USFloors segues to resilient, latest entry into floating LVT arena offers a twist

March 08, 2010

DALTON—USFloors, a manufacturer of unique and sustainable floors—specifically cork, bam- boo and hardwood—diversified its product portfolio even further at Surfaces 2010 by breaking into the luxury vinyl tile (LVT) category and taking the wraps off a waterproof floor. This was in addition to expanding its hardwood and bamboo lines as well as unveiling a new cork product.

Not only was the company pleased with the response, but it was also satisfied with the attendance. “We had steady action in our booth and the quality of attendees was high,” said Piet Dossche, president and CEO. “Overall, there was general optimism for the coming year that could lead to the release of pent-up demand, which makes us optimistic for 2010.”

Dossche was particularly excited about the debut of Vinacork, a cork/LVT hybrid that takes the current LVT craze to new places. A floating floor with glueless CorkLoc technology, each plank has a layer of cork sandwiched beneath the vinyl top layer and HDF core. The combined durability of LVT and cork offers performance benefits and improvements over other floating LVTs, he said.

“Most LVT systems are glue down or loose laid, so the installer has to be sure the sub- floor is perfectly level to avoid problems like telegraphing,” Dossche explained. With Vinacork, the base layer of cork absorbs these imperfections and even adds a little cushion. “It adds comfort, warmth and sound absorption, making it great for locations like apartment complexes.” The cork feature also gives retailers an advantage, providing a solution to a consumer’s problems with imperfect base floors. “It’s enhancing an already successful category,” he said.

The manufacturer’s second introduction in the resilient category was Aqua-Step, a 100% waterproof floor. Constructed from 100% recycled PVC, its eye-catching display in the Surfaces booth featured a sample of the product submerged in a beaker of water. Attendees were welcome to retrieve the sample and examine it for themselves. According to Dossche, Uniclic installation and resistance to moisture make it the perfect product for typically wet places, from kitchens and baths to mud rooms and exercise rooms, even spas.

Another introduction was the well-received Almada New Traditions in Cork in 4 x 36 planks. “This is the first showing of cork in a plank format and really brings cork into a new dimension,” Dossche said. Thirty-six colors and five patterns mimic more of an exotic wood. “We had a fantastic response from dealers.”

In the hardwood category, USFloors released Refined Elegance, a hand-scraped, engineered plank in 3-inch widths in oak and 5-inch widths in hickory. Both feature tongue and groove construction with a 2mil wear- layer, a lifetime structural warranty and 25-year limited residential wear warranty.

In specialty wood, Natural Bamboo Expressions is a line inspired by designers. Strand woven construction stains come in natural, spice and tiger visuals, whereas Corboo construction—the proprietary blend of cork and bamboo—comes in stains that resemble tigerwood, Brazilian cherry, teak and walnut.

A positive perspective was one of the best things dealers could take from USFloors’ 2010 introductions. “Those looking for something new will be successful in 2010,” Dossche said. “We can only stay in a negative zone for so long, but those look- ing for something new will surely break into something positive.”

-Emily Hooper

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