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Raskin Industries appoints Ted Rocha as director of sales

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-3-11-44-pmBoca Raton, Fla.—Raskin Industries has appointed Ted Rocha to the position of director of sales.

Rocha is responsible for expanding sales for the Raskin family of brands which includes

  • FloorNation, the company’s first Made in the USA collection
  • Elevations Loose Lay
  • Formations glue down and new waterproof products

Rocha has more than 25 years experience in the flooring industry with a strong background in manufacturing and distribution platforms.

“Rocha brings a great deal of experience and industry knowledge to the Raskin team,” said Michael Raskin, founder and CEO of Raskin Industries. “He will undoubtedly represent Raskin with professionalism and help steer us toward new growth opportunities.”

Raskin went on to say that Rocha is well liked and works hard for his customers. “He is a true asset not only to Raskin but our customers as he will bring new business to distributors,” Raskin concluded.

Rocha can be reached at (949) 292-5399 or ted@raskinind.com.

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Raskin captures four platinum ADEX awards

Screen-Shot-2016-01-18-at-1.29.31-PM-300x90Boca Raton, Fla.—Raskin Industries recently took home four platinum Award for Design Excellence (ADEX) honors.
The company received three platinum awards for products from its domestically produced FloorNation LVT line— Glory, Pride and Freedom—and one for the R9 LVT collection geared toward commercial applications.
“These awards validate the hard work and detail we put into our designs,” said Michael Raskin, president and CEO. “They have come at the perfect time by giving us momentum as we officially launch FloorNation this spring.”
Selected by a panel of professionals representing a cross section of the design industry, ADEX recognizes the best product and project designs of the year in the A&D industry.
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Raskin to start domestic LVT production

Jan 18/25; Volume 30/Number 15

By Ken Ryan

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 1.29.31 PMMichael Raskin, president and CEO of Raskin Industries, said he always dreamed about making luxury vinyl tile in the U.S. That dream will soon become reality as Raskin Gorilla Floors introduces its first domestically made LVT brand—FloorNation—at Surfaces.

Nox U.S., a South Korean OEM manufacturer and one of the largest and most experienced LVT suppliers in the world, will produce FloorNation at its new Fostoria, Ohio, facility.

Raskin said the company invested in the cylinders used for the FloorNation line. “They are my patterns and I work exclusively with our own colorist who has done colors for Martha Stewart as an independent. We’re using their equipment to make product to our specifications. I have been doing that my whole career overseas.”

Raskin’s distributors have not seen FloorNation yet, and that is by design. He wants to surprise them at Surfaces. In a letter to his distribution customers, Raskin wrote, “Having product made in the USA offers some significant selling points … we will now have the ability to deliver hundreds of thousands of square feet in less than three weeks without the need to stock in a distributor’s warehouse. While others are building factories and attempting to manufacture product stateside, the fact is they are new to LVT production and are bound to experience some hiccups.”

The move to domestic production has multiple benefits. It will improve production and delivery timing as well as service for North American customers. “Ours will be one of the first LVT brands that is 100% made in the U.S.,” Raskin said.

FloorNation will be offered in three lines, all bearing patriotic themes.

Freedom (five SKUs) products are 2mm thick with a 12 mil wear layer in a 7 x 48 format. “Freedom will feature unique embossing not normally seen in a standard 2mm look,” Raskin said.

Pride (eight SKUs) includes two collections that feature 3mm, 20 mil wear layer constructions in a 7 x 48 format, distinguished by varying textures.

Glory (five SKUs) is also a 3mm, 20 mil wear layer product, but in 9 x 60 planks.

Raskin said FloorNation provides traditional looks that are reliable sellers and follow the latest color trends with variations of grays and multicolors with gray mixed tones. “It is about having product that works with the interior finishes so that the designer can pick up the color of the floor to work with the room.”

The 18 SKUs will have only wood designs. Phase two of the program will include stone visuals. Official production of FloorNation will begin after Surfaces; Raskin is hopeful for an official launch in the spring. “We want this product to be dead on but not a me-too product. My goal was to come out with the least amount of SKUs and the most variation as far as style, design and colors.”

FloorNation will be sold to both residential and commercial customers. Raskin said he is looking forward to delivering to large commercial customers in two to three weeks as opposed to a few months. “We will be cutting down lead time by two-thirds in most cases. The other advantage for distributors is about turns.”

Raskin said with a domestically-made product, his customers will have faster turns and thus won’t have to keep as much inventory. “We do a good job with our imported lines but no one can say they are 100% certain [it will arrive in time], so this increases the chances of getting more commercial jobs.”

As an importer, Raskin Gorilla Floors viewed itself as an innovative, agile, boutique manufacturer. Now it has the added advantage of being domestic. “We give our customers the ability to offer their customers a more attractive price point because we don’t have that overhead,” Raskin said. “Our customer gets the best of both worlds. The only thing we don’t have are the salespeople on the street that the bigs do, but then again LVT is no longer a niche market.”

Raskin said as he readies the debut of his domestic production line, he thinks back to his late father who was one of the first executives to bring LVT to the market. “I wish he had the opportunity to be involved in this market the way it is today—he would be blown away.”

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Raskin wins 2015 ADEX for design excellence

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 10.58.28 AMBoca Raton, Fla.—Several of Raskin Gorilla Floors’ collections have been honored with ADEX (Award for Design Excellence) awards. Most recently, the LVT manufacturer received a 2015 ADEX Platinum Award for its Interwoven collection, a floating resilient that features Gravity Backing and noise reduction attributes.

This award is in addition to a 2014 ADEX Platinum Award for Loft and Transformations, a 2014 ADEX Gold Award for Formations and 2014 ADEX Silver Award for Elevations.

ADEX is one of the largest and most prestigious award competitions for excellence in product and project design in the A&D community.

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Dealers cite Raskin product benefits

April 27/May 4, 2015; Volume 29/Number 2

By Jenna Lippin

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 5.09.24 PMRaskin Industries has been known as a design leader in the world of LVT with fashion-forward products uniquely designed by president and CEO Michael Raskin in Brooklyn, N.Y. While Raskin floors may bring some trendy appeal back to flooring, the benefits of the company’s top-selling products go beyond their enhanced visuals.

Ease of installation is one characteristic several dealers cited when asked about the features that make Raskin products best sellers in the marketplace. Cary Loffredo, who is a member of the family that owns Riverside Flooring in Riverside, Conn., said Raskin’s Gravity Grip backing—found on both Interwoven and Elevations products—is what differentiates its offerings from others in the flooded LVT market. “You don’t need adhesives. It’s easy to install and easy to replace. My guys love installing it because the process is simple and fast.”

Jaclyn Davis, head of project management at Flooring Systems in St. Louis, also said Gravity Grip sets Raskin apart from the rest of the pack. “A lot of LVT suppliers have floating floors but the Gravity Grip backing on Elevations makes it a free floating floor. It is an outstanding selling point.”

Marti Cantu with Superior Floors in Coppell, Texas, said her favorite Raskin product is the Big Sky collection from the Formations luxury resilient plank line. Her preference comes partially from the products’ installation potential. “I presented the planks installed at a 45-degree angle to an apartment complex and they loved it. They saw it from that angle and it didn’t feel like an apartment. The visual is stunning.”

According to Cantu, Big Sky is one collection that exemplifies Raskin’s design prowess. With realistic wood visuals and trending gray and brown tones, Big Sky has mass appeal. “I always look for good selling points in product,” she said. “When Big Sky was presented to me, different colors and durability stood out, but it was actually the realistic look of the plank itself. I do like to lead with the colors. It has everything from neutral browns to new, trendy grays; there is something for every property, those that are traditional and those that want a more contemporary, modern look. Big Sky is my go-to.”

Loffredo also emphasizes color, particularly in Elevations’ wood visuals, as a Raskin selling point. “All the wood grains are the top sellers,” she said. “Nowadays everyone wants the natural wood look. This is just an easier product than real wood [because of installation]. It looks like wood and feels like wood thanks to the graining. People love the grays but tend to go back to the rustic browns and into the darker tones.”

For John Cooper, owner of Hoppy Interiors in Sullivan, Mo., the Prima collection in the Elevations line is No. 1, particularly because of its versatility. “If you’re in a situation where you have to glue it down—no problem. Loose lay—no problem. Loose lay makes sense. In the short term it’s easy to [remove], and in the long term its more ecologically sound; you can take the stuff straight to recycling.”

In terms of design possibilities, Cooper said he has mixed both wood and stone visuals from Elevations. “It can all be one level floor while mixing the looks. Its customizable for the end user.”

Along with design and installation, the opportunities with various applications also make Raskin products best sellers. Davis said Flooring Systems has had Raskin products installed “anywhere from retail to hospitality and corporate. We’ve been all over the place with it. We’ve had [good experiences] with lead times; other specialty looks can get into long lead times. Raskin has been able to fit the schedule of the job every time we’ve used the company’s products. That’s definitely a benefit.”

Cooper said he has had Raskin products installed “everywhere from hospital emergency rooms to people’s whole houses.” Loffredo, who has Elevations installed in two rooms in her home, said while Raskin products are commercially rated, installations by Riverside Flooring are about 90% residential; Raskin floors were included in the store’s very first commercial job.

And the price is right with Raskin, too. Cantu noted that Big Sky is at “a good price point” for when she starts her sales process. “When I was upgrading some properties from sheet vinyl this wasn’t a big sticker shock. It’s an upgrade, so it is an investment. But particularly in multi-family with multiple people in one unit within a five-year timespan, you need something that will last. Even with the additional cost, it’s definitely worth the money.”

 

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Raskin names J.H. Freed Gorilla Floors distributor

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 1.50.26 PMBoca Raton, Fla.—Raskin Industries has appointed J.H. Freed & Sons as a distributor of its Gorilla Floors brand of luxury vinyl tiles (LVT). J.H. Freed & Sons will distribute Gorilla Floors to its Southern California, Southern Nevada and Yuma, Ariz., territories.

“As a family-owned distributor with 36 years of experience—17 years of offering LVT—we are always looking for innovative products with cutting-edge attributes and fashion-forward styling,” said Christophe J. Freed, president and CEO of J.H. Freed & Sons. “[This] enables us to be an important value-added partner for our retail customers, while differentiating ourselves and our retail partners in an ever-growing sea of sameness in the LVT category.”

Michael Raskin, CEO of Raskin Industries, added, “I was always very impressed with Chris Freed’s experience and understanding of the LVT market. His ability to recognize our unique marketing and styling as a way to stand out in a crowded market place was what made J.H. Freed the right partner for our company.”

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Raskin’s Loft ascending on strength of styling

November 10/17, 2014; Volume 28/Number 11

By Ken Ryan

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 2.36.49 PMWith a plethora of LVT products vying for space in retail showrooms, one way for a product to differentiate itself is through unique styling. In that case, Raskin Industries’ Elevations Loft is winning the battle, according to distributors who carry the product.

Mike Welch, president of E.J. Welch, an Earth City, Mo.-based flooring distributor with locations in five states, said the realism of Loft’s visuals—both ceramic and wood—and the grays and beiges that are in step with what consumers seek are making a clear difference in the marketplace. Couple that with aggressive pricing, and you have a successful product that will appeal to a variety of customers.

“Our sales of Loft are very strong,” Welch said. “It has settled in very nicely in the residential arena with its price point and ease of installation. Another cool thing: We were a little tepid in the idea of grouting plank, but seeing it done has made us believers.”

There are other believers in the way in which Loft is constructed. Scott Carson, product manager for T&L Distributing in Houston, said Raskin Industries has done “an incredible job with Loft hitting on the visuals the homeowner is asking for and needing for her home.”

The distributor also praised the softer color tones, including cool browns, subtle grays and a calming beige the market is seeking, as well as some rustic looks. In particular, Carson said the sawn-cut look is a “unique, one-of-a-kind” visual, and the grouted look “plays off the wood plank craze that is going on.”

T&L carries eight 7 x 48 Loft planks and four tiles. “We have high expectations for the product,” Carson said. “Raskin is a very good, dependable vendor.”

Loft, which debuted at Surfaces 2014, follows Elevations in Raskin’s lineup. Whereas Elevations has found a home in commercial applications, Loft is seen as a residential product.

Michael Raskin, president of Raskin Industries, said the bold styling of Loft has won favor in the market, and the aggressive pricing has helped dealers make better margins. “The three main components of Elevations are still intact in Loft, enabling a proven loose lay installation: fiberglass sheet for additional stability, weight of the product to keep it down and the ability to easily lock in the product with our perimeter R-88 spray adhesive.”

Loft also features an advanced coating system that provides durability, easy maintenance and anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Raskin said dealers like the fact they can cover multiple subcategories in LVT with one product: a loose lay installation, traditional glue down and a grouted plank and tile option.

“One display enables the retailer to efficiently maximize their floor space while meeting the demands of the LVT market,” Raskin noted, adding that the company has included more grouted plank boards to the Loft display.

Raskin said the success of his porcelain ceramic planks created an opportunity to offer a better product with longer planks that can be grouted, along with all the benefits of grouted LVT, such as a warmer and softer feel underfoot and superior acoustics.

Marty Ackerman, retail manager at distributor Michael Halebian in Carlstadt, N.J., said Loft offers a number of helpful selling features, from style and design to an attractive price point. “We’ve had it for six months and the product is doing very well in the market.”

Raskin is looking to build on its success at Surfaces 2015. “We view Surfaces as the launch pad for new, innovative technology and trendsetting designs and colors,” Raskin said. “I am sure our competitors will be coming through to see the next great thing, but we will keep it under wraps a little longer as we get closer to show time.” He added the success of recent launches has prompted the company to expand its corporate space and add a new salesperson on the West Coast.

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Resilient: Cutting-edge products ignite 2014's trending category

Feb. 17/24 2014, Volume 27/number 21

By Jenna Lippin

(Second of two parts)

Resilient products had a major presence across the expanse of the two Surfaces halls. Some come from familiar names, while others are new to the category, seeking to capitalize on this segment’s ever-increasing popularity. And, thanks to advanced technology, products within the category mimic natural visuals, adding to resilient’s appeal. Introductions from the larger resilient suppliers appeared in the Feb. 3/10 issue of FCNews; the remainder follows.

Happy Feet

Celebrating its first anniversary and second Surfaces appearance, Happy Feet is building its brand on customer service and extensive, readily available inventory, according to Casey Johnson, president.Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 3.46.16 PM

The Iron Man collection features a 3mm dryback product with an antimicrobial, anti-slip, anti-scratch polyurethane finish. And, with six new colors and a beveled edge, Johnson believes Iron Man is the “best value in the marketplace for commercial use with its 15-year warranty.”

With the LVT Stone line, Happy Feet has added three colors in a 12 x 24 click tile. “We’re trying to emulate the stone look, but the nice thing about LVT Stone is the labor is a third of the price [of the real thing],” Johnson explained. “Plus, you can take it up without a challenge.”

Home Legend

The main LVT attraction at the Home Legends space was Nú Elements, a luxury vinyl line of tiles and planks that has been enhanced with 12 new colorways streamlined from its original 20 visuals. “The original line did well, but there were a few [designs] that weren’t such good sellers,” explained Tiffany Davis, marketing brand and product manager. “We’re hearing from retailers that gray—especially lighter grays— are big sellers.”

Along with the patented floating click-lock technology installation system, each design includes a 20 mil wearlayer, which means they can all be used in commercial applications. Nú Elements has a 25-year residential warranty, 10-year light commercial and 5-year standard commercial.

“This collection is ready to ship,” Davis added. “Retailers have already gotten samples, and we’ve taken some orders at the show. We’ve gotten good feedback with our new products.”

MP Global Products

While MP Global is known primarily for its underlayment, the company was alaso showcasing its Luxury Vinyl Flooring (LVF) collection along with its Perfectly Warm Floating Floor Heat.

Launched in early 2013, LVF is available in plank (wood) and stone visuals, both in 2mm, 3mm, 4.2mm and 5mm thicknesses. Planks come in a variety of wood looks, all measuring 6 x 36. The 2mm and 3mm options are gluedown, while 4.2mm and 5mm feature locking technology. Each plank includes five layers: a balanced backer, recyclable core, decorative design, wearlayer and UV coating. The 4.2mm and 5mm options include a reinforced fiberglass sheet for dimensional stability.

Stone visuals are 2mm and 3mm thick; the 12 x 12 tiles feature dryback installation, while 4.2mm and 5mm are 12 x 24, feature locking technology and a fiberglass layer. All selections include a 12 mil wearlayer except the 5mm, which offers a 20 mil wearlayer. Matching moldings for MP Global’s LVF are available for 4.2mm and 5mm constructions.

Also highlighted at Surfaces was Perfectly Warm Floating Floor Heat. The thin, flexible radiant heating product warms floating floors with low energy consumption. With an easy three-step process, Perfectly Warm is an appropriate choice for floating laminate and floating wood floors, engineered and solid wood floors, SnapStone, ceramic tile, porcelain tile, cork and bamboo. It cannot be installed under carpet, vinyl, or glued or nailed hardwood floors.

Raskin Industries

The success of Raskin’s Elevations Floors, released in 2011, has led the company to take the wraps off Loft by Elevations, a new LVT with loose lay technology and Gravity Grip non-skid backing. The line includes 6 x 48 planks and 18 x 18 tiles.

“Distributors have been asking for a product like Loft,” said John Hunter, national sales manager. “They’ve all enthusiastically committed to the product once they saw it. The benefit to them is it captures more residential consumers, where Elevations has had a strong penetration in the commercial markets.”Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 3.49.44 PM

Loft features several installation options, including grouted, edge-to-edge, gluedown or loose lay. “The consumer has options from one retail store display,” Hunter added. “Loft is priced competitively so that it hits the magic price points for distributors to sell.”

Another Surfaces highlight for the company was Loom Plus, a woven vinyl product with Raskin’s Gravity Grip system. “It’s the same size as Elevations, so you can mix it,” Hunter said. “This is a product everyone has been gravitating toward. One dealer from the Pacific Northwest said he came specifically to the show to look for woven vinyl.” Loom will be ready to ship in the second or third quarter of 2014.

Välinge

The Sweden-based company continues to gain popularity thanks to its numerous licensing agreements and product innovations. At Surfaces, Välinge highlighted its locking systems for resilient floors.

“[Resilient products] are very sensitive to temperature, and LVT is especially sensitive to light or heat,” explained Laetitia Kimbland, key account and product manager. The company’s 2G and 5G locking systems “give very good strength horizontally, so you don’t get ugly openings or any height differences.”

Also helping the company earn recognition is its ACTiO2 technology for hard surface floors, more notably used by Lauzon in its Pure Genius “smart” hardwood floor.

ACTiO2 is a compound containing titanium dioxide, that, when activated by light, helps break down organic substances including VOCs and bacteria, thus creating a better indoor environment.

“People buy flooring for aesthetic reasons, but a surface should also be selected for functional reasons, like creating a better indoor environment,” Kimbland said. “ACTiO2 has been used on ceramic tiles and outside applications for a while, but now we want to bring it indoors. We are licensing this technology to help people start utilizing it.”

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Resilient Floating Floor Guide: LVT suppliers offer dealers many options

By Ken Ryan

Feb. 17/24 2014, Volume 27/number 21

The growth of luxury vinyl tile is making it more difficult than ever to stand out from the pack. That reality merely serves to motivate R&D departments in developing feature-rich offerings for distributors and dealers.

The opportunity that exists in the growing LVT market is what prompted Beaulieu, for example, to enter the category in 2013. Beaulieu is just the latest of more than a dozen resilient flooring companies working to differentiate their LVT offerings—whether by locking system, price or visual appeal.

Following is a look at some of the newest offerings in the resilient floating floor category:

Armstrong

Product/collection: Luxe Plank/Tile; Duality; CushionStep

Floating floor type: Luxe Plank/Tile, FasTak installation; Duality, loose lay or glue-down; CushionStep, modified loose lay or glue-down with either releasable or permanent adhesive

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 1.07.58 PMRetail price range: Luxe Plank/Tile, $3.99-$5.29 per square foot; Duality,  $3.29-$3.99 per square foot; CushionStep, $1.99-$2.99 per square foot with either releasable or permanent adhesive

About the product: Positioned as the ideal flooring choice for home or business, the designs of Luxe Plank and Luxe Tile replicate the color, texture and fine detail found in authentic hardwood and natural stone. Topped with a rugged urethane wearlayer, Luxe Plank and Luxe Tile are engineered to resist scratches, scuffs and stains in light commercial settings. Armstrong’s  FasTak installation allows the floor to be walked on immediately.

Additionally, Duality offers high-definition designs with MasterWorks technology along with CleanSweep G that provides ease of cleaning, and superior stain and antimicrobial protection. The ToughGuard Flex layer enhances durability.

With CushionStep, a CushionCore construction adds to the product’s warmth and comfort level.

 

Beaulieu

Product/collection: Good Vibrations, Timeless Charm

Floating floor type: Välinge 2G locking system

Retail price range: $4.99-$5.99 per square foot

About the product: Good Vibrations, which comes in a 12 x 24 aged-weathered plank, targets the consumer who is less concerned about price than style and design. “It is about price but it is also about aesthetics,” said Paul Dominie, national sales manager. “A man might buy an ugly floor because it is cheap, but a woman won’t buy an ugly floor.”

Dominie said Beaulieu “can’t keep up” with the request for Good Vibrations and Timeless Charm, which were on display at Surfaces. Samples will be out in the next three weeks. “Dealers really loved the look,” he said.

Cryntel

Product/collection: EZLay, FreeGrip

Floating floor type: EZLay, releasable product; FreeGrip, loose lay

Retail price range: $2.99-$3.99 per square foot

About the product: EZLay is available in 6 x 36 and 6 x 48 x .098 gauge planks; tile sizes are 12 x 12, 18 x 18, and 12 x 24 x .098 gauge. Any piece of EZLay can be lifted and refitted, and it installs over most subfloors.

FreeGrip Stay n’ Place plank and tile, which is available in the same dimensions as EZLay, does not require glue or paper and can be laid on most subfloors. Both products come with a UV-cured polyurethane coating and pure virgin vinyl construction. “It’s an extremely versatile product,” said Barron Frith, vice president and general manager.

EarthWerks

Product/collection: EarthWerks Loose Lay Aurora Collection, LinkWerks Rapid Clic

Floating floor type: Aurora, loose lay; LinkWerks, Unilin click

Retail price range:  Varies

About the product: LinkWerks and EarthWerks Loose Lay have been an integral part of EarthWerks’ business.

The EarthWerks Loose Lay Aurora Collection requires no locking mechanism or need for full-field adhesive, so it can be easily removed and reused elsewhere. LinkWerks Rapid Clic is designed to meet unusual subfloor challenges, said Jonathan Train, vice president of EarthWerks. “LinkWerks Rapid Clic is a complicated product to make and quality is paramount. The formulation of our core is critical and we pride ourselves on having the best in the industry. In fact, we are so confident in our recipe that we do not require fiberglass, unlike most other producers of click LVT.”

Both EarthWerks Loose Lay Aurora and LinkWerks Rapid Clic are commercially rated.

FloorFolio

Product/collection: FloorFolio Click

Floating floor type: Click

Retail price range: Approximately $2.50 per square foot

About the product: FloorFolio Click is a 4mm product with a 12 mil wearlayer. Part of the Timber collection, this is the first click product introduced by FloorFolio.

“True to FloorFolio’s values, this product will be well-styled and competitively priced,” said Michael Freedman, president and CEO.

FloorFolio plans on offering its click product in various styles and patterns within its complete LVT collection in the near future.

FreeFit

Product/collection: FreeFit

Floating floor type: Loose lay, perimeter secured or fully adhered

Retail price range: $2.50-$5.00 per square foot

About the product: FreeFit’s commercial collections are 4mm thick, with a 20mil wearlayer; planks are 6 x 36 and tiles are 18 x 18.Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 1.13.52 PM Residential products are 3.2mm thick with a 12mil wearlayer. They come textured, knotted and embossed-in-register in a 6 x 36 plank.

Hallmark

Product/collection: Hallmark San Simeon

Floating floor type: EZ Loc Unilin locking system

Retail price range: $3.69 per square foot

About the product: San Simeon is a 7 x 48, 4mm thick, 20 mil wearlayer product finished with the company’s Surface Guardian Pro UV-cured ceramic finish, which includes the antimicrobial agent Nanocontrol. The product features domestic visuals and reclaimed looks with an embossed-in-register texturing that enhances the realism of the product. San Simeon comes with a lifetime residential and 10-year commercial warranty.

IVC

Product/collection: Moduleo, Flexitec

Floating floor type: Moduleo: luxury vinyl planks and tiles, click system; Flexitec: luxury fiberglass sheet vinyl, loose lay up to 25 yards

Retail price range: Moduleo, $3.29-$3.89; Flexitec, $1.11-$2.66

About the product: Both Moduleo and Flexitec are 100% water resistant, and they also resist scratches, scuffs, stains and indentations. In addition, Moduleo by IVC US features a double fiberglass core for maximum dimensional stability. High-definition printing techniques and embossing technology give Moduleo LVT the look and feel of natural materials. Extra-large formats and technical innovation used during the Moduleo printing process help eliminate pattern repeats, allowing a greater variety of planks and tiles to refashion the individuality of nature.

The 2014 Flexitec VI collection includes new and fresh on-trend patterns, designs and colors, and is considered suitable for active households.

Karndean

Product/collection: LooseLay

Floating floor type: Loose lay

Retail price range: $5.09 per square foot

About the product: Karndean Designflooring’s LooseLay LVT product features a glueless format that is easy to install due to its non-stick backing system.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 1.15.45 PMMannington

Product/collection: Adura Luxury Vinyl Flooring

Floating floor type: Luxury Vinyl Planks (traditional Plank and Distinctive Plank), LockSolid locking system

Retail price range: $3.99–$5.49 per square foot

About the product: Adura offers the award-winning styling that Mannington is known for, in a floor that’s as durable as it is aesthetically pleasing. LockSolid, the company’s patented locking system, is the only locking system with a no-gap guarantee. Planks are available in a variety of sizes—4 x 36, 5 x 48 and 6 x 48.

Metroflor

Product/collection: Engage; Metroflor Dryback

Floating floor type: Engage, Uniclic; Metroflor Dryback, dry back

Retail price range: Engage, $3.76-$6.36 per square foot, depending on product; Dryback, $1.68-$5.42 per square foot

About the product: Engage locking LVT by Metroflor offers a solid vinyl floating floor solution for residential and commercial applications. The line presents a broad range of authentic wood and stone looks that can be installed directly over most existing hard surfaces quickly and efficiently with Uniclic locking technology.

Engage will transition some existing collections to a new Unifit locking profile and introduce a long plank format (8.66 x 48½).  A new entry-level 4.0mm plank named Premier will become the “good” series in a good (premier)/better (essentials)/best (select) program.

Metroflor’s branded Metroflor luxury resilient plank and tile is ready to launch. It is a multi-width, 20 mil product in 5 x 7 widths with a micro-beveled edge. An 8 mil Crescent Edge product, Metroflor-branded selections present an upgraded specification in both performance and aesthetics to the current 6 mil offering.

Mohawk

Product/collection: Simplesse

Floating floor type: Uniclic

Retail price range $3.49-$3.99 per square foot

About the product: Made from 100% virgin vinyl material, Simplesse is ideal for high-traffic living areas due to its dent and scratchScreen Shot 2014-02-24 at 1.17.15 PM resistance. The collection features Mohawk’s patented Uniclic technology, which allows for fast, easy, worry-free installation. Simplesse planks click into place and can be installed quickly, which the company said helps retailers close the sale with customers who are on a deadline.

Raskin Industries

Product/collection: Elevations, Loft

Floating floor type: Floating

Retail price range: Elevations, $4.99 per square foot; Loft, $3.99 per square foot

About the product: The success of Elevations (5mm thick), which was introduced two years ago, has been the catalyst for launching Loft, Raskin Industries’ newest floating LVT.

“Elevations was our first entry into the perimeter glue/loose lay product category and has proven to be a quality product because of the fiberglass sheet,” said John Hunter, vice president of sales. “Loft (4mm thick) will now primarily target the residential customer.” Hunter noted that the product’s rounded edge offers a grouted feature that consumers are requesting.

Shaw

Product/collection: Park Avenue from 5th & Main Collection

Floating floor type: Shaw’s Versalock floating plank

Retail price range:  $5.50 per square foot

About the product: Before it was installed at heavily trafficked Grand Central Terminal during the holiday season—part of Shaw Industries’ Red Carpet sponsorship—the company’s Park Avenue LVT first had to undergo rigorous testing to make sure it was traffic worthy.

“We were excited but not surprised with our Park Avenue product performing at Grand Central,” said Clark Hodgkins, category manager for resilient. “It has to be one of the most highly tested products. It has exceptional lasting ability and has been very successful in the market.”

Tarkett

Product/collection: Tarkett FiberFloor

Floating floor type: Fiberglass-backed resilient sheet

Retail price range: N/A

About the product: Tarkett’s structured foam technology, Technicore, ensures uniform structure and provides consistency, stability and indentation resistance. FiberFloor is certified asthma and allergy friendly by the Asthma & Allergy Foundation. It is also FloorScore certified and phthalate-free for better indoor air quality.

USFloors

Product/collection: COREtec Plus, COREtec Plus XL

Floating floor type:  Unilin angle/tap profile

Retail price range: COREtec Plus, $4.49-$4.99; COREtec Plus XL, $5.39-$5.99

About the product: Building on USFloors’ successful 2013 introduction of the patent-pending COREtec Plus glueless engineered luxury vinyl plank, the company started 2014 by nearly doubling the number of products in its LVT collection. The expanded assortment includes 5 x 48, 7 x 48 and 12 x 24 tiles, along with a new 18.5 x 24 selection. All products are 8mm thick.

COREtec Plus XL is 72 inches long by 9 inches wide and is 8.3mm thick. Its rustic-to-modern hardwood visuals feature exceptional clarity, a 20 mil commercial wearlayer and two coats of UV-acrylic for added stain resistance. COREtec Plus XL products are Greenguard Gold certified for indoor air quality and backed by lifetime wear/waterproof/structure warranties and a 10-year commercial wear warranty.

Points of differentiation

Armstrong: Top designs, new game-changing installation in luxury vinyl plank

Armstrong offers not one, not two, but four unique vinyl structures to meet virtually any performance and installation need—one that’s right for any lifestyle, décor or budget. Duality is the ultimate in comfort and durability combined into one floor. CushionStep has an unexpected level of comfort and warmth underfoot provided by its CushionCore construction. StrataMax provides the ultimate hard working and stain-resistant floor for the busiest of rooms and its ToughGuard II construction adds an unparalleled level of durability. Armstrong’s Traditional Felt offers best-in-class stain protection combined with ToughGuard durability. The latest in floating resilient floors includes Luxe Plank and Luxe Tile with FasTak installation. A collection that is visually appealing, highly water resistant and incredibly durable, Luxe is an ideal flooring for any home or business. The striking designs replicate the attractive color, texture and fine detail found in authentic hardwood and natural stone. Sturdy fiberglass-reinforced planks and tiles are appropriate for high-moisture areas and are highly resistant to rips, tears and gouges. Topped with a rugged urethane wear layer, Luxe Plank and Tile will resist scratches, scuffs and stains to guarantee floors will look newer longer, even in light commercial settings. And now the beauty and performance of Luxe features brand-new FasTak Installation—the quickest and easiest installation available, with no glue, pads or special tools needed. Simply position the plank or tile and press into place. With FasTak no drying time is required, so the floor can be walked on immediately. Luxe installs smoothly over most existing subfloors, including those with imperfections. The innovative, nylon-infused, pressure-sensitive adhesive allows Luxe to be easily repositioned during installation and then tightly grips/bonds to the subfloor.

Karndean: LooseLay lends itself to customization

An illustration of product innovation is Karndean LooseLay, an award-winning alternative to click LVT and laminate flooring. Taking its place as the most innovative new format of luxury vinyl flooring, Karndean LooseLay is designed for quick and easy installation. Offering superior fitting times, Karndean LooseLay’s unique friction grip backing and increased dimensional stability secures the floor firmly in place without the need for adhesives in many installations. The collection’s large-scale planks and tiles, combined with the fact it’s quick and easy to fit, means reduced installation time and costs. What’s more, Karndean LooseLay can be installed over most hard floors as long as they’re smooth, sound and dust-free. Rather than looking uniform and manufactured, each Karndean plank or tile has its own individual grain and appearance. Consumers can create an even greater individualized floor by laying the planks and tiles at different angles or patterns to create a customized arrangement. Among the distinguishing characteristics of a Karndean floor are the highly customizable product ranges. With 12 planks and eight tiles available, customers have the ability to create and design a floor that is unique to their personal style and space.

FreeFit: Patented, pure construction and versatile

FreeFit is the originator and multi-patent holder of loose lay LVT. The company currently holds three patents on the utilization of geometric patterns and protrusions on the backing of LVT. Composed of virgin vinyl, FreeFit and FreeForm are thick, extremely flexible and contain no harmful phthalates, recycled scrap or filler material of dubious origin, such as recycled Asian tires, power lines and toys. FreeFit is antimicrobial and antibacterial by design as well as Greenguard Children & Schools certified for contributing to the healthiest of indoor environments. Because FreeFit products are 4mm thick and available in 6-inch increments (6, 12, 18, 24, 36 and 48 inches), they can be easily mixed and matched. And because they’re not limited by locking systems or peal-and-stick strips, they can be installed facing any direction, quadrupling their pattern differentiation. When installed by a certified FreeFit installer, FreeFit is protected by an “Anything Goes,” no questions asked, 15-year commercial and limited lifetime residential warranty. FreeFit installs loose laid, perimeter secured or fully adhered depending on site conditions and application. FreeFit and its affiliate GTP Racing auto race team raise funds to support those living with autism. (More on this in an upcoming issue of FCNews.) For more information, call 631.946.9555 or email ray.pina@teamgtp.com.

Shaw Industries: Park Avenue passes the durability test

Park Avenue, a resilient floating plank from the new 5th & Main collection, is applicable for a wide range of residential and commercial installations. The line offers resilient flooring’s simple installation, lasting durability and easy maintenance with diverse design options. Shaw’s 5th & Main collection debuted as part of the performance test at Grand Central Terminal’s Holiday Fair in November 2013. Park Avenue was installed in Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal, giving a fresh look to this iconic building and adding the appearance of fine aged hardwood to the floor. For six weeks, Park Avenue endured an extreme durability test. The result? It is still beautiful and still an excellent resilient flooring choice. With Park Avenue, Shaw’s resilient-vinyl plank floors create warm, inviting rooms. These planks are designed for heavy-traffic areas and stand up to the toughest real-life tests, the company said, even Grand Central. Installation is easy and quick, thanks to Shaw’s innovative no-glue option—VersaLock AG technology. In VersaLock AG styles, planks are laid directly over the subfloor with minimal floor prep and no messy adhesives. They simply lock together. The VersaLock system makes this style an easy remodeling or first flooring adventure. Shaw’s Park Avenue resilient flooring is a no-fuss solution to many flooring needs. It offers high style without high-drama maintenance, the company said, and is extremely durable. Other Shaw resilient flooring offerings are available using VersaLok AG technology.

USFloors: Sound and secure installation

What distinguishes USFloors’ COREtec Plus and COREtec Plus XL engineered luxury vinyl floors from ordinary glue down and solid locking LVT floors is the patent-pending construction. COREtec Plus floors are waterproof and durable like vinyl, yet rigid and easy enough for a single mechanic to install like laminate. The rigid plank of COREtec Plus eliminates subfloor telegraphing that can result in a floor with the wavy appearance that often appears in glue down and solid locking LVT installations, thus resulting in a dissatisfied end user. The rigidity of the 8mm thick COREtec Plus plank also makes it easier for the installer to handle, especially when installing a COREtec Plus XL plank that measures 6 feet long by 9 inches wide, minimizing the time it takes to install the floor. The company’s new angle/tap glueless installation profile provides a sound and secure installation that is intended to achieve minimal callbacks. Gary Keeble, product and marketing manager, said the extruded high density, waterproof core is dimensionally stable under normal conditions, removes the need to have transition strips every 30 feet in large areas, thus eliminating the trip hazards presented by unsightly t-molds required by ordinary floating floors. Keeble added that COREtec Plus and COREtec Plus XL engineered luxury vinyl floors are unlike all of the run-of-the-mill LVT floors that are flooding the flooring market and driving prices to a commodity level. COREtec Plus and COREtec Plus XL allow retailers to further capitalize on this exploding category by presenting consumers with a new, innovative, feature-rich and profitable LVT product.

EarthWerks: Continuing to stay ahead of the curve with multiple formats

Experience. Availability. Reliability. That is what EarthWerks believes differentiates its LVT from the competition. Considered one of the pioneers in LVT, EarthWerks has more than three decades of experience in innovating, designing and producing LVT. That gives the company—along with its distributors and retailers—a very large advantage. EarthWerks continues to bring new and innovative product to the market and stay ahead of the curve. Today, the company stocks upwards of 300 SKUs in LVT in the United States, which means a customer can find the quality she wants, whether commercial or residential, order it and know she can get it quickly, instead of finding out it can take months. At Surfaces 2014, EarthWerks’ Loose Lay Aurora Collection was the company’s focus. Quieter to walk on than ceramic, laminate or hardwood, and warmer and softer under your feet, it is impervious to moisture and spills, and is 100% recyclable. Aurora has been engineered with the company’s special backing and a glass fiber reinforcement layer creating additional dimensional stability. It is made with EarthWerks’ Tuff Shield, a double-coating method that adds extra strength to its urethane protectant coating. Because of EarthWerks’ special construction and coatings, maintenance is a snap; simply sweep and damp mop. And if damaged, it is easily repaired–pop one plank out, pop another one in. In addition, LinkWerks from EarthWerks continues as a leader in the glueless locking, floating floor category. Utilizing the patented Unilin click system, the Rapid Clic Collection continues to deliver high performance as a solution to unusual subfloor challenges in commercial and residential situations. Aurora and LinkWerks: Loose lay technology and click technology with the quality and availability customers demand.

Metroflor: Style meet substance in full range of applications

Metroflor’s LVT products run the gamut of specification, installation and price/value options. To that end, dealers can offer their customers the most appropriate—and profitable—Metroflor LVT solution for every job in every category: grip-strip, clic and loose lay. If a customer feels grip-strip is the fastest and easiest way to install LVT, dealers don’t have to persuade them otherwise with Metroflor. If clic is more advantageous or loose lay is the optimal solution, Metroflor offers all three solutions under one umbrella—with the company’s signature quality, style, price and performance. Where speed, value and ease of installation are driving factors, there’s Konecto grip-strip. Faster and less complicated, it’s frequently installed in multi-family and dormitory environments. Konecto is also built to last with a tough ceramic bead finish appropriate for virtually every environment, including healthcare. For residential, commercial, retail or corporate environments, many look to Metroflor’s Engage brand: an early entrant in the clic arena. Utilizing virgin vinyl and fiberglass stabilizing layers, Engage’s authentic wood and stone looks can be installed directly over most existing hard surfaces quickly and efficiently. Traditional dryback LVT has universal appeal both residentially and commercially. Metroflor’s branded Metroflor resilient flooring offers one of the finest alternatives to wood, ceramic and stone with sophisticated designs, tough wearlayers and finishes, and inherent moisture resistance, according to the company. Whether it’s grip strip, clic or dryback, Metroflor said it consistently delivers performance, design and profitability for industry partners who know they can count on the company every step of the way.

Mannington: Technology gives company a ‘lock’ on floating floors

In 2010, Mannington introduced LockSolid technology into its line of Adura Luxury Floors. This revolutionary technology, coupled with Mannington’s award-winning styles and designs, created what has been called “the best-performing floating luxury vinyl. Ever!” Since then, the LockSolid method has been implemented on dozens of Mannington’s Adura plank and tile designs. Utilizing Mannington’s extensive locking system experience, Adura with LockSolid technology delivers superior joint and shear strength. This proprietary locking system is fully licensed and patented. In fact, it’s the only locking system that comes with a No-Gap Guarantee. “The exceptional strength of the joint in a LockSolid product alleviates the inherent problems of the adhesive-based floating systems currently on the market,” said Ed Duncan, senior vice president of residential marketing at Mannington. Those familiar with the simplicity of today’s laminate locking system will also find Adura with LockSolid technology very easy to install in that there are no heavy tools, adhesives or underlayments required. And it installs more than 50% faster than traditional glue- down floors, Mannington said. Consumers love LockSolid, according to Mannington, not only because it uses no glues (thus, no odor), but because the floor can be put into service immediately after installation. To help demonstrate the ease of installation, Mannington has created a video, available on mannington.com and via the Mannington Flooring channel on YouTube: youtube.com/manningtonflooring.

Mohawk: Simplesse offers easy installation, unmatched durability, cutting-edge style

In response to heightened demand and preference for the product category, Mohawk has developed an assortment of LVT products within its Simplesse collection that feature innovative installation methods, durability options and style. Mohawk has a reputation for introducing products that employ the most innovative technologies in the flooring industry, and Simplesse is no exception. It utilizes Mohawk’s patented Uniclic technology, which the company said outpaces all other glueless locking systems in reliability and joint integrity. Consumers gravitate to the fact that Simplesse is not only aesthetically appealing but also durable. In addition to an array of fashion-forward hardwood and tile looks, it’s a good choice for high-traffic areas because it offers superior dent and scratch resistance. Also, because Simplesse is highly resistant to moisture, it can be installed anywhere, even in areas where there can be standing water like kitchens and bathrooms. This versatility appeals to consumers. Mohawk’s Simplesse is FloorScore certified, meaning it meets the indoor air quality emissions criteria of LEED, CHPS, the Green Guide for Health Care, and is recognized by a long list of healthy building programs. Simplesse is manufactured with 100% virgin vinyl containing no recycled content, which is a major benefit Mohawk retailers can leverage with their customers. Many competitive LVT products contain heavy metals, mercury and harmful chemicals, which can be found in recycled content. This gives retailers peace of mind when they sell Simplesse because consumers can have complete confidence that the Mohawk LVT floors are safe for their families.

 

 

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Distributors profit from Raskin’s Elevations LVT

January 20/27, 2014; Volume 27/Number 19

By Ken Ryan

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 12.10.45 PMIn his nearly four decades in the flooring industry, Bill Snowdon said he has never seen a product get out of the gate so fast—and sustain that sales pace for two years—as Elevations’ luxury vinyl tile from Raskin Industries.

“We were the first to take Raskin on,” said Snowdon, vice president of residential sales for E.J. Welch, a Midwest distributor that serves Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, western Kentucky and Iowa.

Snowdon met with Michael Raskin, president of Raskin Industries, and his team at Surfaces 2012. Less than two months later, Welch was selling Elevations. “To launch it that quickly is almost impossible to do,” he said. Continue reading Distributors profit from Raskin’s Elevations LVT