HD Expo 2019: Flooring manufacturers offer a wide range of materials - July 2019
By Ruth Simon McRae
The 28th Hospitality Design Expo was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 15 to 17. Over 850 exhibitors displayed their newest and most exciting products throughout the enormous-nearly 650,000 square foot-exhibit space. HD Expo featured a variety of new events and opportunities for networking this year, in addition to more than 30 scheduled conference sessions.
On one side of the show floor, a gorgeous social hub designed by Rottet Studio offered a full program of 30-minute conversations with brand executives, hoteliers and designers. On the opposite side of the space, the Wellness Pavilion hosted sessions delving into the wellness tourism industry, curated by show management in partnership with the Well Building Institute and NEWH, the Hospitality Industry Network. The Technology Pavilion featured innovative solutions designed to enhance the guest experience, including individual ZenSpace pods for attendees needing space for impromptu private meetings. HD Expo’s signature event, the Owner’s Roundtable, featured nearly 40 owners addressing a sold-out crowd about a variety of issues, including the benefits of collaboration within the industry. The full community of attendees and exhibitors hailed from 55 countries.
A feeling of high energy prevailed throughout the halls. Activity seemed robust with some packed booths, especially those of major manufacturers. Floorcovering manufacturers made a good showing, with distinctive, well-designed booths that stood out from the surrounding displays of furnishings, fixtures, services and technology.
THE BIG STORIES
From a product standpoint, the biggest stories in floorcovering were both the multitude of technologies represented by each brand and a game-changing tufting machine. Most formerly carpet-centric companies offered a full range of floorcovering options, including woven Axminster, traditional tufted, CYP, Colorpoint constructions, carpet tile, printed carpet, and luxury vinyl tile in both planks and square formats. Many companies also offered hand-tufted and hand-woven carpet. Some of the woven product offering has occurred due to acquisitions and alliances; for example, Tarkett has woven product from Desso, and Milliken from an exclusive arrangement with Bloomsburg.
The big news in technology is a new tufting machine named Tailored Loop by CMC that has individual loop control.Tailored Loop overcomes what has been the inherent limitation of tufting machines, the continuous path of each yarn. In Tailored Loop, at any given point, each loop can be inserted or left out, as well as tufted to any pile height desired, allowing for clean areas of different textures with no transitions.
Another big story is the continued and growing strength of resilient in the hospitality segment. Initially seen primarily in international properties, resilient flooring was first introduced in the U.S. for guest rooms of mid-price properties. Now, LVT is being incorporated in luxury hotels as well, often in conjunction with insets of area rugs or carpet tile.
As Mohawk’s senior vice president of sales for Durkan Hospitality, David Duncan, noted, “LVT is growing exponentially, with broadloom being deselected. LVT is the trend for rooms, both high- and medium-end properties, in part because guests like the perceived cleanliness. Specifications for all of the ‘select service’ properties have an LVT option.” He noted that all of Durkan’s LVT products pass the stringent Marriott testing.
ON THE SHOW FLOOR
Styling was bold and beautiful. The three major manufacturers-Shaw, Mohawk and Tarkett-outdid themselves with impactful displays and exciting on-trend product. Masland Hospitality also offered a striking booth with an unusual and attention-getting color palette.
Shaw Contract made a strong design statement with its new Community collection of broadloom rugs and carpet. Inspired by Shaw Contract design team’s travel in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, products were highly textured, designed with a rich interplay of organic lines and shapes, and punctuated by bold pops of color. Shaw’s new Tailored Loop machine allows for variety and extreme precision in the cut and loop tufted construction, yielding a dense product that also has the appearance of a hand-tufted carpet.
Winner of HD Expo’s Best Large Booth award, Shaw Contract’s space was “created to be a playful and artful experience, showcasing what our designers have been able to accomplish,” said Robert Stuckey, Shaw’s director of hospitality and retail. The large corner booth was filled with stacks of large pieces of stunning carpet, an array of jumbo hanks of yarn and rich bundles of unbacked carpet.
Mohawk’s Durkan brand used travel as inspiration. The overarching product collection Spirit Moderne was inspired by a collaboration with the Museum of International Folk Art based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The collection utilizes Mohawk’s broad range of technologies, including precision dye injected, print and sophisticated multi-level woven constructions to capture the feeling of the museum’s rich historical textiles. One product standout-and favorite of design director Elizabeth Bonner-is a 15’ pattern with the look of a multicolor ikat textile printed on textured bases featuring multicolor pre-consumer yarn.
Durkan also featured a new collection of 15 designs by Virginia Langley in a mix of contemporary organic and abstract patterns. On the resilient side, Sakiori is a new introduction that offers a unique textile aesthetic, with woven fabric laminated into the wearlayer that is then connected to an LVT base.
Tarkett’s space was busy and high energy. Paul Cleary, president of Tarkett Hospitality, which now includes the recently acquired Lexmark brand, noted, “Having access to all of the technologies of Tarkett makes our company more relevant to customers, both hospitality firms and A&D.” Tarkett’s space featured its newest concept collection, Merge/Emerge, an experiment in the blending of flowing and hard-edged design in both soft and hard floorcovering. The flooring combined woven Axminster, tufted broadloom and LVT products into a dynamic yet connected whole.
Tarkett offers a large array of Tempt collections for the hospitality market. One color from each style in the Tempt collection is on Tarkett’s website, allowing designers to substitute individual colors and create a custom product without having to start from scratch. In addition, a new print catalog has been created that includes all Tarkett hospitality products that have been rolled out for the year, as well as curated styles from Tarket’s full product line.
Masland Hospitality presented a beautiful and high-impact space with an array of products in bright blues, teals and purples. The bold space clearly showcased the new designs as well as the breadth of textures and created an inviting and energizing display.
Drawing from the inspiration of the classic palette knife Sgraffito painting technique, Masland’s new Life on the Etch collection features carpet in a wide range of constructions, including Tapistron CYP, Ultraweave, and hand- and machine-tufted rugs. Masland also showed its Calibré High Performance LVT.
Mohawk’s Daltile, Marazzi and American Olean brands made a strong showing with a wide variety of introductions. Featured on the floor of the space, the terrazzo-look Portfolio Confetti was inset with a fun, on-trend accent tile in Generation Z Yellow from Portfolio Vivid. In Daltile, the latest Panoramic Porcelain Surfaces styles exemplified the popular trend for super thin large wall slabs of ceramic that emulate stone looks. Marazzi featured Bassalto, inspired by dark-colored, fine-grained Basalt stone, in four colors and Historia, a series of stone-look colors with dramatic graining. And American Ocean featured NeoConcrete, a contemporary visual with the company’s Stepwise Technology. Both the Marazzi and American Olean products were introduced earlier in the year at Coverings.
Interface Hospitality showcased its Luxcierge program, a custom design process for the full-service hospitality market. Its booth featured carpet in an abstract geometric design drawn in an accent color against a rich cut and loop field, in three dramatic colorations. The carpet tile was bordered by a light woodgrain LVT from Interface’s Level Set LVT collection; its thickness is compatible with the carpet tile, allowing for a completely seamless transition. Director of marketing, Cindy Kaufman, indicated that wood looks in LVT have gained the most traction with Interface’s hospitality audience.
Once known primarily for its Millitron digital dye infusion process, Milliken introduced two new technologies at HD Expo, Axminster carpet and ColorPoint CYP. All three technologies have been used to create the collection, Force of Nature, inspired by how natural phenomena continuously shape and reshape our planet. Milliken also introduced Metro Park RigidForm, the latest addition to its LVT product line, which offers a floating, locking floor with superior acoustical properties and a sophisticated wood aesthetic.
Stone Source featured some great styling on its booth exterior. In addition to Biscuit, a series of wall tiles comprised of opaque, geometric and three-dimensional surfaces, Futura by 41zero42 offered a stunning visual with clean, cheerful geometric designs in refreshingly whimsical colors, featuring a compelling millennial pink.
Fiandre had a vibrant space with a beautiful large format blue stone look, Azul Macaubaf, on display. A giant scale through-body terrazzo look, Venezuata, created a dramatic floor vignette.
Crossville also displayed a new gauged porcelain tile, Travertino Grigio Veinato, produced by Laminam in Italy; Crossville is Laminam’s exclusive distributor in the U.S. Also featured was Reformation, a concrete look launched earlier this year at Coverings. Crossville has shown at HD Expo for the last 27 years, indicating how relevant this show is to Crossville’s audience. This year, Crossville partnered in its booth space with two other entities-tile distributor Longust and Hallmark Flooring.
Royal Thai featured two new collections by its new design director, Darren Hayward: Unscripted, a group of 30 designs from the company’s extensive archives that have been reimagined as hand-tufted and Axminster carpets; and Intrinsic, a collection of hand-tufted products that focus on simplicity. Royal Thai was formerly the commercial division of Tai Ping, prior to being purchased by Thailand Carpet Manufacturing in 2017.
Encore Hospitality Carpet debuted its FreeForm Collection at HD Expo, a group of 20+ designs with ocean-inspired imagery that are tufted of Zeftron solution-dyed nylon. Encore has committed to donate a portion of sales of this collection to The Coral Reef Alliance, an organization that seeks to address reef threats across the globe.
IIDA/HD Expo Best of Hospitality product design competition winners were Tarkett Merge/Emerge LVT for hard surface flooring and Shaw Contract Community Broadloom for the carpet and rug flooring category. ASID awarded Design Impact honors to Karndean Designflooring for Art Select Reclaimed Hickory, a luxury vinyl product that embodied the unique grains, knots and textures of distressed wood, and LooseLay Longboard Fabric Oak, a non-interlocking floating floor range.
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