artificial turf produced in Auchel (France), Valls (Spain) and Calhoun, Ga. Since February 2010, Tarkett has been a member of the KKR Green Portfolio Program. Designed in partnership with the non-governmental organization Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the program requires Tarkett to commit to improving its environmental performance, including in the areas of greenhouse gas emissions, waste, water, forest stewardship and chemical product use.

 

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Wood: Canadian suppliers seek to play the ‘Q’ (as in quality) card

July 3/10: Volume 32, Issue 2

By Reginald Tucker

 

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 3.18.14 PMIn some circles, Canada is renown for developing some of the greatest hockey players—and teams—in the history of the sport. Well, the same could be said for the nation’s formidable forestry sector, which has produced some of the most prolific producers of hardwood flooring.

But it’s not just high volumes that some of these well-respected companies are cranking out. Many industry observers would argue that they manufacture some of the industry’s highest quality hardwood flooring products.

Take Rochester, N.Y.-based Installers Warehouse as an example. This wholesale flooring distributor ranks the Wickham line high on its portfolio of hardwood flooring products. Craig Dupra, president, has toured the Wickham plant on multiple occasions and is always impressed with what he sees. “Wickham has a unique business model in that it produces an enormous amount of product, but the company doesn’t apply a color or a finish until the product has been ordered by the retailer or distributor. I don’t know how it manages the logistics of it, but the company is very good at making a particular product for a particular customer and still gets it to my customer in 10-15 business days from the time the order is placed. This gives retailers an enormous amount of flexibility in terms of how the particular floor can be made regarding width, species, grade, color and sheen.”

Perhaps it’s the signature, tight-grained maple species native to the various Canadian forests where lumber used for flooring is predominantly harvested, or maybe it’s just an ingrained mindset embraced by the major wood manufacturers operating here, but there’s definitely something to be said about the quality of the upper-end hardwood flooring products originating from Canada. Marketplace reputation probably plays a role as well, observers say.

Abraham Linc, which took on the Wickham line late last year, also attests to the company’s focus on high standards. “Our entire team is excited to partner with Wickham and offer this line to our customers,” said Darren Abraham, president. “The high quality of the products, fashion-forward colors and design, combined with our commitment to inventory, delivery and sales support gives our dealers an exciting new line.”

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 3.18.31 PMAsk virtually any top distributor or retailer to corroborate many Canadian hardwood flooring manufacturers’ claims that their products are among the highest quality available on the market today, and you are not likely to find a lot of hesitation. Jaeckle Distributors, based in Madison, Wis., is a case in point.

“Mercier gives us a first-quality Canadian manufactured wood line that fits all possibilities in today’s ever-changing customer lifestyle,” said Steve Flanagan, product and marketing manager. “Mercier fits the consumer’s need anywhere from a quality entry-level product in their Pro Series to the most fashionable 7-inch pine long board or other popular species like hickory, maple, red and white oak, and their entire exotics series.”

Jaeckle’s experience with the Mercier brand continues to generate positive results. For 2016, Brad Myers, sales manager with Jaeckle Wholesale Distributors in St. Louis, won the manufacturer’s Best Salesperson of the Year award In addition, for the third straight year, Jaeckle Wholesale Distributors earned Wholesaler of the Year honors from Mercier.

Other top distributors are singing the praises of Canadian hardwood. For instance, No. 1-ranked Haines counts the Mirage Hardwood Flooring brand among its best sellers. “Mirage’s Flair collection features a next-generation finish called Duramatt, an extremely durable, low-gloss urethane finish that has the appearance of an oil finish without the maintenance required for oil,” said Shawn McCloskey, marketing manager. “Duramatt also contains anti-microbial agents and is 20 times more wear resistant than a conventional oil finish.”

Other Mirage distributors, including No. 4-ranked All Tile, applaud the virtues of not only the manufacturer’s high-quality products but also the company’s steadfast approach to manufacturing overall and attention to detail. So much so that All Tile recently decided to expand the territories in which it will distribute the Mirage brand. Specifically, All Tile’s single-source trading area for Mirage Flooring will be widened beyond Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, eastern Wisconsin, northern Indiana, Illinois and Michigan to include North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and all of Wisconsin.

“This is a great opportunity to provide a high level of quality service with outstanding customer service, inventory and technology to Mirage customers and help them selling the top-quality hardwood flooring brand on the market,” said Bob Weiss, president of All Tile, a Mirage wholesale partner since 2007. “We are very happy about extending our partnership with Mirage to a new territory.”

Focus on innovation
Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 3.18.20 PMMuch like their counterparts south of the border in America, most Canadian hardwood flooring manufacturers face stiff competition from other quality-minded suppliers operating in their market. To gain a competitive advantage, many employ proprietary techniques in their respective manufacturing processes. One common denominator, though, is the obligatory attention to detail.

That same emphasis on strict quality control measures is observed at Lauzon. As Priscilla Bergeron, brand manager, explains: “We have numerous points of control to make sure every step of the way our quality is maintained. This starts right from the forests where we choose which tree we’re going to cut all the way through to delivery to the retailer. We also have state-of-the-art equipment to make sure the quality is maintained consistently. We test and re-test to make sure everything we produce has the highest standards in the market. And we communicate that message to the marketplace.”

This focus on attention paved the way for innovations such as Sunshield, which is designed to mitigate the harmful effects of UV light. Lauzon also developed a titanium finish, which it says is one of the strongest coatings on the market. And then there’s Pure Genius technology, which aims to provide air-purifying capabilities for homeowners.

“We have won many awards for Pure Genious alone,” Bergeron said. “In 2015 we won the Best of IBS Award in Las Vegas and we also won the Bronze Innovation award from IIDEX Canada in the flooring category. We also won an innovation award at Domotex in Germany in 2015, and we ranked high among environmentally friendly products at the Greenbuild show as well.”

Even Canadian newcomers to the hardwood arena are looking to leverage the country’s reputation for quality products. For example, Uniboard Canada, which previously only produced laminate flooring, launched its first engineered hardwood flooring line (Kalista) at the NWFA convention in 2016. Since that time, the company has expanded the color and species offerings to give dealers and distributors more options.

Tapis Beaver, a Uniboard distributor based in Montreal, recently previewed the Kalista line and has high hopes for its potential in the marketplace. Already a longtime distributor of Uniboard’s laminate lines, Tapis Beaver is quite familiar with the manufacturer’s overall approach to product quality, high standards and service.

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 3.18.24 PM“We work more on the laminate side than any other product,” said Stephane Leveille, president, Tapis Beaver. “We placed around 150 displays since last December, and we sold about $1 million or more worth of product. We don’t have any complaints about the product. The quality is very good.”

Citing their innovative approach to manufacturing—as well as the proximity to its operations and customer base—Leveille hinted that there may be an opportunity to take on the Kalista brand down the road. “We have looked into the product but we didn’t start to sell it yet. We are still in discussions with Uniboard management to see how we could work with our customers.”

Other major Canadian suppliers are also garnering attention for their innovative approach to hardwood manufacturing. Earlier this year Satin Flooring took home a Best of Surfaces Award for Wirebrushed, part of the Generations engineered wood collection. The innovative, environmentally friendly product is treated with Satin’s proprietary, non-allergenic, formaldehyde-free Eco-Last finish with UV protection and an anti-microbial finish, which prevents bacterial and fungus growth. It also features the company’s SolidFused technology, which is used in its engineered flooring production.

According to Dennis Mohn, director of U.S. sales for Satin Flooring, the company only uses lumber from well-managed North American forests—a big selling point for both existing and potential customers. “As a leading user of one of nature’s most precious and inspiring resources, we have a special responsibility not just to our environment but also to each other.”

Many Canadian distributor partners generally believe all these attributes—product quality, attention to detail, responsible use of natural resources—translate into products that provide higher margin opportunities with low claims rates. “Wickham has allowed us to grow our business by leaps and bounds,” Installers Warehouse Dupra said. “By stocking the Wickham line, we have easily doubled our bottom line.”

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Mercier introduces innovations for 2017

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-9-53-33-amMontmagny, Quebec, Canada—During Mercier Wood Flooring’s annual meeting with its partners in November, the company proudly presented its novelties for 2017.

Building on its reputation for quality and durability while keeping the esthetic appeal in mind, Mercier has developed a new commercial finish: the Intact 2500. Offering an unprecedented standard commercial warranty of 10 years and a three year warranty on street access floor areas, Mercier sets itself apart with this product, which offers superior quality, durability and a wide selection of stains.

Inspired by European design, Mercier also brings forward White Oak with the release of two new colors: Madera and Fjord. These two new White Oak products have been added to the Elegancia collection.

Mercier has also made Element a series of its own in the Elegancia collection. White Oak and American Walnut have been added in with the Hard Maple, Hickory and Yellow Birch species to enrich Mercier’s Element oxidized wood assortment.

Putting the spotlight on its colors and species, Mercier now offers its partners a new display that maximizes samples size and optimizes lighting. The modern and eye-catching design of this new display will make Mercier the focal point at all its certified retail partners.

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Compliance: Manufacturers reinforce their commitment to health, safety, environment

October 24/31, 2016: Volume 31, Number 1

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-4-26-51-pmWhen the CBS program “60 Minutes” ran its initial expose on Lumber Liquidators and problems associated with imported laminate flooring from China in 2015, ripples echoed through the marketplace. On one hand, consumers voiced their concerns about product safety, calling into question the credibility of a retail brand name they had come to know and trust. At the same time, specialty floor covering retailers doubled down their efforts to work more closely with suppliers and vendors to ensure the products they sourced and developed did not poise health risks to customers.

Manufacturers, for their part, responded immediately by providing chain-of-custody documentation as well as relevant environmental and operational certifications to demonstrate their compliance with regulatory statutes pertaining to the production of laminate as well as engineered hardwood flooring products. Many companies also saw the situation as an opportunity to promote the advantages of domestically made products.

While there was no similar “lightning rod” environmental issue dominating headlines in 2016, responsible suppliers are not resting on their laurels. Rather, many are taking the opportunity to reinforce the message that they are continuing to meet or surpass the guidelines and federal/local regulations governing the manufacturing of engineered floor coverings. Following are some examples of how suppliers are keeping it clean by meeting or exceeding environmental compliance standards.

American OEM
American OEM is proud to say its products are “American-made to American standards.” Why? Because it is the company’s belief that American manufacturers are held to a higher level of expectations—from consumers, the government, American competitors and trade associations. In fact, American OEM recently announced it is CARB 2 exempt due to the fact that it has consistently tested within compliance over time.

In addition, American OEM management sits on the boards of directors of the National Wood Flooring Association, the Hardwood Plywood and Veneer Association and the Hardwood Federation. American OEM actively engages with these associations to understand and follow best industry practices. It uses their labs for testing and manufactures according to their standards, ANSI/HPVA EF 2012. The company advocates alongside its peers for industry positions within the D.C. establishment. It was involved in the industry’s efforts to engage with CARB to develop a practical and enforceable formaldehyde standard. American OEM also supports industry engagement with the EPA to adopt a similar standard for the rest of the country, which it believes will be coming in the near future. The company believes a minimum level of compliance is a good thing for the industry because it instills trust that its products are safe as well as beautiful and durable.

Armstrong
Armstrong has been in business over 150 years and has always stood by its products, making and selling flooring with integrity. Each company is different and, like anything else, it would be wrong to assume all manufacturers, Chinese or domestic, behave the same way. The best way to demonstrate compliance is through testing. In the case of laminate, Armstrong sources product for both Armstrong and Bruce brands. They are made to company specifications, which require adherence to all environmental, health and safety regulations, including formaldehyde emissions, U.S. Federal government mandates and state regulations such as the California Air Resources Board (CARB 2). Armstrong’s suppliers have their products tested at independent certified labs and then regularly provide the test results.

Armstrong only accepts products that are certified to meet CARB requirements. In addition, on an annual basis the company randomly tests its products at the Hardwood Products Veneer Association (HPVA) lab in Virginia for Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements. As always, Armstrong is committed to providing the best quality, safest products by taking the steps necessary, including meeting and even exceeding regulatory requirements.

Armstrong has supply agreements in place requiring suppliers to follow CARB regulations. In addition to those agreements, the company is committed to taking actions to make sure it sources compliant products, has certificates and labels product properly. To support these initiatives, Armstrong has sourcing managers on the ground in China and product stewardship personnel in Lancaster, Pa., who ensure product compliance and regularly monitor that testing and certifications are up to date.

Johnson Hardwood
screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-4-26-45-pmJohnson Hardwood only sources from responsibly harvested forests in the U.S., China, Brazil and Canada. Government regulations in all of these countries have become much more stringent over the last decade, and Johnson Hardwood supports their efforts to protect their forests. China’s Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development regulates sustainable development through environmental policy and reform. There are Six National Key Forest Programs regulated by China’s State Council that include the promotion of economic development, natural resource management and environmental protection, taxation and regulation of timber markets as well as international trade and investment.

“Years ago, there were many doubts about products produced in China,” said Bill Schollmeyer, CEO of Johnson Hardwood. “As quality and design improved, those concerns were pretty minimal. There was an uptick in questions about formaldehyde when the Lumber Liquidators story broke [in 2015], but I feel the impact against the more legitimate, well-known companies like Johnson was pretty minimal. It’s probably a different story for smaller, unknown companies.”

Similarly tough standards are also enforced in other countries. For instance, to comply with global sustainability, Brazil adheres to forest certification as regulated by the Forest Stewardship Council. Meanwhile, Canada’s forest and lumber industry is regulated by the Canada Environmental Protection Agency. The United States, through the enactment of the Lacey Act, has helped other countries by preventing the importation of any hardwood product that is not legally harvested according to the rules of its country of origin. The Lacey Act requires end users of endangered wood to certify the legality of their supply chain all the way to the trees. If an importer knowingly imports tainted wood that has been illegally cut down for lumber, they may face enforcement by the Environmental Investigation Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Lauzon
Long before it became fashionable, Lauzon made a commitment to building a business around environmental and social responsibility. Lauzon set out to rigorously adhere to forestry stewardship best practices and hold itself to the highest environmental standards. As stewards of nearly 2 million acres of forest, Lauzon carefully plans and executes all of its harvests and works tirelessly to do things right, from forest to floor.

Whether Canadian or imported, Lauzon chooses only wood sourced from sustainably managed forests. Lauzon’s portfolio even includes a selection of FSC-certified products such as its Canadian hard maple, which boasts one of the shortest carbon trails in the industry. Lauzon is also ISO 14001 certified for environmental management practices and Rainforest Alliance Certified, which guarantees the product purchased has been grown and harvested according to environmentally and socially responsible practices. In addition, the company’s state-of-the-art sawmill allows it to precisely calibrate production for high yield use of every block of wood.

To minimize the environmental footprint, Lauzon implemented a zero waste policy.

All of Lauzon’s hardwood floors are manufactured without solvents, VOCs or formaldehyde, are fully compliant with CARB 2 and meet the strictest standards for toxic emissions. Lauzon flooring has been tested according to ASTM E1333-02 standards for formaldehyde emission, and the results indicate an emission level so low it is barely within the detection limit of 0.003 ppm.

Mannington
All applicable Mannington flooring products comply with the California Air Resource Board’s (CARB) Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) 93120 Title 17, California Code of Regulations, and meet or exceed CARB 2 standards. The vast majority of Mannington flooring is also FloorScore IAQ certified, which means the products are independently certified by Scientific Certification Systems to comply with the emissions criteria of the California Section 01350 program. Both CARB and FloorScore test for formaldehyde. Any product that has met these stringent standards is considered a low-VOC product that will contribute to good indoor air quality.

Looking at individual product categories, Mannington laminate flooring is 100% made in the U.S. at its manufacturing facilities in North Carolina. The products are certified to a standard set by the North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA) called the NALFA LF-01 standard. In the hardwood category, more than 80% of Mannington’s engineered hardwood products are made in the U.S. at its manufacturing facilities in Alabama and North Carolina. All domestically produced Mannington hardwood products are FloorScore IAQ certified while all imported hardwood flooring products have been tested and comply with CARB 2. In resilient, Mannington sheet, Adura and porcelain do not contain formaldehyde. Furthermore, all three product categories have been certified to the FloorScore IAQ standard.

Mannington has a long-standing commitment to quality and safety. All of its products have passed third-party environmental testing and meet or exceed the highest standards in the industry.

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-4-27-13-pmMercier
Mercier Generations products are Greenguard Gold Certified—the highest environmental certification on the market—and are made using 100% pure soybean oil. Mercier Generations flooring passes stringent environmental tests at every step in the finishing, dying and varnishing process in order to meet that standard. The Greenguard Gold Certification requirements comply with California’s Department of Public Health Services Standard Practice for Specification Section 01350 (California Section 01350) for testing chemical emissions from building products used in schools and other environments. Formerly known as Greenguard Children & Schools Certification, the standard offers a strict certification criteria, considers safety factors to account for sensitive individuals and ensures a product is acceptable for use in environments such as schools and health care facilities.

Beyond that, every adhesive used in Mercier’s engineered products are free of urea-formaldehyde and hardwood plywood used in Mercier’s engineered products are CARB 2 compliant. In addition, laboratory tests reveal that Mercier Generations finish does not have any formaldehyde emissions and performs beyond the LEED norm and the environmental certification choice program regarding VOCs.

Mirage
Since 1983, Boa-Franc, the makers of Mirage hardwood floors, has advocated a management policy based on five fundamental values: passion, innovation, integrity, commitment and respect. At Mirage, everything is done with one eye on sustainable development because the company firmly believes there is no better way to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Its corporate values and strategies were geared toward sustainable development from the very beginning.

Some examples of this stewardship in sustainability measures include the procurement from vendors who practice responsible forestry methods according to the Lacey Act. In complying with this law, Mirage makes international environmental protection a priority as part of its approach to sustainable development. The Mirage brand guarantees customers peace of mind by providing them with hardwood floors made from natural resources that are soundly managed and legally harvested.

Furthermore, all Mirage products are manufactured in North American facilities, which enables complete control in all facets of production, including meeting implemented ISO-9001 standards. Mirage products are also FSC certified, meaning the raw materials used in the manufacturing process have been inspected and legally harvested in non-genetically modified forests where traditional and civil rights are respected.

Mohawk
screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-4-30-53-pm
Mohawk’s commitment remains to responsibly manufacture and provide the highest quality engineered hardwood and laminate floors that meet strict U.S. guidelines. Products across the Mohawk Hard Surface, Quick-Step, Columbia, Century and Pergo portfolios have earned the following health and sustainability certifications: CARB Phase 2, NALFA and FloorScore. In addition, all of Mohawk’s hardwood flooring is Lacey Act compliant, ensuring the timber used is responsibly harvested from sustainable forests, and Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers (AHMI) has verified data from the U.S. Forest Service that Appalachian Hardwood Territory timber—which Mohawk uses in select hardwood flooring lines—is sustainably certified.

At Mohawk, it is a priority to make certain the products retailers receive surpass the most rigorous testing. Mohawk, Quick-Step’s Q-Wood, Pergo, Columbia and Century domestically produce engineered hardwoods utilizing technologies such as PureBond, an innovation that replaces formaldehyde adhesives traditionally used in the manufacture of engineered wood products and eliminates formaldehyde emissions associated with UF adhesives. Also, Quick-Step, Pergo, Columbia and Mohawk’s patented glueless Uniclic Technology provides fast, easy installation of laminate planks without adversely impacting indoor air quality.

Shaw
Shaw Floors has a long-standing commitment to sustainability, and it carefully considers the impact of its products throughout their lifecycle on the environment and on society. Shaw examines the ingredient materials, the impact of its supply chain, the use of natural resources, and the ability to recover and recycle its products. The company manufactures many of its own products and sources from strategic partners in the U.S. and internationally to offer a broad portfolio of products to meet diverse customer preferences. In doing so, the company sets high standards for itself and its suppliers. Shaw takes numerous steps to verify that its products—regardless of where they are manufactured or who makes them—meet customers’ high expectations. These steps include: performing manufacturing site inspections to ensure suppliers meet the same high-quality standards Shaw observes; setting raw material specifications that restrict the use of certain chemical substances of concern; and ensuring all products meet the indoor air emissions requirements of California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Standard Method V1.1 (2010).

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-4-31-00-pmShaw laminate and engineered hardwood products are third party tested and meet or exceed CARB 2 requirements. These include CARB 2 and GREENGUARD Certification, which gives assurance that products designed for use in indoor spaces meet strict chemical emissions limits, including formaldehyde. All of Shaw’s hardwood and laminate products—regardless of where they are manufactured—are independently verified by Underwriter’s Laboratories as part of its voluntary participation in the GREENGUARD program. In addition, Shaw also has its products assessed for material health and other sustainability attributes under the voluntary Cradle to Cradle Certified Products Program. Shaw’s laminate products are in the process of undergoing C2C certification assessment. Lastly, Shaw maintains compliance with Lacey Act, which stipulates that wood must be legally sourced, harvested and delivered.

Wickham
Wickham Hardwood Flooring puts a strong emphasis on the issue of compliance.

Located just outside of Drummondville in Wickham, Quebec, the company has always been committed to looking out for the environment and its customers’ well being and peace of mind since its inception in 1989. That peace of mind comes from working with some of North America’s most reputable lumber suppliers over the past 25 years—companies that stand behind their products and have gained a level of trust that is so important in today’s marketplace. Many of Wickham’s lumber suppliers are FSC certified and practice the highest standards of sustainable forestry.

Wickham flooring is produced entirely in North America, where forest management and timber production are subject to the strictest environmental laws and regulations in the world.

Customers can rest assured knowing not only where Wickham obtained its flooring, but that the company was able to keep track of each and every load. In addition, Wickham Hardwood Flooring has continued to stay on the forefront of the newest and safest finishes the industry has to offer. The company has chosen two prominent companies to partner with on its oil finishes—Akzo Nobel and Woca. Akzo and Woca are widely known as innovators and manufacturers of the best finishes. The Woca UV oil finish, for example, features plant-based oils and zero VOCs, while the Akzo Nobel UV finish Wickham uses on all its smooth floors boast the lowest VOCs.

 

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Mercier launches redesigned website

image005Montmagny, Quebec—Mercier Wood Flooring has launched a redesigned version of its website, www.mercierwoodflooring.com/us. Key features of the site include a cleaner and more attractive design, a more engaging user experience with enhanced content and photos, improved search functionality, optimization for mobile and tablet devices, and the capability to buy online samples.

Created with the user experience firmly in mind, Mercier’s new website showcases all products available in the U.S. as well as all 2016 new additions. The site includes extensive product information and technical information as well. Michel Collin, director of marketing, said, “With this new design and organization, visitors are able to look through more than 2000 products and then filter according to their needs and tastes. We want them to find a unique hardwood floor that matches their personality.”

The new Online Sample Service is offered everywhere in the U.S. From now on customers can start shopping for their Mercier floors in the comfort of their homes. Mercier firmly believes that this service will strengthen customer loyalty to the Mercier brand and will help them make the best decision in stores.

Furthermore, the new website lets users share products and pages that interest them with others across Facebook, Pinterest and Houzz.

 

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Wood: Latest trends include less raw material angst

 Volume 28/Number 6; September 1/8, 2014

By Ken Ryan

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 9.50.28 AMAfter 18 months of quarterly price hikes among major domestic hardwood flooring manufacturers—the result of volatile increases in raw material costs—the last five months have seen relative market tranquility as lumber costs have stabilized.

While that is good news on the surface, prices remain at higher than normal levels, and there have not been any significant decreases in the past few months.

Milton Goodwin, vice president of hardwood products at Armstrong, said the conditions that sent prices soaring in late 2012 “are still potentially out there, ready to rear its ugly head.”

But, at least for now, raw materials costs have hit a ceiling and are not increasing as they were six months ago. “This is good news for all in our industry as things could not have remained the same without severe impacts on the overall sales of hardwood floors,” said Luc Robitaille, vice president of marketing for Boa-Franc, makers of the Mirage brand.

Drew Hash, vice president of hardwood, Shaw Industries, said raw material costs are always a key factor in manufacturing. “Engineered wood products represent a good option for more price-point-sensitive consumers,” he noted. “Technology offers new textures and visuals such as wire brushing and different scraping techniques.”

Wider, wider, wider

In terms of product trends, bigger continues to be better when it comes to wood planks. The reason is apparent, as larger, longer boards add visual interest to a room, as does combining multi-widths in one space, flooring pros said. “Planks aren’t limited to the floor, but rather are being used everywhere—from walls to ceilings, and even bedroom headboards,” said Pricilla Bergeron, communications manager at Lauzon Distinctive Hardwood Floors.

Whereas 2¼-inch strip flooring was once the standard, 5-inch strips are now in vogue, with 6- and 7-inch widths becoming the new upgrades, according to Dan Natkin, director of laminate and hardwood flooring at Mannington. “We are seeing widths as large as 10 inches; however, these are highly specialized,” he noted.

Made in America

The natural appearance and authentic look of North American species such as oak, maple and hickory is resonating with consumers who are choosing domestic over exotic and imported species in greater numbers. Robitaille suggested this is because consumers are looking for wood with more character and because they tend to purchase local.

Indeed, the Made in America movement (as well as Made in Canada) is gaining steam as a marketing advantage for domestic producers. Last month, for example, continuing a recent spate of onshoring developments, Armstrong announced it was closing an engineered hardwood flooring facility in China and relocating it to Somerset, Ky.

Armstrong, which has enjoyed success with its American Scrape collection, is readying a slew of 2015 introductions and will continue to tout its Made in America message.

Others are leveraging that message as well. “We are continuing to see consumers get behind the Made in America movement and self-limit their selections to products manufactured in the United States,” said Brian Greenwell, vice president of marketing at Mullican Flooring. “As a result, we are seeing significant consumer demand for four domestic species: white oak, red oak, hickory and maple. Considered to be traditional, oak has always been popular.”

Oak remains the popular domestic species due to advancements in wire brushing techniques, etching and distressed looks. “Harvesting improvements and the way manufacturers are able to craft and cut each board allow for more customization of the look and feel of oak,” Hash said. “All these things together have given oak a new look, bringing it to the forefront of the market once again.”

Design, color trends

The increase in consumer interest in the hickory and maple species can be attributed to the continued popularity of hand-sculpted textures, as most hand-sculpted business is done with those species.

Natkin said oak is seeing a tremendous resurgence, particularly the white variety. “Colors are becoming softer and more muted, and darker colors are fading in popularity,” he said. “Character in the wood continues to rise as the naturals trend continues. The types of knots and mineral that we were cutting out 10 years ago are now extremely desirable.”

Robitaille also noted that lighter colors are starting to reappear and are being combined with very rustic grading of wood with knots and dark mineral streaks—all of this on wide widths.

Some hardwood executives said smooth, high-gloss wood floors are losing ground due to their manmade, mass-produced appearance, while low-gloss or matte surfaces are the new favorite, especially those that have been scraped with a soft wire brush, revealing the true character of the grain.

Bergeron said neutral tones tend to reveal more of the grain pattern and create a welcoming feel in a room. “Mixing up the décor with multi-tone paneling adds additional dimension and appeal to any space,” she explained.

Michel Collin, director of marketing at Mercier, said while dark colors are fading out, replaced by lighter ones, “wide, textured and color variation are still in demand.”

Conversely, Greenwell said darker colors create what he called “a dramatic and stylish look throughout the space, accenting the wood grain while masking scuffs and scratches.”

Outlook

Several executives said the first half of 2014 was sluggish for the remodel market while builder remained quite strong. There is hope for a stronger 2014 finish for the remodel sector. “Based on the latest consumer confidence numbers—which are trending higher—we are hopeful we will see some improved remodel activity,” Natkin said.

And there’s no surprise in product trends: The hot style will continue to be wider widths, punctuated by hand-sculpted and wire-brushed finishes.

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Canadian mills: Quality you can count on

July 7/14, 2014; Volume 28/Number 2

By Ken Ryan

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 11.12.20 AM

It is said that location is everything, and for hardwood flooring manufacturers in Canada—home to 10% of the world’s forests—that means access to five major forest regions, each with its own specific climate, topography and soil.

Several different types of wood that are used for flooring are grown in Canadian forests, including birch, ash, beech, oak and maple. Yellow birch, for example, has a grain that is similar to maple’s and is highly sought after in furniture and flooring.

According to flooring professionals north of the border, one of the reasons Canada’s wood is of such good quality is because of the climate. The coldness makes the wood grow slower, which results in tighter and stronger product with more consistent tones of color.

Tight growth rings, strong fibers and consistent grain patterns are the characteristics that give Quebec hardwood its strength and durability. Quebec-based flooring companies, including Mirage, Mercier, Lauzon and Preverco, have benefited from the climate and richness of forestland to produce quality products.

And yet, access to quality raw materials is only part of the process; the manufacturing method must also be at a high level, according to Luc Robitaille, vice president of marketing at Boa-Franc, makers of the Mirage brand. “Offering superior quality products has always been our No. 1 priority,” he said. “Therefore, maintaining this high level of quality is our daily challenge, a goal each of our employees strives for.”

The name Mirage is synonymous with quality, and it is known throughout the industry for its exacting standards.

As Robitaille explained, “Each day, hundreds of quality checks are being performed throughout the production process, from the purchase of raw material to the logistics involved in the delivery to the customers. Nothing is left to chance. Anyone can [make] a quality product. What is more difficult is to [provide] quality all the time. We all know it’s harder to stay on top than it is to get there in the first place. That’s why we work hard every day, taking nothing for granted and constantly striving to reinvent ourselves.”

Quality manufacturing is part of Mercier’s heritage as well. More than a decade ago, the company streamlined its manufacturing and raw materials pipeline by bringing on a sawmill that today provides 100% of the raw materials used by Mercier. Michel Collin, director of marketing, said beyond the manufacturing capability, drilling down to the smallest details is important. “We know we need to do things differently to be recognized in the U.S. market and that we need to offer [additional] value that domestic manufacturers cannot,” he said. “It all starts with the commitment to the quality program every day—from a rigorous manufacturing process, quality control and monitoring, to vertical integration and the training of our employees. In the end it’s not only quality production overall but it’s design and style of our product as well.”

What goes into making hardwood flooring of such high quality? It is, quite simply, an extensive and rigorous quality control process. For Mirage, it moves from the worker in the plant to the sales reps in the field. “Our employees pursue the same goal: going above and beyond customer expectations and constantly adapting to their needs,” Robitaille said. “This is what Mirage’s reputation is built on and what we’ll continue to work on each day. The numerous quality awards received in the last decade—more than 23—prove our efforts are worth it. It doesn’t mean we have to stop because of our success; quality is a journey, not a destination.”’

World-class manufacturing operations

Not resting on its laurels, Canadian manufacturers continue to develop and market innovative technology such as sawmill operations that optimize the yield of every tree. These new, highly automated milling technologies produce more wood from fewer trees. Only a maximum of 5% of each cut tree is not used. This 5% is comprised of branches, which the tree cutters leave on the forest floor in order to biodegrade and aid future tree growth.

Wickham Hardwood Flooring, located near Drummondville, Quebec, said it reinvests a significant portion of its yearly earnings back into its facilities. In 1996, the company sought to enhance its strategic position by implementing an automated production line for varnishing its hardwood floorboards. Since then, the company has added a new sawmill, kilns, a processing plant and a finishing line.

“The reputation of Canadian mills is built on a strong expertise of the wood manufacturing process—from the drying stage to warehousing in perfect temperature and humidity conditions,” explained Etienne Chabot, vice president of marketing at Preverco.

That effort has not gone unnoticed among consumers. “We recently did a survey among our customers,” Chabot said, “and Made in Canada remains one of the top five reasons why they prefer to buy Canadian hardwood vs. a substitute product.”

 

In pursuit of quality 

Flooring retailers who have toured Mirage’s production facility in Saint-Georges, Quebec, come away impressed by the quality control that takes place, even noting the cleanliness of the plant. “It is so clean you could eat off the floor,” said Scott Milligan, owner of Heartland Wood Flooring, a Pompano Beach, Fla.-based retailer who called the tour a “must-see” for anyone in the flooring industry. The following “indicator of quality/quality checks,” as Mirage refers to it, is a review of what is done in the plant in terms of quality control. According to Robitaille, the points below are also indicators of quality that customers should look for when shopping for high quality hardwood floors.

1) The wood is stable and durable At Mirage, production doesn’t start until the wood has dried for as long as each species requires. This is to ensure that the floor won’t shrink or split in the years to come.

2) Straight, uniformly thick boards Workers place a few boards on the floor next to one another. The boards should fit together perfectly, with no noticeable variations in thickness.

3) Small and consistent V joints When placed alongside one another, the boards form V joints where they meet. Perfect joints will help the floor stay resilient and make it easier to clean.

4) Consistent color from one box to the next Color applied deep within joints gives floors a more uniform appearance. Workers watch to make sure that color is consistent from one box to another.

5) A clean, sanitary surface Antimicrobial agents added to the floor’s finish help surroundings stay clean and sanitary.

6) UV protection to fight yellowing Bright light and sun can cause wood from a naturally pale species to yellow. UV protection in the finish can reduce and slow this process.

7) Highest standard of finish Finish needs to be applied in just the right amount—neither too thin nor too thick—to avoid a plastic look. The beauty of the wood should shine through.

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Mercier in distribution partnership with Intermountain Wood Flooring

American Walnut from Mercier

Montmagny, Quebec, Canada — Mercier Wood Flooring announced a partnership with Intermountain Wood Flooring for distribution in more than 15 states in the American west.

Wade Bondrowski, director of U.S. sales for Mercier, said the new partnership will serve consumers who are looking for top quality hardwood floors that are fashionable, eco-friendly, and long lasting.

Intermountain Wood Products, based in Salt Lake City, has 10 locations and offers a complete selection of wood products. 

Mercier operates facilities in Montmagny and Drummondville, in Quebec. The company has 230 employees.

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Spring intros go beyond Surfaces exhibitors

Volume 27/Number 23; March 17/24, 2014

By Louis Iannaco

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 11.00.33 AMWhile Surfaces 2014 featured the rollout of many new products, some companies choose alternate means to show off their latest goods. Here are just a few of those that fall into the latter category.

FloorFolio

The latest collections of LVT and sheet vinyl products include Seascapes and Sands of Time, which are fabricated with elements of nature. according to Michael Freedman, CEO. “Seascapes features a coastal marine landscape, while Sands of Time is fashioned to resemble a grainy visual of sand and rock sediment.” Each is available in six colors.

In addition, Nature’s Way, FloorFolio’s newest commercial addition, is being offered in two wood grain patterns that feature numerous color options. Nature’s Way comes with a urethane topcoat for ease of maintenance while offering a heavy emphasis on texture. “This sheet vinyl product is created to deliver the best of both worlds,” he explained. “Just enough texture to offer reduced maintenance, but not too heavy to distract from its pattern.” All products will launch by month’s end.

Mercier

Pure Expression, the company’s new oiled finish, launches into the high-end hardwood market this spring. Part of the Emotion series that includes six shades in ½-inch engineered, the finish is designed to be maintenance-free and 10 times more resistant than traditional oil finishes and, as such, is offered with a 10-year residential warranty. According to Michel Collin, director of marketing, no manufacturer has ever been able to guarantee an oil finish. “Pure Expression is the oil finish of tomorrow.”

Karyne Tremblay, director of product development/quality, added, “Now we offer consumers a product that not only meets their design needs, but also simplifies their lives.”

Metroflor

Metroflor will introduce products across all of its brands. Engage will add between 25 and 30 new SKUs. Among the intros is Engage Premier, a gauged down 4mm product that offers a virgin vinyl, fiberglass wearlayer and Unilin locking system. Another intro within the Engage platform is an oversized 8.5 x 60-inch plank. Finally, the company is enhancing the locking technology within Engage by transitioning into a drop and lock system dubbed UniFit. Eventually, all Engage products will be equipped with this locking system with the exception of the 4mm Premier.

Metroflor is also adding new colors and designs to its Konecto Project and Konecto Prestige collections. The new SKUs reflect current trends, such as European flair in light and dark grays, and taupe, sandy colors.

Aspire will introduce a 12 x 24 all-slate design with eight colors in the 5.0 platform and 12 mil wearlayer, and will feature Metroflor’s Crescent Edge technology. Consumers can choose between groutable or non-groutable tile. Due to its gripScreen Shot 2014-03-25 at 11.00.56 AM strip installation, Aspire doesn’t have to be glued to the subfloor.

Adding to the Aspire line is a new 5 x 36-inch plank, available in wood looks or a travertine design (linear stone look). The new planks have a 20 mil wearlayer and 5.0 gauge, suitable for commercial environments.

Mirage

The company has launched 91 SKUs, including textured floors in its Imagine collection. Designed for active families and those who own pets, Mirage’s new textured floors present an aged appearance. “What differentiates them from others are the random distressed marks that make each plank unique without any repetitive pattern,” said Luc Robitaille, vice president of marketing at Boa-Franc, makers of the Mirage brand. Offered in three colors, the floors are available in solid (4 1⁄4-inch width in old red oak) and engineered (5- and 6 1⁄2-inch widths in old red oak and old hickory) with Cashmere finish.

A new addition to the company’s Sweet Memories collection is Hopscotch, featuring a rich gray colorway. Hopscotch is available in solid (3 1⁄4- and 4-1⁄4-inch widths in handcrafted red oak with Cashmere finish) and engineered (5- and 6-1⁄2-inch widths in handcrafted white oak and handcrafted red oak with Cashmere finish).

“The Imagine Collection’s new, distressed-look floors are featured on the Mirage display through wood samples, room scene pictures, posters, samples and oversized floor sticker that emphasizes the aged appearance of the floors and their ability to hide the marks caused by routine use.”

Shaw Floors

Clearly Chic is a collection featuring chic and stylish color palettes. “Beige is no longer the only choice in PET,” noted Brad Christensen, PET residential marketing manager. “This collection not only brings bold colors to ‘super soft’ PET carpet, but it also offers durability as it’s constructed using a high-twist yarn resulting in softness and performance.”

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 11.01.24 AMManufactured with Shaw’s ClearTouch Platinum PET with R2X and patented Softbac Platinum backing, Clearly Chic is designed to bring added comfort and enhanced protection against spills and stains. “Homeowners can have peace of mind thanks to a 15-year warranty for texture retention, abrasive wear and quality assurance,” Christensen said, “in addition to a lifetime warranty for stain (including certain pet stains) and soil.” The fiber is certified to contain an average of 50% post-consumer recycled content.

With its own display, Clearly Chic offers a sophisticated look, with a “color palette accented by chic graphics and information to complete the entire experience,” he added.

On the nylon side, the Anso Originals collection features Shaw’s patented R2X stain and soil resistance treatment to help preserve the carpet’s original look and feel. Additionally, each carpet is Cradle to Cradle Silver Certified as they can be recycled back into new carpet multiple times.

“With Anso Originals, we wanted to produce an attractive color palette with high style and an aggressive price point,” noted Mike Sanderson, nylon residential marketing manager. “We feel Anso Originals fills a void in the market for a comprehensive, high-quality collection of Anso nylon products at an affordable price without sacrificing softness or durability.”

The hard surface highlight for 2014 is 5th & Main, a Main Street collection with visuals that realistically recreate wood and stone tile, making it easy to marry beauty with affordability, noted Natalie Cady, director, hard surfaces marketing. “The embossed texture on these resilient offerings features the feel of hardwood or stone.”

Installation is easy and quick, thanks to Shaw’s no-glue option—VersaLock technology, she noted. “In VersaLock styles, planks are laid directly over the subfloor with minimal floor prep and no adhesives. And our Armorbead has a premium scratch-resistant technology that make the floors look younger for much longer.”

The beauty of 5th & Main is that it is its own display, Cady said. “Because we focused on chic visuals and modern flair, we designed an elegant display for 5th & Main. We wanted to have one location where commercial and residential could co-exist.”

Tuftex

The division of Shaw Floors introduced The Naturals in three patterns that incorporate the natural color variations of striated yarns, providing depth in a Moroccan quatrefoil design, an interlaced trellis motif and a classic herringbone pattern, said Suzanne Zurfluh, product marketing manager. Inspired by natural materials, the designs are constructed of Stainmaster nylon and available in 18 colors. All are available in broadloom as well as standard and custom area rugs.

In addition to The Naturals, Tuftex will launch Impressions, inspired by high-end, woven carpets that utilize multiple colors. All six patterns are made of Anso solution-dyed nylon and includes 24 custom-blended colors. Ovation mimics a mosaic tile, Applause features random lines, Arbor is a contemporary botanical, Paragon is a basket weave, Prime Time is a gridwork pattern, and Rave Review is a floral damask.Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 11.02.06 AM

The Naturals will be included in Tuftex’s Stainmaster Slam promotion, which will run through April 25. This promotion will offer triple rewards plus other incentives on 35 of Tuftex’s qualifying Stainmaster products. Impressions patterns will launch in May and be included in a promotion later that month.

Naturals and Impressions include the opportunity for dealers to select a new merchandising system that corresponds with—but isn’t required—for these collections, Zurfluh noted. The display includes four modules and one cabinet to house large samples.