Top 20 wholesaler NRF Distributors—headquartered in Augusta, Maine—has the distinction of being one of the first flooring distributors to launch a domestically produced, digitally printed and digitally embossed SPC line, powered by United Surface Solutions. The official launch kicked off at NRF’s annual show on April 4 at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Conn.
“The first domestic digital printed SPC—it’s pretty exciting,” Veronica Nicknair, vice president of LVT for NRF Distributors, told Floor Covering News. “The reaction at the show was amazing—people were like, ‘Wow!’ They kept coming over to it. The colors were spot on.”
Branded under the Superior collection, NRF Select, as the product is called, is a direct digital print SPC with a pattern repeat starting from every 150 square feet to as much as 250 square feet. To achieve this pattern repeat, 70 to 75 individual real wood planks are scanned and printed. The NRF Select SPC line, which boasts a thickness of 8mm, has an AC5-rated wear layer for optimal scratch resistance and features a painted bevel edge.
NRF has worked with United Surfaces Solutions on previous launches, including Michigan (4.5mm, 12-mil wear layer SPC) and Huron (5.5mm, 20-mil wear layer SPC) as the good/better selections. Superior with NRF Select is the “best” tier and the only one with the direct digital printing, the company stated.
Fulfilling a need
Nicknair said the launch of NRF Select fulfills a desire by NRF Distributors founder, Norman Pomerleau, to rely more on domestic hard surface products following import delays related to supply chain slowdowns. NRF Select digital printing is produced in United Surface Solutions’ 400,000-square-foot facility in Chatsworth, Ga., which is continuing to add capacity. “Instead of waiting weeks for a product from overseas, we can have this product in four days,” Nicknair said. “NRF Select is in stock. We don’t have to rely on wear layers or papers coming from overseas—it’s here. That’s a big difference between a digital product domestically made and an import. This is a breakthrough.”
Noting that the flooring market is currently inundated with various SPC products, the digital print solution is a true standout, according to Nick Brown, vice president of sales for United Surface Solutions. “It’s great to be able to offer a domestically manufactured product for our customers that differentiates from imports and other SPC products,” he explained. “This is a new category of SPC that we are capitalizing on.”
NRF is the first of several flooring distributors working with United Surface Solutions to build digital print programs within their own private-label brands. “We’re not just coming out with [digital print] SPC—it’s here, it’s launching,” said Eric Erickson of United Surface Solutions. “This is step up, and we are out there with what is a truly new category for SPC. This product really stands out in a sea of sameness.”