April 13/20, 2015; Volume 29/Number 1
By Ken Ryan
A higher end hardwood floor that is affordable for consumers, yet provides margin opportunity for specialty dealers? Sounds hard to believe, but that is the story behind Urban Floor’s new Royal Court collection.
Showcased at Surfaces 2015, this meticulously handscraped engineered hardwood floor features random widths to give it a stylish, distinctive look for residential and commercial applications.
“This collection is one of the only entry level collections with a design element with it—random width, prepackaged,” said Tony Mergreh, vice president of marketing and customer relations for the City of Industry, Calif.-based supplier. “A lot of builders like it because they can give something attractive to customers while staying within a budget. In other words, an affordable fashion product.”
Royal Court is offered in six hues, including natural, gray and a deeper red. “We have a really strong collection of colors—not one is selling better than the other; all are moving well,” Mergreh said.
Prepackaged random width planks of 3, 5 and 6.5 inches, Royal Court is constructed of a cross-bonded plywood and finished with seven layers of Treffert, a German semigloss. Urban Floor is offering a lifetime structural warranty and 20-year finish warranty.
The product is sold through Urban Floor’s distribution network in some regions, and direct to retail elsewhere. R.A. Siegel Company, a Mableton, Ga.-based wholesaler, is Urban Floor’s exclusive distributor in Florida, Alabama and Georgia. Clint Haselhorst, vice president of sales and marketing, said there are multiple inherent advantages with Royal Court. “If you’re a builder, it’s a visible upgrade to a prospective new homeowner that sets your homes apart. If you’re a retailer, it lets you offer something different than the standard 5-inch [product]. There are great colors in this collection, and being a true handscraped is a nice touch.”
Jeff Furkus, account manager with Contract Interiors, a St. Paul, Minn.-based flooring dealer, said customers are drawn to the varying widths of Royal Court planks, as well as the color range and ease of maintenance. “The appearance and durability is what you would expect of a higher end wood floor. The handscraping and texture make the floor an easy floor to live with every day. Busy families can rest easy that denting and scratching won’t show as easy on this floor. It is a great value at a very reasonable price. We can make money on the product and it is affordable for the customer.”
Urban Floor offers free samples through urbanfloor.com.