Floor Focus Magazine

Visual, Insightful, Trusted Resource

Recent Floor Focus Magazine feature articles in chronological order with a 60 day delay. Use the search bar at the top to find specific articles or content. To subscribe or order back issues online, use the Subscribe link under the Floor Focus tab in the menu bar. Contact us if you need information on reprints.

State of Sustainability 2015: Manufacturers adapt to market transformations   Full Article
Aug/Sep 2015—Exec. editor Darius Helm offers a comprehensive overview of green progress in the flooring industry, with reports on trends, green tools and product developments, along with updates on dozens of the industry's leading flooring manufacturers.

Carpet Reclamation Update: Demand for recycled fibers continues to fall - Aug/Sep 2015   Full Article
Executive editor Darius Helm reports on the state of carpet reclamation, including an update from CARE as well as several processors and recyclers, along with analysis of reduced demand for recycled nylon and the development of end use PET markets.

Environmental Impacts: J+J Flooring attains zero waste to landfill certification   Full Article
Aug/Sep 2015—Exec. editor Darius Helm takes a look at the challenges to reducing environmental footprints, and he takes a close look at what J+J had to do in order to become the first flooring manufacturer with a certification for zero waste to landfill.

Other FloorFocus Articles
Laminate Update: Innovative design and premium product mix sustain the category   Full Article
Aug/Sep 2015—Sr editor Calista Sprague reports on the state of the laminate industry from formaldehyde concerns to performance attributes, competition from other flooring categories, design trends, ingredients, applications, channels and commoditization.

Multi-Family Markets and Trends: Shifting into a higher gear - Aug/Sep 2015   Full Article
Senior editor Calista Sprague first maps out the market, then examines the major influences on multi-family growth, followed by a look at what types of flooring are used in the market, as well as their qualities and where they are installed.

Roppe Celebrates 60 Years: A family picnic markes the milestone - Aug/Sep 2015   Full Article
Senior editor Calista Sprague reports on Roppe's recent celebration of its 60th anniversary with a look back on the history of the firm and a report on the celebration itself, which took place on July 18 at Ole Zim's Wagon Shed in Gibsonburg, Ohio.

Housing, carpet numbers, Home Depot, Metroflor, USGBC: Strategic Exchange   Full Article
Aug/Sep 2015—Publisher Kemp Harr discusses housing inventory, breaks out carpet by end use markets, analyzes Home Depot's LifeProof carpet, explains Metroflor's use of Green Globe, and comments on Rick Fedrizzi's pending retirement from the USGBC.

Michael Braungart, environmental chemist: Focus on Leadership   Full Article
Aug/Sep 2015—Publisher Kemp Harr interviews Michael Braungart, co-founder of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry and founder of the EPEA, with topics ranging from green flooring, PVC and cradle-to-cradle strategies to challenges to full transparency.

CTA's design of Scentsy's Idaho headquarters: Designer Forum   Full Article
Aug/Sep 2015—Randi Thomas with CTA Architects Engineers discusses how the project, which attained a four Green Globes certification, used products from Interface, Shaw Contract, Mannington, Masland and Daltile to achieve its environmental goals.

Salinas, California based Wheeler's Flooring: Best Practices   Full Article
Aug/Sep 2015—Editor Jessica Chevalier profiles Wheeler's Flooring, a 40-year-old business that serves the residential & commercial markets. The family-owned firm has diverse operations, including a Costco partnership and a thriving wholesale business.

How to overcome assumptions that block your people power   Full Article
Aug/Sep 2015—Contributing editor Sam Allman challenges readers to build more relationships and achieve greater success through embracing diversity. His column includes tips and also details several assumptions that are barriers to accepting change.

Style, fashion and technology in tile: Tile Files - Aug/Sep 2015   Full Article
Tile expert Ryan Fasan discusses a range of different design and technology trends in ceramic tile, with images from Spanish tile companies, including Peronda, Roca, Apavisa, Vives and Inalco.

Healthcare Market: Contractor's Corner - Aug/Sep 2015   Full Article
Contributing editor Dave Stafford focuses on the healthcare market, walking readers through the process of getting engaged with that market and offering advice on how contract dealers can determine if it's a market they want to go after.

Survey 2015: What the Retailers Think - July 2015   Full Article
Executive editor Darius Helm offers analysis and interpretation of the results of this year's survey of independent flooring retailers, covering everything from sales and earnings to top problems, ad strategies and favorite flooring manufacturers.

Trends in Education: Market analysis, trends and manufacturer updates   Full Article
July 2015—Senior editor Calista Sprague examines the education market, including updates from producers of education flooring, including Johnsonite, Tandus Centiva, Mohawk, Shaw, Interface, Forbo, Mannington, Bentley, J+J, Armstrong, Roppe and Flexco

Concrete Moisture: Strategies for avoiding flooring failures - July 2015   Full Article
Editor Jessica Chevalier discusses the challenges inherent in concrete installations, the problems related to drying the product, and how new materials are helping the industry come up with lasting solutions.

Virtual Tools, Authentic Design - July 2015   Full Article
Senior editor Calista Sprague reports on a forum, hosted by Tricycle, a technology firm best known for its realistic digital sampling products. The forum covers technology and design, and the efficiencies they bring to businesses, along with other topics.

Trends and highlights from the commercial interiors show: NeoCon 2015   Full Article
July 2015—Floor Focus' editorial team offers a comprehensive review of this year's NeoCon, the largest commercial interiors show in North America, with trends reports and indepth descriptions of noteworthy introductions from commercial flooring producers.

Residential carpet, Asian LVT, Aquafil, biophilia: Strategic Exchange   Full Article
July 2015—Publisher Kemp Harr on carpet's residential share loss, offers insights into LVT production in Asia, reports on Aquafil's Sweet 16 event, discusses new leadership in flooring from non-flooring professionals, weighs in on biophilia at NeoCon.

Piet Dossche, founder and CEO of US Floors: Focus on Leadership   Full Article
July 2015—Publisher Kemp Harr interviews Piet Dossche, with topics ranging from his background and career to the creation of US Floors and the development of Coretec, the firm's hugely popular LVT with a cork cushioned back and waterproof core.

HMFH Architect's design of Thompson Elementary School: Designer Forum   Full Article
July 2015—Lori Cowles and Melissa Green with HMFH Architects describe its Thompson Elementary School project and detail how Forbo linoleum and Milliken carpet tile helped the firm achieve its final design.

Mike's Flooring Companies: Best Practices - July 2015   Full Article
Editor Jessica Chevalier profiles Mike's Flooring Companies, which has nine locations in Connecticut, New Jersey, Georgia, Florida, Rhode Island, North Carolina and Virginia, serving the commercial, residential and multi-family markets.

Performance and maintenance in school flooring: Flooring Forensics   Full Article
July 2015—Contributing editor Lew Migliore discusses the performance requirements for flooring in k-12 and higher education, and he also weighs in on challenges in installing hard surface flooring, and also how it can help solve problems.

Maryanne Adams on strategies for engaging customers: Successful Selling   Full Article
July 2015—Publisher Kemp Harr interviews Maryanne Adams, CEO of Avalon Flooring, about everything from finding good salespeople to the best ways to earn the trust of customers and how to help them find the product they want.

DesignOvations: Heather Lombard - July 2015   Full Article
Heather Lombard with CDH Partners describes her current favorite flooring, including carpet tile in new formats, like Shaw's 18"x36" products, as well as LVT from Mannington and Gerflor's Sumbioz commercial sheet vinyl.

Commercial Market 2015: Hard surfaces are driving commercial growth   Full Article
June 2015—Executive editor Darius Helm reports on the state of the commercial market, including the state of commercial sectors, an update on flooring categories, prospects for the rest of the year and into 2016, and statistics from Market Insights LLC.

NWFA Expo Review - June 2015   Full Article
Executive editor Darius Helm offers a report on this year's National Wood Flooring Association convention, held in St. Louis, where the NWFA is headquartered, on the 30th anniversary of its foundation.

Focus on: Terrazzo - June 2015   Full Article
Editor Jessica Chevalier takes a close look at terrazzo, including its construction, lifecycle and environmental profile, as well as its installation and design flexibility, with input from leaders at American Terrazzo and North American Terrazzo.

HGTV Smart Home - June 2015   Full Article
Publisher Kemp Harr reports on this year's HGTV Smart Home in Austin, Texas, featuring flooring from Shaw, including Anso Caress soft nylon carpet and Epic, a hybrid engineered hardwood.

Housing, CARE and polyester recycling, Somerset Hardwood   Full Article
Strategic Exchange, June 2015—Publisher Kemp Harr reports on home building numbers and also takes a close look at CARE's efforts to find en uses for reclaimed PET carpet. In addition, Harr examines Somerset Hardwood and the secrets to its success.

Cheryl Durst, EVP and CEO of the IIDA: Focus on Leadership   Full Article
June 2015—Publisher Kemp Harr interviews Cheryl Durst from the International Interior Design Association in a wide ranging discussion covering everything from the role of the IIDA to challenges facing designers and the future of interior design.

CannonDesign's Follet HQ project: Designer Forum   Full Article
June 2015—Mark Hirons with CannonDesign writes about his firm's design of Follet's headquarters in Chicago, and how flooring products, including Shaw Contract carpet tile and cork from Solida, helped achieve the vision for the project.

Irvine, California's Commercial Interior Resources: Best Practices   Full Article
June 2015—Editor Jessica Chevalier profiles Commercial Interior Resources, a contract dealer that's been in business in southern California for 32 years. The firm, which is a member of the Fuse Alliance, generates $11 million in annual revenues.

In business as much as in life, people skills trump expertise   Full Article
People Power, June 2015—Contributing editor Sam Allman discusses people skills, why they're important in the selling process, and the importance of empathy in building rapport and creating powerful, mutually beneficial relationships.

Seven steps to commercial success: Contractor's Corner   Full Article
June 2015—Contributing editor Dave Stafford offers a roadmap to success for contract dealers, covering brand creation, clientele, sales people, product sales, service and profit making.

Longer and wider board boost sales but also present challenges   Full Article
Wood Cuts, June 2015—Brett Miller, vice president of education and certification for the NWFA, writes about the trend toward longer and wider hardwood boards, and he also delves into some of the challenges inherent in these larger formats.

Annual Report 2015: State of the industry and floor category reports   Full Article
May 2015—Floor Focus' editorial team, along with analysis and statistics by Market Insights LLC, breaks down the flooring industry's 2014 results. The report includes a statistical overview as well as indepth reports on all six major flooring categories.

The Hospitality Market: Hotels look to hard surface flooring for guest rooms   Full Article
May 2015—Senior editor Calista Sprague reports on the state of the hospitality market, including growth in the sector, use of carpet tile and LVT, guest room development, trends in public space design and progress in environmental sustainability.

Coverings 2015 Highlights: Florida Tile, Del Conca, Crossville, Imola and more   Full Article
May 2015—Senior editor Calista Sprague reviews the 2015 Coverings show, reporting on trends and product highlights from Crossville, Florida Tile, Ragno, MS International, Del Conca, Sicis, Imola Ceramica, Atlas Concorde, Marazzi and Florim USA.

Engineered Floors: The story behind the mill's unprecedented growth   Full Article
May 2015—Publisher Kemp Harr writes about how Engineered Floors was launched just six years ago, describing its carpet strategies, Bob Shaw's leadership, and its cutting edge technologies, including its Oerlikon extrusion equipment.

Retailers are winning by default: Advertising & Branding   Full Article
May 2015—Industry analyst Santo Torcivia of Market Insights reports on the issue of branding in flooring and how, despite efforts from firms like Mohawk, Mercier and Mirage, retailers generally fare better than manufacturers in terms of brand visibility.

Nebraska Furniture Mart, contract dealers and direct sales: Strategic Exchange   Full Article
May 2015—Publisher Kemp Harr reports on Nebraska Furniture Mart's new giant Texas store, and he discusses sluggish first quarter business activity, and also offers the commercial contractor's perspective on direct selling.

DLR Group's University of Nebraska arena project: Designer Forum   Full Article
May 2015—Melissa Lindberg, interior designer, DLR Group, writes about her firm's work on a new arena to house the University of Nebraska Husker basketball, concerts and events, using terrazzo, carpet tile from Interface and J+J, and Interceramic tile.

A.J. Rose Carpets & Flooring: Best Practices - May 2015   Full Article
Editor Jessica Chevalier profiles A.J. Rose Carpets & Flooring, a Massachusetts based retailer that is family owned and operated. The firm, which does both residential and commercial work, has embraced digital advertising and seen its business grow.

Unique challenges of hospitality flooring installation: Flooring Forensics   Full Article
May 2015—Contributing editor Lew Migliore offers insights into hospitality flooring installation through a range of examples, including the unique problems that come with hospitality carpet applications.

Is Selling Dead? — Successful Selling - May 2015   Full Article
Consultant Sandy Smith contends that the digital revolution has ushered in the Age of the Buyer, and he offers suggestions for how retailers can adapt to the shift and reap the rewards.

2015 Vision Awards - April 2015   Full Article
Floor Focus' annual Vision Design Award winners, including grand prize winner Champalimaud, are celebrated with photography, project descriptions, and jury quotes. All the winners are showcased, along with the honorable mentions.

Hardwood: Developments in design - April 2015   Full Article
Executive Editor Darius Helm takes a comprehensive look at hardwood design, and also offers updates on producers like Armstrong, Shaw, Mohawk, Mannington, Somerset, Mullican, Mirage, Lauzon, Mercier, Kährs, Johnson, US Floors, DuChateau and Hallmark.

Designing with Area Rugs: From customization to unique materials   Full Article
April 2015—Sr editor Calista Sprague reports on what designers are looking for in area rugs, from rugs as art to rugs as integrated floor finishes, as well as what sort of fibers and constructions are in demand, and how carpet can be used for rug motifs.

Engaging today's consumer to boost sales: Digital Marketing   Full Article
April 2015—Sr editor Calista Sprague writes about digital technologies and the new consumers, as well as how these technologies have led to developments in retail models and evolutions in website design & sections on social media and going mobile.

Portinari, Castellano, Portobello, Laminam: Revestir 2015   Full Article
April 2015—Anne Demers, a tile specialist, reports on the Revestir flooring show, held annually in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with a focus on the leading trends and the standout products from leading ceramic tile producers.

Lumber Liquidators, residential building and Fuse: Strategic Exchange   Full Article
April 2015—Publisher Kemp Harr weighs in on slow winter residential activity, the impact of currency fluctuations and reputation building at Fuse Commercial Flooring Alliance, as well as a report on the FCIF gala held in New York City.

Don Finkell of American OEM: Focus on Leadership - Apr 15   Full Article
Publisher Kemp Harr interviews Don Finkell, formerly of Anderson and Shaw, on his new hardwood operation, his business philosophy, the state of the industry and his case for sourcing hardwood from the U.S.

Carpetland USA, Langan Group: Best Practices - Apr 15   Full Article
Editor Jessica Chevalier profiles Carpetland USA, Langan Group, a retailer with operations in Iowa and Illinois, reporting on the building of the business, focus on investment and showroom design that caters to the firm's target customer.

Who we hang out with matters: People Power - Apr 15   Full Article
Contributing editor Sam Allman delves into issues surrounding how relationships can guide success and how interdependence is better than independence, and he weighs in on how to determine who to build relationships with.

Strategies for dealing with adversity: Contractor's Corner   Full Article
April 2015—Contributing editor Dave Stafford assembles a collection of key contractor problems, from complaints and lawsuits to GC issues and challenges on government jobs, accompanied by comprehensive strategies for resolving the issues.

Steve South of Perkins+Will: Design Ovations   Full Article
April 2015—Steve South, a sr interior designer with Perkins+Will New York, showcases his favorite sustainable flooring products, including Purline from Mats Inc., Bolyu's Level products, Milliken's TractionBack, Nydree hardwood and Kasthall's Tom carpet.

Surfaces 2015 Highlights - Mar 2015   Full Article
Floor Focus' editorial team offers a comprehensive review, with heavy pictorial content, of the Las Vegas show, reporting on new products and innovations from a range of manufacturers, including major producers, boutique mills and new players.

Senior Living Update: Flooring manufacturers target the senior living market   Full Article
Mar 2015—Contributing editor Ruth Simon McRae reports on the state of the senior living market, with a focus on design developments as well as reports on key players, like J+J Flooring, Interface, Shaw, Tarkett, Mannington, Mohawk, Gerflor and many more.

Ceramic Tile Report: The tile industry invests heavily in domestic production   Full Article
Mar 2015—Senior editor Calista Sprague analyzes the ceramic tile industry, with a focus on domestic investments, innovations and profiles from key producers, including Dal-Tile, Crossville, Florida Tile, Florim, Del Conca, MSI, StonePeak, Imola and Emser.

Fiber Industry Update: Pet product branding and raw material costs   Full Article
Mar 2015—Executive editor Darius Helm takes a close look at the carpet fiber business, examining what's driving shifts in marketshare and offering updates on independent fiber producers: Invista, Pharr Yarns, Aquafil, Universal Fibers, Ascend and Zeftron.

Elevating Installation: To solve the installation shortage, the industry must unite   Full Article
Mar 2015—Editor Jessica Chevalier discusses one of the biggest challenges in the floorcovering industry, the loss of qualified installers over the last several years, and reports on how the industry is responding.

Domotex Germany: Highlights from the World's largest flooring show   Full Article
Mar 2015—Publisher Kemp Harr reports on this year's Domotex show in Hannover, Germany, with an overview of important highlights, developments and product trends, along with a section on noteworthy U.S. exhibitors.

Mohawk financials, US Floors, Schönox, Shaw convention   Full Article
Strategic Exchange, Mar 2015—Publisher Kemp Harr reports on Mohawk's 2014 results, as well as update on US Floors' Coretec pending patent, new dealer tools at the Shaw dealer convention, and his takeaway from a Schönox factory tour in Rosendahl, Germany.

TCNA's Eric Astrachan: Focus on Leadership - March 2015   Full Article
Publisher Kemp Harr interviews Eric Astrachan, executive director of the Tile Council of North America, in a discussion ranging from the appeal of TN manufacturing to tile innovations, installation challenges, and Astrachan's own route into ceramics.

Mosaic Design Studio's Sonata Senior Living Project: Designer Forum   Full Article
Mar 2015—Lisa M. Cini, founder of Mosaic Design Studio, describes the Melbourne, Florida senior living project, and how flooring by Daltile, Masland Contract and Karndean helped the design team achieve the complex performance and design goals.

Mill Creek Carpet & Tile: Best Practices - March 2015   Full Article
Editor Jessica Chevalier profiles Mill Creek, a flooring retailer that has its own sawmill. Mill Creek has 16 stores in Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Texas, and last November the firm brought in industry veteran Gary Cissell as the new president.

Wood finishes are trending back to penetrating oils: Wood Cuts   Full Article
Mar 2015—Brett Miller, vice president of education and certification for the National Wood Flooring Association, offers a comprehensive primer on the development of hardwood finishes and the current trend toward low-gloss oiled looks.

2015 Color Trends: The latest trends in commercial color - Feb 2015   Full Article
Todd van der Kruik, vice president of design for Bentley Mills, discusses key trends in the commercial market and also takes a look at what's driving these trends and how it all relates to everything from the economy to social media culture.

The Home: Generational Trends - Feb 2015   Full Article
Kaye Gosline, director of design for Tarkett North America, writes about today's flooring buyers, with a close look at the habits and priorities of the different generations, and also looks and home décor and color trends.

Trends in Corporate Design: Hybrid Spaces - Feb 2015   Full Article
Senior editor Calista Sprague examines trends in the contemporary corporate environment, including trends in flooring and how hybrid spaces offer the best of both open and traditional floor plans.

Carpet Tile Report: Pulling back the curtain - Feb 2015   Full Article
Features editor Jessica Chevalier reports on the carpet tile industry, including 2014 statistics and a round-up of key players, including Interface, Shaw, Mohawk, Mannington, J+J Flooring, Tandus Centiva, Bolyu, Bentley Mills and Milliken.

Resilient Flooring Market Update - Feb 2015   Full Article
Executive editor Darius Helm takes a close look at the resilient flooring category, with a focus on investments in domestic production (Shaw, Mannington, Armstrong, IVC FloorFolio), along with updates from 24 of the leading resilient flooring firms.

2015 Atlanta International Rug Market Review - Feb 2015   Full Article
Senior editor Calista Sprague reviews the Atlanta Rug Market and trends at the show—including color trends and Pantone's Color of the Year, Marsala. The review also includes reports on product from Oriental Weavers, Momeni, Nourison, Capel and Dalyn.

Pharr Yarns: On the Move - Feb 2015   Full Article
Publisher Kemp Harr takes a look at Pharr Yarns, which last year celebrated its 75th anniversary, reporting on its impressive journey, its investment in state-of-the-art fiber technology and its acquisition of Phenix Flooring.

Mohawk's IVC purchase, Shaw's LifeGuard, Starnet news   Full Article
Strategic Exchange, Feb 2015—Publisher Kemp Harr reports Mohawk's acquisition of IVC, on forecasts for economic growth and the outlook by Mohawk's Brian Carson, Interior Design's Best of Year awards and discusses developments in the retail environment.

ID Studios designs Volcano Corporation's new offices   Full Article
Designer Forum, Feb 2015—Deborah Elliott, co-founder of ID Studios, describes the California beach inspired design of Volcano's San Diego offices, and the role played by Mirage, Shaw Contract, Atlas and Emser in achieving the look.

Tollefson's Retail Group: Best Practices - Feb 2015   Full Article
Features editor Jessica Chevealier profiles Tollefson's, which as 11 flooring stores in North Dakota, Minnesota and Montana. The firm, which also includes 11 Slumberland furniture stores, has been in business for 90 years.

Cluelessness is the reason most people eventually fail   Full Article
People Power, Feb 2015—Contributing editor Sam Allman writes about self-defeating behaviors—shame, blame and justify—and how they arise, and he also offers strategies for avoiding those behaviors and changing one's outlook.

Dealing with the direct sell: Contractor's Corner   Full Article
Feb 2015—Contributing editor Dave Stafford takes a comprehensive look at all aspects of the direct sell, including case studies, and offers compelling strategies for coping with some of the most common scenarios.

The evolution of carpet design follows servo drive evolution   Full Article
Looking Back, Feb 2015—Ennis O'Neil, an industry veteran who led Shaw Contract for over 20 years, takes a look back at the technological developments in carpet manufacturing, singling out contributions by Tuftco, CMC and Tapistron.