CFL launched Tenacity, a new waterproof engineered stone, earlier this year to provide an alternative solution to ceramic tile and stone surfaces. The waterproof flooring, manufactured with a rigid mineral stone core, can be installed over large surfaces (up to 10,000 sq.ft.) with no transitions; can be installed in all spaces, including sunrooms; and works for both residential and commercial applications.  

We connected with Thomas Baert, president of CFL, at Domotex Asia to learn more about the category and why it’s a good fit for the North American market.

FT: Your big launch this year is Tenacity. Could you tell us a little bit about that product? 

Baert: We have a brand called FirmFit, which is our brand for SPC products. FirmFit is doing very, very well, but we came across certain customer groups that actually wanted a different story in a different product, and we've launched a Tenacity. Tenacity is an engineered stone product, with the feature of being very, very scratch resistance, and it is a PVC-free product. The positive story about this product that is it is an engineered stone. Basically, we want to go after the ceramic market, and we want to have a product that is combining the benefits of a ceramic with a DIY install. We think this is a new segment that a new flooring segment that is going to get a lot of market share. 

FT: What has the response been in the U.S. so far?  

Baert: People really get it.  I think in the United States, people are really eager for innovation. This is why we love this market. If you bring innovation, you bring the concepts, like we do with Tenacity—we have a website, the whole marketing behind it. If you bring a story that is solid, that is real, people are open to launch it. And we've launched already now several big distributors in the United States.  

FT: So, offering the complete marketing plan helps retailers and distributors launch faster?  

Baert: Exactly. We believe that a good manufacturer in China, or in Asia, or as any manufacturer around the world, you have to bring the full concept. Our customers don't have time to do everything. They have to focus on the sales and they need our support to sell the product. So, we have to take care of social media, we have to feed them with films, we have to feed them with daily things that they can post on their social media. We’re going to go all the way, and we want to help our customer to be successful.  

FT: What’s your outlook for the year? 

Baert: Last year was a the most amazing year in the industry. I think we're still optimistic. I don't know if we can expect the same growth like in 2018. I think the good thing is that there is less talk about the trade war, so let's keep psychology, which I think is happening right now. 

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