Las Vegas—Five manufacturers were voted best of class in the 2021 Best of Surfaces competition, a contest cosponsored by Floor Covering News and Informa Exhibitions, which owns and operates The International Surface Event (TISE). The award-based program, now in its 10th year, has become the benchmark for new product excellence and booth design.
The award winners, announced on the show floor, are as follows:
- Style & Design: Johnson Hardwood
- Innovation: i4F
- Technology: Schönox
- Sustainability: Mohawk
- Booth Design: Karndean Designflooring
The judging was conducted by a panel of floor covering retailers who were tasked with selecting those they believe best represented the category in which they were entered.
Style & Design
Public House Collection
The Public House Collection SPC from Johnson Hardwood—inspired by the real hardwood flooring collection that bears the same name—offers rustic looks that challenge even the most experienced designers. Featuring eight rich colors ranging from grays to browns, each plank spans 5 feet in length, boasts innovative rigid core technology and sports a thick, 30-mil wear layer that provides water-resistance and durability. Another standout feature is the registered embossing, which creates realistic and detailed wood texture.
“Nobody has this look out there,” said Billy Ko, CEO of Johnson Hardwood. “There’s not much maple in the SPC category these days—it’s all predominantly European oak out there. Plus, it’s a 30-mil wear layer—most products out there are 20-mil. This allows us to offer a longer commercial warranty.
Digital Printing Capability
i4F continues to broaden its capabilities beyond locking systems to include digital printing technologies. The company recently entered into a patent partnership with Hymmen, a leading global digital printing systems provider specializing in flooring, in a move that gives i4F exclusive licensing rights for all Hymmen’s digital printing patents and technologies for flooring production—including Hymmen’s award-winning Digital Lacquer Embossing (DLE) technology.
This partnership represents an important addition to i4F’s comprehensive digital printing portfolio, which already includes market leading technologies from Classen, Kronospan and Benchwick. “The ability to produce high-quality, digitally printed flooring has become strategically important for the future of our industry,” said John Rietveldt, i4F’s CEO. “i4F believes that Hymmen not only has the most innovative and highest quality technologies, it also maintains a fiercely strong IP position. This latest addition to our patent cluster concept reinforces our promise to licensees to receive the world’s best, most cutting-edge technologies in the industry backed up by a robust patent protection infrastructure.”
Schönox HS Sturdy is a rapid-drying, repair and smoothing compound that incorporates the company’s patented Hybrid Active-Dry Technology to create a powerful solution with versatility and strengths previously unseen in flooring. From featheredge to 2-inch depths, HS Sturdy repairs, patches and smooths, combining tasks for use on a wide variety of substrates including concrete and gypsum as well as diverse ones such as wood, vinyl and ceramic. Hybrid Active-Dry Technology allows Schönox HS Sturdy to dry independently of the jobsite’s environmental conditions with minimal shrinkage or expansion.
Schönox HS Sturdy provides installers a fully integrated series of hybrid products that combine the versatility, strength and durability of synthetic gypsum with the speed of fast-curing cement. It has low pH, very low emissions and special dust-reduced properties delivering on the industry-leading safety goals the company has in place.
Recover Carpet Recycling Program
This year, Mohawk Industries expanded its ReCover Carpet Recycling Program into the residential market. Already an established and successful program within the commercial market, ReCover now provides sustainable carpet solutions to specialty retailers and their customers.
Addressing a growing interest in sustainability, the ReCover program is a paid service that facilitates the recycling of used carpet from any manufacturer to repurpose it back into new carpet, padding and other useful products. By doing so, ReCover reduces flooring waste and provides a convenient and easy alternative for carpet recycling. Since the inception of ReCover, 159 million pounds of carpet has been diverted from landfills.
ReCover is part of Mohawk’s commitment to making a positive impact on the world. The company strives to create sustainable manufacturing processes, products and programs that will help make the world a cleaner, healthier place.
Karndean, which is known for its knack for product design, had several goals in mind for its award-winning Surfaces booth space this year. As Jenne Ross, the company’s director of marketing, explained: “We really wanted to make that part of our culture be tangible for our business partners. To do this, we featured the development journey of three wood products by insetting the original source material into 15-foot vertical pillars fitted with the final running-line planks. We wanted our floor to highlight the capabilities of Karndean across all three product constructions, from the latest in our multi-formats and newest, trend-forward color tones, to one-off specialty layouts and original designs you won’t find anywhere else in the industry. Overall, though, we aimed to create an open space with targeted retail- and commercial-specific areas that would cater to both our customer bases. It needed to have a warm, neighborhood experience for those in the industry looking to sell luxury vinyl a little bit differently.”