AxisCor Performance Flooring already had a good thing going with its multi-layer SPC rigid core products—31 options in three distinct collections: Trio, Pro and PrimePlus. Not wanting to become complacent, AxisCor’s R&D team decided an upgrade to PrimePlus was in order to stay ahead of the crowded field of SPC suppliers.
The enhancements to PrimePlus were more than just cosmetic. Among the improvements:
- Increased wear layer from 12-mil to enhanced 20-mil—a 60% thicker wear layer
- Antimicrobial properties added for a cleaner living surface
- Improved the speed and ease of installation by switching to 2G, angle/angle locking profile system
- Added new 1mm IXPE enhanced density attached pad
- Infused new colors such as oak natural and Tidewater
- Increased warranty to 25-year residential; 5-year multi-family/light contract commercial
- Enriched 7 x 48-inch planks with a deep wood pattern embossing to achieve a natural and authentic look.
“We re-engineered PrimePlus into a premium product with a lot of bells and whistles at a competitive price point,” said Art Layton, director of special projects for AxisCor, a Mullican company. “For example, we made antimicrobial a differentiating feature. I’m seeing a lot of antimicrobial [SPC] promoted in the big box stores but don’t know how much is being promoted at specialty retail.”
Layton said PrimePlus was launched around the same time that shipping charges started to skyrocket on everything vinyl related. The initial strategy was to do the upgrades and hold the line on pricing. However, freight rates continued to soar, forcing AxisCor to raise rates along with other suppliers.
“I think the increased charges brought caution to the entire category, but despite that our product was extremely well received in the marketplace,” Layton said.
Suitable for both residential settings and commercial, PrimePlus comes with eight distinct colors. Tidewater, for example, is a natural pine that Layton describes as “a bit rustic with a grayish beige blend that has caught the attention of both coastal and mountain customers.” Oak natural, meanwhile, has a classic wood look. These colors join incumbents Midnight and Natural Pine, both of which have performed well in the market, according to the company.
AxisCor’s PrimePlus has resonated with distributors who tout the product’s performance and colors. “We started representing AxisCor in 2019 and hit the ground running with the PrimePlus collection as soon as it arrived,” said Austin Starnes, vice president of product strategy for Memphis, Tenn.-based BPI, the industry’s No. 2-ranked distributor. “The style and design of PrimePlus—along with the upgraded features—separate it from the competition. Providing the consumer with a 20-mil product with an antimicrobial finish has been highly successful and well received in the market. BPI is excited to provide this product to our customers.”
The same can be said for Lanham Hardwood. The traditional hardwood flooring distributor took on AxisCor as its first resilient supplier, leveraging its 20-year relationship with parent company Mullican Flooring. “The relationship with AxisCor has worked really well for both parties,” said David Schmelzer, executive vice president of the Louisville, Ky.-based distributor. “We have had good success with AxisCor and were one of the first to bring on PrimePlus. It’s not the lowest price out there, but the price point we’re getting for this quality of product is really strong. Given all the features it comes with—20 mil, antimicrobial, strong colors—this line is performing well.”
For flooring retailers like Rugworks Floorcoverings in Durham, N.C., the biggest benefit to carrying AxisCor products is availability from both distributors and manufacturing. “As for the products, they sell themselves,” said Todd Williams, owner of Rugworks.