By Reginald Tucker—“Offering great products that translate at the point of sale in the right way so RSAs can understand what we’re trying to drive home to the consumer.” That’s how Zack Zehner, president of Mannington’s Residential business, describes the company’s approach to product development and design.
FCNews got the opportunity to witness this strategy firsthand during a recent visit to the company’s headquarters to get a preview of some of the introductions for Surfaces this month. These included: line extensions to existing, top-selling collections; new products featuring innovative technologies that enhance the visual depth and feel of hard surfaces; updated display systems; new branding initiatives; and more.
On hand for the product preview were: Terry Marchetta, vice president of residential styling; Cristen Del Bove, director of residential styling; Renee Cannon, residential senior stylist; David Sheehan, VP residential hard surface; Blakely Satterfield, product manager, residential resilient; and John Hammel, senior director, wood and laminate business.
“Product leadership in style and design is what we’re all about,” Zehner said, crediting the experience and creativity of the in-house team at Mannington. “This design team is building designs based on what they’re seeing in home fashion trends. We continue to elevate our styling, and this team continues to challenge themselves.”
CraftedEdge bevel technology hits the streets
Mannington is rolling out what it calls the next generation bevel technology—CraftedEdge. The new technology creates a chiseled, handcrafted bevel that conveys a more luxurious visual. Exclusive to Mannington, it will be available on select Adura Max and Adura Rigid resilient floors to make them better resemble real hardwood.
The technology is highlighted in Calico, a new visual that combines subtle saw marks and splits with a unique fuming technique for a nostalgic feel of a warm, cozy cottage. “With wood looks, we’re seeing trends that hearken back toward tradition where we’re seeing color and trends come back into play,” Marchetta said.
For Mannington, CraftedEdge represents the next evolution in bevel-edge technology. “When LVT came out in its flexible form, all LVT had square edges,” Sheehan said. “What happened, invariably, either through production variation or through subfloor irregularity, one side would be a little higher than the other. What the manufacturers did to minimize this ‘ledging’ was to put a micro-bevel and ‘kiss’ those edges. When those same manufacturers shifted to rigid core production, they just brought that micro-bevel technology along.”
Apex undergoes rebranding
Apex used to be associated with Adura Max since it was a WPC product. Now, Mannington is looking to segment it by elevating the brand. “You’re going to see a much cleaner look as it relates to the logo but also some of the merchandise,” Sheehan said (pictured right alongside Zehner). “This new display gives the dealer a more elegant presentation. It shows large reveals of long and wide planks, plus tiles.”
Along with the rebranding, the popular Apex line is getting two new patterns (Mokuzai and Artemis) for a total of eight SKUs. The first represents the allure and simplicity of Japanese maple. “Our intent was to capture the realism of the visual, so instead of designing one film for this—where we typically get five planks—we developed two sets of films so this pattern gets 10 individual planks that really show the refinement typical to the species,” Marchetta added.
The new look features a painted bevel, knot holes and color variations and comes in an 8 x 72- inch format in six neutral colors. Artemis offers Carrara marble looks in an 18 x 36-inch format, featuring Microban technology and a painted bevel in two visuals—Daybreak and Cloud Cover.
Restoration laminate gets a shot in the arm
Mannington’s best-selling laminate line, Restorations, gets a fresh infusion with the introduction of Revival—five trendy SKUs of 8-inch-wide planks that emulate the natural variation found in real hickory. Produced by Mannington domestically, the line leverages innovations in digital printing plus SpillShield Plus waterproof technology. “We were able to achieve a visual that looked like real wood, where in LVT that’s harder to do,” Del Bove explained. “With laminate with EIR and embossing, you can really achieve more realistic looks. These innovations set us apart and get us into the premium part of the market.”
Mannington’s ongoing investment in the laminate category is in line with the overall resurgence the category has seen over the past two years. “We’re really going to continue to capitalize on that,” Hammel said. “You’re going to see more of our digital innovations in laminate. We continue to drive it in a big, big way and it’s paying off. It differentiates us. The response to the realism—the lack of repeat—made possible by digital printing has been awesome.”
Hexagonal visuals rein in sheet
What’s old is new again. That saying pertains to the latest visuals offered in Mannington’s Hexx sheet vinyl offering. The new looks, according to Renee Cannon, residential senior stylist, hearken back to a time when resilient dominated kitchens, hallways and entryways, and when hexagonal looks reined.
“What makes the design special is the edge work,” she explained. “It has a hand-painted edge that’s hand set. It looks very realistic.”
Upgrades in hardwood
Mannington’s hardwood strategy hinges on focusing more on upper-end opportunities in the market by moving away from base-grade products. That means removing all rotary-peeled products from its portfolio and instead focusing on formats that generate higher margins and revenue opportunities.
Across Mannington’s hardwood offerings, the company is adding colors and stain options that are better suited for the remodel market. These will be evident in best-selling collections like Triumph and Sanctuary. “Not every millennial is trendy; some want a color that reminds them of what they grew up with,” Del Bove explained.
Also new is the TimberPlus line, developed in conjunction with Välinge Flooring, manufacturer of the Woodura line. Featuring the natural beauty of real hardwood with extreme durability, TimberPlus is 100% real hardwood that is three times more scratch and dent resistant than typical hardwood and is waterproof, thanks to Mannington’s SpillShield Plus technology.