If you go back seven years, the laminate flooring category, along with other hard surface flooring products like hardwood, tile and stone, were quickly losing share to rigid core flooring. The WPC and SPC products were telling a waterproof story that resonated with consumers who interpreted as a floor that was easy to maintain and would last a lifetime.
Today, laminate is quickly taking back market share.
“Technology has evolved,” said Brian Parker, vice president of product management, AHF Products. “Over the last two years, laminate became one of the fastest-growing hard surface categories of any flooring category in the market. It was taking back share because it had that waterproof performance. The other thing that aided it was the supply chain disruption coming from Asia—the shortage of shipping vessels, shortage of containers, freight rates that were escalating unbelievably. Laminate, especially domestically manufactured laminate, became much more attractive because the price was at parity with SPC and it was available without all of those uncertainties and disruptions.”
Laminates are now available in water-resistant performance, even waterproof performance.
AHF partnered with domestic manufacturers to create a waterproof laminate that would appeal to a variety of flooring retailers.
“Laminate historically had been primarily 12-millimeter and eight-millimeter. The 12-millimeter is over-engineered in a higher price than you need or want to pay. The eight-millimeter is too thin and not as robust, and doesn’t have that solid feel underfoot. We launched a product in the sweet spot: It's a 10-plus two millimeters, so it’s still 12 mm overall, but it's 10 millimeters structure, which gives you the robustness. But by taking that two millimeters out of the structure, you've made the price point more affordable to the consumer without compromising any of the performance.”
AHF Products added a 2-mm pad to this floor, which allows for quick installation and it passes all ASTM standards. The company is selling its TimberTru laminate under six brands: Bruce, Hartco, Robbins, Autograph, Timber, and Heartwood.
“Laminate actually has ... better visuals, better scratch resistance as well and better dent resistance, it’s domestically manufactured and it has that waterproof performance story.”
– Brian Parker, AHF Products
“Laminate actually has better visuals than SPC because you’re using a printed paper, which is more dimensionally stable and gives you higher print fidelity than a final film, which stretches a bit more,” Parker said. “Better visuals, better scratch resistance as well and better dent resistance, it’s domestically manufactured and it has that waterproof performance story.”
Mohawk is adding 14 new styles to RevWood’s Plus and Premier tiers to help retailers protect margin as the U.S. wood market continues to evolve.
“When it comes to RevWood Plus, our retail partners need the option of providing critical price points to their shoppers, especially in an inflationary market,” said David Moore, Mohawk’s senior product director, wood. “Our new Plus styles offer the beauty and performance attributes that RevWood is known for but at a price that attracts a wider range of consumers.”
In addition to an expanded price band, the RevWood Plus introductions will further diversify the portfolio with narrower-width products. Moore continued, “After many years of the wider, longer look, we are seeing an increase in demand for narrower planks. We are watching this trend closely to ensure our retail partners remain in the forefront of consumer preference.”
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