The vast majority of hard surface manufacturers today—especially resilient suppliers—are investing heavily in floating, rigid-core products designed to compete with the likes of laminate, engineered hardwood and even ceramic tile. After all, rigid is on fire right now and companies are looking to strike while the iron is hot, so to speak.
But OneFlor USA, a fairly new entrant to the resilient flooring arena, is not interested in chasing the herds. Rather, the company is looking to differentiate itself by taking a traditional resilient subsegment (peel-and-stick) and elevating it to a whole new level by using modern-day installation innovations. The end result is Cling Comfort, an innovative product that not only vastly expedites the installation process, but also offers specialty retailers and end users a viable alternative to the sea of sameness the industry is currently experiencing with the deluge of rigid core products flooding the market.
“We are not looking to compete in the rigid core category due to the oversaturation of that market,” said David Kim, CEO of OneFlor USA. “We have heard the need from dealers to offer a product that separates itself from the crowd of rigid LVT click systems and launched this completely new category of flooring—one that has all the benefits of quality LVT but with our proprietary backing that allows for a peel-and-stick installation.”
Cling Comfort with SetaGrip Technology, produced in South Korea by NOX Corp., is the residential counterpart to the Foundations Collection with SetaGrip (winner of a Nightingale Award for Innovation in 2022), which has earned a solid reputation in the commercial marketplace, according to OneFlor USA. Both are based on a novel “micro-suction” adhesive technology that allows the floor to be removed and reinstalled much easier and with less mess than traditional peel-and-stick-type products. Furthermore, Cling Comfort can be applied over most existing flooring and still offers the acoustical benefits of a fully adhered 5mm LVT.
“With Cling Comfort, we have completely shaken up this category with a product that is a hybrid of a loose lay and a peel-and-stick,” Kim explained. “It offers the durability, quality, repair capabilities and flexibility of loose lay LVT with the ease of a peel-and-stick installation. We want to take it back to where classic LVT began by providing a flexible product retailers have used successfully for years.”
New and improved
Make no mistake—this is not your grandmother’s peel-and-stick vinyl floor. Traditional peel-n-stick flooring uses a pressure-sensitive tackifier that is applied to the backing. These products will typically leave behind some type of residue. Additionally, these products can lose their adhesion over time, especially if lifted and reset. “Cling Comfort with SetaGrip allows you to safely remove a plank or tile without leaving any residue,” said Tiffany Davis, director of marketing communications at OneFlor USA.
Repairs are facilitated just as easily. “It can even be cleaned with water, dried and reinstalled,” she added.
The benefits of Cling Comfort with SetaGrip Technology (winner of a Nightingale Award for Innovation in 2022) don’t end there. According to OneFlor USA, the product is suitable for installations on concrete slabs with high moisture vapor emission rates—a testament to its waterproof capabilities. (When used with the company’s approved primer/sealer on porous substrates, it can achieve a relative humidity limit of 100% when two coats are applied.) As Davis explained: “Moisture vapor is always trying to equalize; in temperature-controlled environments it will move from areas of high concentration to areas of low concentration. Concrete slabs can often have high moisture vapor emission rates. Any floating floor, including rigid click, creates space between the subfloor and the product. This space allows the moisture vapor to reach the underside of the product where it can condense from vapor to a liquid. This condensation could potentially create a breeding ground for mold. With Cling Comfort’s proprietary micro suction adhesive backing, a complete bond is achieved, thereby eliminating the air space present with floating flooring products.”
But perhaps the strongest selling point for dealers is Cling Comfort’s ability to help them make money. For one, with a competitive MSRP of $3.99 per square foot, retailers can position the product effectively against mid-range resilient alternatives and even some laminate floors. Moreover, because Cling Comfort installs in a fraction of the time it takes to lay down traditional LVT or some click products—and because it can be accessed immediately—installers can move on to the next job much quicker. This translates into a greater number of installations per day/week and, therefore, more projects for the retail store owner or flooring contractor to sell.
“With Cling Comfort, skilled labor is not required and is a huge benefit to the contractor dealing with labor shortages,” Kim explained. “Other flooring contractors might want to offer the installation component, which provides higher margins. Profit margins increase because the contractor can sell the installation for the same amount, but the install time is cut in half. Similarly, a retailer can offer a cash-and-carry scenario because it is an easy sale for the ever-growing DIY consumer.”
Looks good, too
Beyond its proven performance attributes and ease of installation, Cling Comfort also scores high marks in the aesthetics department. The line comes in 20 stocking SKUs to provide consumers with a wide variety of trendy wood and stone looks. In addition, five different size formats further expand the design possibilities. These include a combination of 12 x 24, 6 x 48, 7 x 48, 7 x 36, 18 x 18 and 6 x 36 planks and tiles, with built-in grout lines on the tile offerings. Customized visuals are also possible. “Working with NOX allows us to bring the most on-trend designs to the market,” Davis said.