Turnhout, Belgium—Huali Group has signed an i4F license agreements for the production of SPC and LVT flooring in the United States, Vietnam and China. These cover i4F drop-lock installation technologies and i4F CeraGrout, falling under i4F’s surface finishing technologies patent cluster. For the U.S. market, Huali will combine the technologies on several product lines to deliver superior, imitation ceramic tiles, featuring an integrated grout that are said to be much easier to install than traditional tile. End products aim to look incredibly real while removing the inconvenience linked to the installation and maintenance of traditional ceramics.
“Retailers, professionals and consumers want easy-to-install, strong and water-resistant flooring,” said Philip Yuan, CEO of Huali. “When you add the beauty of traditional ceramics into the mix, especially in bathrooms, wet rooms and kitchens, demand goes through the roof. We selected i4F’s technologies because they deliver meaningful, on-trend innovation and high-quality features, making easy-to-install, ceramic-looking products easier than ever to position to our customers and end-users.”
The Huali Group is one of the largest producers of SPC and LVT with over 2,000 employees. The company started production with i4F drop-lock at the beginning of 2023 at its manufacturing facilities located in USA, Vietnam and China and will begin production using CeraGrout technologies starting in July 2023. The technologies will feature on Huali’s SPC products.i4F drop-lock technologies, powered by the company’s flagship innovations 3L TripleLock, Click4U and iClick4U, deliver an easy, water-resistant flooring installation systems. i4F drop-lock technologies are said to be 30% faster to install than traditional angle/angle and are suitable for existing high speed production.They also eliminate the need for inserts meaning faster installation, lower costs, fewer materials and a lower carbon footprint.
i4F’s CeraGrout technology imitates modern ‘rectified’ ceramics with a grout without the inconvenience linked to real ceramics. The technology enables much easier installation and replacements, delivering realistic, visible joints via integrated grout lines for both flooring and wall panels, in any color. Tiles and planks featuring i4F CeraGrout enhance visual aesthestics compared to a normal v-groove as well as deliver superior resistance to wear and tear, stains and chemical household agents. CeraGrout also enables the milling of an additional grout line in the middle of a tile or plank allowing two tile patterns on a single panel. This greatly facilitates the creation of staggered or straight patterns while halving installation time.
“We are delighted to welcome Huali into the world of i4F,” noted John Rietveldt, i4F’s CEO. “The combination of our drop-lock and grout technologies will enable them to deliver products that look so much like traditional ceramics that it will be virtually impossible to tell the difference. Our technologies will help them manufacture products that deliver exactly what their customers are asking for. High-quality, easy-to-install products. i4F continues to deliver meaningful innovations to help its licensees exceed customer demands in a profitable way by enhancing where people live, work and play.”