Tiny Homes, Big Tile, Mobile Style

LAS VEGAS—What was on every Coverings top 10 must-see list? The Installation Design Showcase, a live installation exhibit of “tiny homes,” designed by renowned designers and installed by National Tile Contractors Association five-star contractors. During this year’s expo, three designer-contractor teams partnered with industry manufacturers to design, install, and present three different tiny home concepts, Smart Modern Living, Luxe Cottage, and CG Villa. All installation was done within the few days prior and of the show so that attendees could watch as the work progressed and the final unveiling.

Sam Bruce and his team from Visalia Ceramic Tile partnered with Brittney Ferren of The Johnson Studio at Cooper Carry to bring to life the Luxe Cottage. With tile from Ceramics of Italy member, Del Conca, Ferren aimed to elevate the rustic mountain getaway aesthetic by using neutral and fabric-feel tile throughout her design. Ferren gave the space a seamless, finished look by using the same collection throughout the space, but in different colors. The design also called for Schluter trim throughout the design, even on elements that weren’t tile. Ferren created interest in the space by using tile in unexpected places, including accent banding, shelving, furniture, and window casings. In terms of the installation, Bruce attributed the project’s success to the flexibility of the team, who had backup plans even for their backup plans. Teamwork also played an important role in the installation, especially in such close quarters. 

Erin Albrecht, COO of J & R Tile, and lead contractor of the CG Villa project, also cited teamwork as a major factor in the installation. She said cooperation and communication, the company motto, is what makes projects successful. Experienced team members also contributed to the success of the project. Albrecht was especially proud of her team member, Triniti Vigil, who was honored this year as a 2018 Coverings Rock Star. With a design that specified large-format tile from Crossville that might have thrown another team, it was just another day on the site for Albrecht and her team, who often work with large-format tile. Though made slightly more complicated due to the small space, installing the extra-large panels vertically on the wall created the appearance of a larger space inside than one might expect in a tiny home. 

Woody Sander with his D.W. Sanders Tile & Stone Contracting team worked with Jeffrey Baker of JBB Architecture + Interiors on the Smart Modern Living tiny home. Local boys, Sander and Baker had worked together in the past and were excited to tackle the tiny home project together. Setting out to prove that minimal space doesn’t mean minimal design, Baker used rich accent colors like navy and orange as well as large-format panels from Estima Ceramica featuring flecks of shimmering gold on a black tile that were a crowd favorite.

At the conclusion of the show, the tiny homes were put up for auction and will be permanently installed on a resort property where visitors can vacation in these luxury tiled spaces.

To see more photos from the Coverings 2018 Installation Design Showcase, click here. For more show information, visit coverings.com.

Mohawk Opens Flagship Showroom in the Heart of NYC

NEW YORK—Mohawk Group has opened a flagship showroom in New York City’s Fashion District, further expressing the company’s commitment to stylish and innovative floor coverings, as well as sustainability and wellness design. 

Designed by integrated architecture, design, planning and consulting firm Gensler, the 13,000-square-foot showroom features an open layout that integrates distinctive company branding, inviting workspaces and meeting spaces, and new display techniques to uniquely and effectively showcase a revolving lineup of featured commercial flooring products based on Mohawk Group’s latest collections.

“Mohawk Group partnered with our team to create an elevated and multi-functional space that focuses on product education, accessibility and interactive touch points for its clients and sales team,” said Jean Anderson, principal and design director at Gensler. “The immersive and compelling new showroom ingeniously connects clients and designers to intuitively experience the Mohawk Group brand.”

The space’s clean lines, biophilic design, ample natural lighting and a modern, yet comfortable aesthetic pay tribute to the showroom’s setting in the heart of the city. Within the core of the installation, vignettes framed by black steel cubes invite customers to learn more about the inspiration behind Mohawk Group’s highlighted collections. The cube concept manifests itself throughout the space, including the meeting rooms.

“Visitors and colleagues alike get to experience the aesthetic and biophilic merits of this breathtaking environment and leave feeling refreshed and inspired,” said George Bandy Jr., vice president of sustainability and commercial marketing. “Our desire to achieve multi-faceted certifications like WELL and LEED challenge us to do better every day, not just in product manufacturing, but in the way that we support our associates and customers as well.”

The showroom also includes easily accessible storage areas for architect folders and flooring samples for both commercial hard and soft surface. Offerings from the company’s hospitality brand, Durkan, are also highlighted in and around the showroom.

Mohawk Group’s innovative Visual Interactive Studio (VIS) is located onsite, providing 2-D floor perspectives, 3-D room scenes and high resolution renderings of designer’s unique flooring creations, culminating in a fully immersive virtual experience. The flagship space’s color palette and overall design concept will inspire and influence the company’s other showroom spaces as well.

Mohawk Group is currently seeking WELL and LEED certifications for the new showroom. WELL certification focuses exclusively on the ways that buildings, and everything in them, can improve comfort, drive better choices and generally enhance, not compromise, the health and wellness of their users. To help achieve this, Mohawk Group is implementing specific employee-focused initiatives, including establishing indoor herb and plant gardens, and serving organic fruits, vegetables and healthy snacks, while also offering complimentary gym memberships to employees.

LEED is a rating system devised by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) to evaluate the environmental performance and sustainable design of a building. LEED buildings save energy, water and resources; generate less waste; and support human health. As part of the LEED certification process, Mohawk Group specified daylight harvesting light sensors with energy efficient LED lighting, low-flow faucets, and products that were either Red List-free with a Declare Label or had an Environmental Product Declaration and/or Health Product Declaration.

For more information, visit MohawkGroup.com.

MSI’s AR Tool Added to Website

ORANGE, CALIF. —MSI’s augmented reality (AR) tool is now available on its website, allowing users to instantaneously see any of the company’s flooring products on the floor of their choice with a few clicks or taps.

“Technologies like AR are quickly becoming an integral part of the consumer buying cycle, said Rup Shah, president of MSI. “With the release of MSI’s AR tool—an innovation our competitors don’t offer—we’re giving consumers the unique opportunity to engage with MSI products on a personal level, from the convenience of their mobile device.”

To get started using the tool, the consumer finds a flooring product they like, then clicks or taps the “See This on My Floor” button conveniently located under the product image. Next, they choose “Take a Photo of My Room” then “Use Photo” and immediately (no waiting like other AR tools) the flooring product is rendered into the image of their room. Alternatively, rather than uploading an image, the user may choose from six prepopulated room scenes including a spacious kitchen, contemporary master bathroom, grand foyer and more.

Once the image is rendered, users can take any number of next steps. Options include selecting a different sized tile, rotating the tile ninety degrees, or tapping “Change Product” to select a new product or filter by look, color, or material type—all without leaving their rendered room scene. This makes the tool valuable when comparing how several different tiles may look in the same room.

Once the user has honed in on the products they’re interested in, they can find their nearest MSI dealer or MSI showroom to see the products in person. Or, order a sample, share the products via email, or post them to social media.

For more information, visit msisurfaces.com.

Mannington Finds Eco-Friendly Ways to Support Habitat for Humanity Efforts

SALEM, N.J.—Mannington’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity has grown over the last several years, and the manufacturer’s association with the organization helps in a unique way that benefits the environment—by donating flooring used in the company’s trade show booths and for new product photo shoots that, otherwise, may have been discarded and ended up in a landfill.

Recently, Mannington donated more than 20,000 square feet of flooring to two Habitat for Humanity ReStores. Habitat for Humanity ReStores are discount home improvement and donation centers that sell gently used home improvement and decorative items, with the proceeds going toward serving their missions.

More than 16,000 square feet of sheet vinyl, luxury vinyl tile, laminate and hardwood flooring went to the Greater Greensboro, North Carolina, Habitat for Humanity ReStore. The flooring, used for a marketing photo shoot, was like new but couldn’t be sold at retail because it had been temporarily used in the room set for the photo shoot. And the Las Vegas Habitat for Humanity ReStore received about 4,000 square feet of like new laminate, hardwood and commercial carpet that Mannington had used in its TISE booth.

For more information, visit mannington.com.

Shaw Further Reduces Carbon Footprint with Completion of CHP Plant

DALTON—Shaw continues to reduce its carbon footprint with the completion of its Combined Heat & Power (CHP) plant in Columbia, S.C. This CHP application will use natural gas to fuel a turbine to generate electricity, leveraging the exhaust heat from the turbine to produce steam. This production meets the entire steam demand for the carpet fiber plant and replaces the majority of electricity supplied by a utility company.

As a result, according to the company, CHP will reduce the plant’s annual greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 26,000 metric tonnes, which is an impact equal to removing almost 5,500 passenger vehicles from the road each year.

“Climate change is a complex, global issue. While no one company or individual can tackle this challenge alone, as a globally oriented company we have a responsibility to positively contribute to the solution,” said Troy Virgo, director of sustainability and product stewardship at Shaw. “The Combined Heat and Power Plant exemplifies one of many ways we are doing our part to have a positive impact on the world we all share.”

CHP is the latest in ongoing investments the manufacturer is making to minimize its environmental footprint. The company recently announced it has achieved carbon neutrality in its commercial carpet manufacturing operations.

Companywide, Shaw has made significant investments to help reduce its energy and greenhouse gas impact. As a result, Shaw’s greenhouse gas emissions have decreased approximately 25 percent compared to 2010—with a target of reducing both the amount of energy the company uses and the amount of GHG emissions it produces by 40 percent by 2030 (per pound of finished product).

For more information, visit shawinc.com.

Domotex USA 2019 Preview: Joy Carpets Brings Whimsy to the Show Floor

ATLANTA—Joy Dobosh, owner and CEO of Joy Carpets & Co. Inc., represents the third generation of her family associated with Joy Carpets. When she assumed control of the company during her father’s extended illness, she had to make a decision whether to continue striving to compete with large carpet manufacturers in the industry, or whether to become a specialty mill, focusing on specialty carpets and rugs with whimsical, fun, unique designs. 

The decision was relatively easy for Dobosh since her father had introduced the first printed education and recreational game carpet to the industry in 1973. It was the hit of the Chicago market that year, even making the front page of Home Furnishings Daily. This fun and unique style, which has become known as Joy Games, is still in Joy’s running line today and continues to be a favorite. When carpet dealers think of unique and playful designs, they think of Joy Carpets.

Speaking of the longevity of the Joy Games style, Dobosh likes to recount the story of a young woman who introduced herself at a trade show. She told Dobosh she had played on Joy Games carpet in her parent’s basement as a child. Sadly, her parents had divorced, and eventually her father remarried and started a second family with young children who continue to play on the same Joy Games carpet today. “My dad used to say that you’ll get tired of looking at these products before they wear out, which really speaks to the durability and quality of our line,” said Dobosh.

Not only is Joy Carpets unique for its carpet designs, it also is unique in the industry because it is a women-owned company and family-run business. When Dobosh assumed ownership of the company, she was joined by her husband and two sons. “This has been a gradual process, and I am so thankful to have had the support of my family,” she said. “Each is an excellent businessperson in his own right. They really helped me expand our focus and develop our brand.”

Because most of Joy Carpets’ products are themed and offer a little something for every lifestyle, to stay current the company spends a lot of time developing new designs. “One of my sons is very gifted in the design department,” said Dobosh. 

“He has a good grasp of the market and studies the trends carefully. Of course, we are open to suggestions from our designers, and we especially love to hear from our customer service representatives who relay customer comments and suggestions for new products”.

Sales are brisk for carpets designed for every room from home theaters, to man caves, featuring carpets printed with card game and billiard themes, to the company’s educational carpet lines designed specifically to help children learn in a more fun and unique way. During the new Domotex USA trade show next February in Atlanta, Joy Carpets will be displaying representative styles from these categories, as well as florescent dye carpets for bowling alleys, skating rinks, or cocktail lounges. 

“We go to trade shows all over the U.S. and plan to take full advantage of the proximity of this new floor coverings event to launch new products,” said Dobosh. “We expect to attract new dealers from across the East coast who will likely attend Domotex USA because they don’t have to travel so far. We also look forward to seeing our current dealers to offer them an opportunity to sign up for specials.”

Joy Carpets recently launched LVT flooring and will be showcasing the company’s new products in this line at Domotex USA alongside the company’s latest carpet tile designs. “We will devote a good portion of our booth to the carpet tile line. Our carpet tiles are really unique, fun and offer a special design aspect,” Dobosh noted. 

Dobosh added, “I am really proud of our superior, long lasting, commercial grade products that are just as beautiful 20 years from the date of installation, which is one reason why we have so many long-term relationships with our dealers.” Specialty carpets are part of Joy’s “carpet heritage,” and her company strives to make quality products which will never disappoint. “If it looks good and can take it, Joy makes it!”

Joy Carpets are available through floor covering dealers in the U.S., Canada and in select international markets.

For more information, visit joycarpets.com.