Volume 27/Number 23; March 17/24, 2014
By Louis Iannaco
While Surfaces 2014 featured the rollout of many new products, some companies choose alternate means to show off their latest goods. Here are just a few of those that fall into the latter category.
The latest collections of LVT and sheet vinyl products include Seascapes and Sands of Time, which are fabricated with elements of nature. according to Michael Freedman, CEO. “Seascapes features a coastal marine landscape, while Sands of Time is fashioned to resemble a grainy visual of sand and rock sediment.” Each is available in six colors.
In addition, Nature’s Way, FloorFolio’s newest commercial addition, is being offered in two wood grain patterns that feature numerous color options. Nature’s Way comes with a urethane topcoat for ease of maintenance while offering a heavy emphasis on texture. “This sheet vinyl product is created to deliver the best of both worlds,” he explained. “Just enough texture to offer reduced maintenance, but not too heavy to distract from its pattern.” All products will launch by month’s end.
Pure Expression, the company’s new oiled finish, launches into the high-end hardwood market this spring. Part of the Emotion series that includes six shades in ½-inch engineered, the finish is designed to be maintenance-free and 10 times more resistant than traditional oil finishes and, as such, is offered with a 10-year residential warranty. According to Michel Collin, director of marketing, no manufacturer has ever been able to guarantee an oil finish. “Pure Expression is the oil finish of tomorrow.”
Karyne Tremblay, director of product development/quality, added, “Now we offer consumers a product that not only meets their design needs, but also simplifies their lives.”
Metroflor will introduce products across all of its brands. Engage will add between 25 and 30 new SKUs. Among the intros is Engage Premier, a gauged down 4mm product that offers a virgin vinyl, fiberglass wearlayer and Unilin locking system. Another intro within the Engage platform is an oversized 8.5 x 60-inch plank. Finally, the company is enhancing the locking technology within Engage by transitioning into a drop and lock system dubbed UniFit. Eventually, all Engage products will be equipped with this locking system with the exception of the 4mm Premier.
Metroflor is also adding new colors and designs to its Konecto Project and Konecto Prestige collections. The new SKUs reflect current trends, such as European flair in light and dark grays, and taupe, sandy colors.
Aspire will introduce a 12 x 24 all-slate design with eight colors in the 5.0 platform and 12 mil wearlayer, and will feature Metroflor’s Crescent Edge technology. Consumers can choose between groutable or non-groutable tile. Due to its grip strip installation, Aspire doesn’t have to be glued to the subfloor.
Adding to the Aspire line is a new 5 x 36-inch plank, available in wood looks or a travertine design (linear stone look). The new planks have a 20 mil wearlayer and 5.0 gauge, suitable for commercial environments.
The company has launched 91 SKUs, including textured floors in its Imagine collection. Designed for active families and those who own pets, Mirage’s new textured floors present an aged appearance. “What differentiates them from others are the random distressed marks that make each plank unique without any repetitive pattern,” said Luc Robitaille, vice president of marketing at Boa-Franc, makers of the Mirage brand. Offered in three colors, the floors are available in solid (4 1⁄4-inch width in old red oak) and engineered (5- and 6 1⁄2-inch widths in old red oak and old hickory) with Cashmere finish.
A new addition to the company’s Sweet Memories collection is Hopscotch, featuring a rich gray colorway. Hopscotch is available in solid (3 1⁄4- and 4-1⁄4-inch widths in handcrafted red oak with Cashmere finish) and engineered (5- and 6-1⁄2-inch widths in handcrafted white oak and handcrafted red oak with Cashmere finish).
“The Imagine Collection’s new, distressed-look floors are featured on the Mirage display through wood samples, room scene pictures, posters, samples and oversized floor sticker that emphasizes the aged appearance of the floors and their ability to hide the marks caused by routine use.”
Clearly Chic is a collection featuring chic and stylish color palettes. “Beige is no longer the only choice in PET,” noted Brad Christensen, PET residential marketing manager. “This collection not only brings bold colors to ‘super soft’ PET carpet, but it also offers durability as it’s constructed using a high-twist yarn resulting in softness and performance.”
Manufactured with Shaw’s ClearTouch Platinum PET with R2X and patented Softbac Platinum backing, Clearly Chic is designed to bring added comfort and enhanced protection against spills and stains. “Homeowners can have peace of mind thanks to a 15-year warranty for texture retention, abrasive wear and quality assurance,” Christensen said, “in addition to a lifetime warranty for stain (including certain pet stains) and soil.” The fiber is certified to contain an average of 50% post-consumer recycled content.
With its own display, Clearly Chic offers a sophisticated look, with a “color palette accented by chic graphics and information to complete the entire experience,” he added.
On the nylon side, the Anso Originals collection features Shaw’s patented R2X stain and soil resistance treatment to help preserve the carpet’s original look and feel. Additionally, each carpet is Cradle to Cradle Silver Certified as they can be recycled back into new carpet multiple times.
“With Anso Originals, we wanted to produce an attractive color palette with high style and an aggressive price point,” noted Mike Sanderson, nylon residential marketing manager. “We feel Anso Originals fills a void in the market for a comprehensive, high-quality collection of Anso nylon products at an affordable price without sacrificing softness or durability.”
The hard surface highlight for 2014 is 5th & Main, a Main Street collection with visuals that realistically recreate wood and stone tile, making it easy to marry beauty with affordability, noted Natalie Cady, director, hard surfaces marketing. “The embossed texture on these resilient offerings features the feel of hardwood or stone.”
Installation is easy and quick, thanks to Shaw’s no-glue option—VersaLock technology, she noted. “In VersaLock styles, planks are laid directly over the subfloor with minimal floor prep and no adhesives. And our Armorbead has a premium scratch-resistant technology that make the floors look younger for much longer.”
The beauty of 5th & Main is that it is its own display, Cady said. “Because we focused on chic visuals and modern flair, we designed an elegant display for 5th & Main. We wanted to have one location where commercial and residential could co-exist.”
The division of Shaw Floors introduced The Naturals in three patterns that incorporate the natural color variations of striated yarns, providing depth in a Moroccan quatrefoil design, an interlaced trellis motif and a classic herringbone pattern, said Suzanne Zurfluh, product marketing manager. Inspired by natural materials, the designs are constructed of Stainmaster nylon and available in 18 colors. All are available in broadloom as well as standard and custom area rugs.
In addition to The Naturals, Tuftex will launch Impressions, inspired by high-end, woven carpets that utilize multiple colors. All six patterns are made of Anso solution-dyed nylon and includes 24 custom-blended colors. Ovation mimics a mosaic tile, Applause features random lines, Arbor is a contemporary botanical, Paragon is a basket weave, Prime Time is a gridwork pattern, and Rave Review is a floral damask.
The Naturals will be included in Tuftex’s Stainmaster Slam promotion, which will run through April 25. This promotion will offer triple rewards plus other incentives on 35 of Tuftex’s qualifying Stainmaster products. Impressions patterns will launch in May and be included in a promotion later that month.
Naturals and Impressions include the opportunity for dealers to select a new merchandising system that corresponds with—but isn’t required—for these collections, Zurfluh noted. The display includes four modules and one cabinet to house large samples.