An infusion of youth produces ‘Ultimate Floors’

HomeFeatured CompanyAn infusion of youth produces ‘Ultimate Floors’

Ultimate FloorsUltimate Floors was founded in 2012 by Ofer Dardashti, a 30-year contractor who wanted to step out of construction. Since then, the brand has evolved from a supplier of traditional laminate products to what is now a provider of waterproof laminate, rigid core/SPC, glue-down LVT and even moldings. And while it might not be a household name—not yet, anyway—that may soon change.

The company is now flourishing under the direction of Dardashti’s two sons, Ron and Tal. Both are managing partners in the firm and are working tirelessly to grow the brand beyond its humble beginnings. What’s more, the two 20-somethings bring new energy to an industry begging for an infusion of youth.

“I graduated college in 2019 and I joined [my father] almost immediately,” Ron Dardashti told Floor Covering News. “Tal worked in software in New York City for a while, but I told him he had to jump on board. There was too much opportunity.”

Tal Dardashti said he moved back home during the pandemic and saw that opportunity firsthand. Then it was just a matter of investment. 

“We made our first big investment in Houston two years ago,” he explained. “We purchased a distribution center there, and I moved out to Houston to open that up. Now we’re shipping to Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, all over Texas, Colorado—just in the past year and a half.” 

What makes it tick

So, what’s behind this relatively new brand—other than young blood and drive? Product. Laminate flooring, for example, has been a staple for Ultimate Floors since its inception. Today, it boasts its Ultra Armor Tech waterproof laminate as a top seller. The collection is billed as a next-generation flooring that features an epoxy resin, the latest super-high-density HDF core board and quadruple moisture-waxed edge protection, ensuring a waterproof floor for up to 300 hours. The line also taps the wood-look trend with realistic colors and styles.

The partners said the company has felt the resurgence in laminate and is all too happy to provide high-quality product to meet the demand. “In our local market in Los Angeles, we are known for our Aqua Armor Tech line, and people really love it—it’s flying off the shelves,” Tal Dardashti explained. “Now in Texas and Louisiana, it’s taken time for people to bring on laminate again, but now we’re asked for it more than usual.” 

In fact, Ron added, “We have some stores that told us, ‘Don’t bring me any laminate.’ And now they’re calling us for it, and they’re asking for our Aqua Armor Tech.”

Tim O’Neill, president, Bolick Distributors, Corp., Baton Rouge, La., was introduced to Ultimate Floors at the regional Biloxi Flooring Market in 2023. The distributor needed a robust laminate flooring line, took on Aqua Armor Tech and told FCNews he hasn’t looked back since. “It was great timing for us,” he explained. “And it’s a very broad line. They have a good/better/best strategy, but they also have a wide variety of designs. Our market is rural south and they’re still into the rustic looks—things that don’t fly on the West Coast—so the fact that they still have some of that is great for us. They also have advanced technologies, like the Armor Tech, which gives us dealer approval.”

The company also entered the rigid core category about five years ago with the launch of its first line of SPC. Since then, it has added plastic-free rigid core—composite mineral flooring (CMF). Its Pure CMF Max line combines the best aspects of both laminate flooring and SPC to create a high-performing waterproof floating floor. 

“A big drawback of the SPCs is people had a lot of installation errors because the floor needs to be extremely level,” Ron Dardashti explained. “The mineral floor is a really, really thick core—just like laminate—and the clicks are a lot stronger. And this is 100% waterproof, just like vinyl. So, we think this is really going to be the next big thing.”

Pure CMF Max features a 10mm-thick core with an attached 2mm, anti-microbial acoustical pad. The core itself is a proprietary blend of ultra-high-density fiber, epoxy resin and magnesium ore. The formula provides a 100% waterproof floor, which the company says is so dense and rigid it requires a diamond tooth blade to cut—similar to tile. When submerged in water for more than 30 days, Pure CMF Max did not absorb an ounce of water. 

The line is so durable it’s suitable for both residential and commercial spaces—something the company’s retail partners attest to. “What I like about the CMF is it’s heavy duty,” said John Arce, CEO, Redondo Flooring & Design, Torrance, Calif. “You can even use it for commercial—anywhere, really. It’s scratch resistant and it’s unbreakable. Their technology in the rigid core and laminates are what the consumers are looking for. The styles are nice neutral colors, too. It has a realistic look to it—even the bevel. It’s what customers are looking for and they are what’s in demand in the market right now. And they found a way to make it budget friendly. It’s a good high-quality flooring at a good cost.”

Putting the customer first

But good product isn’t the only trick in Ultimate Floors’ hat. In fact, as a family-owned business the company prides itself on providing stellar customer service each and every time.

“They are great,” Redondo Flooring & Design’s Arce said. “The owner, the sales reps. They want to hear my input, and they are willing to work with me on pushing the products. When I go to their warehouse—which is only 30 minutes away—they want to take their time to just talk with me and see how they can improve their service and how I can improve in making more sales. They really take the time to find out what my needs are. It makes me feel like I’m part of the team as well.”

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March 11/18, 2024

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