Lancaster, Pa. – Armstrong Residential Flooring is taking design up a notch with its latest collection, Architectural Remnants, which pairs the look of high-end, reclaimed hardwoods with the benefits of laminate flooring.
Armstrong has historically been at the forefront of laminate innovation and design, noted Sara Babinski, the company’s principal designer for laminate flooring, as its high-gloss laminate floors paved the way for a trend that catapulted the category to new heights. “Architectural Remnants is perhaps the our most unique laminate to date—a collection combining multiple species and colors that look as if they have withstood years of use or were pulled directly from a historic structure—in random widths and with extensive but intelligently applied embossed-in-register.”
Armstrong’s Architectural Remnants Antique Structure laminate has the look of a reclaimed hardwood floor.
William M. Bird and Co.’s John Allen said that he saw the line at Surfaces 2013 and was immediately floored by how stunning the visuals were. “As a group the new laminate intros were the most unique, creative new product shown by any flooring manufacturer at the entire show. The different species, the combination of colors and the oil-finished appearance all put this new introduction in a class completely by itself.”
Babinski explained that Architectural Remnants is designed to look as if it is a gateway to the past. “These floors would likely have come from an old church or barn in the countryside, a shuttered city warehouse, or a 20th century antique salvage yard.” The design takes texture, species and color into account to help create the luxurious look. “Texture is the new color,” she added. “Color has long been the first attraction for consumers. It’s often the key factor when buying a floor. But recently, texture has come to the forefront as a welcome design enhancement.”
Aesthetics are taken to another level with Architectural Remnants, as the collection is created with Armstrong’s imaging technology to ensure that the planks contain true-to-life coloration. As Babinski noted, texture is also one of the most important trends in flooring and Architectural Remnants comes embossed-in-register to provide the most realistic graining, texture and depth of reclaimed wood.
Eric Mondragon, hard surface buyer for the flooring division of RC Willey Home Furnishings, said that the visual is spot-on with consumers. “Customers are always looking for visual options and with the different widths that accent the visuals give the customer an opportunity buy a laminate that doesn’t look like a traditional laminate floor. [This product] has the look of a true reclaimed and skip saw hardwood. It is a great addition to the Armstrong Laminate line.”
More than a matter of looks
The offering comes with VisionGuard, a wearlayer, to protect it from staining, fading and wear-through. In addition, the line is also equipped with HydraCore Plus, a core built into the product in order to make it feel more lavish then your everyday laminate flooring.
Architectural Remnants feels more like solid wood when you walk on it. That’s because the 12mm board’s HydraCore Plus core keeps the laminate stable and flat. “The extra density of a thicker board also helps to dampen sound,” said Babinski. “You won’t hear that hollow echo/sharp clicking noise sometimes associated with thinner laminate floors.
Not only can the 12mm laminate flooring board better withstand the impact of a dropped object, but when it comes to decorative surface treatments, a thicker board allows for deeper embossing.
John Allen of WM Bird also explained that this product rollout is making laminate a coveted offering and is bringing the category to the forefront of the market. “The gap between wood and laminate continues to narrow because of such fashion forward designs. This isn’t the same old plastic looking laminate from five years ago. A consumer who has never considered laminate will consider Architectural Remnants.”
“It’s a great time for some new laminate looks,” said Mara Villanueva-Heras, vice president, marketing, Armstrong. “We take our lead from the most popular hardwood trends—and it helps being the largest hardwood producer. There’s a new emphasis on the handscraped look—one of the best-selling visuals in hardwood—and Architectural Remnants takes this look a step further with a truly stunning, designer interpretation.”
“Our emphasis has been on premium products,” she concluded. “Armstrong has always understood the product has to inspire the consumer, yet also deliver on the more rational concerns around quality and value. A key way to attract floor buyers is through the style and design of the product itself, and this is where our laminate shines—from innovative looks and, most important to customers, the confidence it will stand up to everyday life.”
Architectural Remnants is available in eight colors as well as species, and also come in varying sizes. Each floor fits in a traditional setting or can create an eclectic-looking space. The line includes Antique Structure, a natural-looking reclaimed wood floor with distressed and worn white paint; Skip Planed, created by the effects of textured sanding; Woodland Reclaim, which brings together multiple species of wood in varying widths; and Saw Mark Oak, featuring textured details in today’s most popular oak colors. The line comes with 50-year residential and 10-year commercial warranties.