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Mullican Flooring, ASP Partner to build new homes

Johnson City, Tenn.—Mullican Flooring partnered with the Appalachia Service Project (ASP) to build homes for more than 120 families affected by the 2016 West Virginia flood and Great Smoky Mountains wildfires.

To date, 42 new homes have been completed in Rainelle, W.Va., with another 19 homes currently under construction. Four homes have been completed in Gatlinburg, Tenn., and three are in progress. In an effort to reduce project cost and increase the impact and reach of ASP, Mullican donated hardwood flooring in excess of 100,000 square feet.

“Mullican Flooring has been a valued and consistent supporter of Appalachia Service Project and our mission of making the homes of low-income families in Appalachia warmer, safer and drier for many years,” says Walter Crouch, ASP president and CEO. “In the next year, more than 40 additional homes will be built in West Virginia and another 18 in Tennessee. When done, more than 120 families who lost their homes to disaster will benefit from the partnership between ASP and Mullican Flooring.”

In October 2017, the third and fourth of 25 new homes committed to being built in Gatlinburg and Sevier County were dedicated. The second and third dedications were for brother and sister Ernest Ogle, 75, and Trula Mae Bible, 84, who grew up in the same house and will now reside as neighbors in the newly constructed homes. ASP will continue to dedicate homes as they are finalized, sharing the stories of those in the Rainelle and Gatlinburg communities.

“Mullican Flooring has tremendous belief in Appalachia Service Project’s vision to continue to rebuild communities hit by natural disasters,” said Neil Poland, president, Mullican Flooring. “Walter Crouch’s leadership ability has enabled ASP to restore hope, enthusiasm and energy to the people in these areas. The organization truly does God’s work here on Earth.”

In recent years, Mullican has also donated and installed new flooring in both Appalachia Service Project’s Jonesville, Va., and Brenton, W.Va., volunteer and staff training centers. On October 20, Mullican Flooring was awarded a Medal of Distinction from Appalachia Service Project in recognition of the company’s efforts and investment in the Appalachian community.

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Wood: U.S. ‘domestic exotics’ broaden their appeal

September 11/18, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 7

By Reginald Tucker

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-15 at 3.46.08 PMAs demand for certain “tropical exotic” hardwood floors softens in the U.S., the popularity of several domestic exotic species has been steadily rising, industry observers say. While there continues to be niche market opportunities for tropical species such as Brazilian cherry, Santos mahogany and the like, more American consumers are leaning toward homegrown species such as birch, hickory and walnut, manufacturers say.

One of the primary drivers behind the market shift, which began in earnest about 10-12 years ago, is a change in preference of wood plank formats and construction. Many tropical exotics—known for their density and durability—perform well and look great. However, trends in the U.S. have leaned toward more textured, rustic and casual looks whereas many exotics convey a more formal, smooth appearance, experts say. Today tropical imported exotics tend to perform well in niche, regional markets as opposed to national, wide-scale acceptance.

Observers say the rapid rise in popularity of wider, longer planks also contributed to increased consumption of domestic exotic species. As manufacturers tell it, many of these popular looks such as birch, hickory and walnut lend themselves to extra long planks and wider boards. The reason being: wider, longer boards naturally show much more of the variation and character inherent in a lot of these domestic exotic species. Combine that with the incorporation of various surface texture techniques such as hand scraping, wire brushing and cerusing, and you have a winning recipe.

“Consumer preference continues to move toward wider and longer on the engineered side,” said Dan Natkin, vice president, hardwood and laminates, Mannington. “Demand for these types of products has really driven some changes, both in terms of investment in the U.S. as well as products sold in the market.”

Following are some of the U.S. domestic exotic products trending today.

American OEM
In keeping with its “Made-in-the-USA” mantra, American OEM offers popular domestic species, including hickory—both rotary peeled and sliced face—and walnut. The company sources classic hardwood from sustainably managed forests across North America. It then creates flooring products designed to showcase the rich natural colors, textures and features of each species. “When consumers buy our American-made hardwood, they can be sure they are buying the best flooring possible at a value unmatched in the industry,” said Allie Finkell, executive vice president.

Armstrong
Armstrong adds engineered hickory to its Prime Harvest and American Scrape collections. Featuring a range of colors, Prime Harvest easily coordinates with furniture, wall colors and other décor elements.

Conversely, American Scrape’s rustic texture complements hickory’s distinctive graining and knots. Additional Armstrong hardwood offerings—including Rustic Restorations and Woodland Relics—feature hickory and/or walnut and birch.

Johnson Hardwood
Popular species like birch and hickory populate the Frontier and Pacific Coast collections from Johnson Hardwood. Frontier’s offering consists of four colors in birch (Homestead, Tomahawk, Dakota and Bison), while Pacific Coast features eight colors covering a wide spectrum. Both are available in 5-inch-wide planks.

Mannington
Hickory and walnut species permeate several popular collections from Mannington, including the namesake American hickory, Blue Ridge hickory, American walnut and smokehouse hickory lines. Hickory, the hardest American wood, is known for its rich character and distinct graining. Versatile and adaptable, this floor is an ideal upgrade or addition to any room. Meanwhile, walnut—a species found in exclusive furniture lines—is among the most cherished of all American hardwoods.

Mercier
Mercier’s Element series—part of the Elegancia collection—has been expanded to include American walnut. The addition supplements existing domestic exotic species such as hickory and yellow birch. By design, the species highlights the wood’s natural, random character. The product’s black and blonde nuances create highly versatile floors designed to blend with virtually any style.

Mohawk
Weathered Vision, one of several newly launched products from Mohawk, aims to capture classic Americana and the rustic beauty of old structures such as barns. The collection, which features deep, sandblasted texture and heavy wire-brushed planks, characterize this homage to countryside living. Weathered Vision is available in popular long, wide planks (as broad as 7 inches in random lengths up to 6 feet) to satisfy consumer demands.

Mullican Flooring
Several collections in Mullican Flooring’s offering of trendy products have been expanded to include hickory, birch or walnut. For instance, the Merion and Devonshire and collections—both 3⁄8-inch-thick engineered products—feature hickory, while Castle Ridge, also 3⁄8-inches thick, is available in birch and sports a hand-sculpted surface texture. The Nature collection, a 3⁄4-inch-thick hickory product, has a lightly wire-brushed surface texture.

Shaw Floors
The Epic Plus collection of long 9¼ x 82½-inch-wide hardwood floors from Shaw Floors is stacked with domestic exotic species. Landmark walnut features two colors, while Landmark hickory offers a trio of captivating colors that add a multi-dimensional, time-worn feel. By comparison, Landmark hickory scraped includes a pair of colors complemented by soft, subtle texturing and hand staining. Lastly, Fremont hickory features scraped texturing that accentuates and highlights the wood’s natural grain, knots and rustic character. Six colors are available.

Wickham Hardwood
Mountain Home collection from Wickham offers an authentic distressed look due to hand-scraping techniques by the artisans in the tradition of Renaissance-era woodworking. New planks are hand sculpted, one at a time, to create unique custom flooring of timeless originality and distinction. No two planks are alike. Species available include birch, cherry and walnut.

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Mullican Flooring appoints new West Coast regional sales manager

Kyle Sherman Head ShotJohnson City, Tenn.—Mullican Flooring has named Kyle Sherman West Coast regional sales manager. In this new position, Sherman will help oversee the promotion of Mullican Flooring’s products on the West Coast, and serve as a liaison to regional distribution partners who sell products to hundreds of retail stores across the Western United States.

“We are excited to have Kyle join our national sales team,” said Neil Poland, president, Mullican Flooring. “His successful record of driving sales, experience in tailoring business plans for distributors and ability to mentor peers in the hardwood flooring industry makes Kyle ideally suited to capitalize on opportunities in Mullican’s West Coast market.”

Sherman has more than a decade of sales experience in the flooring industry. He most recently worked as director of residential builder sales with B.R. Funsten & Company, which he joined in 2006. Sherman holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a marketing concentration from the Fermanian School of Business at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, Calif.

“It is an honor to be selected for this position with Mullican Flooring,” Sherman said. “Over the past 12 years, I have worked to develop skill sets in both the manufacturing and distribution divisions of the floor covering industry. I look forward to developing new relationships, increasing business opportunities with existing partners, and creating customer-focused programs to optimize results and maximize customer satisfaction on the West Coast.”

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Mullican Flooring partners with Summit Flooring Supply

Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 2.10.41 PMJohnson City, Tenn.—Mullican Flooring has partnered with Summit Flooring Supply, a prominent installation and supply company with locations throughout the Midwest. The partnership provides Summit customers in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, southern Illinois and areas of Nebraska with expanded access to Mullican hardwood flooring collections.

“Mullican Flooring fosters a network of dealers trained to educate and support consumers throughout the hardwood selection and installation process,” said Neil Poland, president of Mullican. “We’re proud to partner with Summit Flooring Supply to ensure that professionals in their home states have the tools and resources they need to choose, install and care for high-quality hardwood flooring at home and at work.”

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Mullican Flooring introduces new, American-made solid collections

Wexford Oak NaturalJohnson City, Tenn.—Mullican Flooring has expanded its American-made solid product line with two new collections, Wexford and Nature. These collections are protected by the company’s Alpha A’Lumina Real World Finish, which carries a 25-year warranty. Each collection features the company’s patented Aqua Shield system and lifetime moisture warranty.

A European-inspired product line, Wexford combines three traditional North American sawing techniques to create a classic European look. This 3/4-inch-thick product is offered in 7-inch widths and random lengths up to seven feet. The collection’s prefinished version is available in six selections of oak, including Charcoal, Espresso, Harbor Mist, Natural, Saddle and Seabrook.

Nature, a 3/4-inch-thick hickory product, features a sawn surface texture. Available in a 5-inch width, this collection offers random lengths up to seven feet. The Nature collection includes four selections, including Espresso, Greystone, Natural and Provincial.

“Mullican continues to see strong interest in traditional hardwood flooring, including a robust demand for dark colors and textured surfaces,” said Brian Greenwell, vice president of marketing. “All of our prefinished and unfinished solid flooring is produced in the United States, along with a substantial amount of our engineered floors. We expect consumer preferences for American-made hardwood flooring to continue to increase in the years ahead.”

One of the nation’s top five hardwood flooring producers, Mullican also operates manufacturing facilities in Norton, Va.; Holland, N.Y.; and Ronceverte, WVa.

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Mullican Flooring to expand U.S. hardwood production

Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 9.05.48 AMJohnson City, Tenn.—As part of its effort to broaden its domestic manufacturing footprint, Mullican Flooring, a leading manufacturer of quality hardwood floors, plans to bring full production of all sawn engineered products to the U.S. beginning early summer 2017.

Since 2012 Mullican Flooring has converted much of its engineered hardwood production from imported to domestic manufactured product, explained Neil Poland, president. “The transition of our sawn lines to the U.S. is a natural extension of that movement. Further, we are looking at this change as part of our effort to improve efficiencies and long-term value within the company. The move will allow us to tighten quality control as well as to stay true to a long-standing corporate commitment to support domestic production. As a 32-year old U.S. based company, we truly recognize that manufacturing is the foundation of the U.S. economy so transitioning the few remaining components of our production that remains overseas has been part of our long-term strategy all along. The start-up of our sawn production line is the first phase of a five-year expansion plan that will create 200 new jobs at our Johnson City production plant.”

The first product that will transition to the U.S. production facility is EuroSawn White Oak in a 7-inch width. The collection will be immediately available in six colors. Plans to transition additional overseas production to the U.S. will be announced in Q3.

In addition to its Tennessee-based facility, Mullican also has manufacturing operations in Norton, Va.; Holland, N.Y.; and Ronceverte, W.Va.

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Executive Forecast: Wood—Changing demands drive innovations at manufacturer level

December 5/12, 2016; Volume 31, Number 13         

By Reginald Tucker

 

In much the same way that technological advances in wood flooring manufacturing paved the way for surface texturing, finishing options and new engineered offerings in 2016, the latest round of innovations are generating excitement for the coming year. Suppliers see 2017 as an opportunity to step up their respective capabilities as a means to further differentiate themselves while increasing market share.

Todd Gates, VP, residential sales, DuChateau
screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-10-00-47-amWhat is your projection for category growth next year?
We anticipate 2017’s growth will outpace last year’s industry-wide growth of 6.6%. There are obvious potential variables such as the direction of the economy in the wake of the election.

What segments and/or products will fuel this growth?
Trends in this fashion industry still point towards the longer, wider format planks that are often referred to as the “European” looks. These formats suggest the engineered wood products will enjoy a larger portion of the overall hardwood growth.

What is the predicted growth of your company in 2017?
From a fashion perspective, we are ideally positioned going into 2017. As we increase our product offering and expand into additional markets, we are confident we will outpace the industry growth.

What is the “X factor” that will impact business next year?
For better or for worse, the security and the economic impact of the recent election.

Where do you see opportunities for next year? Challenges?
Investment in the people and the culture that drives and defines our business, our family and our employees. The most successful companies globally are those who don’t look past their own people.

What are some of your biggest initiatives for 2017?
Additional product offerings, retooling of our presence in the retail showrooms, expansion into new territories and a dedicated commercial sales team.

 

Neil Poland, president, Mullican Flooring
screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-10-00-53-amWhat is your projection for category growth next year?
I expect to see between 4%-5% growth in hardwood flooring in 2017.

What segments and/or products will fuel this growth?
The housing market will continue to strengthen, although single-family starts and completions remain more than 20% lower than the historical average. Engineered flooring will lead the growth as housing should grow more rapidly in Sun Belt markets.

What is the predicted growth of your company in 2017?
We anticipate Mullican Flooring will see growth between 8%-10% next year.

What is the “X factor” that will impact business next year?
Single-family housing construction continues to be the question mark. We are hoping to see this segment increase. I would love to see starts accelerate to one million single-family homes in 2017.

Where do you see opportunities for next year? Challenges?
We believe that the Made-in-America movement will continue to gain momentum. Progressive retailers should develop stronger programs within their stores to promote our products made in the U.S.

What are some of your biggest initiatives for 2017?
We will continue to fine tune our product lines, adding new products on the front edge of wood flooring design trends.

 

Paul Rezuke, VP, residential sale, USA, Wickham Flooring
screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-10-00-58-amWhat is your projection for category growth next year?
We are confident that if interest rates remain constant, and the economy continues to be positive, the expected growth will be in the 6%-10% range.

What segments and/or products will fuel this growth?
We have seen a steady shift from solids to engineered and we stand ready to be positioned to service our customers.

What is the predicted growth of your company in 2017?
We have targeted 10% growth for 2017. It will be a transitional year for Wickham Flooring, especially as we move to introduce our engineered platforms to keep up with customer demand.

What is the “X factor” that will impact business next year?
We’re in the process of fine tuning our engineered production. The “X factor” for Wickham will be our ability to have the line fully functional in 2017.

Where do you see opportunities for next year? Challenges?
Our opportunities will derive from our increased expansion into the U.S. market, along with the successful implementation of new products. Our challenges will be hiring the right people to represent our brand and lines.

What are some of your biggest initiatives for 2017?
We have invested over $7M in a new state-of-the-art engineered flooring line. Our plan over the next 12-24 months will be to align our engineered lines with our solid lines.

 

Brad Williams, VP, sales and marketing, Mirage
screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-10-01-05-amWhat is your projection for category growth next year?
Our expectation is that the hardwood category will grow at 4%-6% rate in 2017.

What segments and/or products will fuel this growth?
Unique, value-added products in engineered platforms will continue to fuel this growth. There will continue to be a shift into wider width products. However, the look will be one of the main drivers.

What is the predicted growth of your company in 2017?
Our predicted growth is to grow at the same rate of the overall industry or 4%-6%.

What is the “X factor” that will impact business next year?
The issue is whether consumers will have the confidence in the current economic and political climate to invest in residential replacement or buying a new home. If so, they might opt for cheaper products in other categories.

Where do you see opportunities for next year? Challenges?
The opportunities for us are within our current network. We want to continue to stay focused on our customers and giving them the best service possible. We don’t want to give them reasons to go elsewhere.

What are some of your biggest initiatives for 2017?
Wider width and longer length offerings will continue to be a strong initiative for us. Color, texture and finish will also be at the forefront of our innovations.

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Mullican Flooring to be featured on HGTV’s “Brothers Take New Orleans”

screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-1-01-01-pmJohnson City, Tenn.—Mullican Flooring has partnered with Scott Brothers Entertainment as the exclusive hardwood flooring provider for their newest HGTV show, “Brothers Take New Orleans,” which debuted on Nov. 23. The next episode will air at 10 p.m. on Nov. 30.

“Brothers Take New Orleans” is a new four-episode series featuring twin brothers, business partners and co-stars Drew and Jonathan Scott. The new show shadows the duo as they challenge one another to a residential renovation competition on a dilapidated two-unit, double-shot gun home in New Orleans, La., that suffered extensive storm damage from Hurricane Katrina. With a timeline of four weeks and a budget of $100,000, the duo will compete to restore the historical home to its original beauty.

“Mullican Flooring is delighted to extend our partnership with HGTV to this new series,” said Neil Poland, president of the Johnson City, Tenn.-based company. “We are honored to participate in the ongoing, positive transformation of the New Orleans community. Mullican has a history of assisting communities with their relief and rebuild efforts following a catastrophe, and we’re pleased to play a role in the continued rebuilding of this extraordinary city.”

The show’s first episode, “Welcome to The Big Easy,” features a residential renovation project that includes the installation of engineered hardwood flooring from Mullican’s new Mount Castle collection. On Jonathan’s 1,298-square foot side of the home, viewers are introduced to the 9/16-inch thick Mount Castle Oak Ivory, while Drew’s 1,227-square foot portion features the 5/8-inch thick Mount Castle Oak Natural.

Visit www.hgtv.com/shows/brothers-take-new-orleans for more information about “Brothers Take New Orleans.”

 

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Mullican promotes Keys to customer service manager

Kim KeysJohnson City, Tenn.–Mullican Flooring, a leading manufacturer of quality hardwood floors, has promoted Kim Keys to customer service manager.

A Johnson City, Tenn., native, Keys joined Mullican Flooring in 2005 as a customer service representative. In her new position, Keys will continue to work directly with Mullican’s distribution network while managing customer service operations for the company.

“Kim has proven herself as a strong leader and skilled customer service professional,” said Brian Greenwell, vice president of sales and marketing. “Her expertise and depth of knowledge make her a tremendous resource for our customers.”

Keys attended East Tennessee State University in Johnson City. Her community service experience includes participation in the American Heart Association’s Tri-Cities Heart Walk.

“I am humbled at the continued faith that Mullican Flooring has placed in me,” Keys said. “I enjoy what I do, and love working for a company that places such a high value on their customers and employees.”

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Mullican names national retail sales coordinator

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 3.16.10 PMJohnson City, Tenn. — Steven Poplaskie has been named national retail sales coordinator for Mullican Flooring, a leading manufacturer of quality hardwood floors.

As national retail sales coordinator, Poplaskie will manage the company’s relationships with national retail chains. Poplaskie will be the first to hold this position at Mullican, which was created as a result of the Johnson City, Tenn.-based company’s consistent growth.

“Steven’s sales experience speaks for itself,” says Brian Greenwell, Mullican’s vice president of sales and marketing. “He brings an immense amount of industry knowledge to this position and is ready to hit the ground running. We expect Steven will further develop our existing relationships with the national retail chains, increasing Mullican’s presence in this market segment.”

A native of Marietta, Ga., Poplaskie has spent nearly three decades working in the retail sales industry, including more than 20 years at Home Depot, where he held multiple positions.