The Dixie Group feels at home at the high end

Home Categories Carpet The Dixie Group feels at home at the high end

Dalton—For those who seek alternative options to the largest flooring manufacturers, retailers need to look no further than The Dixie Group, which, through its four brands—DH Floors, Masland, Fabrica and TRUCOR—offers an assortment of products from mid to high end that can satisfy any consumer’s style and performance preferences. Once known exclusively as a supplier of nylon and tufted wool carpet, the company in the past few years has expanded into new fibers (polyester and decorative wool) and every hard surface category (excluding ceramic tile) while overcoming challenges related to Stainmaster’s departure from specialty retail.

Soft surface story

The Dixie Group
Columbia Crest from DH Floors

Today, the soft surface story encompasses three fiber types: nylon; wool, a staple within Masland and Fabrica; and now an extensive polyester program that will be launched by DH Floors. Nylon comprises about 95% of The Dixie Group’s business, now focused on its proprietary Envision and Envision SD programs.

“We have been a nylon-focused manufacturer for many years dating back to the original Stainmaster days, but the Stainmaster exit put us in a tough spot in 2022,” T.M. Nuckols, president of Dixie Residential, told Floor Covering News. “We had to go through a number of fiber and yarn conversions, and it took most of the year to get through all of those. But that’s behind us now.”

Nuckols noted that its EnVision programs are doing well, and the company will continue to invest in new nylon products via four or five suppliers. “We have solution-dyed nylon under EnVision SD that has exceptional performance from a stain resistance and durability standpoint,” he said. “Then we have an EnVision nylon program throughout our DH Floors, Masland and Fabrica brands that offers many color options. In a world that has moved so heavily toward solution dyed, particularly in polyester, we have these nylon products with long, beautiful color lines. It just creates something the rest of the market really isn’t focused on.”

According to Nuckols, being a nylon house differentiates The Dixie Group from all the major manufacturers and provides a distinct benefit for the flooring dealer. “The retailer has an opportunity to make a little more money on nylon compared to polyester,” he said. “Obviously, the price points are a little higher. They can sell the value of nylon to the consumer and enjoy those increased margins.”

The value he speaks of is durability. “Nylon looks beautiful when you install it, and it looks beautiful years later,” Nuckols added. “Polyesters tend to wear out over time, and polyester dominates the market today. But from a durability standpoint, nylon wins that battle all day long.”

While nylon is what differentiates The Dixie Group in the market, the mill acknowledges polyester has grown to the point where it’s too great to be ignored. “We’re going to participate in a more meaningful way than we’ve done in the past,” Nuckols said, adding that TDG is expanding its polyester offering for 2023. “This year we’re actually starting with yarn and we’re doing the development, the constructions, the color work ourselves so we can create a more differentiated polyester offering.”

The fiber is called Durasilk, which will be the basis for the Elements Collection within DH Floors. The line, which launched at Surfaces, includes nine styles. The hope is that three years from now, polyester may comprise 20% of The Dixie Group’s business.

Decorative wool

The Dixie Group
Leopard from Masland

Last year, The Dixie Group entered the decorative wool segment by virtue of 1866 by Masland and Décor by Fabrica bringing 30 new styles to market. Samples started shipping midyear and the company began to see traction on those through the second half of 2022.

“We’re doubling down on our decorative lines,” Nuckols said. “We have 30 new products again in 2023, and in addition to that we’re launching the All Seasons Collection, which is a subset within 1866. These are products made with UV-treated polypropylene and suitable indoors and outdoors.”

The decorative wool segment is populated by its share of solid companies, Stanton and Nourison to name two. Why enter that arena? “We see that segment as an opportunity that we have underserved for many years,” Nuckols explained. “We have focused on tufted wool that we produce internally. We are trying to create a more relevant offering for what the market is looking for today, and that includes these imported products. We try to work with manufacturers that create unique products.”

The primary beneficiary of this program is again the flooring retailer. “Many of these products are suitable in wall-to-wall applications or as a custom area rug, a hallway runner or a stair runner,” Nuckols said. “All these products make beautiful rugs and runners. We know the retailer is selling more and more hard surface. Almost every time a hard surface job is sold, soon after a rug is placed on top of that hard surface. So it’s an opportunity for the retailer to sell that same square footage twice. They could put a beautiful 1866 or Decor rug on top of the hard surface floor they just sold.”


The Dixie Group
TRUCOR Prime XXL in Spring Pine

Hard surface equated to roughly 20% of The Dixie Group’s overall sales volume in 2022, according to Jamann Stepp, vice president of hard surface. “We continue to grow our hard surface business, and TRUCOR is the biggest spoke in that wheel,” he told FCNews.

Like its soft surface sibling, style and design is driving the business. “We have quite a few SKUs within our collections that are proprietary films—meaning we did the design, we did the color work, we pay for the cylinders, so we shouldn’t be seeing those knocked off anywhere in the industry,” Stepp explained. “The other thing is we continue to enhance it. For example, we have 15 new updates coming out in our 5, 7 and 9 series this month, which is what we started with in TRUCOR back in 2019.”

Brand new for Dixie this year is an environmental story by virtue of TRUCOR Refined, a PVC-free line with a mineral fiber core. “It is not SPC, WPC or MGO,” Stepp noted. “The decor is a melamine resin, just like laminate. It is almost a hybrid laminate product. But unlike laminate, this is waterproof.”

TRUCOR Refined is offered in 10, 8 x 48 SKUs, all of which are 9.5mm thick with an AC4 scratch abrasion rating. “It’s a nice, beefy product but not too heavy,” Stepp explained. “It’s something totally different, and we’re going to be playing up that PVC-free story.”

Dixie also has one of the longest and widest planks on the market via TRUCOR Prime XXL, a 10 x 84 WPC. And if that isn’t long and wide enough for some, the company recently introduced TRUCOR Prime Pinnacle, which is a 12 x 90, 12mm WPC in 12 SKUs. “The visuals on those planks are awesome,” Stepp said.

TDG has also found success with its painted beveled edge in its 5, 7 and 9 series along with TRUCOR IGT tile, which has the integrated grout technology in the click system. Lastly, there is 3DP, a digital print SPC that is doing well in both tile and plank visuals.

“We’re trying to be innovative and not me-too,” Stepp said. “We’re not going to go out there and compete on price. You’re never going to win that battle.”


Fabrica Wood’s Relic in Marina

Despite what Stepp labeled a “flat” market in 2022, Fabrica Wood was up about 50% year over year. And that growth is not expected to slow in 2023. “The range in which we’re participating in the wood category will probably remain consistent,” he explained. “Maybe not super strong like it was a couple years ago, but I still think that [mid to upper] price range will perform well in the marketplace in 2023.”

Stepp noted that Fabrica Wood is also not a me-too collection. “I think what sets us apart is our styling and colors,” he said. “The stains we’ve selected are curated and really on point with where the consumer is today. The constructions are consistent around the country. Some manufacturers are utilizing solid cores in the platform, which we employ in our Chateau and Relic collections as well.”

How does The Dixie Group help a retailer make money with wood? “What we bring to the table is not going to be the home center assortment of engineered hardwood,” Stepp noted. “These are all higher-end products, sawn face, perform exceptionally well and have great dimensional stability. And Fabrica has had a strong reputation for producing higher-end carpet for decades. We parlayed that brand reputation into hardwood.”

Retail price points for Fabrica hardwood typically range from $7.99 to $12.99. As such, Stepp said retailers can make 40% to 45% gross margin at those prices.


The Dixie Group rolled out its first laminate collection, TRUCOR Tymbr XL, in 2022. Four SKUs were just added, bringing the total offering to 12. Like most TDG products, it’s an upper-end line. “It’s an AC6 rated, 10 x 70, 10mm plank,” Stepp said. Retail price points are in the mid-$4s. “We elected to not start at the opening price point category with laminate.”

With that said, this month The Dixie Group is introducing TRUCOR Tymbr Select, which has “a little bit more of a price advantage,” according to Stepp. It’s in the $2.99 to $3.29 price range.

What’s the differentiator for Tymbr XL? “There’s not a lot of AC6 [rated product] out there,” Stepp explained. “It’s extremely durable. AC6 will perform in any commercial application, and obviously it’s going to perform in any residential setting.”

The product also boasts a 72-hour water resistance guarantee on the HDF core, which prevents top-down water leakage. Then there are the eye-catching visuals. “At the end of the day, it’s about fashion, styling quality and value for the consumer,” Stepp explained. “We pride ourselves on what we do from a design standpoint.”

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Feb. 20/27, 2023

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