January 22/29, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 16
By Ken Ryan
Raskin Industries’ new built-in grout loose lay LVT, which will debut at Surfaces this week, is a product that must be seen to be fully appreciated, according to distributors who are carrying the line.
“The Ceramix product line from Raskin is a continuation of Michael’s [Raskin, president] gift of style and design,” said Bob Weiss, CEO of All Tile, a top five wholesaler. “Ceramix has a visual unlike any other that is available in the market. The product needs to be seen to fully understand the great job Michael did on the colors and textures.”
Ceramix will be shown at Raskin’s booth, #2613, at Surfaces. The product was shown at last year’s show to get feedback. The advice was to make the grout lines thinner. “A product launch like this is a big investment; you don’t want to launch something without good feedback,” Raskin said.
Based on distributor response, the product is ready for prime time and poised to be a big hit. T&L Distributing, a top 20 wholesaler, previewed the product at its vendor show in Dallas earlier in January. “The reaction was tremendous,” said Scott Carson, director of products and marketing. “The dealers loved the visuals, the tiles and the planks. We see it as helping them with an installation solution.”
With lead time on some ceramic tile installations approaching eight weeks, Ceramix—with the realistic look of the grout—provides dealers with an alternative product that can be installed in a day or two. “The overall visual you get with the plank and the grout line is stunning,” Carson said. “It’s going to fill a need for the dealers because of the lack of installers out there.”
Observers say there have been other products that had grout lines attached to the product but not to the level of realism that is within this product line. “Porcelain tiles that look like wood planks have been very popular over the past few years,” Weiss said. “Ceramix has taken that trend to the next level by replicating the look and performance of the porcelain installation, but offering it in a flexible vinyl format. This allows for easier installation and a beautiful finish.”
Ceramix will be launched with 12 SKUs, including eight planks. Ranging in format from 7 x 48 to 36 x 36, the planks, according to Raskin, “look like they should be in the Apple store. The younger market wants that modern look—a nice subtle pattern that’s suitable for a loft or industrial look.”
Ceramix features a 5mm wear layer and offers the G88 advanced antibacterial/anti-fungal finish. The product is shipping this month, and Weiss is among those ready to go to market. “We are excited to offer the line to our customers so they can be first to market with a great product with a competitive difference from other products in the marketplace.”