TISE 2020 Review: Innovations in design and construction drew large crowds at this year’s national flooring expo - March 2020
By Darius Helm, Jessica Chevalier and Anne Harr
Traffic was strong and the energy was high at The International Surface Event-comprising Surfaces, TileExpo and StonExpo/Marmomac-which was held from January 28 to 30 in Las Vegas. On day three, when the show is winding down and attendance is typically sparse, the show floor was noticeably more crowded than normal.
The sentiment among many of the flooring professional both attending the show and manning the booths was that, despite a subpar market in 2019, housing data, store traffic and other economic indicators are trending in the right direction, signaling better prospects for 2020. And some of the enthusiasm is in response to the current dynamism on the manufacturing side of the business, driven by gains in rigid core products and how those gains are driving innovation both from within that category and from all the other flooring categories that are collectively stepping up their games to fight for their piece of the pie.
TRENDS AND INNOVATIONS
The rapid expansion of the resilient flooring category and the overwhelming years-long trend toward hardwood looks have combined to create two distinct portals into a show like TISE. On the one hand, there’s product, and on the other hand, there’s design.
In terms of product-hardwood, laminate, carpet, area rugs, LVT, sheet vinyl, ceramic tile-the biggest story continues to be the rapid expansion of the rigid core LVT category and the developments in technologies, constructions and materials in that category. In rigid core, several manufacturers introduced magnesium oxide (MgO) cores, which offer a better tensile strength-to-weight ratio and are formulated without PVC. However, according to most manufacturers, while MgO is an inexpensive raw material, by the time it is formulated into high performance boards, it’s costlier than PVC-based rigid cores-at least for now.
Going bigger still seems to be a trend, though it’s showing signs of slowing. Coretec Advanced + and Dixie’s Trucor Prime XXL vied for the biggest rigid core boards at the show, at 9”x86” and 10”x84”, respectively. In engineered hardwood, Mannington came out with a 10” wide plank, Sanctuary.
Another area of innovation in the rigid core product category is the surface, covering a range of characteristics and performance attributes. For instance, several exhibitors showed products with direct printing and embossing on the core, often with no wearlayer. Mohawk’s SolidTech Plus has a wearlayer and a urethane coating, creating a surface devoid of any of the typical sparkle that is characteristic of vinyl flooring. CFL’s FirmFit MTL has a scratch-resistant melamine layer, like laminate flooring. And Inhaus’ Sono has a lacquer wearlayer hardened by nitrogen curing.
The other major surfacing development was wood veneers, and it’s worth noting that any type of product that has a wood veneer (of any thickness) qualifies as a wood product under the composite engineered wood definition introduced last year by the National Wood Flooring Association. Coretec was one of the first to come out with a wood veneer product at TISE 2019, and this year, several more producers entered the fray with veneers of various thicknesses. Wellmade offers both a hardwood and strand bamboo veneer on its products.
On the other hand, there’s design-colors, textures, patterns, aesthetic references, replications of natural materials. Forgetting about product entirely, the most prominent visual at the show was wood, with no close second. And almost all of that wood visual was white oak. And most of that white oak was low-gloss, warm and colored somewhere between natural and near-white. In a distant second was likely carpet in warm neutrals and flecks. So the base palette for the whole show was earthtones and neutrals, and though that’s generally the case in the residential flooring market, with slow rolls between warm and cool and light and dark (currently it’s rolling warm and light), what’s different now is how much of it is pale white oak, whether it be actual hardwood, LVT, laminate, sheet goods or even ceramic tile. Although, to the credit of the ceramic tile industry, which a few years ago seemed on the verge of being swallowed up by the faux hardwood craze, its strong tradition of innovative design and its advanced technologies have kept that category vibrant and differentiated.
However, the wood aesthetic is not without its trends. While the biggest movements have been toward pale, soft and warming visuals, a flattening of surface textures, and a shift closer to the clean edge of character grade hardwood looks, there are several interesting countertrends. For instance, some of the warmer woods went a little darker with undertones of orange and rust. And there were several near-black woods, neither charcoal nor chocolate, but more like a blackened taupe. And in both wood and carpet, the shift continues from cool greys into warmer shades of taupe and “greige” and beyond, toward classic earthtones.
Standing out from these dominant neutral-toned design themes are the dynamic accents of the show-the higher-end patterned carpet and the ceramic tiles. Most of the ceramic follows the earthtone and neutrals trend, but there were also some higher chroma colors, generally softened, including shades of blue. And geometric shapes from hexagons to assymetrical polygons continue to trend.
The higher end of the carpet market is where there is the most diversity. Woven looks experimented with complex patterns and bold colors. And there were also sophisticated tufted looks, with the evolved design sensibility of commercial carpet married to the lush textural finishes of opulent handmade rugs, like striated buried loop cutting through dense, precision-cut velvety fields. There were also coarse yarns, braided yarns, nubby yarns tufted into thinner weaves, constructions using pairs of fiber types to achieve specific effects, and natural fibers, like sisal, handwoven into polymers.
There was a lot more color at the higher end, too, including plenty of strong blues, a retro soft mustard and ultra-warm deep greys, and coastal colorways seemed to be trending, as well.
Then there’s the medium to high end of the machine-made carpet market, which is where some of the most interesting developments are taking place, most notably the development of more sophisticated and inventive colorways, catering to the increasingly design-conscious customer. Tufting technologies, including Card-Monroe’s ColorPoint and, more recently, Tailored Loop machinery, enable the construction of high-design products at more affordable price points. ColorPoint is already widely used, but so far only a handful of mills have invested in Tailored Loop, which was introduced barely a year ago.
One last flooring trend worth noting is walls. Flooring manufacturers have been sidling up to this market over the last few years, and now there are scores of programs for laminates, ceramic tile, hardwood and even rigid core products on a range of wall applications. Interestingly, it’s largely a hard surface trend, despite the badly needed acoustical benefits that carpet on the wall would bring.
Mohawk covered a lot of territory in its 30,000-square-foot booth, including merchandising display innovations characterized by new rotating display modules; a major expansion of the ColorMax dyeing technology that it introduced last year across its polyester, nylon and triexta (SmartStrand) fiber platforms; the new Karastan hard surface offering; the rollout of its domestically produced SolidTech Plus SPC, and much more. Beyond the show floor, the firm unveiled a commissioned sculpture made of recycled PET, from whole bottles all the way down to pellets and filaments, which was on display just outside the show entrance. Designed by Basia Goszczynska, a Brooklyn-based artist whose medium is discarded objects, the “Plastic Wave” installation featured PET recycled through Mohawk in all its forms-drink bottle, flake, pellet and filament. Following the show, the installation was shipped for display at Mohawk’s headquarters in Calhoun, Georgia.
Karastan made a big splash with its hard surface debut, offering BelleLuxe engineered hardwood and LuxeCraft rigid LVT. The hardwood program is made up of three white oak collections, including a herringbone line, and a European maple, mostly in natural and pale hues with a smooth matte finish. And the rigid LVT program is comprised of three wood-look collections, including white oak and cypress visuals, as well as barnwoods and other weathered looks. What’s unique about the rigid LVT is that it offers an entirely new glueless locking technology from Unilin called Unizip that allows product to be installed either linearly or in a herringbone without A and B panels or inserts.
In carpet, Karastan unveiled new designs in wool, SmartStrand and ultrasoft Kashmere nylon, and it debuted its KaraLoom technology, featuring “precision-stitching that replicates the elegance of woven wool,” according to the firm. Several of the KaraLoom styles showcase the small-scale precision of the new machine. The Kashmere nylon designs include a lush, subtly etched design, Cultured Essence, in a neutral palette enriched with ColorMax technology and, on the bolder side, Stylish Aesthetic, a geometric design of intersecting circles.
Mohawk also unveiled its first domestic SPC program with SolidTech Plus, which is made in Dalton, Georgia. The 6.5mm product comes in two wood-look collections, Franklin and Thatcher, for a total of 18 styles. One of the most notable features of SolidTech Plus is its surface-the PVC print film, which the firm also manufactures, is topped with a 20 mil wearlayer and a urethane coating. The low-gloss finish eliminates the distinctive glitter reflection typical of vinyl flooring.
The firm also added two collections (ten SKUs) to its RevWood Plus laminate line, which is notable because it is designed, when perimeter-sealed, to produce a waterproof flooring installation. New products include Castlebriar, a 9-1/2”x80” rustic plank with in-register embossing. And new additions to RevWood Select include hickory looks in a refined visual and a new white barnwood look. RevWood is produced in North Carolina.
And for the first time, Mohawk hosted a Converge educational event-Customer Experiences are the New Battleground: How Specialty Retail has the Advantage to Win-featuring a panel of retailers from all across the continent: Craig Phillips from Ohio’s Barrington Carpets, Preston Wankier from Utah’s Pioneer Floor Coverings, Ray Daya with West Valley Carpet & Flooring in Alberta, Canada, and Kelly and Tom Heffner from All About Floors in Pennsylvania. The hour-long talk covered topics ranging from how to create the most memorable customer experience to how to market and promote effectively, with some detailed discussions on designing the look and feel of the store, adding amenities like coffee bars and creating personalized shopping experiences. Tom Heffner underscored the importance of developing effective strategies, noting that his cost analysis showed that each prospect who walks through his doors costs an average of $100.
Shaw Industries’ Coretec brand came to the show with a range of robust products, reminding the market that it not only invented the rigid LVT category, but it also is at the forefront of innovation. For instance, it introduced two of the largest, heftiest rigid core LVT products on the market. Coretec Grande, a WPC construction, comes in 9”x82” plank and features a 9mm core that, with the LVT cap and cushioning on the back, brings the total thickness to 15mm. The product also has a 30 mil wearlayer, in-register embossing and enhanced painted bevels. The collection comes in ten oak visuals in a wide range of colors.
Even larger is the Coretec Advanced + collection of 9” wide boards with lengths up to 86”. These ten wood-look products are PVC-free, according to the firm, with an MgO-based core and a cork backing. And with the visuals impregnated on the core, the product has no wearlayer at all. Its enhanced scratch resistance is backed up with a five-year warranty.
New to Coretec Stone is a polished marble look (40% gloss) and a dramatic travertine design. Coretec Stone uses an MgO core for added dimensional stability.
The firm also added to its Coretec Original and Coretec Pro lines with good, better, best offerings-with added value from features like enhanced bevels and in-register embossing-in a range of updated colors. Coretec Pro is an SPC construction that targets the builder market.
Around 2016, Mannington started taking sheet vinyl styling in a new direction, embracing it as a more unfettered design medium, thanks in large part to Terry Marchetta, Mannington’s senior director of residential styling. The expressive patterning of products like Filigree, Penny Lane, Tapestry and last year’s Morocco in Mannington’s LVS (luxury vinyl sheet) program have drawn a lot of attention and led to more than a few copycats.
This year, Marchetta has taken that aesthetic approach into an arena almost entirely populated by wood visuals, the rigid core LVT category, and with the augmented creative freedom derived from cutting-edge digital printing and embossing technology, created Henna. The Adura Apex SPC brings together several crisp, small-scale designs inspired by encaustic tile into a single dynamic 12”x24” format. Henna comes in Ink, which is black and white, and a more subdued colorway called Chalk. It is paired with a coordinate called Henna Weave, a textile design with matching colors and textures. Since Henna’s pattern lends itself to a wide range of installation patterns and locking systems would limit it to only ashlar patterns, the SPC product was designed to be glued down instead.
Also, the firm has come out with an 18”x36” Apex format in Domain Concrete and Domain Slate, as well as hexagon designs-Legacy Hexagon, a Carrara marble design, and Baltic Hexagon, a weathered soapstone pattern-with a patent-pending installation process designed to leave a 1/8” grout void around the edges for rapid, error-free grouting.
New sheet vinyl designs include additions to the Revive line, like Miramar, a geometric angled box design of Carrara marble in contrasting hues, rendering repeats and seams almost invisible. And new colors have been introduced to the Penny Lane and Deco collections.
Mannington added to its engineered hardwood program with Park City, a companion to last year’s Prospect Park in sliced white oak, and it comes in six colors. What’s interesting about Park City is that it reflects Mannington’s new strategy of focusing less on adding new collections and more on adding more colors in smaller steps to existing collections, since consumers tend to shop first and foremost by color and are often frustrated when they can’t get the exact color they need to match their existing color schemes. Also new are 7-1/2”x37-1/2” planks that are designed for a range of installation patterns, including herringbones and basket weaves.
At the higher end, Mannington unveiled Sanctuary, a clean, smooth product with some low-key character, in 10” planks. Sanctuary is being rolled out in the next month or so.
Over the last couple of years, Mannington has shifted its laminates from rotogravure to digitally printed paper, enabling a wider range of design capabilities. This new design range finds expression in Anthology, an addition to the firm’s Restoration laminate collection with 20 unique plank visuals with enhanced in-register embossing. Anthology comes in five colors and combines white oak, maple and hickory visuals.
On February 3, less than a week after the end of Surfaces, Mannington announced the completion of its acquisition of Phenix Flooring and Pharr Fibers and Yarns. The acquisition of Pharr brings with it a huge range of fiber possibilities, while Phenix finally brings to Mannington the one flooring offering it was missing: residential carpet. Phenix and Mannington have a similar approach to the market, generally eschewing the lower end in favor of value-added innovative products with an emphasis on design. By all rights, it looks like a perfect marriage, but only time will tell.
The Phenix Flooring team was all smiles at Surfaces, now that the firm is becoming part of Mannington Mills. President Mark Clayton stated that Phenix has outperformed the declining carpet market by providing consumers with the higher-styled carpet that they’re looking for in their search for more texture and pattern. Mannington’s purchase of both Phenix and Pharr Yarns fills a void in its product portfolio by putting Mannington in the residential carpet business, which remains the largest segment of the flooring business.
New for Phenix this year are more heavy tactile pattern styles in the Modern Contours collection that was introduced last year. Warp and Weft are two noteworthy new styles. Also new for this year is a carpet collection called SureSoft SDN-named after the premium, internally extruded solution-dyed nylon fiber that is used to make the products. Crave and Desire are worth checking out. The firm has also expanded its exclusive Microban license and added the treatment to every carpet style with the exception of the Stainmaster PetProtect styles.
Anderson Tuftex, a division of Shaw Industries, was formed from the Anderson hardwood brand and Tuftex carpet brand barely two years ago, officially launching at Surfaces 2018. The two operations already largely targeted the better end of the market with well-styled and well-crafted goods, and the merging turned out to be synergistic, resulting in a more prominent national brand with a strong brand identity. The design-driven brand has a heavy emphasis on quality construction, is upscale but not ostentatious, more refined than luxe, and focused less on following trends than on elevating them.
Anderson Tuftex’s 2020 theme is Artifact, and its design team ended up focusing on three cultural emblems and finessing them into three nylon carpet and hardwood collections: Kindred, inspired by Peru’s Machu Picchu; Yin, which takes its direction from the Great Wall of China; and Terra, inspired by Mexico’s Paricutin Volcano.
Kindred’s three carpet styles, which are Stainmaster PetProtect products, use Superia solution-dyed nylon 6,6 in cut and loop patterned constructions. Wizard of Paws features textured banding that, in the more saturated colorways, resembles the dynamic textiles from the region and offers a more subdued and refined aesthetic in the neutrals. Fur Ever has a small-scale textured motif reminiscent of patterns of nature, like bird wings, tree bark and animal skins. And Paw-Tay is a small-scale geometric inspired by Incan stone walls. Kindred’s engineered hardwood come in two white oak collections, one with a clean, smooth finish and the other with more exposed graining and bandsaw texturing.
The Yin collection is composed of six carpet styles and a single hardwood, a wirebrushed white oak in a dark, lustrous finish. The carpet patterns in this collection are more generally luxurious and classically refined, with constructions ranging from tip-sheared loops to patterned and textured loops. Artifact offers a lush Greek Key motif in 18 colors; Aristocrat features a mid-scale nested square design in a diagonal; and Ming is a precision tip-sheared loop with a sumptuous velvety texture.
The third collection, Terra, includes four carpet designs along with an engineered pecan with a smooth, open grain and a lot of character. Diego, a cut and loop carpet design, features a stylized basketweave pattern; Ario is a level cut loop with a particularly vivid textured geometry with textile influences; Monarch uses a tonal fleck to create a textured field inspired by monarch butterfly migrations; and San Lucas is a small-scale grid of textured loop.
CFL (Creative Flooring Solutions), founded in 2004 by Thomas Baert, continues to drive innovation in the rigid core category with pioneering multilayered construction techniques. At the high end, the firm remains focused on its Tenacity PVC-free engineered stone core product that it launched last year, featuring a tough wear surface, an MgO core and an attached pad-it’s one of the most heavily engineered rigid core products on the market.
New for 2020 are two SPC products that were designed to offer solutions for specific performance issues in the LVT category. Novocore Q was developed to address both sound transfer and reflective sound issues. The Q in the name stands for “quiet,” with the unique construction adding another layer between the PVC cap and the SPC core as a sound deadener. This product is perfect for multifamily housing projects, where sound transfer between floors is an issue.
A second new product is Firmfit MTL, which is designed to eliminate surface scratches, denting and staining. MTL stands for “made to last,” and these products are designed for use in higher traffic commercial applications. The core is SPC, but the top layer is a melamine surface similar to what’s used in laminate construction.
Stanton, a leading supplier of higher-end carpets and rugs, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and a party to mark the event at the end of the first day of the show packed the firm’s substantial showroom space at TISE. Stanton was started in 1980 by Sy Cohen, the firm’s chairman, who got into the flooring business when he founded Country Carpet in the early 1970s. Several family members work at Stanton, including Jonathan Cohen, president of the firm.
As always, Stanton came out with well over 100 new products for the show across its family of brands in a wide range of designs, colors and constructions, and it also introduced its first hard surface program, an LVT line marketed as Stanton Waterproof Flooring. The line of 24 SKUs features wood visuals in five groupings, including a collection of near black and near white boards, two white oak-inspired collections, an American oak collection and a line of five hickory looks. The bulk of the colors are pale and natural, generally in warm tones. The back of the display boards feature room scenes enhanced with rugs-the firm has a sizeable rug fabrication business, currently in a growth mode, out of its facility in Calhoun, Georgia.
Under the Stanton brand, the firm came out with four collections of indoor/outdoor flatweaves made of solution-dyed UV-stabilized polypropylene in crisp, intricate patterns and myriad colors softened by bulky warp yarns, generally in more neutral colors.
Also new to the Stanton brand is the Paramount Plush collection in solution-dyed Royaltron polypropylene in two groupings. Treasures features an organic striated field reminiscent of travertine overlaid with angled lines to form a diamond motif, while Ruminations looks like a more open stone visual elevated by bold color combinations-both lines feature a moody mustard that was a trend color at the show.
Stanton generally targets the high end of the market, and at the very top are its Rosecore and Crescent brands. New to Rosecore is Grandeur Lace, a 100% wool, hand-tufted, striated loop carpet with an overtufted lace motif. Crescent, which focuses on a more formal menswear aesthetic, came out with new additions to its Tailor Made collection with Ticking Stripe II, Stitchery Stripe and Westport Stripe. Westport Stripe is a linear design with irregular banding, in both earthy and coastal colors; and Stitchery Stripe is notable for its thick hand-stitched lines in accent colors. Also new to Crescent is Yates Group, a flatweave in a blend of wool and nylon with a striated background overlaid with a nubby loop in a geometric patterned motif with an Art Deco feel. And Pickstitch is a new addition to the lush Antrim line, a tailored grid in six neutral colorways, including some with accent colors in nubby bands.
In the 18 months since its inception, AHF Products has been right-sizing its hardwood portfolio and differentiating its brands. In that time, the company has launched 58 products-for a total of almost 500 SKUs-and has established a presence with 15,000 retailers.
Bruce, an omni-channel brand that carries a high awareness with consumers, received a new look and the tag line “The Pro’s Choice,” as it is frequently utilized by builders.
Robbins, a direct to retail brand, has been revitalized and will initially roll out to National Flooring Alliance members before becoming available to additional floorcovering retailers. Its slogan is “Inspire Every Step,” and its designs and price points are intended to resonate with consumers of every generation.
The Hartco brand, unused in recent years by Armstrong, has been brought back to life, targeting distribution and including products sold under what was the Armstrong brand. Hartco’s slogan is “For the Heart of Your Home.”
And, finally, HomerWood’s tagline, “Uniquely Yours,” is reflective of its frequent use in custom applications. As of September 2019, HomerWood focuses solely on sawn face products, targeting the luxury home and commercial markets.
In mid-2019, AHF acquired LM Flooring, a Shanghai, China-based engineered wood manufacturer with production facilities in both China and Cambodia. The company was owned by Jerry Sporich, who has since retired. LM, which carries the tag-line “A World of Inspiration,” is sold through distribution and focuses on wide and long planks with sliced, sawn and textured veneers. The incorporation of LM’s production technology into the AHF umbrella has impacted all the brands.
For several of its brand offerings, AHF has been collaborating directly with its customers in making final selections. The company invited them into its manufacturing facilities along with the plant managers, facilitating direct conversation between the two groups regarding what is needed and what is possible.
AHF used TISE to roll out its new waterproof portfolios under both the Robbins and Bruce brands. Under Robbins, the new composite engineered wood is called HydroGuard. HydroGuard is achieved through a three-part system: a hyper-dense HDF wood core, a tightly locking profile and a proprietary coating on the edges. The product includes an attached pad.
Late last year, the company introduced Hydropel under the Bruce brand. Hydropel has the same waterproof story as HydroGuard but does not have an attached pad. Hydropel was named one of the 30 Most Innovative Products for 2020 by Better Homes & Gardens’ special interest publication, Beautiful Kitchens & Baths magazine.
In addition, under Bruce, the company has introduced Lifeseal rigid core flooring and intends to introduce a rigid core product under the Robbins brand mid-year. The company reports that its expansion into LVT was driven by demand from its customers and notes that it will continue to expand its waterproof portfolio through 2020.
While The Dixie Group’s hard surface business grew by around 50% last year, the firm is still roughly 90% carpet, focused on the upper end of machine-made nylon and wool carpet. This year, the firm will celebrate its 100th anniversary.
Dixie launched its Trucor branded WPC and SPC products last year, and this year, the firm is adding 56 new styles for a total of 162 different rigid core LVT SKUs. One of the most noteworthy introductions this year is Trucor Prime XXL WPC, which at 10”x84” is one of the largest formats in the market. Also new for 2020 are 12 stone-look SPC products with IGT (integrated grout technology). These painted recessed areas give the look of a grouted installation to the click system floating floor. Also, the firm announced that it is continuing to build out its Fabrica hardwood offering with nine new white oak and hickory products, bringing the total SKU count to 30. These products retail in the $6 to $10 per foot range.
In carpet, The Dixie Group has developed 50 new nylon and wool styles across its three brands-Dixie Home, Masland and Fabrica. While Stainmaster continues to be an important fiber brand, the firm is building on its own EnVision66 nylon brand with 17 new styles this year. The two biggest news stories for the firm in carpet this year are its ongoing tufting investments in the newest Card-Monroe tufting technology and its Colorplay yarn innovation. To showcase the Colorplay innovation, a process of combining spaced-dyed visuals on solution-dyed nylon, Dixie unveiled a Masland product called Grace. To illustrate the capability of the Tailored Loop tufting investment, which Dixie is calling “Technique,” the firm created three large landscape scenes depicting its manufacturing bases in the North Georgia mountains, Mobile Bay and Southern California.
Two more styles worth mentioning are Caymen and Caicos, which are Jacquard woven products sourced from India.
Forbo came to Surfaces this year to raise awareness of its Flotex modular-a resilient floorcovering with a flocked nylon wear surface. Now offered in a 10”x40” plank, these waterproof PVC-backed panels come in an expanded number of designs and colors. New visuals for 2020 include wood grain, tartan, chevron and concrete visuals. Forbo sells these products direct to retailers, targeting residential projects like theater rooms, basement man caves and home bars.
Engineered Floors, which entered the hard surface business in 2018, introduced its new Avant Garde LVT collection. The line features high-definition scans of real wood printed directly onto the core for a total of 30 unique visuals, which are embossed in register. Atop the printing, Avant Garde features a clear coat made of acrylic beads and sapphire crystals. The product is suitable for both residential and commercial use.
Under its Dream Weaver brand, Engineered Floors introduced DW Select, a collection of products made with the company’s PureColor TwistX technology that blends multiple fiber components, and united by a wool-like antiquities aesthetic. The solution-dyed collection includes 13 styles with room to grow within the next six to ten months. All the products in the collection are sold at a single price point.
Eric Ruppert, product category manager of Engineered Floors’ Pentz mainstreet commercial brand, reports that much of the four-year-old brand’s styling came from its acquisition of Beaulieu, so it was due for a change. To that end, the company rolled out Amplify tile, which features a new technology incorporating nylon into the polyester construction to achieve bright color accents. The collection, which is available in both tiles and planks, will be fully launched by the end of Q1. In addition, Pentz is integrating hard surface into its line with gluedown collections: Avenue, with 12 mil products; and Boulevard, featuring 20 mil products.
Novalis was at TISE talking about its revitalized logo and brand. The former logo included the words “by Novalis Innovative Flooring” after the “NovaFloor” name. That has been dropped as the team now believes that the brand “has its own voice.” In addition, the company debuted a new booth with a younger, more industrial style, and it was made entirely of LVT, including the walls, tables and chairs. Also, the firm updated its samples to be larger.
Product-wise, Novalis added to its Maybree collection of rigid core LVT. The 6mm planks feature an HDC core and include an attached foam underlayment. The Maybree collection reflects the trend toward softer, blonder tones and comes in 12 plank styles and six tile styles. And Novalis also displayed looselay products, which have particular appeal to the mainstreet market because they are easily installed with tackifying adhesive. The firm anticipates growth in this offering.
Novalis has major operations near Shanghai, China, and CEO John Wu has announced that the firm has invested $30 million to build a new facility in Dalton, Georgia for rigid core production. He anticipates starting production in Q3 of this year.
MSI Surfaces used its show presence to share five current design trends that it has pinpointed through consumer research: Moody Blues, Farmhouse Mod, Sunwashed Chic, Worryproof Wonders and Bold Oasis. The company organized products from its existing collections under each of these themes in moodboard-like displays that were eye-catching and informative.
In addition, the company used TISE to introduce polished editions of collections that had previously been available in only matte: Eden Dolomite, available in 12”x24” and 24”x48”, and Catalina, available in 8”x48”.
Nourison highlighted its Craftworks by Nourison program, first introduced at the High Point Market, to the TISE audience. Craftworks is a collection of 27 15’ handloomed carpets-made in India-that can be either installed as broadloom or fabricated into custom area rugs. Nourison recently brought its area rug fabrication in-house at its Calhoun, Georgia facility, which yields better quality control compared to outsourcing the process. The company offers a variety of finish options and notes there is a strong interest in its handsewn finishes.
Wellmade manufactures a waterproof ultra-dense rigid core LVT called HDPC (high density plastic composite) at its facility in Nanjing, China with a PVC cap or topped with wood or bamboo. The firm is looking at sites in Georgia to start producing flooring, hopefully by the end of this year, starting with its vinyl-capped HDPC. New at the show this year were about a dozen wood looks, including some with painted bevels and all featuring in-register embossing. And it unveiled its first tile looks with concrete and marble visuals and a stone blended with a subtle textile effect. Also on display were a range of strand bamboo HDPC products in several colors, including pale hues and some warmer ruddy colors, along with wood-topped products, which come in two plank sizes and 30 colors.
In China, the firm has started making products using MgO cores, which are PVC-free, though it has not yet started selling them in the U.S. Before the advent of rigid core products, Wellmade was focused on the bamboo flooring market and has been in the U.S. market since 2001.
Daltile’s new floating RevoTile porcelain was its central focus for TISE 2020, with active demonstrations taking place during the event and attracting consistent crowds. The system has been in development for years and offers a number of benefits for the consumer, including its ability to be installed over existing flooring (eliminating the need for demolition), reduced installation time due to its click format, and ease of removal-all benefits especially valuable at a time when installers are in short supply and skilled installers in even shorter supply. The product is available in 26 of the company’s most popular looks and in multiple sizes. The system employs a one-part, pre-mixed, urethane-based grout that is sand-free, color consistent and impervious to stains.
In addition, the company introduced an indoor-outdoor product called Tread, available in wood and stone looks, that enables a seamless transition from an indoor space to an outdoor one.
Daltile also played to the mix-and-match trend, seen in both fashion and interior design, with several different lines. Bee Hive is a color-body porcelain collection of hexagonal tiles in neutral colorations, some of which feature distinct patterning. One cream-toned tile, for instance, has bold outlining-a thick black stripe around the outside edge with a thick grey stripe just inside, a peek of the base tone between the two. Others feature unique patterns that, when viewed in replicate, create a dramatic visual. One decorative piece, for instance, features three colors on the same tile-a triangle of white, an isosceles trapezoid of teal and a rhombus of taupe that, when installed, create a mosaic affect that appears to be constructed of more pieces than it actually is. The mosaic tiles are 24” squares and 8-1/2”x10”.
Sector and My City were two additional collections that Daltile debuted at TISE 2020. Sector, which is suitable for both residential and commercial applications, is a monochromatic line with visual texture created through square-shaped indentations at varying levels and in varying patterns. In total, there are three patterns available in five neutrals. My City was inspired by subway lines in three cities: London, New York and Shanghai. The tone-on-tone map patterning creates visual interest while maintaining a largely monochromatic overall look.
Marazzi debuted Zellige wall tile, inspired by traditional Moroccan tile, which features a large and beautiful color palette as well as “defects” that reflect the handmade origins of its inspiration. In addition, the company introduced Moroccan Concrete with an encaustic pattern that appears uneven and aged. Moroccan Concrete offers a broad color palette, including a grey tile with a rust-toned pattern that is particularly memorable.
PureLife by Kaleen is the company’s new division focused on all natural, eco-friendly carpet. The collection is composed of 25 wool styles in a 15’ width, colored with natural dyes. Every detail of the collection aligns with its natural approach, including the backings, the serging yarn and the packaging. Price points on PureLife products open at $100/square yard. PureLife is manufactured in the company’s new factory in India, which opened in Q4 2019. The PureLife display and marketing materials are attractive and clean, well representative of the collection itself; the display includes a vibrant green tree-shaped name header with a line drawing of an elephant, trunk raised, as part of the logo.
Originally an area rug specialist, Kaleen launched its broadloom business in 2015 and is now up to 93 styles, including ten added at the show. All of the new introductions are flatweaves in large widths-either 13’2” or 16’4”-because flatweaves are difficult to seam. Some of the products in the collection feature wool-nylon blends that enable the company to achieve new tones, including some lovely soft blues.
Kaleen recently purchased a new building for its fabrication facility in Dalton, Georgia. The move, aimed at adding capacity for rug fabrication, was the first step in rolling out a new strategy that will simplify the process of pricing custom area rugs. Each product sample on the company’s racks will include a tag colored to correspond with a particular square-foot cost.
Inhaus had on display its Sono line, a PVC-free rigid core product that uses a polypropylene core and a lacquered top with a backing of foamed polypropylene. New to the line is the use of an excimer process for curing the lacquer that entails using a nitrogen bath to eliminate oxygen from the curing process, which makes the lacquer twice as hard and leaves a matte finish-even as it wears, the finish will not go glossy. Also, the texture is digitally printed onto the polypropylene core, enabling the firm to create up to 50’ of unique visuals per design, all embossed in register.
This year, the firm revamped its Sono offering, eliminating some looks and adding 21 new designs, including three new tile looks. Wood looks have been updated with lighter, cleaner visuals.
Germany’s Haro Quality Flooring was at the show in the NWFA Pavilion. The firm is a European leader in hardwood and has been manufacturing engineered product since the mid-20th century. Matthias Menzel, Haro’s sales director for North America, was on hand to discuss its engineered hardwood lines that come with Välinge 5G click systems. According to Menzel, a lot of its European engineered wood sales are to the commercial sector, where about half of its click system products end up also being glued down-the click system offers an easier installation than tongue and groove and yields a more secure floor.
Since 2012, Haro has been manufacturing Disano, a PET rigid core line, which is targeted to the commercial sector, and the firm also invested in ASTM testing to verify that it meets all of the qualifications to sell its product in the U.S. market. Products from the line, like Saphir in a range of wood looks, achieve the visual and surface texture through direct printing and without a wearlayer.
Also in the NWFA pavilion was Quebec’s Mercier, which introduced its Atmosphere collection of hardwood in red oak, white oak, maple and hickory, featuring mostly light, subtle colors and a moderate amount of character. The collection comes in 5”, 6” and 8-1/8” widths for engineered constructions and 3-1/4” and 4-1/4” widths in solid. While the maple and hickory planks have no texture, the oaks are brushed.
Amorim Group started in Portugal in 1870 making wine stoppers, and today has diversified across five continents and a wide range of businesses. At Surfaces, Amorim showcased Endurance, a new underlayment product for use with all types of floating plank flooring, but especially marketed for the phenomenal growth of SPC and WPC. It is made from recycled EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) foam and agglomerated cork, with an integrated vapor-retarding barrier providing impact noise reduction.
Karndean introduced 41 new products: eight gluedown, 25 rigid core and eight looselay. Among these were a number of dynamic patterned products, including Moroccan-inspired Opus in Marrakesh in a 20 mil gluedown format. Marrakesh is a warm-toned, encaustic cement look with a variety of freeform geometric designs that are installed randomly for a unique “pattern” each time.
Another eye-catching collection on display at the show was Heritage, a gluedown collection with a 20 mil wearlayer, available in standard monotones or geometrics that form a uniform design across a space when installed. Clifton is a high-contrast black-and-white pattern that offers a great deal of versatility application-wise.
In addition, the company introduced a variety of new looks in its 20 mil Korlok Select rigid core line, including marble, slate, limestone, terracotta and stenciled patterns. The 5G drop and lock system, on demonstration at the show, prevents detachment at the short end. The tiles include pre-attached grout.
In response to market demand for an entry-level rigid core line, Karndean rolled out Knight Tile, available in 13 popular aesthetics, including seven woods and three stones.
Headquartered in South Korea with a manufacturing facility in Ohio, Nox, a vertically integrated resilient flooring producer, was sharing the story of its recent innovations with attendees of TISE. The company introduced its Metrix Core Technology at the show. The technology, applicable to gluedown and looselay LVT, combines the flexibility of traditional LVT with the solidness of rigid core products. MCT, which is 20% lighter than SPC, eliminates telegraphing over subfloors through its hard yet flexible design. It doesn’t crack when bent and offers good impact resistance.
The company also rolled out its EPT Shield+ surface coating technology, which offers scratch-, stain- and slip-resistance.
And, lastly, Nox was talking about its EverEco+ LOT (luxury olefin tile), which has a 20 mil wearlayer providing two to three times the abrasion resistance of PVC. The product comes in 18 looks and three formats.
Johnson Hardwood came to the show with five new lines: three in hardwood and two in SPC. Grand Chateau (coming soon) and Saga are engineered wood collections. Grand Chateau is a European oak collection of long and wide planks in modern looks, while Saga is an American maple collection, triple-stained for unique color variation. And the Green Mountain series is a premium solid hardwood collection of 3/4” products that comes in 12 colors.
The two SPC lines are Public House and Skyview. Public House, suitable for residential or light commercial use, features a 30 mil wearlayer on planks that are 7” wide, and is embossed in register. The Public House series is the SPC partner to the company’s Alehouse hardwood collection, introduced previously, with products that correspond between the lines. Skyview, the less expensive of the two SPC collections, also has a 30 mil wearlayer. It features 9” planks and is available in nine trendy colors.
Prestige Mills’ new products included additions to its Missoni Home line, like its Marino printed tufted nylon carpet in five colorways and colorful, patterned flatweaves like Ricci and Lazio. A standout was Fiore, a handmade wool flatweave made in India, featuring an irregular design of hand-drawn flowers.
Under the lower-priced but still higher-end Weave-Tuft brand, the firm’s introductions included wool sisals-80% sisal, 20% wool-and face-to-face Wiltons made of polypropylene and PET in abstract organic patterns. There were also plenty of indoor/outdoor carpets on display, including a memorable design called Reddick, a UV-stabilized polypropylene handmade flatweave with ultra-thick braided yarns.
New to Prestige is a line of products using a new fiber called Stark Performance Acrylic that is, according to the firm, extremely cleanable and stain resistant. The products are hand-loomed in India. Other notable new carpet intros include Perth, a Wilton woven wool with a refined dot grid pattern, and Hector and Haley, a pair of soft lustrous nylons in a geometric and a solid tip-shear.
Hailing from Montreal, Quebec, Wickham is a 38-year-old hardwood specialist. Within its sportsman-themed booth, the company introduced eight new colors in its Dualflex platform, which, true to its name, is a highly flexible hardwood. According to the company, the product can be installed over concrete or uneven surfaces. The new colors are two-tone, the first application being a white or grey to create, according to the firm, a more gentle finished color than the aggressive greys of recent years.
Momeni showcased a range of carpets and rugs at its space at TISE, including a riveting display of handmade flatwoven rug swatches exclusive to Lemieux et Cie-a lifestyle brand by designer Christiane Lemieux-from a collaboration with a community of artisans. The firm also had on display 31 broadloom products, mostly handmade in India and Belgium, with fibers ranging from wool and polyester to Tencel silk and bamboo silk. New designs include a 13’2” machine-made wool carpet collection, Keystone, in five styles focused on neutrals. Another notable design was a polyester grid overlaid with a nubby, sharply angled chevron design.
Sweden’s Välinge, best known as the original inventor of click systems for floating floor installations, has modified the profile of its 5G click system to create 5G Climb, enabling simple wall mounting of flooring products. The new technology is suitable for residential wall decoration, though it’s also ideal for the commercial retail sector, since it allows products to be easily switched out and even customized using digital printing on the firm’s Nadura wood powder technology flooring. Going forward, Välinge’s in-house production of its Woodura and Nadura flooring from its facility in Viken, Sweden will feature 5G Climb, which works on both walls and floors.
For the first time in years, Crossville did not exhibit at Surfaces but instead had a suite where it introduced a few products, including its new Cursive line. Cursive is a wall tile available in a variety of shapes, including squares, rectangles, planks, triangles, circles, half circles and corners, which are essentially a 6”x6” square with a circle cut out of the center and the remainder divided into four corner pieces. The collection is available in nine design-forward, complementary tones, including Iris and Goldenrod. With so many components and colors, the collection puts creative control in the hands of the homeowner or specifier for a modern, Art Deco-esque installation.
Congoleum came to the show with modifications to its Triversa rigid core LVT, which the firm has now shifted from a WPC construction to an SPC with an LVT cap. The new offering is called Triversa Prime and features a 5mm core with a 1mm IXPE backing replacing the cork backing. The firm added seven new designs to the line for a total of 31 SKUs, including eight tile looks.
The firm has also retooled its DuraCeramic line of dense resilient flooring, a product that still comes out on top of Consumer Reports’ best hard surface flooring list. The product is grouted like ceramic tile, using an acrylic grout. DuraCeramic now comes in 32 SKUs, down from about 60.
Congoleum also had on display its PVC-free offerings, including its Cleo Contract line of commercial PVC-free resilient flooring, made up of 32 SKUs with visuals ranging from wood and stone looks to textile visuals. For Cleo Home, the firm is currently looking at click systems as an alternative to the existing gluedown installation system.
HPS Schönox continued to grow in 2019 with an expanded sales team, new distributor relationships and more new products. The Germany-based Schönox factory built its initial reputation with its synthetic gypsum self-leveling products but has since expanded its offering with hybrid products that combine the best features of cement-based materials with the speed and ease of use of synthetic gypsum-all merged into one.
To further illustrate both the German engineering and hybrid performance, Schönox attracted crowds with a Porsche sport car in its booth that uses both a gas engine and an electric motor for propulsion.
Happy Feet International continues to grow as a family-run importer of LVT flooring based in Ringgold, Georgia. Owner Casey Johnson reports 12% growth in 2019, and this year, the firm is launching its Black Label collection with 9”x60” wood-look planks and 9”x36” tile looks. The product is embossed in register with a painted bevel. Happy Feet now sources its LVT from Korea, Vietnam and China. Also new this year is a smiley-face company logo.
I4F has been using this winter’s shows to showcase its new intellectual property patent clusters, including locking, digital printing, materials and panel composition, boards and wall panels, and manufacturing process. The new lineup highlights its expansion into other technologies. “We think we can help the manufacturers, but also retail, to develop new segments, or in some locations, to add more value to the present product,” said John Rietveldt, founder and CEO.
Digital printing is a big focus for I4F this year, Rietveldt added. With it, licensees will have access to the flooring industry’s printing technologies, allowing manufacturers to create unique designs while keeping costs down.
In recent years, I4F has been embroiled in lawsuits with Unilin and Välinge Innovation AB around patent rights related to click locking systems. In November 2019, I4F reached separate and confidential settlements with both parties. “This is absolutely better for the customer,” Rietveldt said.
Dalton, Georgia-based Lonesome Oak Trading Company bought the Gulistan brand name over two years ago, anticipating that the business, which was launched in 1924 and declared bankruptcy in 2013, would still have brand equity. Lonesome Oak, which dates back 20 years, now specializes in PET carpet, while Gulistan is about half PET and half Stainmaster nylon 6,6. Gulistan’s bestselling product is Hearst, an 80-ounce PET with a tight twist and featuring Scotchgard.
The firm also has a WPC line and an SPC line, collectively called Tsunami, both with good, better, best product offerings, all in wood looks. The premium offering is 9-1/2”x72” with a beveled edge and a 20 mil wearlayer. The No. 1 Tsunami product is an SPC with a hickory visual, called Crescent.
Harris was talking about its new organization at TISE: pulling all flooring brands together under the Harris Flooring Group name. These include Kraus, acquired in 2018 and specializing in broadloom and carpet tile; and Naturally Aged Flooring, also acquired in 2018 and specializing in hardwood and LVT. The company now plays in both the soft and hard surface flooring categories, as well as tools via QEP. The company rolled out new branding to reflect the transition.
On one side of its booth, Harris had a timeline depicting all the major events of the company’s history, as well as a picture of a tree-displayed in the company’s signature green-around which both employees and visitors were asked to sign their names. After the show, the tree image was to be displayed at the company’s headquarters.
In addition, at TISE, the company surprised two of its long-term employees with promotions. Renee Tester was named vice president of sales on the flooring side and Leslie Delpozo was named vice president of sales on the tool side.
Kane added 12 new collections under its high-end Herbanian line, launched in 2019, which focuses on hand-loomed woven products. Several of the new introductions feature variegated yarns that create subtle patterns, such as a light chevron, for a distinguished overall affect.
Kane also rolled out Advanced, made with synthetic fiber and available in six colorways. Reminiscent of painted wood or the striation of rock and featuring a shades-of-grey palette, Advanced is particularly appealing in the coloration that features a buttery yellow accent.
Provenza Floors, which is headquartered in Tustin, California, is known for its higher-end line of hardwood flooring, though the firm also now offers both flexible and rigid core LVT. New introductions this year include Tresor, a white oak with minimal texture and a clean look in a range of mostly warm colors in medium to darker shades, and Vitali, which has light wirebrushing and a UV oil finish.
Also new is a wall cladding system called Wall Chic that comes in 12 different styles, all made of hevea, mostly in rustic or rough hewn textures and weathered colorations.
WE Cork was displaying its Corkoleum at the show. The gluedown product is waterproof and comes in a 55” roll for commercial use. In addition, the company was highlighting the customizability of its Serenity product, which features a wearlayer with an AC5 rating. Repeating patterns, such as the brick look featured on the booth floor, work best. The company has a 3,000-square-foot minimum for customization. WE Cork also has attractive wall products that provide sound control for both residential and commercial spaces.
Emser Tile’s focus for its new products in 2020 centers on offering consumers tiles that allow them to make a bold statement, with patterns including chevrons, hexagons and new takes on subway tile. Three great examples new this year are Rhythm, a hexagon glazed porcelain; Link, a stone groutless mosaic; and Splash, a glass mosaic. Most of these products are designed to use on the wall as backsplashes. For the floor, one of the more noteworthy products was the Yakedo burnt wood look (often called shou sugi ban), which was designed in collaboration with Gensler.
For a more traditional encaustic look, check out Emser’s Nostalgia. And for those who want to decorate using Pantone’s 2020 color of the year, Classic Blue, Emser developed a navy blue product called Naval.
The three-year-old Lifecore brand from Samling Global USA introduced two new collections with seven new SKUs, featuring lighter colors and wider planks. Lifecore also showcased its H2ome line of waterproof composite engineered wood. The collection has a waterproof core with a real wood veneer and a click installation system, and the wearlayer has nine coats of a low-VOC, UV-hardened finish.
The Organic Reactive Flooring collection from Lifecore was recently awarded a This Old House Top 20 New Product award. Its engineered oak and maple planks have the look of wood that has been burned or smoked, achieved by a controlled reaction between agents such as ammonia or iron acetate on the wood in the top veneer.
Radici USA added knotted products to its established handmade program. The collection, called Dora, is made in India and features wool and silk fiber. The palette is composed of creams and browns, blues and dark greys, and the products are design-oriented with irregular lines and interesting color play.
The company also introduced face-to-face woven broadloom with polypropylene and shrink polyester. The collection, made in Turkey, is called Montagna. Like Dora, Montagna is unique and rich with a variety of designs offered in a shared color palette.
In addition, the company introduced four new Jacquard patterns, made in Italy on a Wilton loom with a Jacquard attachment, including both traditional and unexpected looks. The high-contrast black-and-white products are particularly striking.
Based in Southern California, SLCC Flooring came to TISE with Borrowed Scenery, which carries the mission of bringing nature to SPC. Under Borrowed Scenery, the company rolled out ten new colors in a range of on-trend lighter greys, greiges and browns and displayed an additional 35 on which it was soliciting feedback. From that 35, it will select an additional ten to add to the line. Borrowed Scenery features a 20 mil wearlayer and a Välinge click system. In addition to SPC, SLCC sells solid and engineered hardwood, laminate, WPC and underlayment. The company reports SPC sales were up 60% last year, and, interestingly, high-end hardwood also saw significant growth, a 50% increase. The company started in 2007 and sells flooring at a wide variety of price levels.
Couristan came to the show with 77 new introductions, including 19 new indoor-outdoor styles made with UV-stabilized polypropylene under the Creations by Couristan name. Many of the products in this collection feature bright, rich colors, such as Belize, a variegated mix of primary tones with a chevron fiber pattern. The company reports that the majority of installations made with the products are indoors and are often favored by families due to their stain resistance and ability to be cleaned with water or bleach. Two products in the collection have a Class I fire rating.
Preverco is currently working to bring all its wide oak hardwood offerings under one program with the goal of offering a simpler but broader collection that is available in either flat grain or quarter sawn. The company rolled out four new colors at the show: Monaco, Oslo, Prague and Lisboa, all of which feature greige undertones.
Urban Floor was showcasing its Cascade Collection of SPC, introduced last year, with an updated color offering. The décor is printed directly on the core with a 6 mil wearlayer atop. They are also embossed in register.
Customizability is an important trend, and Stonepeak was at Surfaces talking about its ability to customize its gauged porcelain panels. In fact, one of the company’s booth walls featured an American flag printed on a porcelain panel-an eye-catching statement on several levels. While customization is most commonly applied in commercial applications, Stonepeak’s panels have many applications residentially, as well. The company also reports that it sees a trend toward customers replacing quartz with porcelain.
Later this year, Torlys will launch its Everest XP hardwood. The composite engineered wood features a waterproof core and its Maxx4 Finish is water-, stain- and scratch-resistant. Everest XP is warrantied for water resistance for 72 hours and scratch and wear resistance for a lifetime. Everest XP is the umbrella brand over three subcategories: Everest Designer, longer and wider planks; Everest Twist, herringbone installation; and Everest Premier, narrow planks. The products will be available to the market in late Q3 or Q4.
In addition, the company rolled out Rigidwood Firm Elite, an SPC vinyl in a five-layer continuous press construction. The collection offers embossed-in-register textures and can withstand temperature fluctuations up to 70 degrees, which makes it suitable for sunrooms and south-facing spaces.
Lastly, Torlys updated the color offering on its Corkwood line, which is two years old, and added the XP finish to that line, as well.
DriTac rolled out three new products. PowerTread Tile is a finished flooring made of 100% post-consumer recycled rubber. The material comes in both a roll for commercial use and tiles for residential use, like in workout or tool areas.
In addition, the company launched EnviroTread, a sound control underlayment that can be applied under either hard or soft surface flooring. The product comes in 2mm, 5mm and 10mm thicknesses.
Lastly, DriTac introduced CoreGuard, a rolled product that provides scratch and dent protection for newly installed hard surface floors. The product is reusable and comes in different grades of protection.
Mapei’s focus for this year is a new underfloor heat system and an LVT shower system. The heating product was developed with Nuheat and is called Mapeheat Mat. The LVT shower system, which was rolled out in Germany two years ago, includes a waterproof membrane, a cementitious mortar, a grout and a slip-resistant top coat.
Software company QFloors kicked off Surfaces 2020 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to launch its new software, QPro POS, a cloud software program designed specifically for the smaller dealers in the industry. Because QPro POS is cloud software, it is 100% browser based and therefore reduces IT costs. This means it can be accessed by any device with an Internet browser, removing the need for a business to have servers, networks and other pricey technological investments. The software program has a low initial cost and low monthly charge. It streamlines and manages inventory, sales orders, job costing, purchase orders, commission, labor and sales tax reporting, and it can be used alone or alongside accounting software such as QuickBooks.
Schluter Systems showcased its new VinPro series of LVT profiles. The VinPro series combines several finish options-brushed nickel, brushed bronze and brushed chrome-featuring a modern, minimalistic look. These profiles provide edge protection and transitions for a range of applications. VinPro T provides transitions between same height resilient floorcoverings, VinPro U is designed for a smooth transition between a resilient floorcovering and a floorcovering at a lower elevation, and VinPro Step is an edging profile for resilient installations on stairs.
RFMS rolled out a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) app. This new app, which will be available at the end of March, is designed for sales departments to systematically gather leads, communicate with potential customers and manage workflow from the initial sales opportunity to the closing. It has an online customer portal providing quote and order status with two-way dialog, and it gives salespeople advanced communication with the customer via a web portal, text messages and emails.
RFMS is also currently working on a new warehouse and receiving app. And the firm is having a large owners and education conference in Nashville, Tennessee in April 2021.
Design Now AI Visualization is the new product that digital marketing specialist Creating Your Space was promoting at this year’s Surfaces. Design Now utilizes artificial intelligence, allowing consumers and salespeople to take a picture of their room and within seconds view different flooring products within their own space, helping to finalize the buying decision. Design Now allows dealers to customize their product catalog with over 200 brands and thousands of images.
Copyright 2020 Floor Focus
Related Topics:Novalis Innovative Flooring, Creating Your Space, Shaw Industries Group, Inc., Stonepeak Ceramics, Mohawk Industries, Mannington Mills, Beaulieu International Group, The Dixie Group, Crossville, Coverings, Marazzi USA, NWFA Expo, AHF Products, Engineered Floors, LLC, Kaleen Rugs & Broadloom, Daltile, Phenix Flooring, Karastan, Anderson Tuftex, HomerWood, Lumber Liquidators, The International Surface Event (TISE), Tuftex, Armstrong Flooring, Schluter®-Systems, Couristan, Masland Carpets & Rugs