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Couristan bolsters sales team

Troy Corey

Fort Lee, N.J.—As Couristan prepares for an explosive 2018 and the launch of several new collections at Surfaces 2018, the company has hired two leading residential floor coverings sales executives to service the Manhattan and Southern California markets.

Troy Corey will ensure dealers in New York City will have access to Couristan’s residential broadloom and area rug collections, while Nick Maugeri will be responsible for the Southern California region. Both executives bring more than 30 years of experience forging relationships with specialty and high-end retailers and will report to Len Andolino, executive vice president of Couristan’s residential division.

Nick Maugeri

“We are committed to developing the strongest salesforce to bring our collections to market,” Andolino said. “Both Troy and Nick have unbelievable track records in the high-end floor covering sector, and we look forward having them leverage their experience and deep relationships to expand Couristan’s reach within these two incredibly important markets.”

Prior to joining Couristan, Corey spearheaded sales at GCC International. His expertise spans on product development and manufacturing, and includes strong sales connections all over the United States. Prior to this, he served as national sales manager and buyer for his family business, Rosecore.

For nearly 20 of Maugeri’s 35-year career, he worked for his family business, Wool Merchants, which manufactured, imported and distributed high-end wool carpeting. During this time, Maugeri developed relationships with Southern California’s most prestigious retailers and distributors. In 2001, he left the family business to pursue a career as an independent agent of broadloom and area rugs.

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Mohawk 'All In' at Greenbuild with residential, commercial products

Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 5.10.57 PMCalhoun, Ga.—For the first time at Greenbuild, Mohawk Industries’ residential and commercial divisions will share the spotlight to show that Mohawk is “all in” when it comes to sustainable flooring. Greenbuild, the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building, will take place Nov. 8–10 in Boston at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Mohawk Flooring and Mohawk Group will be exhibiting on-site in booth space No. 1807.

“The theme of this year’s Greenbuild is ‘All In’—and it’s the perfect opportunity to tell the green building community about Mohawk’s sustainability story and its broad efforts to invest in sustainability across its business,” said Seth Arnold, vice president of residential marketing at Mohawk. “We look forward to seeing Mohawk products, from both our residential and commercial divisions, side by side. It really brings home our passion and commitment to creating more sustainable products and contributing to a healthier world. These products are leading us into the next chapter of both residential and commercial flooring.”

Two Mohawk products that will be showcased are already making a splash in sustainability circles: Air.o and Lichen.

Air.o, Mohawk Flooring’s exclusive new soft floor covering with unified backing, pushes the boundaries of sustainability for the residential market by being manufactured almost entirely from recycled polyester. When it comes to diverting waste from landfills, Air.o is changing the soft flooring industry. Unlike traditional carpet, Air.o is engineered with just one material making it the only 100% recyclable flooring available.

Mohawk Group’s Lichen collection of carpet tiles for the commercial market was designed by Jason F. McLennan, the founder of the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) and the Living Product Challenge. Lichen is the first floorcovering to achieve Living Product Challenge Petal Certification. Inspired by biophilic assemblages of multi-hued, multi-textured lichens and their regenerative role in our ecosystem, the Lichen collection is on the path to give more resources back to the environment than it uses during its entire life cycle. This summer, the collection won a Best of NeoCon Gold Award in Chicago.

“It is always exciting to be a part of the energy at Greenbuild and to be this year’s opening plenary sponsor,” said George Bandy, Mohawk’s vice president of sustainability. “At Mohawk, we believe sustainability is a moral imperative that guides our work. We are redefining flooring with products that not only minimize climate impact, but also foster beauty and allow people to thrive. This commitment extends to our customers, employees and communities. As the world’s largest flooring manufacturer, we continue to take an integrated approach to transparency and sustainable practices that drive change. We believe in better, and this guiding principle has led us to where we are today.”

Mohawk offers more than 500 products containing recyclable material and believes in product transparency with complete disclosure of ingredients, carrying one of the largest number of Red List Free products in the marketplace. Committed to a circular economy, which keeps more materials in the manufacturing loop and out of landfills, Mohawk annually recycles 7.1 billion pounds of waste, 5.5 billion plastic bottles and 25 million pounds of tires into doormats.

Mohawk believes in supporting healthier spaces by obtaining certifications such as Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Green Label and Green Label Plus, UL Environment Greenguard and FloorScore. In addition to helping other organizations meet building efficiency goals through its product portfolio, Mohawk is also walking the walk. Among others, the Mohawk Flooring Center in Calhoun, Ga., holds LEED Gold certification, and the Mohawk Group Light Lab Design Mohawk Flooring Center in Dalton, Ga., has been recognized with Living Building Challenge Petal Certification from ILFI.

For more information, visit mohawksustainability.com.

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Resilient: LVT—A five-tool player that’s finding comfort in virtually all segments

October 9/16, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 9

By Ken Ryan

 

In baseball, a five-tool player excels at all the fundamentals. In flooring, that five-tool “player” would be LVT—a rare product rich in features and versatility suitable for virtually all commercial and residential segments—from Courtyard Marriott hotel rooms to residential basements.

LVT (including WPC and rigid core products) has been growing at a double-digit rate for the past several years, during which time it has expanded its reach across all segments.

Property Management
Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 9.51.30 AMSimply put, LVT has succeeded in the property management channel because it provides longer life than carpet. That’s according to Jerry Hosko, president and COO of Redi Carpet, which bills itself as America’s largest multi-family flooring provider. LVT has been widely accepted on first floor units of apartment communities because there are no acoustical issues to be concerned with. “It is not being used as widely on upper floors for the acoustic reasons although the underlayments on the market have helped somewhat,” he said. “WPC is not used as much due to additional cost above and beyond standard LVT products, but it is gaining acceptance in certain applications and is expected to gain more interest for its waterproof qualities, especially in the wake of recent flooding.”

John Kelleher, president of the property management division of Rite Rug, a large retailer, said LVP has really taken over the new construction of apartments and renovation, supplanting carpet and VCT. “Eight years ago LVP started to come around, and the last five years we have seen tremendous growth in that product. It has gotten better as far as development, and I think it is going to continue. It is a big product for us in property management and continues to grow thanks to the innovation of the plank.”

Gary Russo, owner of United Flooring and Paint, a flooring contractor, said ease of maintenance was a huge factor in United’s ability to get quick product placement for customers in its St. Louis and Chicago markets. As he explained, “Typically a plank can be pulled up and replaced, although many times with direct glue-down plank, the substrate can be damaged when the flooring is removed.”

Russo noted that easy cleanup is another reason for the success of vinyl plank.

Residential replacement
Among hard surfaces, hardwood flooring is the aspirational product of choice for most consumers. In fact, it’s not at all uncommon for a consumer to walk into a flooring store, ask for hardwood flooring and leave with LVT/WPC. “People are buying it because of the way it looks,” said Larry Noel, president of sales for retail for Rite Rug, citing the incredible realism.

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 9.51.38 AMOf course, LVT goes well beyond aesthetics. LVT is a much more family-friendly product than wood or laminate, proponents say. “LVT provides style with much more realism than laminate,” Noel said. “You don’t hear the tapping sound you get with laminate when you walk over it, and LVT is more forgiving than laminate.”

LVT is finding usefulness in virtually every room of the house these days, and some of these homes are large and expensive. Noel shared that Rite Rug just secured a project on a $2.2 million home in Columbus, Ohio, in which the homeowner requested LVT be installed in his basement.

Specified commercial
LVT/P wasn’t always the product de jour for the commercial segment, and in some LEED buildings, designers are hesitant to specify LVT because it contains PVCs, and therefore is not a truly sustainable product. However, concern over constant maintenance, scratches and moisture have steered some commercial establishments away from real wood and put LVT in play.

LVT is also gaining ground in hospitality. For years, designers would only specify carpet for guestrooms in hotels. Today, LVT is being paired with area rugs in many hotels, especially boutique properties and limited service brands like Courtyard Marriott. 

Marriott is even using LVT in the bathrooms of new properties.

Cost and time spent on a project are factors when specifying products. In LVT businesses see a faster, less-expensive turnaround and save money on labor. They also don’t have to shut down as long to accommodate lengthy acclimations or installations.

Angie Clarkson, LEED AP BD+C, a registered interior designer at architecture and interiors firm LWPB, weighed the pros and cons of LVT vs. other hard surface products. “On one hand, LVT is never going to feel the same underfoot as a natural hardwood floor. Any imperfections in the substrate will certainly transfer to the surface, just like any 1⁄8-inch-thick product. On the other hand, it gives designers a world of exotic wood species at their fingertips. You want the look of endangered African rosewood? You’ve got it without the long lead times or the ecological guilt.”

Builder
Many builders would rather install hardwood floors or ceramic tile for entryways, great rooms, kitchens and bath areas because it raises the value of the home. Increasingly, however, LVT is being used in new construction given the product’s relative affordability and realistic looks of stone and wood. What’s more, LVT is easier underfoot than wood or ceramic and individual tiles and planks that get damaged can be more easily repaired.

Eastwood Homes, Charlotte, N.C., offers luxury vinyl planks in several divisions and has received positive feedback. “Our homeowners love LVP because it gives them the look of real wood in a material that is even more durable than wood,” said Clark Stewart, president. “When installed correctly, LVP is impervious to water and holds up incredibly well to the wear and tear of real life.”

Stewart called LVP “a dream come true for dog owners, parents or anyone who appreciates low-maintenance, high-durability flooring.”

Main Street
Small businesses are playing a pivotal role in the growth of the U.S. economy. These Main Street businesses—whether they are small retail shops, professional offices, restaurants or cafes—all have one thing in common: They need a durable, beautiful floor that’s low maintenance. LVT, engineered with more durability than what would normally be considered adequate for residential, has found a home in Main Street, and flooring dealers are seizing this channel opportunity.

“In Main Street LVT/WPC—with its durability—is quickly replacing VCT as a mainstay floor,” said Mike Foulk, president of Foulk’s Flooring America, Meadville, Pa. “The wood looks and tile visuals give the designers added decorating possibilities. The ease of maintenance is a welcome feature for the end user.”

Casey Dillabaugh, president of Dillabaugh’s Flooring America, in Boise, Idaho, said many Main Street jobs have imperfections in some of the spaces; as such, a product with flexibility like LVT can fill that need. “It’s simply the most practical given the different installation options and should the space have stringent guidelines on what is and is not allowable. Add in how easy LVT is to replace and/or repair and clients see even more benefit.”

 

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Flexco names Belknap White northeastern distributor

BWG_FLEXCO_LOGOMansfield, Mass.—The Belknap White Group (BWG), one of America’s leading full-service flooring distributors, will be marketing and selling the comprehensive Flexco line throughout all six New England states and upstate New York.

“We’re very excited about this new relationship,” said Dan Doyle, vice president branch sales and operations, BWG. “When you work with Flexco, you’re working with a flooring partner that has the experience, determination and dedication to make customers’ rubber flooring visions become realities. For more than 50 years, Flexco has advanced as an industry pioneer and innovator by remaining performance-driven, progress-oriented and partnership-minded.”

BWG will carry all Flexco vinyl and rubber wall base products and trim/molding accessories, the complete range of rubber flooring as well as the entire Flexco stair tread category.

“Flexco believes responsible manufacturing goes hand-in-hand with environmental stewardship,” Doyle continued. “The firm is an active participant in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program. During our mill tour last week, Flexco announced it is now ISO 14000 certified, which took over 18 months to accomplish. Most of its products are Floor Score Certified as well as NSF 332 certified. Many of the products also meet the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS). Flexco is able to provide Environmental Product Declarations for many of its product categories. And, its products are all made in the USA.”

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NeoCon East opens registration, presents keynotes

NeoConEastPhiladelphia, Pa.—Registration is now open for NeoCon East. Held Nov. 15-16 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, NeoCon East will feature nearly 200 companies with products across vertical markets such as workplace, healthcare, education, public space, hospitality, retail and government. Programming will include more than 25 CEU accredited seminars, as well as a group of keynotes.

The keynotes slated for this year include: Alex Gilliam, founder and director, Public Workshop; David Insinga, AIA, chief architect, U.S. General Services Administration’s Public Buildings Service; Suzette Subance Ferrier, IIDA, studio design director at TPG Architecture; and Zena Howard, managing director at Perkins & Will, AIA, LEED AP.

“From varied backgrounds, the 2017 NeoCon East keynotes all share a common thread of inclusive, human-centered design for the greater good,” said Monica DeBartolo, director of programming, NeoCon East. “We are thrilled to showcase these inspirational thought leaders—four influencers over two days—at the 15th annual edition.”

Online registration is free and now available at neoconeast.com. CEU seminar registration will be available online Sept. 6.

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Tarkett, Gilford-Johnson Flooring expand partnership

Screen Shot 2017-06-07 at 11.26.01 AMJeffersonville, Ind.—Gilford-Johnson Flooring was appointed as a Tarkett residential and commercial distributor for Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. The distributor has been a long-term partner with the Tarkett family of brands in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee.

“Before Gilford-Flooring and Johnson Wholesale Floors joined forces last year, Johnson had a long-term relationship with Tarkett as one of [its] largest distributors,” said Scott Roy, president and CEO, Gilford-Johnson Flooring. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to strengthen that position with Tarkett across our entire trading area now.”

Affective June 5, the enhanced partnership means that Gilford-Johnson Flooring’s dealer network from Lake Michigan to Key West will have access to a variety of Tarkett products, including Johnsonite, Tarkett Commercial, and Tarkett Residential.

“As a result of the longstanding business relationship and performance by Johnson Wholesale Floors, it was an easy decision to expand the trading area into the Midwest region,” said Jeff Fenwick, president and COO, Tarkett North America. “We are very excited about the future of Tarkett with Gilford-Johnson Flooring.”

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Armstrong realigns commercial, residential sales management operations

March 13/20, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 20
By Reginald Tucker

 

Joe Bondi
Joe Bondi

Armstrong Flooring has initiated the process of uniting its commercial and residential business operations. Specifically, the realignment entails the integration of the company’s residential and commercial sales, marketing and product management teams. The move also combines the resilient and wood manufacturing operations.

Under the new structure, several key executive positions have changed. Joe Bondi, formerly senior vice president—North America Residential, will now serve as senior vice president, chief product officer. In this role, Bondi will have responsibility for R&D, design, resilient and wood product management, marketing, customer service and pricing.

Dominic Rice, formerly senior vice president—commercial, will now serve as senior vice president, global operations and manufacturing. Rice will oversee resilient and wood manufacturing, environmental health and safety, quality, engineering, procurement, demand and supply planning, as well as Armstrong Flooring’s Asia and Australia businesses. Lastly, Brent Flaharty, formerly vice president of residential sales, becomes senior vice president, North America Sales. He will oversee sales and sales operations.

Don Maier, Armstrong Flooring president and CEO, said the new structure will provide enhanced support and greater alignment with Armstrong’s customers and distributors. “We’re very excited about what we believe this is going to be able to do—make us quicker in the marketplace, more responsive to our retailers’ needs and make it much easier for both our retailers and distributors to do business with us. That’s the genesis of it.”

Don Maier
Don Maier

According to Maier, the realignment of the commercial and residential sales operations has been in the works since Armstrong Flooring officially separated from Armstrong World Industries in April 2016. “It’s really about trying to understand what the end markets are looking for and how we could structure ourselves to better serve those needs and deliver on our growth objectives. We started at the very end, with the customer, and then worked our way backward through distribution and back through Armstrong to look at how we could better structure things.”

Prior to the realignment, Armstrong Flooring ran two fairly autonomous business units—one focused on its commercial clients and one targeting residential end users. Under this structure, each had dedicated selling, product management/marketing and manufacturing resources. Bringing these two businesses together and putting them under common leadership reach of those functional capabilities, according to Maier, will allow Armstrong to be much more coordinated and more efficient in delivering its solutions and services to the market.

FCNews spoke with Maier about the specifics of the realignment and what it means to Armstrong’s retailer and distributor partners across the chain:

 

Q: Traditionally speaking, the commercial and residential marketplaces are different in terms of how the respective products go to market, how they are specified, etc. Seemingly they are two different creatures. Can you provide specific examples of how this realignment will benefit Armstrong’s customers?
Maier: Probably the best example I can give you is LVT. We found our customers or end users were not viewing products as commercially oriented or residentially oriented, but rather a continuum of performance characteristics and application requirements to fit a specific need. So what you’re seeing is the best of both worlds where we still have the dedicated resources on the street working the A&D community as well as Main Street and other retail end users, but we’ll have a consolidated offering and no artificial walls built between our various product lines. Our selling resources will have the entire bag of the portfolio to serve the particular needs of the specific application.

Brent Flaharty
Brent Flaharty

Q: The second component of the realignment entails the unification of the resilient manufacturing and wood manufacturing operations. Can you give us concrete examples of how that will benefit customers and end users down the supply chain?
Maier: At the highest level we are able to consolidate centers of excellence to support both our wood and resilient businesses. We’ll have common leadership across those categories, and we’ll be able to take best practices and benchmarking across the divisions at a much quicker pace. I have spent quite a bit of time not just with customers but also with employees in our manufacturing facilities to see just how creative they can be in their individual facilities. I have found that sharing of best practices across plants has not been fully leveraged. That’s just one example of being very coordinated under one set of leadership to facilitate the transfer of knowledge.

There are many other benefits—i.e., demand planning, logistics—that can be realized by being able to combine our collective businesses to serve our distributors, and hopefully that will translate into an improvement in terms of working capital necessary to provide the exceptional service levels they offer.

Q: Aside from the new positions for Joe Bondi, Dominic Rice and Brent Flaharty, do you anticipate the creation of new positions, staff reductions, etc.?

Dominic Rice
Dominic Rice

Maier: As we combine the two businesses—and this is really spread across our sales leadership teams, product management, marketing and manufacturing—we found we had about 40 redundant positions. Unfortunately this will result in a slight modification in our head count. We are in the process of getting all of those changes communicated this week, and our goal is to have the organization fully in place and up and running by the end of [March 18] so the organization is well aligned and that any changes that may have happened—i.e., contact points for distributors, etc.—will be communicated quickly and effectively. But we certainly feel it’s important we treat those impacted individuals with the utmost dignity and respect, and we are providing very generous bridges for them to transition to their next positions. And we are certainly very thankful of the contributions each person has made to our company over the years.

Q: How do you foresee the market responding in the immediate term and down the road?
Maier: We really believe this is going to improve the manner in which we can react to the market and support our customers, which we ultimately believe is going to allow them to drive their businesses and ultimately ours. I have reached out to all our major retailers, and so far the response has been unanimously supportive. They all are completely aligned with the changes, and they believe we’re making the right moves. That’s been reassuring to get that vote of confidence from our distributors and customers.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Dixie Group taps T.M. Nuckols as EVP of Dixie Residential

IMG_0263Dalton–Daniel K. Frierson, chairman; Kennedy Frierson, chief operating officer; and Paul Comiskey, president – Dixie Group Residential have announced that Thomas Martin (T.M.) Nuckols, Jr. will be joining The Dixie Group on Feb. 6, as executive vice president of Dixie Residential and will be located at the company’s corporate offices in Dalton. Nuckols joins the team as the company prepares for Paul Comiskey’s planned retirement. Comiskey formally made his retirement plans known to the board of directors in November 2016.

Reporting to Nuckols will be Bill Waters, RVP South Central Region; Tony Godfrey, RVP Southeast Region; Scott Sollie, RVP Northeast Region; Ted O’Hanlan, RVP Mid-West Region; Robert Smith, RVP West and Northwest Regions; and Mike Maxey, VP National Accounts and Sales. As Nuckols completes the opportunity to meet and work with the company’s sales associates and becomes familiar with the remaining associates in the Residential Business, he will assume responsibility for all of the other functional areas of the Residential business. This transition will be completed prior to the end of the year.

Nuckols graduated from the University of Virginia in 1989 with a BS in Electrical Engineering. Prior to joining Dixie, he spent his entire career with DuPont Fibers which became Invista. He served in various positions of increasing importance, most recently as senior director of mill sales and product strategy.

He and his wife Kimberly are parents to Austin who recently graduated from the University of Georgia and Heather who is a senior at Cherokee High School. Nuckols and his family reside in Acworth, Ga., with their three horses and two dogs.

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Ceramics of Italy extends 2017 Tile Competition deadline

screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-1-39-27-pmNew York, N.Y.—Ceramics of Italy has extended the deadline for its 2017 Tile Competition to Jan. 13. All North America-based architects and designers who have used Italian ceramic or porcelain tile within the past five years are eligible to submit their projects in the residential, commercial and institutional categories. Prizes include $3,000, a trip to Bologna, Italy for a CEU-accredited trip to Cersaie and a trip to Orlando to present their project at Coverings.

The competition guidelines, online application and an archive of winning projects from past years can be found on the Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition website. There is no fee to enter and multiple submissions are accepted.

 

 

 

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Shaw opens $85M carpet tile facility

New plant to bolster manufacturing capacity, recycling capabilities

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

By Ken Ryan
screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-9-11-07-amShaw Industries, the largest carpet tile producer in North America, officially unveiled its new carpet tile manufacturing facility in Adairsville, Ga., on Dec. 1. The $85 million facility, which became operational this quarter, will provide added capacity and recycling capability for the company’s Patcraft, Philadelphia Commercial and Shaw Contract modular carpet brands.

Known as Shaw Plant T1, the 600,000-square-foot facility complements the company’s existing carpet tile manufacturing, recycling and warehouse facilities in Cartersville, Ga., and in Nantong, China. The China facility opened in mid-2013 to serve the Asia Pacific market.

Vance Bell, chairman and CEO, who spoke during the ribbon-cutting event, noted that Shaw already invests hundreds of millions of dollars annually in new and expanded facilities, enhanced equipment, technology and processes, and improved distribution systems. “This is a prominent example of that commitment,” he explained, adding the new factory would allow Shaw to innovate across its broad portfolio of products for both residential and commercial applications.

Brenda Knowles, vice president, commercial marketing and product development, said there is a great deal of innovation built into this facility in terms of design features, dimensions and patterns. “The efficiencies that it has will continue to drive further innovation.”

In the commercial market, carpet tile represents an estimated 54.6% of the market in dollars and 44% in volume (FCNews, June 27) and is growing in the high single digits. It is growing robustly in the commercial arena at the expense of a declining broadloom segment. “There have been years over the past six to eight years where there has been double-digit growth in carpet tile,” Knowles said. “We see a bright future for continued growth.”

Shaw’s carpet tile facility currently employs 170 associates. The company estimates the plant will create 500 new jobs once it reaches full capacity. The carpet tile equipment takes up about one-third of the 600,000 square feet of space, which is all under one roof. There are plans to add more equipment in the building and, ultimately, more buildings to the 115-acre industrial site.