Mohawk touts new performance wood

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Ultrawood
UltraWood

By Steven Feldman Dallas—The wood story for Mohawk in 2021 encompasses two collections with enhanced features and benefits. TecWood is what Mohawk is marketing as engineered wood—a wood veneer on top of a plywood core—while the brand new UltraWood is being billed as the industry’s first totally waterproof wood with an impact-resistant core.

TecWood debuted a few years ago, but this year it is getting a trade-up story via Essentials, Select, Plus and Premier. “It’s a good/better/best/premium assortment,” said Adam Ward, senior product director, wood and laminate. “We’ve really stratified that now into what I call more value price points.”

The trade-up tool Mohawk is arming RSAs with is visuals. For example, TecWood Essentials would be a grouping of rotary peel products primarily in 5- and 6½-inch widths and a 38-inch thickness (except Urban Reserve, which is ½-inch) with price points ranging from $2.99-$4.99. The first upgrade, Select, adds sawn faces and wider visuals in a ½-inch construction. But even Essentials offers visuals that are relevant with today’s consumers, Ward said. “There is still a good following of people who want real hardwood.”

Five new collections comprise Essentials: North Ranch and Whistlowe are 6½-inch wide, lightly chattered products with scrape. Haven Point is a 6½-inch, softly scraped, sculpted maple. “Indian Peak is a 5-inch, sculpted and chattered product,” Ward said. “Urban Reserve is a mix of oak and maple products in a ½-inch construction. So, Essentials really gives you some of those classic looks that are popular.”

Select, the first step-up, is a thicker and wider product—12inch to 916-inch constructions and all 7-inch widths. While Essentials is rotary peeled, Select is a sawn-face or sliced-face product. Heritage Woods is a slightly sculpted, sawn-face, low-gloss hickory line in four colors. Mod Revival is a sawn-face, European oak, 7½-inch wide product featuring light colors with a smooth, wire-brushed face. Harbor Estates offers those “coastal-inspired visuals that are relevant today,” Ward said. Price points range from $5.99-$7.99.

Next up is Plus, with planks measuring 7½ inches wide x 86 inches long with more character. The 20 SKUs retail between $7.99 and $8.99.

Premier is the top of the line in TecWood. Products are 9 inches wide with a 3mm face. “Premier is just an overall nicer, wider, more dimensionally stable product that fits the upper echelon in terms of styling and thickness,” Ward explained. “Nicer veneers, European oak, very stable boards up to 86 inches long.”

The eight SKUs will retail in the $8.99-$12.99 range.

UltraWood

UltraWood is Mohawk’s answer to the “hybrid” products trend—floors featuring a wood veneer on top of some sort of non-wood core. However, while just about every company has chosen to employ an SPC or mineral-based core, Mohawk chose to construct its iteration with an HDF core—which counts sawdust and wood by-products among its ingredients. “We’re doing it with a real wood construction that’s thicker,” Ward said. “Most of the hybrid products are 4mm, 5mm. This is a 3/8-inch construction that is more in line with what consumers are expecting when they’re looking for hardwood.”

UltraWood, according to Ward, is everything a consumer wants in a hardwood product. “Consumers are looking for a waterproof wood with features and benefits, but they are still looking first at styling. So that’s where we started, and then we designed a product that gives them all the features and benefits they’re wanting.”

As a result, Mohawk retrofitted some of its manufacturing in Danville, Va., to produce UltraWood. “This is a much more manufacturing-oriented process that is similar to RevWood,” Ward explained. UltraWood is the evolution of the TecWood construction, he added.

Features and benefits include:

  1. 100% waterproof. New WetProtect technology features water-tight joints and an advanced waterproof finish, guaranteeing protection with a lifetime warranty for both the floor surface and subfloor.
  2. Performance. The Everlast Hardwood Protection System creates a performance story: five times greater dent protection, four times greater scratch protection and two times greater wear protection.
  3. Design. Every product in UltraWood offers a sliced-face construction. European oak and hickory are the species.
  4. Supply. While most hardwood is variable length, UltraWood is fixed-length. “There is abundant supply of 0.6-mil veneers, so we’re able to buy those certain lengths and widths that fit the product,” Ward said.

UltraWood will retail between $3.99-$7.99. “That’s a key price point you’re hitting with a premium product, especially when you are talking about something that offers 100% waterproof protection, dent resistance and scratch protection,” Ward said.

UltraWood is also domestically produced, adding a Made in the USA story to the proposition.

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April 12/19, 2021

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