UWANEE, GA.—In the early to mid 1990s, a European phenomenon, laminate, came across the Atlantic and revolutionized the U.S. flooring industry. Pak-Lite, Inc. (PLI), a leading private label manufacturer of foam underlayments in North America is hoping for a repeat through a strategic agreement with German manufacturer Selit to produce and market its well-known Selitac pad with XPS foam in the U.S.
Bob Cummings, PLI’s flooring sales and marketing manager, said under the agreement the company will be the sole strategic converting and distribution partner for North America for Selit’s non pre-attached flooring underlayment.
The co-operation agreement gives PLI all patents, design rights and brands, so that it will be able to introduce the Selitac Foam with the Easy Lay, Easy Cut and the brand new Easy Click technology.
Cummings said Easy Lay, Easy Cut and Easy Click are registered Selit trademarks that PLI will utilize in North America. “They are derived from attributes of the Selitac underlayment system that enhance the ease with which the product installs.”
While both companies may be unfamiliar names to flooring retailers, they are no strangers to the industry. In North America, PLI operates from its headquarters here and in two other locations—Mebane, N.C., and Fairfield, Ohio—where it is a leading converter of non attached flooring underlayment, supplying a full range of private label underlayment products to major manufacturers and retail distribution market segments.
In addition to producing private labeled flooring underlayments, the company manufactures floor protection products that care for finished floors during domicile construction and renovations. “We also manufacture RF Shielding Floors for medical (magnetic), Faraday, industrial, military and commercial applications,” Cummings noted. PLI also manufactures and private labels a variety of laminate floor and floating floor underlayments that protect against mold, mildew and moisture damage. “Our acoustically superior underlayments are an excellent choice for commercial and residential installations.”
Some of the products it already offers to the U.S. flooring industry include SolidBlack- MD-TPO, a premium underlay with up to a 6mil vapor barrier that the company calls “acoustically superior to most underlayments and offers great protection from moisture, mildew and mold.” It is approved for use by the Condo, Townhome and Homeowners Association.
SoundBarrier Select, is called by the company “the most technologically advanced flooring underlayment available. It is acoustically superior to all underlayments and offers great protection from moisture, mildew and mold.” It is less dense than its top grade “but an excellent choice for residential applications.”
SolidWalk is part of PLI’s fiber pad products and has a polyethylene film moisture barrier, lip (overlap) and tape and is good for below grade, crawl space and basement laminate floor installations over cement.
Selit is a vertically integrated manufacturer and inventor of styrene based underlayment for laminate flooring. Its products are sold in 25 countries. Introduced in the U.S. in 2006, its XPS foam is sold to laminate manufacturers and used for attached underlayments via its facility in Plattsburgh, N.Y.
By bringing Selit’s most popular product to the U.S, along with other brand names, David Pritchard, Pak-Lite’s president, said the company will be able to not just meet the various needs of the domestic market but make a major impact. “Currently, Selit and the Selitac brand dominates the market in Europe where laminate and engineered floating floor sales are higher than in the United States. Selit’s experience and expertise in becoming that market’s leader along with PLI’s history as the No. 1 private label manufacturer of floating floor underlayment in North America is a formidable combination, we believe. This will enable us to continue to be market leaders and keep PLI on the cutting edge in the underlayment market.”
Marco Seitner, chairman and CEO of Selit, added, partnering with PLI is the right move because of its “leading” position this side of the Atlantic. “To sign with PLI as our strategic partner to supply Selitac to the loose laid underlayment market” is a win-win situation.
Cummings said the plan moving forward is for PLI to start producing and offering a wide assortment of underlayments based on Selitac’s innovations and technologies. “We will show the assortment for the first time at Surfaces in Las Vegas, in booth B8471.” Surfaces will take place Jan. 25 to 27 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
For more information, call 770.236.9457.