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CarpetsPlus recognizes Karndean with Outstanding Performance award

Export, Pa.– Karndean Designflooring was honored with an Outstanding Performance award by the CarpetsPlus membership, Feb. 27 at the group’s annual convention in Phoenix, Ariz.

The award recognizes the supplier who has had the best overall performance in the past year. Award recipients were voted on by the CarpetsPlus Color Tile membership, comprised of approximately 400 retailers. More than 50 suppliers were eligible to receive this distinction.

“It is a profound honor for Karndean Designflooring to be recognized by the CarpetsPlus Color Tile membership for the second consecutive year—last year as Supplier of the Year and this year for Outstanding Performance,” said Larry Browder, chief sales and marketing officer. “Our original visuals, reliable product performance and strong sales support enable us to offer our CarpetsPlus partners a product that increases their margin with less callbacks.”

Karndean Designflooring joined the CarpetsPlus Color Tile group in 2012.

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CCA Global Conventions: Carpet One dealers welcome new supplier, push digital, training

February 5/12, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 17

By Ken Ryan

 

Grapevine, Texas—Fresh off a year in which it achieved its highest purchase volume in 11 years, Carpet One Floor & Home convened its winter convention here with a strong tailwind that portends an even stronger 2018.

“You translate purchase volume into sales,” Eric Demaree, president of Carpet One, told FCNews. “We have strong economic indicators. Our overall performance was two times higher than the industry average, and a lot of that is coming from LVT and ceramic.”

In 2017, CCA members generated $250 million in LVT sales (including WPC and rigid core products), and the category continues to grow at unprecedented rates, according to Charlie Dilks, chief product officer for the co-op. Ceramic and wood are healthy as well while laminate now represents less than 3% of the business.

Overall, carpet shrank in 2017 although the rate of decline slowed to 45% compared to 55% hard surface. Residential carpet volume improved in the fourth quarter for members, Dilks said, and will likely get a boost now that Engineered Floors and its DreamWeaver brand is part of the group. EF’s acquisition of Beaulieu’s assets served as an entree for Bob Shaw’s company to join the co-op.

Demaree referred to EF as “the bright new shiny penny.” However, Carpet One dealers see dollar signs. “The color, style, design and price of the DreamWeaver brand is excellent—there is perceived value there,” said Heather Gollihur, owner, Carpet Master Carpet One, Champaign, Ill., who noted that EF’s emergence “will make all the other mills sharpen their pencils.”

Craig Dunn, manager at Miller’s Carpet One, Seaside, Calif., said he is “thrilled to death” that EF has been added as a vendor. “There is a niche they are in that we weren’t getting anywhere else. They’ll fit in well with this group. They always have plenty of stock—as a lot of their product is stocked on the West Coast, which is a big deal for us because of our location and for the fact people want product now.”

Palmer Johnson, manager at Johnson Carpet One Floor & Home, Tulsa, Okla., added, “with Beaulieu out [EF] is filling a void. You have a vertically integrated company that is very competitive.”

EF’s DreamWeaver brand is a strong player in PET, which is now over 50% of the residential replacement market, according to industry observers. What’s more, EF is a leader in cost efficiencies, another reason for their desirability among retailers. To no one’s surprise, the EF booth was the busiest during the two-day trade show portion of Carpet One, and executives appreciated the retail love. “We are incredibly excited to be here,” said Mike Sanderson, vice president of product marketing. Told that many Carpet One members urged the CCA executive team to bring on EF, Will Young, director of national accounts, said, “grassroots efforts usually work. It just takes time. We have a product line that can be sold to just about anyone who walks into a flooring store.”

DreamWeaver introduced its Resista line to Carpet One dealers. Available in 30 styles, Resista makes up half of the group’s polyester offerings.

Online leads and follow-up

The question was asked during the convention: Why does CCA continue to focus on digital marketing even though store traffic is trending down? As executives pointed out, people don’t shop like they used to, and they certainly don’t browse flooring stores. To attract consumers, Carpet One has invested significantly in digital media—including paid search, SEO and SEM. “Our website presence is amazing,” Demaree said. “Our members, when they get the opportunity to engage with a customer, are pretty good at getting the business.”

The fact is, however, few companies (across all industries) are good at following up on online leads, and studies show these lapses are costly. Harvard Business Review audited 2,241 U.S. companies to measure how long each took to respond to a web-generated lead. The results:  37% responded to their lead within one hour; 16% responded between one and 24 hours; 24% took more than 24 hours, and 23% of the companies never responded at all.

These results are especially shocking given how quickly online leads go cold—a phenomenon it explored in a separate study that involved 1.25 million sales leads received by 29 B2C and 13 B2B companies in the U.S. Companies that tried to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving a query were nearly seven times as likely to qualify the lead (defined as having a meaningful conversation with a key decision maker) as those that tried to contact the customer even an hour later—and more than 60 times as likely as companies that waited 24 hours or longer.

Similarly, a paper written and published by MIT professor James Oldroyd found that the chance of qualifying a lead drops to 10% after the first hour, and that no leads were qualified past the 10-hour mark.

To increase its conversion rate Carpet One emphasizes training and encourages owners to certify their sales professionals. Certification entails an annual knowledge assessment that RSAs must pass to earn professional development hours leading to certification. “I highly encourage every one of our flooring dealers to take the exam and to put the accreditation on their business card,” Demaree said. “I don’t give my taxes to someone whose card doesn’t say ‘CPA,’ so why would consumers buy from a sales associate who doesn’t have the proper credentials.”

Beyond flooring initiative

Carpet One announced a partnership with Serta Simmons Bedding. The “Sleep Boutique” program is being tested with eight members. The upside: higher profit margins, no inventory in member stores and no installation worries. The downside: it takes up showroom space.  Chris Taylor, owner of CarpetMaster, Latham, N.Y., has mattresses in two locations and has enjoyed success. “Be fully committed before you begin,” he told members.

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Surfaces Laminate Coverage: Suppliers look to cash in on waterproof craze

February 5/12, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 17

By Reginald Tucker

 

Water, water everywhere. Some of the laminate booth spaces at Surfaces this year looked more like aquariums than traditional room vignettes with all the fish tanks and waterfalls touting the products’ enhanced water-resistant or waterproof capabilities. It’s a trend that manufacturers are looking to leverage. Case in point is Mohawk, which has revamped the way it is marketing its family of laminate brands, including Quick-Step (see feature story on page 14). The focus on waterproof/resistance capabilities, some suppliers say, reflects the product’s evolution in recent years.

“We’re relaunching our laminate lines under RevWoods—short for revolutionary wood flooring—with All Pet Protection, meaning our technology keeps the water on top of the surface without seeping through,” said Angela Duke, senior brand manager, hard surface. “I’ve walked the show and seen a lot of push for water resistance. The difference with our product is we’re calling it waterproof. And what makes ours waterproof is three technologies: beveled edge plus the Uniclic locking system and a HydroSseal on top. There are three technologies working together. It’s the same technology featured on Quick-Step NatureTEK laminate.”

Mannington is also playing up the category’s water-resistant attributes via its SpillShield technology. Featured on its signature Restoration collection, the innovation aims to address everyday spills, wear and tear—not catastrophic events such as floods. “What we talk about are the real-life things that happen in the home,” said Dan Natkin, vice president, hardwood and laminate. “The industry has made a complete, blown-out-of-proportion claim. The industry has gone to a single-attribute selling: fill this hall with water right now and no flooring will be damaged. If you have a traumatic flooring event in your house, the flooring is going to get replaced no matter what. In most states that’s the law.”

SpillShield, which was recently recognized as being one of the 30 most innovative products that can be used in the kitchen and bathroom, comes with a 72-hour guarantee that standing water won’t damage the floor. “We designed our products to withstand the everyday accidents—water from the ice maker, dog water bowl, spilled milk, etc.,” Natkin said. “We’ve developed technology to resist all that and we’ve put a warranty behind it. In one year we’ve had one claim—and that’s millions and millions of square feet.”

For Mannington, it’s not just about repelling water. “We focus on all the performance attributes, not just moisture protection—indentation resistance,” Natkin said.

Other suppliers are also investing in technologies to bolster the category’s resistance to moisture and water damage. CFL, which introduced its AtroGuard water-resistant laminate line several years ago, believes the technology has come a long way. “It’s not 100% waterproof, but it has advantages the resilient category doesn’t have,” said Thomas Baert, president. “It’s also good for bathrooms, kitchens, etc., meaning homeowners can wet-mop it. It has been proven on the market now for more than three years, and is one of our best sellers.”

Design enhancements
Laminate suppliers are not only making strides in terms of performance. They are also improving visuals, especially with respect to replicating natural materials such as wood.

Inhaus took the wraps off its Classic Estate collection, which features traditional, open-grained flooring patterns derived from real wood recovered from historic barns located in rural Pennsylvania. According to Derek Welbourn, CEO, “Inhaus designers sought out and salvaged these unique timbers and created a collection with distinctive character and subtle beauty that only time and history can create.” Other noteworthy additions to the line include Eden, a classic European oak wide plank look; Fruitvale, which features knots and worm holes; and Parkwood, a dark stain plank with bamboo-like graining.

Mannington launched three new products to its Restoration collection: palace plank and palace chevron, which play on popular shapes like herringbone seen in hardwood. “What’s cool about these patterns is you can do a chevron in one area of the house, come in with a plank in another area for a customized effect,” Natkin explained.

RevWoods launched in three new styles reflecting the popular wider/longer trend. “We’re duplicating some of the same looks we’re showing on the hardwood side,” Duke explained. “The trend toward wider and longer is still strong, as new homes feature open spaces.”

Although Quick-Step features the same underlying construction, the designs and patterns will differ from the Mohawk brand. “With Quick-Step being in the Mohawk family, we wanted to simplify the process,” Duke explained. “In the past we’ve gone with two different brands and different technologies and people were confused by that. Now we’re going to market and saying we have the same technology, just different brands. And that ties in the Quick-Step brand with the Mohawk brand. However, the brands will be differentiated by design. Mohawk will be targeted toward the higher end consumer.”

Swiss Krono also display its expertise in the category, drawing on the company’s manufacturing capabilities and strengths in all facets of laminate production. “We’re making investments in designs, textures and moisture-resistant products,” said Travis Bass, executive vice president. “We are also adding higher value product manufacturing capacity to reflect the shift in consumer demand.”

Not to be outdone, Uniboard displayed its expertise in the laminate flooring category with 16 new styles and designs. This is much to the delight of distributor partners like Stephane Leveille, president, Tapis Beaver, “We sold about $1 million or more worth of product. The quality are the visuals are very good.”

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Resilient: Suppliers pull curtain back on their variations of WPC/rigid core

November 20/27, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 12

By Ken Ryan

There are many conflicting representations of what constitutes WPC (waterproof core, as we call it) and rigid core (solid polymer core) in this explosive resilient subcategory. The nascent Multilayer Flooring Association, which is tasked with setting the standard, recently met and agreed the multilayer flooring category is separated into two primary categories—WPC and SPC. But within those acronyms lie many variations, perhaps subtle differences in constructions or underlayment, and most certainly in marketing terminology.

Several manufacturers illustrated their latest WPC/SPC offerings with diagrams depicting how they are constructed.

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

July 3/10: Volume 32, Issue 2

By Reginald Tucker

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Fuse Alliance recognizes network members, suppliers at annual conference

Fuse_Member_Group_IMG_9848Laguna Niguel, Calif.—Fuse Alliance, a member-owned organization of professional, commercial flooring contractors, recently recognized the recipients of the network’s Member and Supplier Awards, at the organization’s 2017 annual conference in Austin, Texas. Fuse Alliance also announced the winners of its inaugural Spark Awards, presented to network members only.

Member Awards were presented to seven network businesses. OEC, based in Boise, Idaho, captured Excellence in Communication; Division 9, based in the Seattle area and Christian Brothers, based in the San Diego area both took home Excellence in Reporting and Follow-Up; three network members received Excellence in Loyalty, which included StarFloors of Dallas, Texan Floor Service of Houston and Franklin Flooring in Pennsylvania. ReSource Floors, based in San Diego, was recognized for its contribution to Ecollect—Fuse’s reclamation program. Finally, Resource 4 Floors, based in Ft. Lauderdale, received the Spirit Award.

Supplier Awards were presented to four of the network’s preferred suppliers. Johnsonite received Best Product; Armstrong Flooring received Best Service; Schönox received Best Support; and Ardex Americas captured Supplier of the Year.

The Spark Awards celebrate excellence in project design installed by its network members and is centered on flooring. Based on originality, quality of installation and design innovation, the awards represent outstanding craftsmanship, skill and expertise in the flooring industry.

Winners include: Butler Flooring Services, based in Louisville, Ky., captured three Spark Awards including Best Branded Environment, Best in Show and Most Maximized Budget. Commercial Interior Resources (CIR), based in Orange County, Calif., captured the Greatest Space Challenge. Floorz, based in Denver, captured two Spark Awards including The Most Aggressive Timeline/Schedule and the Best Flooring Solution. Signature Commercial Floor Covering received the Toughest Site Conditions.

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NAFCD announces 2017 officers, board members

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Chicago—The North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) has announced the organization’s board of directors for 2017.

They are as follows: Heidi Cronin, The Cronin Co., Portland, Ore., president; David Powell, Erickson’s Flooring & Supply, Ferndale, Mich., president-elect; Steve McKenna, McKenna Distribution, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, vice president; Geoff Work, The R.A. Siegel Co., Mableton, Ga., treasurer; and Torrey Jaeckle, Jaeckle Distributors, Madison, Wis., immediate past-president.

Distributor directors are: Steve Rosenthal, All Tile, Elk Grove Village, Ill.; Dunn Rasbury, A&M Supply, Pinellas Park, Fla.; Scott Roy, Gilford·Johnson Flooring, Jeffersonville, Ind.; and David Schmelzer, Lanham Hardwood, Louisville, Ky.

Supplier directors are: Darche, Bona U.S., Aurora, Colo.; Sean Swanson, Kahrs International, Altamonte, Fla.; Rich Willett, United States Gypsum, Chicago; Zack Zehner, Mannington, Salem, N.J.; Russ Rogg, Metroflor, Norwalk, Conn.; and Tom Downey, Halex, Havre de Grace, Md.

The NAFCD board comprises industry executives from both distributor and supplier member firms that handle all types of floor covering materials, complementary products and installation accessories. The role of the NAFCD board of directors is to set the strategic direction of the organization and closely monitor trends impacting the distribution channel.

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My take: Random ramblings from Surfaces 2017

January 30/February 6, 2017: Volume 31, Number 17

By Steven Feldman

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 3.46.11 PMAnother year, another Surfaces in the books. No. 23 for me. Amazing how the show never gets old. We all dread in the days leading up to the show the exhaustion that is certain to ensue, but somehow we become human versions of the Energizer Bunny until we board the plane ride home.

So here is what I was left thinking about after the three most important days in flooring:

Every exhibitor with whom I spoke was pleased (with the exception of those who lost their space for next year because of Surfaces’ first-come, first-serve policy). Some thought attendance was down slightly; if that was indeed the case, attribute that to the Shaw Flooring Network convention, which attracted nearly 1,000 retailers on the other side of the country and didn’t wind down until the opening day of Surfaces.

Speaking of Shaw, I’m putting my money on its return to Surfaces in some capacity next year. I just can’t see how they can keep ceding the stage to its biggest competitor. Speaking of that competitor, a.k.a. Mohawk, its Airo demos were the talk of the show. A revolutionary way of manufacturing carpet with PET face fiber and cushion fused together, some focused on the groundbreaking aspect of it; others were concerned the installation ease and speed could lend itself to DIY and thus impact profits for some retailers.

What else? If there were 700 exhibitors at Surfaces, then 699 were showcasing their own spin on WPC. By the way, this magazine from here on out will define WPC as WaterProof Category. It’s just easier. Also, there may be 699 WPCs on the market now, but there is only one COREtec. Piet Dossche has taught us all how to create a brand.

I don’t know about you, but every year I am blown away by companies like Provenza and DuChâteau. Relatively new to the hardwood flooring scene, they just get it when it comes to style and design. The same can be said for Raskin on the LVT side—innovative with high style.

Other thoughts: If I had to pick the one company that has come such a long way in the last decade, it’s Inhaus. Lots of buzz surrounding its new Sono product… Remember the book “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” by Mitch Albom? My version: “The Five People You Meet Every Single Night at Eye Candy.” …Weird seeing Mannington mainstay David Sheehan in his new digs at IVC. Congrats…While on the subject of Mannington, its booth is always clean, classy and jam packed with new products…Speaking of classy, year in and year out Stanton epitomizes the word—both in the manner in which it displays its products and the manner in which everyone presents themselves.

Interesting to see Forbo making a big push on the residential side. Soon when someone tells you she has linoleum in the kitchen, it actually will be linoleum and not sheet vinyl…I know it’s a busy show when I gamble less than 30 minutes for the entire week combined…When people ask me who the most significant player is in the LVT game, the answer could very well be Nox. Its private-label customers are too many to count, and the company blends experience with domestic production in Fostoria. Powerful.

It doesn’t matter what industry show you attend; there is always a crowd at the HF Design booth. The Flying Shaoulpour Brothers deserve all kinds of credit…I think we set a record for most parties attended at Skyfall Lounge (formerly Mix) at the top of the Delano…Kudos to Karndean and Metroflor for stepping up their annual parties with solid live entertainment…Why do Dustin Aaronson and I take the same 25,000 steps each day in Vegas and he loses weight while I gain?…Good to see old friend Bob Stone back in the game after all these years. Former Anso guy has resurfaced with Kaleen Rugs…Confucius say: Good company overcomes poor booth location.

Wickham, once one of the industry’s best-kept secrets, is a secret no more…Note to self: Next year to make a little extra cash on the side, I will bring translators to Vegas. I find it amazing how companies make the investment to show their wares at Surfaces but are unable to communicate with attendees…I’d like to see Tarkett back on the show floor.