Urbanfloor first made a splash in 2018 with its breakthrough Timbertop line—an upper-end hardwood floor offering featuring extra-long lengths, wide boards and a distinctive coloration process that yields unique, eye-catching visuals. The company is looking to kick things up a notch with the recent debut of the Timbertop series featuring “Deluxe” specs—an extension of the signature line that boasts twice the thickness, double the wear layer and significantly more profit opportunities for the floor covering dealer.
Manufactured using Western European Oak, the enhanced Timbertop line comes in a beefy, 9 1⁄2-inch-wide plank format with a micro-beveled edge and lengths spanning up to 96 inches. It’s topped with a hefty 6mm wear layer for an overall thickness of 13⁄16 of an inch—a hair thicker than a traditional 3⁄4-inch plank. The product is available in eight trendy plank designs with eight coordinating herringbone strips for customizable installations.
“The fact that we have the coordinating herringbone is a really big selling point, especially for consumers with large homes who want to differentiate various rooms in the home—for
example, herringbone in the dining room and planks in the rest of the house,” said Tatiana Parada, who, along with Yvette Shroyer, have the responsibility for marketing the product. “Having that flexibility and adding character is very important for the customer or homeowner.”
But perhaps the most striking feature of the line, according to Shroyer, is its eye-catching surface texture. “The one thing that clients and retailers always say about Timbertop is it looks like it’s heavily wirebrushed because it has that two dimensional look to it,” she explained. “But that’s due to the reactive stain on that product.”
Most reactive stains on the market today, Shroyer noted, entail a two-or three-part process. “They usually smoke it, stain it and then put the finish on,” she explained. “By comparison, our reactive staining process requires seven steps applied over the course of five to six weeks to achieve the desired color. It’s a very complex process, but the result is beautiful.”
All these characteristics are readily evident in product like Mauritius from the Timbertop Lifestyle Collection. In fact, it was the focal point of the company’s sprawling Surfaces 2022 booth where it was installed throughout the exhibit space. “There’s no other color out there that’s like it,” Parada stated.
Timbertop retailers like Essi Safdie, CEO of California-based Spazio LA Designs, agreed. “I sell the product to a lot of clients and I’ve used it in personal projects,” he told FCNews. “It’s really high end and looks luxurious. The wide, long planks and thickness of the top layer is something high-end clients are definitely interested in. Consumers can see that it just looks different than other wood floors.”
Admittedly, Timbertop—an upscale European brand—is not for the average consumer (MSRP is in the $13.99-$14.99 range). That’s by design, according to the company. “This product is for high-end residential homes—people who are not concerned about price,” Parada stated. “These are the people who hire interior designers when they want a certain look.”
That’s not to say Urbanfloor doesn’t offer other real wood products that cater to the needs and requirements of more mainstream consumers. “We have a wide range of product lines at different price points,” Parada stated. “Timbertop is something we not only tried to make look absolutely fantastic, but also back it up with additional benefits—a really thick, quality wear layer and unique surface treatment. It’s the most premium product we offer. You won’t find these distinctive visuals anywhere else in the United States. We are the only one carrying it here.”
Professional wood flooring installer and contractor, Robert Rogers, who, fittingly, owns and operates The Hardwood Floor Guy, Upland, Calif., said he couldn’t agree more. “The reactive stain on that product is just amazing,” he told FCNews. “When customers come into the showroom and they see how nice that product is, it really stands out above everything.”
More importantly, Rogers noted, Timbertop provides retailers and contractors an opportunity to significantly boost their profit margins. He cited one recent 1,500-square foot installation that netted more than $25,000. “It’s not for your average new build; it’s definitely more for the custom home,” he explained. “You definitely have to have the budget for it.”
Sales, merchandising tools
In support of the new launches, Urbanfloor is providing its retailer partners with the necessary tools to help RSAs educate consumers and end users. “We present the product to our retailers so they are very well versed in what they are selling,” Shroyer explained. “I’m a big proponent of, ‘The more you know, the more confident you are in selling the material.’
Aside from that, we offer displays, racks and samples, and we also have tile-sized swatches available for the consumer and chain sets for retail salespeople.”
Shroyer, who works directly with customers at one of the company’s designer showrooms in suburban California, cited additional merchandising support programs available for Urbanfloor retail partners. “If flooring dealers want to feature our floors on their showroom, we give them a discount on that as well,” she noted.
The Hardwood Floor Guy’s Rogers attested to the impact of merchandising a collection like Timbertop to the public. In fact, he said he often refers clients to Urbanfloor showrooms throughout the region. “The customer won’t know what’s available unless you showcase the product in your store,” he said. “They need to be able to visualize how it will look in their home.”
Even the company’s online sampling efforts go above and beyond. “Our media team did a fantastic job in making sure the physical samples match the swatches we’re showing on our website,” Parada said. “The visuals we’re offering can be hard to accurately represent in a simple image, especially a floor with this much dimension and color.”