Best of Surfaces contest winners recognized

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Las Vegas—For the second year in a row Mohawk was a multiple winner in the 2024 Best of Surfaces competition, a contest cosponsored by Floor Covering News and Informa Exhibitions, which owns and operates The International Surface Event (TISE). Mohawk earned praise from judges in two categories—style and design (SolidTech Premier with Signature HDX technology) and best larger booth design. 

Now in its 13th year, the awards program has become the benchmark for new product excellence and booth design at the industry’s premier trade show. 

The winners, announced on the show floor at Surfaces, are as follows: 

  • Innovation: Emser (Radiant Extruded Glazed Porcelain) 
  • Style & Design: Mohawk (SolidTech Premier with Signature HDX technology) 
  • Sustainability/Disruption: Nox (Circular IVP system) 
  • Technology: Palziv (HQ Living Carpet Cushion) 
  • Best Booth Large: Cali 
  • Best Booth Design Larger: Mohawk 

The judging for the contest was initially conducted by a panel of floor covering retailers who were tasked with poring over the scores of entries in each category to come up with finalists by the start of Surfaces. Specifically, they were each asked to explore all submissions and select their top picks that best represented the category in which they were entered. The most popular selections by consensus in each category made it to the final round, which were viewed on the first day of Surfaces—by the original judges as well as select retailers who agreed to offer their time and input. 

INNOVATION
Emser

Radiant Extruded Glazed Porcelain

According to international consulting firm McKinsey, the definition of innovation is the systematic practice of developing and marketing breakthrough products and services for adoption by customers.

Radiant extruded glazed porcelain is unlike any collection in the Emser portfolio. This new patented system was developed from 3D-extruded designs and integrates LED lights into the tiles, setting wall surfaces or floors aglow while transforming a space. This new lighted tile collection is suitable for wall coverings in both residential and commercial settings, including shower walls. Radiant floor tile also features a unique anti-slip finish that is perfect for high-traffic outdoor areas that are exposed to water and moisture.

“I loved the Emser Radiant collection, which integrates porcelain tiles with LED lighting for both wall and floor,” said Don Cantor, president of Lake Interiors, Chelan, Wash. “You would never know it’s a tile/wall display. Very cool.”

Honorable mention
AHF

Robbins Timber Legends Densified Wood 

By leveraging ArmorWood Densified Wood Technology, AHF brings a heartier and stronger “heart pine” into the market. The new heart pine is 6x harder that traditional pine, making it ideal for floors in busy households or commercial spaces—and with a sustainability story. The 100% natural hardwood floors, made in the U.S., not only withstand gouges and stains but are also waterproof and feature Cleantivity antimicrobial technology.

STYLE & DESIGN
Mohawk

SolidTech Premier with Signature HDX

Style & Design is one of the toughest categories to judge, given the fact the entries run the gamut from all the soft and hard surface categories. This year’s finalists included high-end carpet collections that employ new technology to enhance the visuals and on-trend hardwood, laminate and SPC styles. But in the end, the judges settled on SolidTech Premier with Signature HDX.

SolidTech Premier with Signature HDX is being positioned as the best-looking SPC on the market. Mohawk claims it features the highest level of signature design, texture and color detail exclusively for resilient flooring. Signature HDX captures the design of natural wood with artistic precision, scanning, cataloging and preserving the extraordinary detail and variety common to each wood species. The 75 layers of texture are transferred to each flooring plank, providing a multi-dimensional look that can be seen and felt. Signature HDX’s high-definition color process offers extreme color clarity and no loss of color detail.

“The depth of color on the patterns being released is so realistic that you have to touch it to know if it is real hardwood or luxury vinyl planking,” said Typhannie Harker, owner, Carpeting by Mike, Somerset, Wis.

Honorable mention
Mannington

Bespoke

Mannington’s latest addition to the Restoration Collection is custom made and designed to elevate, refine and soften any home interior. Bespoke is a wire-brushed, lightly distressed European white oak look. It is embossed in a register and features 12 individual plank designs, creating true realism and one-of-a-kind beauty. The five-color palette for Bespoke is light and airy and perfectly on trend with the top selling hardwood stain colors. Bespoke also features Mannington’s SpillShield Plus waterproof technology.

SUSTAINABILITY/DISRUPTION
Nox

Circular IVP system

Many entries in this category answered the bell for sustainability or disruption. One that stood tall was Nox’s Circular IVP System. Nox’s Circular IVP system is said to be the world’s first and the most sustainable LVT flooring with over 90% key materials converted into carbon-reducing materials using recycled resources such as discarded cooking oil, used PET bottles and natural and post-industrial recycled mineral. Bio-Circular Balanced PVC from discarded cooking oil and phthalate-free plasticizers from used PET bottles reduce carbon emissions by 114% and 30%, respectively, compared to conventional materials.

As someone who has worked on the manufacturing side for most of his career, Michel Vermette is well versed with Nox’s penchant for edgy, innovative offerings. “They are just a constant innovator, and sustainability is one of the assets they use in multiple ways,” said Vermette, CEO of Columbus, Ohio-based America’s Floor Source. “It’s in Nox’s DNA to push the envelope. The Circular LVP System is a continuation of that mindset. It’s something we need in the industry.”

Honorable mention
Benchwick

3D Printing Ecosystem

A proprietary suite of material technologies working together to produce 3D-printed flooring. At its heart is Blue11, made from 80% reclaimed ocean plastic. Envision AI crafts intricate wood and tile patterns, which are embossed into the core using DSE technology. TruBevel achieves true-to-life edge detailing. ArmorDual coats surfaces with an antimicrobial layer, and Infinite Glass ensures lasting protection against UV light. MattMaster finalizes products with a electron beam-cured finish, ensuring resilience and longevity.

TECHNOLOGY
Palziv North America
HQ Living Carpet Cushion

When it came to the technology category, the Best of Surfaces judges were looking for something different, something they had not seen before that could also provide solutions. When the dust settled, after reviewing a host of entries, the judges agreed that one carpet cushion was indeed different.

HQ Living Carpet Cushion is made from non-toxic, closed-cell polyethylene foam, meaning it’s impervious to water all the way through—making it a true waterproof carpet cushion that provides 360 degrees of protection. Traditional carpet cushions are typically polyurethane based, which contains Prop 65 chemicals and absorbs moisture like a sponge. No proposition 65 chemicals are used in the HQ Cushion manufacturing process; this makes HQ Cushion pet friendly. Furthermore, it doesn’t act like a sponge and won’t hold on to moisture, which can stain carpets over time. In addition to moisture control, HQ Living Carpet Cushion features air channels that face the subfloor to help dissipate moisture vapor more freely. Antimicrobial protection is infused throughout the carpet to inhibit the growth of odor-causing mildew and mold. And HQ Living Carpet Cushion delivers the highest recorded sound-deadening test results of any cushion in the carpet industry.

Tyler Yelland, general sales manager of Canadian distributor Buckwold Western, said he was drawn to the HC Living story. “The waterproof quality and using the pool noodle to explain it stood out,” Yelland said. “Then you add in the built-in air channels to help with subfloor moisture. Now you have a top-down and bottom-up moisture solution as well as the light rolls that the installers will love.”

Honorable mention
Showroom Pricing

Showroom Pricing’s QR codes are gateways to up-to-date pricing, detailed product information and customer management, supporting both a retailer’s sales team and his or her customers. The latest innovation allows dealers to price product, check out samples, link room scenes and manage customer leads from one QR code.

BEST LARGER BOOTH
Mohawk

Mohawk’s 23,000-square-foot Surfaces booth, from the point of entry throughout the exhibit, was created with the customer experience in mind. With 11 marketing campaigns and an array of new innovative products and product-line extensions, digital program updates and more, Mohawk and its vast offerings created the hub of excitement on the show floor.

Every square inch of the booth was carefully considered to showcase the products and marketing resources that will provide Mohawk customers with the momentum they can leverage for success in 2024. With a new sustainability lounge this year, customers got a first look at Mohawk’s new culture of care that reaches across organizations that are making a positive impact on people, the planet and on the products it creates.

Also, to emphasize Mohawk’s continuous commitment to sustainability, a breathtaking life-size tree was placed at the booth entrance. The outside of the showroom displayed Mohawk’s Resilient Revolution campaign, the Banksy-inspired theme that has aimed to disrupt the industry since mid-October. The booth was anchored by a 72-square-foot digital LED screen that adorned the Mohawk Customer Success area.

BEST LARGE BOOTH
Cali

Cali’s 2024 Surfaces booth transported visitors straight into the heart of California’s Napa Valley wine country—the inspiration behind the brand’s newly expanded hardwood line. Wine racks, wooden barrels, olive trees and a life-sized classic vineyard tower set the theme, along with immersive panoramic imagery of rolling hills and wine cellars.

The ambiance of the space was meticulously crafted to evoke a sense of artisanship and a natural connection with the land, echoing characteristics intrinsic to both the art of wine making and the creation of premium hardwood designs. Visitors wound their way over plush Cali Turf, exploring oak collections like Cellar, Barrel, Meritage and Whiskey & Wine, along with Cali Vinyl favorites and new luxury laminate introductions.

“The concept for the space originated back in March 2023 from a desire to continue Cali’s brand evolution with a tour of California’s iconic destinations,” said Alex Brodkin, vice president of product. “We drew inspiration from where Cali originated and wanted to envelop our customers in the same visual inspiration that spurs Cali’s product development.”

Heidi O’Reilly, Cali’s vice president of marketing, added, “Cali is a lifestyle brand, which empowers us to create a lifestyle experience in all touch points, including the Surfaces show space. We wanted to provide an immersive journey to the Napa Valley where visitors could feel like they’re just hanging out with friends in wine country rather than meeting in a typical showroom.”

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Jan. 29/Feb. 5, 2024

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