High-end resilient products meeting consumer wants and needs
Since the economic downturn began the resilient category has been just that—resilient. Not only has the segment picked up market share it lost the previous decade, it has done so with technologically advanced products in an array of high end offerings.
Consumers may have become more cost conscious in recent years, but what they are most interested in is a product that provides great performance for the price. And manufacturers say this is a key ingredient as to why resilient has seen a surge in consumer acceptance.
With a strong belief that “retailers can win” with resilient’s combination of beauty and performance Allen Cubell, vice president of product management, residential, said the company offers floors that blend both attributes in ways consumers can understand.
“Moisture resistant; softer under foot; stain resistant; faster, easier installations, and so on,” he explained. “Floors consumers don’t have to worry about and will look great in their home for a long time.”
As for products meeting these criteria, Cubell pointed to Luxe Plank, saying it is “about as easy as it gets,” while Alterna is “much faster and easier than [installing] traditional stone and tile. Even Duality, CushionStep and StrataMax can be installed faster and easier.”
First introduced in 2003 as the industry’s first 16-inch limestone composite luxury tile, Pat Buckley vice president of product management, said DuraCeramic continues “to appeal to consumers because of its exclusive features—tough construction and warm and comfortable underfoot.”
One of the reasons for DuraCeramic’s continued success, he added, is Congoleum’s dedication to keeping it on the cutting edge. For instance, about a year ago “we enhanced the unique patented nylon and aluminum oxide wear surface with the addition of Scotchgard. It is built right into the surface and Congoleum is currently the only resilient company that can use the Scotchgard brand.”
Plus, Buckley said “we have also incorporated silver antibacterial protection into the wear surface, adding another powerful value-added feature.”
Within its expansive Flexitec line, Xavier Steyaert, CEO, said the Majestic and Craftmark Trend and Classic collections are high-end products which are part of the fifth update the company has given since launching the line eight years ago.
Flexitec remains popular, he said, because it offers “extreme quality and beautiful designs at a value price point.” And the Majestic and Craftmark collections were created with the high-end market in mind. Patterns range from hardwood to ceramic and stone with “strikingly realistic colors,” Steyaert added, and, when needed, feature embossing technology which allows IVC to add texture such as wood grain or saw marks.
Each offering features 18 styles providing a full scope of slate, pavers, tile, brick and rustic woods.
While the resilient flooring market is flush with colors and textures to fit almost any aesthetic, Joe Visintin, product manager, said there had long been a lack of metallic-colored rubber flooring due to the nature of metallic tones. After years of research, Johnsonite discovered two metallic pigments that were not dulled by the formula for the base of rubber tiles.
The result is Metallurgy, a line that consists of 12 colors in various shades of gold, bronze, silver and more. “The ability to replicate metallic shades and other rich mineral looks is a significant innovation in rubber flooring,” he explained, “offering a material that brings a uniqueness and luxury to each individual tile.” Best of all, Visintin added, the new aesthetic is offered without losing the traditional benefits of rubber.
Designed to represent the highest quality and most advanced innovation the LVT market has to offer, Art Select is Karndean’s premium range, noted Mike Lang, senior marketing manager. Comprised of four collections—Island Limestone, HandCrafted Wood (HCW), Oak Premier and Oak Royale—he said each product is designed to offer luxury and functionality for both residential and commercial sectors.
In describing each line, Lang said the first is a traditional Roman floor pattern that mimics those found in natural limestone to ensure a genuine look; HCW features deep embossing that emulates the grain patterns found in one of nature’s toughest and most beautiful woods, hickory; Oak Premier is inspired by the art of hand-carving and is designed to recreate the same look and feel of customized planks, and Oak Royale replicates the distinctive grains and patterns of one of the world’s most popular species while boasting traditional handscraped texture.
With features and benefits not found in any other fiberglass floor, Paul Mixon, resilient business manager, said Sobella Omni HD “has become a runaway hit in the fiberglass flooring market. It continues to be a go-to product for many dealers. Even in these tough economic times, the line is experiencing double-digit growth.”
He attributes Sobella’s success to a number of things:
•Realistic patterns and clarity of colors thanks to NatureForm HD Technology •Comfort underfoot
•Exceptional performance due to Mannington’s ScratchResist, Guardian Protection and its exclusive GottaLoveIt Guarantee, which lets consumers replace their floor free of charge within 30 days of installation if they are not happy with it.