By Ken Ryan The year 2020 may be best known for COVID-19, which closed down much of the economy for several weeks. The flooring industry was not immune to these impacts as plant shutdowns and retail showroom pauses put a crimp on product introductions.
Or so you might think. In fact, new product offerings and line extensions were robust in 2020 in what turned out to be a better-than-expected year for most flooring retailers and distributors.
The following products represent a sampling of new collections or expanded product line offerings that scored high among floor covering retailers, distributors and other customers in 2020.
Exchange Luxury Flooring by Armstrong
About the product: Exchange was created to invigorate and inspire with soft pastels and rich, saturated tones that complement a visual texture to add depth and interest. Available on a 6 x 36 plank, Exchange is manufactured in Lancaster, Pa., and made with patented Diamond 10 technology for a low-maintenance solution that’s ideal for commercial settings.
“Armstrong Flooring’s portfolio just keeps getting better, offering highly styled and sophisticated visuals. The Exchange product line with Diamond 10 technology is one more great example of this.”
—Neil Garrett, Shnier, Gesco L.P., Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Advanced+9” by COREtec
About the product: COREtec Advanced+9” is “plus” in performance and style, boasting all the waterproof, kidproof, petproof benefits of COREtec, plus enhanced visuals and scratch resistance. Exclusive to COREtec the Advanced+ series offers fewer pattern repeats paired with an extremely rigid mineral core and 15-year scratch warranty. The floor is built to withstand whatever life throws at it.
“The new Advanced+9” is next-level engineering for the LVP product category. Not only is it the first to market with an actual scratch-proof guarantee, the colors and visuals are right on point with the most current trends. We are seeing robust sales on the Advanced+ series after only being in the stores for a short period of time.”
—Bruce Odette, Carpet Exchange, Denver
Defend by Daltile
About the product: Daltile is currently launching its Defend powered by Microban program and the new floor, wall and mosaic tile products under that umbrella. Defend is a distinct product line of high-performance tile featuring Microban technology, which is built into the tile and will not wash off or wear away.
“Daltile’s new product introductions over the last few years have been in tune with what is hot in the market and they have hit all price point levels.”
—Todd Adams, ProSource Tulsa, Tulsa, Okla.
UltraWood by Mohawk
About the product: Slated as the ultimate performance hardwood, UltraWood is domestically produced and features the latest technologies: Everlast, WetProtect and EasyClean. These innovations, including a lifetime surface and subfloor waterproof warranty, give retailers a differentiated product.
“It is a momentous undertaking to be so innovative on hardwood, taking on the biggest challenge, water, in a customer’s home. I am very excited to be able to show my customers these innovative products.”
—Typhannie Watson, Carpeting by Mike Somerset, Wis.
Natural Essence by Lions Floor
About the product: Natural Essence, featured with intricate hardwood aesthetics and the authentic finishing touch of natural wood, offers rich, distinct colors and textures with the latest registered embossing technology. Natural Essence represents both luxury and supreme craftsmanship and is crafted with Greenguard Certified environmental standards.
“The textures and the registered embossing make this SPC floor look like real wood. I’m selling a lot of it, and my customers love it, which makes me happy.”
—Carlos Rivera, Rivera’s Floor Covering, Los Angeles
Bellera by Shaw Floors
About the product: Bellera high-performance carpet is, paws down, great for pets. All Bellera styles feature high-performance PET fibers, R2X stain and soil treatment and LifeGuard spill-proof backing for the ultimate worry-free carpet that’s sure to look beautiful for years to come. New product, Charming Transition, showcases a simple yet sophisticated pattern and boasts a handmade, natural aesthetic.
“The display is attractive and the products have all the features and benefits customers want. Excellent colors, a soft hand and a great assortment of styles makes Bellera a winner for us for the past two years.”
—Steve Weisberg, Crest Flooring Allentown, Pa.
Atmosphere by Mercier
About the product: In response to market trends and consumer demand for more natural and organic looks, the floors in the Atmosphere collection are very close to natural wood tones and showcase warm colors and variations of beige and caramel hues. The collection is available in red oak, hard maple, white oak and hickory—in a choice of four colors and widths ranging from 3 1⁄4 to 8 1⁄8 inches.
“There is so much to like, from the breadth of the collection across species, the construction—whether engineered of solid—the varying widths and the colors, which are spot on.”
—John Bretzloff, Barefoot Flooring, Castle Hayne, N.C.
Restoration by Mannington
About the product: Mannington’s Restoration laminate collection “resists everything and impresses everyone.” Restoration now features the company’s SpillShieldPlus waterproof technology, offering best-in-class style and design. Mannington’s in-house styling team ensures each design offers the most realistic wood looks in the market. The entire Restoration collection is made in the U.S.
“We love the Mannington laminate series. It’s one of the most durable floors in the industry and is better than vinyl, in our opinion. The Mannington laminate has replaced wood in our builder division.
We have zero callbacks with it. They are ahead of everyone else with this product.”
—Tom Garvey, Garvey’s Flooring America, Northumberland, Pa.
HDPC Waterproof Hardwood by Wellmade
About the product: HDPC Waterproof Hardwood couples the performance virtues of rigid core technology with real hardwood wear layers. On-trend designs, including oak, hickory and birch, along with wire-brushed textures and finishes are featured throughout the collection. It is also Greenguard Gold certified for indoor air quality.
“Wellmade’s HDPC waterproof wood is one of the most innovative floors we have in our arsenal right now. We have many customers in search of a combination of click-together, easy-to-install hardwood, and this is perfect. On top of the ease of installation, it is waterproof and extremely durable.”
—Rob Tarver, Wanke Cascade, Portland, Ore.
Korlok Select Stones with InteGrout by Karndean
About the product: In fall 2020, Karndean Designflooring added 17 stones to the Korlok Select line, offering original visuals in a quicker and easier-to-install alternative to ceramic and porcelain tile. Color-coordinated and non-porous InteGrout is seamlessly attached to all visuals, except the two stenciled designs, eliminating the messy grouting process altogether.
“My installers prefer any of Karndean locking/click products because the yare far superior to any other products on the market. The ease they have putting Karndean products together
makes for a quick, non-problematic install.”
—Mike Kautz, Mike Kautz Carpets & Designs, Mount Prospect, Ill.
Microban by Phenix
About the product: More than ever, consumers want peace of mind. And more than ever, they have confidence in Phenix carpets with Microban protection. Surfaces treated with Microban protect 24/7 against the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew and remain 99% cleaner than untreated surfaces.
“We’ve been carrying Phenix for the last four-to-five years and have had zero claims. The quality of Phenix exceeds anyone’s as far as price point. The durability and quality of material are outstanding.”
—Tom Garvey, Garvey’s Flooring America, Northumberland, Pa.
RigidTile by Torlys
About the product: Torlys has expanded its rigid SPC vinyl program with its first SPC tile collection, RigidTile Firm Premier. Offered in five designs and sized 12 x 24 with built-in realistic grout lines and realistic, all-over textures, this collection achieves a true alternative to porcelain or stone tile.
“We’re very confident in selling RigidTile. The uniclic locking system comes in handy because if a customer damages a single tile, it can be easily replaced.
My staff is extremely confident selling it knowing there is not going to be an issue.”
—Josh McKinnon, End of the Roll Penticton, Penticton, BC, Canada
Montauk by Engineered Floors
About the product: Engineered Floors said its Montauk series has been and continues to be a home run product for its base nationwide. Made with EF’s soft PureColor SD fiber system, Montauk provides a tailored construction that allows for easy transition from hard surface to soft surface throughout the household.
“The product is amazing. A terrific color line and the tailored look gives added class to any room or home. Soft PureColor gives additional underfoot comfort knowing it will clean up easily.”
—Doug Bertrand, CarpetlandUSA, Davenport, Iowa
Hardened Wood Flooring by Välinge
About the product: A high-quality, real wood alternative to the booming PVC flooring segment and a great option for budget-friendly, wider and longer planks. The collection features Woodura and 5G Dry—giving customers the look and feel only genuine wood possesses, but with durability and water resistance traditionally absent from a real wood floor.
“Not only does it have an incredible waterproof story, but the large format with a real wood surface
make it a go-to product for the demands of today’s homeowners.”
—David Zimmer, Herregan Distributors, Eagan, Minn.