Planetary products

HomeInside FCNewsPlanetary products

Oct. 7/14 2013; Volume 27/number 12

Once upon a time, before the word “downloading” creeped into our vernacular, music retailer Tower Records published a magazine called Pulse that included a monthly feature called Desert Island Discs. The concept was to ask famous people this question: “If you were stranded on a desert island for an extended period of time, what 10 CDs must you have with you?”

With that premise as the backdrop, we queried nearly 20 floor covering retailers regarding their most important products—high-margin, high-volume or otherwise. We phrased the question like this: “If you were beamed up to a planet inhabited by a population resembling humans, they had nothing covering their floors and you found yourself owning a floor covering store, what five products would you need to start your business?” The idea was to uncover the products retailers feel provide solutions, sell well and with which they can turn a nice profit.

Here is a sampling of the results:

Darren Braunstein

Worldwide Wholesale

Floor Covering, Edison, N.J.

1. Bruce Dundee Plank

Commodity, high-volume, 3-inch oak; a must have

2. Mannington Adura

Great DIY product with strong visuals

3. QuickStep Classic Sound Planks

Attached pad aids in sound deadening; tough performing at a good price point

4. Stainmaster TruSoft

Best brand in carpet; ultra soft, yet performs

5. Mohawk SmartStrand

Extensive 60-color line; combines stain

resistance, softness and durability


Larry Noel

Rite Rug

Columbus, Ohio

1. Armstrong Dundee Plank

A proven performer with a variety of colors and widths that works for all regions

2. Armstrong Alterna

Good, non-fragile alternative to ceramic tile for commercial and residential

3. Shaw Anso Caress

Softest product on the market

4. Mohawk Aladdin 25-ounce poly

A must have for all categories of business: builder, property management, retail

5. DreamWeaver’s Pure Soft Cashmere

Soft carpet program at a good value with strong warranties


Steve Cinkus

Hessler Floor Covering

Punta Gorda, Fla.

1. Karastan

Benchmark for quality along with superior backing

2. Mohawk SmartStrand Silk

Softness combined with durability

3. Forbo Marmoleum

A true linoleum with all-natural colors and designs

4. Mapei grout with BioBlock

Anti-mold properties, no need to seal and holds color well

5. Shaw Epic Hardwood

Great looking line made on state-of-the-art equipment


A.J. Boyajian

A.J. Rose Carpets and Flooring


1. Stainmaster SolarMax

Brand recognition, performance and great profit margins

2. Shaw Anso

Great performing product, very few quality issues, excellent selling system/color wall

3. Armstrong Performance Plus

Brand recognition and product


4. Stainmaster cushion

Brand name and upgrade potential, which leads to great profit margins

5. Mohawk SmartStrand

Durability, stain resistance and excellent styles


Mark Bouquet Jr.

Creative Carpet and Flooring

Mokena, Ill.

1. Shaw Anso nylon

Versatility with over 100-color color wall that is easy to sell from

2. Karndean LVT

Great designs and customer service

3. Tuftex Patterned Destinations

Higher level of durability without boring looks

4. Stanton rack

Great looks, higher-end options

5. Masland Artistic Vision

Moderately priced, high-end looks, plus Stainmaster


Jeff Macco

Macco’s Floor

Covering Center

Green Bay, Wis.

1. Anything Stainmaster

Great brand recognition –

even aliens have heard of it

2. Stainmaster cushion.

See above and higher margins

3. Dal-Tile

Very comprehensive line and great distribution

(although interplanetary shipping is new)

4. Mohawk Smart Solutions

You can’t find it at Home Depot Uranus or Lowe’s Mars

5. Dixie TruSoft

It is the best finished carpet on the face of Neptune


Kevin Murray

Murray Floor and Window Coverings

Billings, Mont.

1. Congoleum AirStep

Unique styles and can be installed over many different surfaces

2. Mannington Adura LVT

Solves many consumer needs and applications; features many stone patterns to match any moonscape in addition to wood visuals

3. Beaulieu Magic Fresh

Durable, soft product that can absorb odors and cleanse the air we breathe

4. Earthwerks LVT

Lifetime warranty on its best products are a great selling point

5. Daltile’s Lavaro tile

Porcelain product with great visuals and the density to withstand heavy traffic, heat and cold


Rich Finnegan

Jim Flack Carpet

Farmingdale, N.Y.

1. Shaw Enduring Comfort

Great price point and lifetime warranty

2. IVC Flexitec

Price point, thick widths, ease of installation due to loose lay

3. Gardiner Industries Strip Vinyl Planks

Realistic visuals and indestructible

4. Beaulieu Coastal Winds

Very soft, good price point and lifetime warranty

5. World Gallery Signature Collection

Patterned goods, beautiful visuals and something to offer the higher-end consumer


Michael Longwill

Airbase Carpet and Tile Mart

New Castle, Del.

1. Shaw Versa-Fit LVT

For those time-traveling the galaxies where you need something quick, beautiful and durable, and you can pick it up and take it with you

2. US Floors CoreTec Plus

Just in case we find water on the next planet and it floods the room

3. Karastan 100-ounce SmartStrand Silk

Can be used as a bed if there are no mattress stores

4. Daltile Florentine

Latest high-definition glazing technology offers the real looks of stone and marble with the durability of porcelain

5. Nourison Nouri 2000 rugs

Beautiful, intricate, artistic rugs


Debbie Jones

J&J Floor Covering

North Conway, N.H.

1. Shaw Anso Caress

Soft and durable

2. Armstrong Alterna Reserve

The beauty of natural stone in a warmer, softer, easy-to-care-for surface

3. Earthwerks Linkwerks LVT

Easy to clean, great looks and with zero gravity

4. Mirage Classic Hardwood

The highest quality hardwood with excellent quality control

5. Mohawk Everstrand BCF Revive

Made from recycled plastic water bottles


Heidi Wostbrock

Wostbrock Home & Floors

Ridgewood, N.J.

1. Stanton Carpet Shaggy plush

Plush and cozy

2. DuChateau Floors St. Moritz

Double smoked, white limed, white oiled and wire brushed to create a deep, beautiful color and texture

3. Hide rugs by Saddleman’s

Perfect to layer over a hardwood floor

4. Fibreworks

Combines beautiful texture with modern design

5. Tiffany Peacock Rug from Company C.

Rich colors and whimsical designs


Fred Wee

Interiors & Textiles

Mountain View, Calif.

1. Fabrica Saba Cayman

100% New Zealand wool carpet

2. Unique Carpet Mills Cobblestone Himalaya area rug

A rich, thick and soft wool area rug

3. Kahrs Jarrah Sydney hardwood flooring

Color, style and great quality

4. Forbo Marmoleum African Desert linoleum

A 100% natural product that has stood the test of time

5. Teragren Synergy Strand Bamboo

A wild look for a wild foray into outer space


Paul Gardiner

Superior Floors

Warwick, N.Y.

1. Mohawk SmartStrand

The best product on the market – green, soft, durable and easy to clean

2. Alloc Prestige

Great overall looks and unique locking system

3. IVC fiberglass floors

Great designs, easy to clean and softer than ceramic tile

4. Karndean Plank flooring

The most realistic look for LVT and easy to maintain

5. Kraus Commercial Carpets

The most intriguing patterns in a large variety of options and great stain protection


Brenda Crites

Custom Carpets

North Little Rock, Ark.

1. Tarkett Transcend

Features transitions that are an exact color match

2. Shaw Aviator Plank

Easy to install and you don’t need to find a transition, making the wood look very realistic

3. Earthwerks Avante

Great price point and has grout that doesn’t need to be sealed; also has a huge color line and different tile sizes

4. Burke Natural Stone

Great LVT that features nanosilver, which will inhibit the growth of any unknown space bacteria

5. Metroflor Engage

Locking system is important when you are somewhere without gravity


Sam Roberts

Roberts Carpets and Fine Floors


1. Fabrica Chez

The best fine yarn velvet carpet this world has to offer

2. BlueBahia 24 x 24 granite tile

I’m partial to the color, and granite can provide performance on an indefinite basis, resist stains and heat and can be immune to moisture problems.

3. Homerwood engineered hardwood

4mm, dry, sawn face, married to marine plywood with waterproof adhesive for dimensional stability and moisture resistance from beneath. Nano technology aluminum oxide for long-term durability and scratch resistance.

4. Diamond Living Scuba Silent

3mm neoprene material with a 10mil plastic moisture barrier. Ideal to go under any floating floor application

5. USFloors CoreTec

New LVT plank that features a vinyl surface, an inert core and a cork bottom. The product is durable, looks like wood, and clicks together so that anyone can install it.


John Loubier

Kaleidoscope Floors

Fort Wayne, Ind.

1. Anderson Lincoln Plank

An oak floor represents good ol’ fashioned Americana

2. Kane Carpet Out Of Africa

A natural animal print pattern reminds us of the wildlife on earth

3. Tuftex Isleton (Evening Surf)

Resembles the ocean/beach in its wavy pattern

4. Happy Floors Sagamore

So that we can remember all of our nation’s wonderful natural wonders.

5. Bati Orient

Could be a grand focal point that would really make us think of the natural world we are missing


Olga Robertson

FCA Network

Shorewood, Ill.

1. Congoleum DuraCeramic

Zero callbacks, high profit margins and installs over ceramic tile

2. Mohawk SmartStrand Silk

The softest carpet combined with stain resistance; high margins

3. CFS engineered hardwood

Great visuals, great pricing, terrific service

4. Dal-Tile display

Large selection in all price points, great styling

5. Phenix solution-dyed polyester

Offers the best of both worlds: high volume and good



Sean O’Rourke

Avalon Carpet

Tile & Flooring

Cherry Hill, N.J.

1. US Floors Navarre

UV-oiled European oak styles are becoming increasingly popular among consumers

2. Armstrong American Scrape

This engineered series delivers a handscraped, American-made product at a reasonable price point

3. Quick-Step Reclaimé

One of the best visuals in laminate

4. Armstrong Architectural Remnants

This selection moved the style needle

5. Karndean LVT

Random widths, long lengths, different applications and installation methods all lend to its appeal


Jerry Kallod

Kallod Carpet

Fargo, N.D.

1. Congoleum Airstep Evolutions

The name fits outer space (weightlessness) and the product will work perfectly no matter what the atmosphere in space has in store.

2. Mannington Aurora

Easy maintenance and great warranty make it a natural choice for life on another planet

3. Shaw Unrivaled Precision

Made of ClearTouch PET recycled content and durable enough to handle heavy foot traffic

4. Beaulieu Carefree Life

Durable and features an odor-reducing treatment

5. Godfrey Hirst Venus

Wool carpet will not only keep us warm, but will remind us of a tranquil seaside escape back on Earth

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