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NeoCon turns 50: Design, innovation take center stage at milestone event

By Lindsay Baillie

Chicago—NeoCon, one of the largest commercial interior design shows in North America, concluded its 50th edition last month, drawing in more than 50,000 attendees—a 5% increase from 2017. The Mart in Chicago was bursting with 140 showrooms, where roughly 350 exhibitors showcased the latest and greatest in corporate, hospitality, healthcare, education and retail design.

According to show management, the show floor was completely occupied, which was in keeping with NeoCon trends seen over the past 10 years. What’s more, flooring was the second highest represented commercial industry. “The fact that this was our 50th edition added a lot of buzz and energy,” said Byron Morton, vice president of leasing, NeoCon.

The scores of A&D professionals in attendance echoed those sentiments. “We could tell from the energetic crowds at The Mart that the excitement of NeoCon was at an all-time high this year,” said John Hopkins, principal and design director, IA Interiors Architects’ Chicago office. “We loved that there was such a focus on acoustic solutions—it’s an undervalued component when it comes to privacy, workplaces and open environments. We also noticed there were a lot of natural materials and finishes, a welcome return after the influx of the cold, industrial materials of the past few years.”

Angie Lee, AIA, IIDA, principal, design director-interiors, FXCollaborative Architects LLP, New York, agreed. “I have attended NeoCon for the last three years and continue to be impressed by the immense energy and creativity of the manufacturers, designers and associations. I saw a range of products implementing unexpected, thought-provoking uses of color, pattern and texture.”

Vendors attributed much of that enthusiasm to three primary factors—the strength of key end-use market sectors, the bevy of new products that provide both aesthetic and performance solutions, and positive trends in non-residential construction spending.

“Traditional hard surface markets like retail and healthcare still are very strong, and non-traditional markets such as offices and hospitality are shifting toward hard surfaces in many areas they did not consider before,” Robert Brockman, segment marketing manager, commercial, Armstrong Flooring, told FCNews.

LVT in particular is driving commercial flooring consumption across several end-use markets as it continues to exceed the growth of the once-dominant broadloom sector. This is especially the case in hotels. “Most hospitality end users are also looking to make a change to something more timeless in terms of pattern and color,” noted Al Boulogne, vice president, commercial resilient business, Mannington Commercial. “That, coupled with the easier maintenance requirements, make it an ideal product for these environments.”

But it’s not just hospitality that’s driving LVT specifications. Observers say healthcare holds the biggest growth potential for LVT, especially in areas such as hotel lobbies, hospital corridors and senior living spaces. “Slip/fall issues help LVT vs. other hard surface options,” said Paul Eanes, vice president of new business development, Metroflor.

Product trends
The vast array of innovative new products on display at the show reflected diverse requirements of architects, specifiers and designers. To keep up with demand, flooring manufacturers are developing new products across both hard and soft surface arenas that appeal to multiple commercial sectors at a time. In addition to developing products that fulfill “resi-mercial” demands, manufacturers are incorporating more pops of color to assist designers in creating unique, productive spaces.

In terms of hard surfaces, manufacturers continue to incorporate sustainable, biophilic design, with resilient flooring mimicking stone, cement, wood and other natural looks. Armstrong Flooring, for example, rolled out a heterogeneous sheet product called Mixers, which was inspired by the vibrant colors of different cocktails. Focused on its heterogeneous and homogeneous sheet lines, Armstrong presented attendees with new products that boast equal performance. “The update there is two fold,” Brockman stated, adding that designers can specify both sheet lines together without performance issues. “It’s not only new designs and patterns, but Diamond 10 technology has been added to the heterogeneous line.”

New to NeoCon, Cleo Contract—a Congoleum brand—highlighted its non-vinyl, non-PVC product. Made up of 85% limestone, Cleo has an ultra-low VOC, high-performance clear coating for durability and performance. What’s more, its visuals are digitally printed, which allows the company to produce custom looks. To help designers show what the product looks like after a complete install, Cleo Contract developed digitally printed papers that can be updated in real time with the current SKUs, according to Kurt Denman, chief marketing officer and executive vice president, sales, Congoleum.

Also riding the non-vinyl train is Mannington Commercial with its latest non-vinyl alternative resilient tile, Cirro. Offered in 20 visuals and four different sizes in tile and plank formats, Cirro can be installed using traditional resilient adhesives.

Also new from Mannington is Northern Wonders, which was inspired by a designer’s visit to see the Northern Lights. “Its colors and design are a culmination of ideas developed during the trip,” said Whitney LeGate, business manager, commercial LVT, Mannington. The product is available in nine colorways.

Over at the Karndean Designflooring space, the emphasis was on designer education as well as the seemingly endless options available through its Korlok, glue-down and loose-lay products. The company’s grout strips, available in 16 colors, were installed in the booth to show how to incorporate fake grout lines as well as pops of color to a SKU. “We’ve expanded our solid color offering to allow for both bold, saturated pops of colors and pastels to align with 2019 color forecasts, great for projects that require an elevated brand identity or to add a bit of whimsy,” said Jenne Ross, director of marketing. “We’re excited that these custom colors will be available on-demand and custom cut at our Pittsburgh facility.”

One of the products Raskin Industries showcased was Ceramix, a resilient tile with built-in grout lines that’s available in a variety of visuals, including stone, marble and concrete. “We have 36 x 36 tiles that give you a really clean smooth concrete look,” said Ted Rocha, vice president of sales. “It would be something that you’d see in an Apple store, for instance.”

Aspecta released its Aspecta 10 line, a premium multi-layer flooring with Isocore technology. The new offering features a 28mil wear layer and can be installed floating corner to corner—thanks in part to its innovative vertical locking system. “This is the Rolls Royce of multi-layer flooring,” said Marcel Kies, global CEO, Aspecta. “What we’ve tried to create is a good, better, best product.”

Shannon Specialty Floors displayed its new Naturescapes line, which was designed with the help of Jason McLennan, author, founder and creator of the Living Building Challenge. Naturescapes, he explained, is a resilient flooring product made with organic polymers. “It’s not vinyl, it’s free of all Red List chemicals and it’s the first Living Product Certified resilient flooring in the industry. This product class is highly sought after.”

Roppe highlighted multiple products at the show, including its Northern Parallels Chevron LVT planks available in a 9¼ x 59¼ format in three color ranges. According to Dee Dee Brickner, marketing manager, the line reflects strong demand for one of the most popular patterns—a directional pattern that’s often seen in real hardwood installations. “By offering a left and right design, these floors can also be laid in the same direction to create another unique look by using only one side.”

Looking beyond LVT, manufacturers in the rubber segment also looked to generate some buzz by showcasing products in on-trend, vibrant colors. Suitable for multiple applications, these manufacturers have developed customer cut and base profile programs to provide designers with greater options.

Then there was American Biltrite’s AB Pure, which features its signature Nfuse technology (Here, the coating that is applied directly into the flooring.) “Normally you would take [a rubber floor] out of the box, glue it down and then you’d scrub and clean it to release the mold agent,” Mark Tickle, director of marketing, explained. “With AB Pure, once you lay it down you use a damp mop on the surface. Then as soon as the adhesive has cured you can have people on it.”

Flexco is incorporating different wood-look visuals as well as new rubber plank sizes to its portfolio. “We’re also going to be launching some of our new base profiles, which is catching a lot of people’s interest,” said Haley Plank, marketing manager. “We’re also working on sustainability for our products. We have two new HPDs coming out for our rubber tile and treads.”

Procedo Flooring’s new Maxime rubber flooring line—available in eight colors in a 24 x 24 tile format—was designed to be installed across multiple settings, including educational facilities, sports facilities and retail areas. “We also started doing water jet cuts on the product for greater design options,” said Pierre Lefort, national sales manager.

All shapes and sizes
“Some of the coolest things in floor covering,” noted NeoCon’s Morton, “has to be the different shapes and textures” on display at the show. To that end, Tarkett showcased several products ranging from Pentagonals, which won a Best of NeoCon Gold, and Woven Fringe, a Best of NeoCon Platinum winner.

According to Terry Mowers, vice president chief creative officer, Pentagonals features rubber in a way that highlights a wide range of design possibilities. “You can get whatever color palettes you want within the system and a variety of shapes.”

Woven Fringe complements Tarkett’s rubber offering by providing a resi-mercial solution that is part of the company’s area rug program. According to Mowers, the product’s neutral color palette fits right in with current trends. “We’re seeing grays moving to healthcare in combination with other colorings. We’re also seeing grays getting warmer but we’re not seeing them move that far away.”

As hard surfaces continue to gain more share across various commercial markets, end users are incorporating more area rugs in their designs. At the same time, carpet tile is also gaining steam. New soft surfaces continue to follow sustainable, biophilic design while brightening up spaces with hints of color.

Case in point: Aquafil’s booth displayed clothing and carpet featuring Econyl fiber. According to Kathy Long, brand communications manager, the booth was designed to show how fashion and carpet flow together. “We’re trying to show the endless possibilities of Econyl,” Long said. “We have 28 new colors to the Econyl collection—new neutrals and pops.”

Patcraft highlighted Dichroic, a PET carpet tile made from recycled plastic bottles. “We’ve worked on two products to pull plastic waste out of the environment,” said Kieren Corcoran, director of performance markets. “We’ve taken the bottle chip that can’t be recycled and turned it into fibers. We can then recycle it again at the end of its life back into pellets.”

EF Contract, which made its NeoCon debut, highlighted several carpet collections, including Rust Dye. “What we did was take metals and went through the process of rust dying them and capturing what they leave behind as they decay,” Susan Curtis, vice president, design and marketing, explained. “We’re all about tile, skinny planks and giving the designer flexible to design their own patterns.”

New to Mannington’s broadloom products is Moire, a carpet tile offering developed in conjunction with installation artist Gabriel Dawe. Moire mimics an installation Dawe completed in The Mart, which featured 30 miles of colorful fiber organized in prism format. Interestingly, the installation changed its colors as attendees passed by.

Mohawk put the spotlight on several new soft surface offerings, including Sunweave, a collection of woven broadloom and rug products featuring Heathered Hues Duracolor premium nylon, and Crafted Convergence, which draws on influence from Native American pottery and baskets to everyday Japanese and African garments. “With Crafted Convergence, we’re starting to transfer more hospitality looks into the workplace,” said Mark Oliver, vice president, workplace and retail. “The other beauty is it’s broadloom, but we’re also offering it as a rug.”

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INSTALL, Roppe partner at NeoCon 2018

Glassboro, N.J.— At NeoCon 2018, INSTALL and Roppe will emphasize the value of certified installation through live, daily flooring demonstrations. As the largest commercial interiors show in North America, NeoCon 2018 will be held at Chicago’s historic Merchandise Mart from June 11-13. The INSTALL and Roppe demonstrations will be located on the 7th floor at the Interiors + SourcesMaterials Pavilion # 7-1000.

This series of dynamic demonstrations will occur throughout the day June 11-12. Through INSTALL’s floor covering expertise, a fashion-forward design using Roppe rubber sheet and tile products will be brought to life. INSTALL and Roppe will showcase new and innovative installation techniques with Roppe’s newest products:

  • Envire Rubber Sheet & Tile: designed for a natural resilience, exceptional wear resistance and dimensional stability for high-traffic areas.
  • FlashCove Prefabricated Base: puncture-proof reinforced base for the longest life-cycle and easiest maintenance for sheet flooring installations.

INSTALL standards and expertise incorporate the knowledge and backing of the entire flooring industry, including Roppe. “INSTALL’s mission is to train and educate for the purpose of quality flooring installations,” said John McGrath, INSTALL executive director. “This collaboration allows us to highlight the need for both quality products and installation to ensure successful commercial flooring projects.”

Designers take great care to choose the right products and systems for clients. However, no matter how discerning the specifier and regardless of product selection, if the design is installed incorrectly, the customer will suffer. The product will not perform the way the designer intends and dismantling and replacing the installation is expensive, time consuming and can tarnish the image of everyone involved.

“Working alongside INSTALL to provide a quality flooring experience from start to finish has proven to be invaluable,” explained Brent Fike, RHC general manager of technical and installation. “INSTALL continues to be an important resource for us as we strive to partner with educated, skilled installers to deliver outstanding end results.”

 

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Roppe publishes first Health Product Declaration

Fostoria, Ohio—Roppe recently published its first Health Product Declaration (HPD) for its Envire rubber sheet and tile products.

“Publishing HPDs for Roppe products is an important and necessary step for us,” said Bart Rogers, RHC vice president of sales and marketing. “We understand these documents not only help our customers make more informed purchasing decisions, but they confirm our desire to be transparent as it relates to material health issues that are so important in the design world today and moving forward.”

Envire rubber sheet and tile is specifically formulated to be free of Red List chemicals, PVC, phthalates and halogens. Envire is also made in the U.S. and meets FloorScore, NSF332 Gold and CHPS criteria. The unique flecked design of tonal rubber chips helps hide dirt and debris between cleanings, while the versatile palette of 32 designer inspired hues aligns with Roppe’s other rubber tile and tread products and coordinates with FlashCove, Pinnacle & Pinnacle Plus wall base and accessories lines. All colors options are available at a single price point within each product category.

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My take: Random ramblings from NeoCon

July 3/10: Volume 32, Issue 2

By Steven Feldman

 

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 3.46.11 PMHow can 2017 have less than half of it remaining? Time really does fly. Walking around NeoCon last month made me realize just that. There was no way we could be five months removed from Surfaces. Then again, show management is probably saying there is no way it’s been five years since they changed the name to TISE, or The International Surface Event, and I still refer to it as Surfaces. (That’s because most of you do, too.)

Anyway, as the ADD kicks into high gear as the years go by and my brain goes in 100 different directions, here was what I was thinking about on the plane ride home from NeoCon:

If only I booked the 1:30 or 4:30 and not the 2:30, we wouldn’t have been stranded an extra day in Chicago… Kudos to Metroflor for going the extra mile in creating awareness for its Aspecta brand with a public area on the first floor of the Merchandise Mart where attendees could stop in and get a smoothie. This in addition to a well-attended party at the Godfrey… Encryption, the subway tile-looking carpet tile planks from Milliken, is an innovative design… Does anyone know how to fold a fitted sheet?… Great to see old friend and former Bentley boss Anthony Minite heading up the U.S. operations for Denmark-based Fletco. There’s a good story there…

Impressed with the huge Tarkett/Tandus Centiva/Johnsonite/ Desso space on the third floor. Bringing everything together makes all the sense in the world…Speaking of the third floor, there may be more attendees per square foot in the Mohawk space than anywhere else… And speaking of Mohawk, Gavin DeGraw headlined its annual NeoCon soiree. Great performance, but would have preferred Earth Wind & Fire… I think Aquafil is one of the best-kept secrets in this industry. What they do with fiber from a color and sustainability standpoint is unmatched…

Always love the Bentley showroom design on the 10th floor… Speaking of high floors, no more elevator waits for me. Take a non-NeoCon elevator to a non-NeoCon floor, like 12 or 13, and walk down. I should have thought of that 20 years ago… They may not be a household name, but Taj Flooring has some innovative designs. With the right exposure they could make some noise in the next few years… I miss not seeing Don Miller at the Roppe booth. Hopefully next year… I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent an idiot from cutting in at the front…

The Raskin purchase of To Market is sure to pay dividends… I like what companies like Gerflor and American Biltrite are doing in the U.S…. Gibson’s vs. Mastro’s vs. Gene & Georgetti. Who wins?… I am expecting Atlas to be more visible going forward with rumors of some new branding on the horizon… While carbon neutral is the buzzword for many, Interface is moving forward with the first carbon negative carpet tile a few years down the road… Noticed more companies with Declare labels than years past…

At the end of the day, though, one of my favorite aspects of NeoCon is seeing executives of competing manufacturers visiting each other’s showrooms and spaces. There is a certain camaraderie unseen at other events. It’s more than just checking out the competition. There is a palpable level of respect and friendship. I like that.

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Rubber flooring offers safety in commercial applications

May 26/June 2, 2014; Volume 27/Number 28

By Louis Iannaco

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.22.01 PMSafety flooring—rubber or slip-resistant sheet vinyl—provides peace of mind in applications where moisture and harsh conditions dominate. Whether it be at the gym, in the hospital corridor or a high-traffic commercial setting, rubber and sheet vinyl are being used more often because of the safety they provide as well as their comfort and aesthetic appeal.

Following is a look at some of the latest safety-first products available today.

Allstate Rubber

“Rubber has inherent anti-slip properties simply due to the nature of the material, but we don’t go out and sell it strictly as that,” said Ivan Stoler, president. The fashion-forward company offers a variety of colors and often works in public settings, “where people use rubber because they want a tactile surface. In healthcare, such as operating theaters and corridors, it is used a lot, as well as in public spaces, schools of higher education and corporate settings.”

Allstate is selling high quantities of sheet rubber, which features a smooth surface and non-directional patterns. “It also has fewer seams, and is stain resistant and antibacterial, so it fits in perfectly with the healthcare industry,” Stoler said.

Altro USA

Since 1947, slip-resistant sheet vinyl flooring products have been the core of Altro’s business. “We have more than 12 safety flooring products, all offering different features and benefits,” said Richard Finnegan, marketing manager. The company’s latest innovation is a loose lay sheet vinyl called Altro Xpresslay.

“The new trend has been no-adhesive, loose lay flooring,” Finnegan said. “We believe this trend will be the future of the industry. We created the world’s first adhesive-free safety sheet vinyl flooring by modifying our traditional Altro safety flooring to work in a loose lay system.”

Altro Xpresslay appears smooth on the surface but provides a high level of slip resistance when walked on, Finnegan added. “The pressure created by walking over the flooring causes slip-resistant aggregates embedded in the vinyl to push up and rub against the shoe, which creates friction. Because of this it remains slip resistant even when wet.”

American Biltrite

When the company noticed a need to improve upon rubber flooring as a whole, American Biltrite created AB Pure rubber flooring. Specifically, traditional rubber floor formulations shed a yellow haze and kept the product from holding its color. “We went into R&D for over three years to make the first color perfect rubber, great for education, institutional, retail and healthcare environments,” noted Lora Di Fabio, product manager.

AB Pure is PVC and chlorine free, Floorscore certified for indoor air quality, treated to resist the growth of fungus and mold, does not contain latex (an allergen) and meets Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) recommendations. Ingredients were also balanced for fire, smoke and wear resistance, Di Fabio noted.

Ecore

According to Lori Dowling, president of Ecore commercial flooring, most people think of safety flooring as slip resistant—the type of product that will keep someone from slipping and falling. “That’s a big part of the safety floor market, but there’s also the secondary market, where our new products fit in. The question is if someone falls, how can we keep them from getting injured? So there are really two aspects to safety.”

A safety flooring that combines both rubber and vinyl is Forest RX, comprised of 5mm of Ecore’s recycled rubber backing with a vinyl surface on top. “We make surfaces for playgrounds and gyms, so the concept of making a floor with force reduction and properties that protect people is something we know a lot about,” Dowling explained.

Forest RX is constructed using Ecore’s Itstru technology, which fuses a wear layer to recycled rubber backing containing up to 97% post-consumer rubber. “Itstru allows for greater design diversity and more sustainable options for education, health and fitness, retail and healthcare spaces,” she concluded.

Regupol America

The unique property of rubber, according to John Aten, vice president of sales, is its high coefficient of friction, which makes it an inherently safe flooring option. “This gives rubber flooring high anti-slip properties that work great in dry conditions and wet. It far exceeds the ADA limit requirements of a safety floor.”

Regupol’s AktivPro rubber flooring, a 1-inch-thick tile, provides durability and slip resistance, shock absorption and is comfortable underfoot, Aten noted, “where people are going to be standing all day, such as in a commercial setting. We can customize the base of that material to provide even more shock absorption, which is going to add greater ergonomic value for the people standing on the floor.”

Because of AktivPro’s high slip coefficient, it can be installed in areas where hard surfaces were used before, Aten noted. “From a safety standpoint, it can be used in a locker room, [for example], where you have moisture coming out of the shower onto the floor.”

Roppe

Rolling Traffic transitions, AlphaBase and Ribbed Rubber Inserts are three rubber options from Roppe. Rolling Traffic transitions are designed to promote minimal reaction between flooring systems where rolling loads such as wheelchairs, hospital beds or shopping carts may be present, while AlphaBase was designed to provide signage at the floor to direct traffic flow in the event of smoke/fire or where buildings require direction to promote safety or handicap accessibility. Lastly, Ribbed Rubber Inserts for Roppe’s rubber stair treads have been a popular choice where abrasive strips were the only option to promote safety for the visually impaired at the top and bottom of stairs, and at stair landings.

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NeoCon preview

May 26/June 2, 2014; Volume 27/Number 28

NeoCon is the largest trade show for architects and designers in North America, attended by more than 40,000 professionals from the A&D community. With five floors of exhibitors occupying permanent and temporary spaces, visitors have an infinite amount of hard and soft surface product awaiting their perusal. In addition, NeoCon will host a slew of seminars, many eligible for CEU credits, along with expert keynote speakers and educational programs. FCNews received a sneak peek at what some companies will unveil and highlight at the show.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.02.50 PMAbet Laminati

Two high-pressure laminates will be highlighted. The Parade collection touts bold digital design, durability and easy maintenance in 4’3 x 10 sheets. In addition, Root, from the Legni collection, features a realistic, wood-like surface and is available in seven patterns with a slightly raised texture. Legni wood grain laminates are available in 4 x 10-foot sheets. All products are Greenguard certified with low VOC emissions. FSC certification was just received in Italy, where the laminates are manufactured, and the company is currently attaining an FSC certification for North America.

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.03.10 PMAmerican Biltrite

American Biltrite will showcase two LVT lines, Mirra and Sonata; AB Pure, a revolutionary colorfast rubber line, and Stonescape, a 100% VOC- and PVC-free polyolefin flooring. Mirra is a highly resistant LVT for heavy commercial applications, while Sonata is a fashion-forward and affordable commercial line. The company is particularly enthusiastic about AB Pure, which it considers a “revolutionary patented rubber line.” With a striking, expansive palette of 36 vivid colors, there is an impressive colorfastness, meaning visuals won’t change over time. In addition, the company said Stonescape is its “greenest” product, free of plasticizers, phthalates, chlorine and halogens. Stonescape can be safely disposed in landfills and creates very little smoke in the event of a fire.

 

 

 

 

Aquafil

Aquafil is currently touting Econyl yarn, developed from the Econyl Reclaiming Program established by the Aquafil Group to recover nylon 6 waste. The BCF (bulk continuous filamints) division produces nylon for synthetic carpet flooring, which is used in products such as Desso’s Airmaster and Visions collections and Interface’s Net Effect. The Econyl Regeneration System helps avoid the unnecessary waste of polyamide material. The innovative process recovers nylon from waste such as carpet, clothing and fishing nets, and transforms it back into virgin raw material for new products. Aquafil will reclaim close to 26,000 tons of pre- and post-consumer waste this year; Econyl products will contain at least 50% post-consumer content in 2014.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.03.44 PMBentley

New Bohemian and Light Play are two new collections. New Bohemian features Antron Lumena solution-dyed type 6,6 nylon and is available in High PerformancePC broadloom, as well as 18 x 36 and 24 x 24 NexStep cushion tile and Afirma hardback tile. Light Play offers two carpet styles—SoHo Daw and Melrose Dusk—featuring Antron Legacy type 6,6 nylon. The line is available in 24 x 24 NexStep cushion tile and Afirma hardback tile. Melrose Dusk is also offered in 18 x 36 planks. Both collections are Cradle to Cradle, NSF 140 and CRI Green Label Plus certified, and they are produced in the only LEED-certified carpet manufacturing facility.

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.04.17 PMBolyü

Bolyü will take the wraps off three new carpet collections—Fluid and Fractured, Suit and Tie, and InnerCircle—a new entry in its Level hybrid line, Monogram, as well as the Luxury Vinyl Tile Design Collection. Fluid and Fractured includes two modular carpet tile styles that embody the technology of design and construction, while InnerCircle is a modular tile designed to deliver a bold composition of color, pattern and texture. The Luxury Vinyl Tile Design Collection combines high definition digital imaging technology and state-of-the-art manufacturing processes to create new abstract designs. The four carpet products feature Nexterra backing, which is UL certified as NSF 140 Platinum and includes post-consumer recycled content.

 

 

 

CBC

Continuing the company’s overall theme of transparency, CBC Flooring’s Halo, Takiron and Ceres brands will all be included as NeoCon highlights. The performance of Ceres Sequoia will be elevated with a new, enhanced construction featuring the high-performance PET technology that had been an industry exclusive to Halo Free. The new Sequoia with PET vs. polyolefin has 30% greater taber abrasion and scratch resistance, a clearer wear layer to enhance the design, better installation properties and reduced lead times. Pricing has also become more competitive.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.05.40 PMFlexco

Celebrating 65 years of business, Flexco continues to tout its Made in the USA products. Base Sculptures is a wall base with appealing aesthetics as well as increased durability, easy installation, moisture resistance and decreased maintenance. With eight different profiles, Base Sculptures possesses the qualities of real wood without the high price tag or time-consuming finishing process. The collection is offered in 40-foot seamless rolls with three profiles that include color-coordinated corner blocks. Base Sculptures is FloorScore and SCS certified.

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.09.47 PMForbo

Marmoleum Modular is a naturally sustainable tile collection comprised of 44 colors and three coordinated sizes designed to mix and match for endless design possibilities. Available in 10 x 10, 20 x 20 and unique 10 x 20 rectangular tiles, Marmoleum Modular is currently the only floor tile that is USDA Bio-Preferred Certified 100% biobased. Made from natural, renewable ingredients, it features inherent antimicrobial and antistatic properties that improve indoor air quality and resist bacteria growth without chemical additives.

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.06.09 PMFreeFit

FreeFit will highlight its new 6 x 48 Intaglio RW filled-in-cracked wood visuals, as well as 12 x 24 Rectangulo tiles. In addition, its 18 x 18 HDCT (hi-definition carpet tiles) will be displayed. In terms of product features, FreeFit will focus on its virgin vinyl core. The company’s offerings do not contain recycled filler material, nor do they contain harmful phthalates like DOP and DEHP. This also provides exceptional flexibility and weight, allowing the floors to both contour to and conceal subfloor imperfections. Due to FreeFit products’ pure construction, they are also antibacterial by design and fully recyclable. Products from the company can be loose laid using only FreeFit’s Gecko Tape (or approved adhesives) to secure the perimeter, or full spread for commercial environments.

 

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.07.33 PMInterface

The premise behind Human Nature, a new global collection, is that workplace interiors inspired by nature can inspire innovative thinking. Biomimicry and biophilia are highlighted influences, and the collection’s five tiles speak to natural design both aesthetically and in terms of diverse touch. Made with 100% recycled content nylon yarn, Human Nature will be manufactured on four continents in six Interface factories that are, on average, 39% more energy efficient and consume 83% less water than when the company began to rethink its impact on the environment two decades ago. Additionally, these facilities now receive an average 35% of their energy from renewable sources.

 

 

 

 

 


Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.08.32 PMJ+J/Invision

The focus at NeoCon will be the Bespoke collection, which will be displayed in the company’s “London Calling”-themed space. The line will come in three styles, two in broadloom and modular and one in broadloom only. Targeting the high-end, corporate segment, Invision is highlighting the very crisp, bold colors and design of Bespoke. A new plank modular collection to coordinate with Bespoke is Inception, which will stray from historically popular 24 x 24 and 18 x 18 sizes. All products are NSF 140 certified.

 

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.09.19 PMJohnsonite

New products at NeoCon 2014 include Minerality, a rubber tile and plank, and GemStone solid vinyl tile (SVT), which is ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and FloorScore certified, and is part of the Johnsonite ReStart Recycling and Reclamation Program. In addition, new textures will be added to Johnsonite’s extensive line of rubber tiles — Brushed, Concrete and Leather Textured. Lastly, Melodia 2.0 and Aria 2.0 homogenous vinyl sheet and tile flooring update the existing Melodia and Aria collections with an expanded color palette.

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.10.24 PMKarndean

Karndean will use NeoCon to highlight its Opus, Art Select Woods and LooseLay collections. Designed with commercial specifications in mind, Opus features large-format floor tiles and wood effect planks that are simple to work with and easily installed. Karndean LooseLay is an award-winning, glueless line that features 12 plank and eight stone designs. LooseLay is ideal for commercial applications and is 100% recyclable. Art Select Woods includes realistic wood visuals, handcrafted textures and intricate grains. All products have low VOCs and adhesives are free from harmful emissions.

 

 

 

Mannington Commercial

Two products will serve as the focal point at NeoCon: Enlighten, a PVC-free homogeneous sheet offering, and Design Local, a modular carpet tile collection. Enlighten is a polyolefin/rubber homogeneous composite sheet that provides a high-performance, PVC-free solution for healthcare environments. It delivers through-chip construction, low maintenance, greater comfort underfoot, easy installation and enhanced acoustical properties. In addition, Enlighten contains 5% post-consumer recycled content, 4% rapidly renewable content and has FloorScore and NSF/ANSI-332 Gold certification. To develop Design Local, Mannington teamed with 18 members of the A&D community in Seattle, Nashville and Philadelphia to create a collection of coordinating carpets inspired by each city. Design Local is backed on rEvolve thermoplastic polyolefin or InfinityRE Modular; EPDs have been issued for both backings.

Metroflor

NeoCon will mark the launch of Aspecta, a new global brand from Metroflor that focuses on the architecture and interior design community. The brand includes a range of 56 wood grain planks and 50 stone and abstract tile floors developed for the global design community. The dry-back flooring offers a breadth of design expression spanning metal, abstract, solid hues, concrete, and wood and stone visuals, enhanced by the authentic textures.  Aspecta views sustainability as a fourth pillar of excellence in the luxury vinyl flooring business (with design, color and texture as the first three). The plant in which Aspecta is produced has attained ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 for tiles and planks, which together with their adhesives are FloorScore certified to assure strict quality standards and good indoor air quality.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.11.04 PMMohawk Group

With four product launches, one particular introduction that stands out is Breaking Form, a modular carpet collection offered in 12 x 36 planks. The company collaborated with architect and designer Mac Stopa, whose innovative designs feature bold colors and three-dimensional patterns. Breaking Form is made with DuraColor nylon fiber technology with 30% recycled content and EcoFlex ICT premium vinyl modular backing system, which includes 35% pre-consumer recycled content and is Gold NSF/ANSI-140 certified. Additional products that will be unveiled at NeoCon include Why Y—also designed with Stopa—a new LVT collection with a unique Y shape, offered in 18 x 18 tiles; Simply Tailored, Karastan Contract’s latest broadloom line, and New Vintage, a modular plank offering with 12 x 36 selections.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.11.23 PMPacifiCrest

Three dynamic cut loop products that will be showcased at NeoCon are Lava, Molten and Ember. The line includes three coordinating patterns created from Ultron Ombré nylon 6,6 in a 25-color palette. Lava is a tribute to igneous rock created by cooled lava, and Molten takes its inspiration from a molten lava flow. Ember is reminiscent of the glowing ash of a smoldering fire. PacifiCrest carpet is third-party certified to CRI Green Label Plus standards.

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.11.45 PMParterre Flooring Systems

Parterre will launch a new resilient plank called Vertu. The collection features 33 new designs that embody the artistry of nature and weathered wood designs. These designs, named after famous artists and pieces, can either accent bolder patterns or create a neutral, inviting commercial space. Parterre’s products are made with 25% post-consumer and 20% post-industrial recycled material.

 

 

Patcraft

Patcraft will unveil a new collection (name TBA) that offers designers the opportunity to mix hard and soft surface products in a way that has never been available before. Created specifically for multi-faceted, high-demand collaborative spaces, the design enables spaces to be designed with mixed materials and shifting shapes, providing unique alternatives for the commercial market to define spaces where only walls and furniture have been able to do so in the past. This modular offering is constructed using EcoWorx backing, the industry’s first 100% non-PVC backing system, emitting low VOCs and contributing to LEED project certification. The collection’s resilient selection is made of 22% recycled content.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.12.12 PMRoppe

Five products will be highlighted at NeoCon: Health & Learning rubber and vinyl tile, Marble Fiesta rubber tile, Northern Timbers vinyl plank, Hammered Marble rubber tile and Pinnacle Plus rubber wall base. The company’s products offer a wide range of environmental benefits, including FloorScore certification, CHPS (Certified in Healthcare Privacy and Security) and meeting NSF 332 criteria. Visitors at the booth will have the ability to navigate the company’s website to help interested designers and potential customers easily find the product details they need—from LEED information and the Flooring Designer function to seeing products in action.

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.12.32 PMTandus Centiva

Thin Lines modular carpet tile will be launched at NeoCon. Building off classic geometry, Thin Lines brings sophisticated line work to the next level, intentionally using pattern as a way to connect spaces. Using a classic neutral palette against intense color play, the installation methods are unlimited. Thin Lines is 100% recyclable through Tandus Centiva’s closed-loop recycling program. It is also constructed using Aquafil’s Econyl fiber, a 100% recycled BCF nylon — 50% pre-consumer and 50% post. The company will also introduce an Environmental and Health Statement (EHS) on ethos, a backing option for its Modular and Powerbond platforms. Ethos is made from recycled PVB, which is an abundantly available waste film from post-consumer windshields and safety glass.

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.12.50 PMUpofloor

Upofloor will expand its PVC-free range of products with new designs and sizes in sheet, tiles and planks. It will also highlight the world’s premiere Quartz line with 83 designer options in marbled, chipped and unicolor designs. According to the company, Upofloor’s strongest attribute is quality. Its products are environmentally sound: Upofloor Quartz Tile consists mostly of natural raw materials, and the use of plasticizers is minimal. Only biobased, nontoxic and phthalate-free options are accepted, ensuring extremely low emissions into indoor air and the ability to be recycled.

 

 

 

 

USFContract

In illustration of its “bigger, bolder, better” theme, USFContract will introduce several new products. Stratum XL is the latest in engineered luxury vinyl plank, extending the company’s Stratum ELV line. Stratum XL is the longest and widest vinyl plank available, measuring 9 x 72. Stratum ELV will now have a broader assortment of visuals and decors in the 500 series with 5 x 48 planks; the 700 series, measuring 7 x 48, and a first-to-market format of 18 x 24 tiles with the 1800 series. USFContract has also extended the Citadel Collection with Palisades, which features the industry’s biggest plank at 10¼inches wide and a little more than 9 feet long. All Stratum ELV and Stratum XL products are Greenguard Gold certified, while all floors in the Palisades collection are 100% FSC Pure.

 

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Contract state of the industry

Improved economy facilitates sector growth

by Jenna Lippin

With the help of a recovering economy, the contract/specified market awoke in the early months of 2013 from its slumber. With revived sales, many manufacturers are developing products that stray from the traditional designs so common in the contract realm while staying abreast of environmental and sustainability efforts. FCNews discussed the state of the contract industry with some of the industry’s commercial flooring leaders to get their take on the activity for the first part of the year and what they expect for the remaining two-thirds. Continue reading Contract state of the industry

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Roppe announces Professional Flooring Supply as 2012 Distributor of the Year

Fostoria, Ohio – Roppe Corporation, a leading manufacturer of rubber and vinyl commercial flooring products, recently announced Professional Flooring Supply (PFS) as the recipient of their prestigious 2012 Distributor of the Year.

PFS was founded in 1977 in Fort Worth, Texas, with a commitment to providing the floor covering professional with the finest selection of installation tools and materials available. With a steadfast dedication to professionalism in every aspect of their business, they continue to be successful. Continue reading Roppe announces Professional Flooring Supply as 2012 Distributor of the Year

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Resilient: Environmental update, NSF 332 in early implementation with mills ready to follow

The philosopher Aristotle once said, “If one way be better than another, that you may be sure it is nature’s way.” A widespread embrace of sustainability initiatives brought the resilient flooring industry to a realization that nature’s way is the best, and the market was flooded with third-party certification programs proving so. Simplifying that process is the ANSI standard NSF 332, in its early stages of implementation. Continue reading Resilient: Environmental update, NSF 332 in early implementation with mills ready to follow

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Floor covering distributors see 2010’s top sellers continuing to pay dividends in 2011

Today’s distributor is far more than the order taker and credit giver of its predecessors; it is a barometer for what is happening in a particular region.

This is true in multiple ways, from general business conditions to the latest in product trends and styles. In fact, when it comes to helping retailers decide which products make the most sense to carry, a distributor is a venerable weather bell of information. Continue reading Floor covering distributors see 2010’s top sellers continuing to pay dividends in 2011