Last year was a set up for faster innovation. In 2023, consumers slowed down their remodeling projects thanks to rising interest rates and product costs. Manufacturers took away terms. The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) continued to challenge many suppliers. Some retailers found their customer looking for bargains, although the high-end customer maintained their search for product quality. 

On the flip side, companies are innovating at a faster pace 2024. Our first month of market visits introduced us to new products and digital innovations that will set up the flooring industry for years to come. Watch the video: Installation Solutions at Southwest Flooring Market

At the CCA Global Partners winter convention in January, Keith Spano reported that even though retail business is down from its record-breaking years of 2020-2022, the cooperative is still up 10% over 2019, which most every retailer in the group considers their last normal year. The group transformed a majority of is showrooms with new Retail 2.0 merchandising, and now retailers are encouraged to put the pedal to the metal when it comes to advertising. Read the story, CCA Global Sets Up Second Phase of Sales Transformation Strategy for Flooring Retailers. 

In December, Engineered Floors invited us for a tour of digital LVT (DLVT) plant in Dalton, Georgia. According to the company, the 400,000-square-foot facility can produce 200,000 square feet of LVT flooring per day, up to 72 million square feet annually. The plant is the company’s flagship for its PureGrain Direct Digital Print DLVT products, all of which are made in the U.S.A., including most of the components. We had the opportunity to see retailer reactions in person at The International Surface Event.  

“It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what is going to happen this year in general terms, especially it being an election year and with the wars in the Middle East and Europe,” said Joe Young, VP of product development at Engineered Floors. “Last year, resilient, specifically the LVT/LVP category, was affected by major supply issues resulting in suppressed overall numbers. Yes, the market was off a little, but it’s hard to figure out how much was being held up at the ports. I would say to expect the unexpected. That being said, we expect to take share and take advantage when the unexpected decides to rear its ugly head again with our domestically made DLVT.” Read the story, Designing PureGrain Resilient Flooring.

Mohawk introduced two new innovations to help flooring retailers tell a better story. For the sustainability story, Mohawk launched PureTech, a planet-friendly, PVC-free resilient flooring made of renewable and recycled materials. Positioned as a sustainable alternative to WPC and SPC, Mohawk will market PureTech as a new category of flooring: Renewable Polymer Core (RPC).  

The second innovation comes through style. Through much research and development, Mohawk is now able to use its patented Signature digital printing technology, which was used on laminate, on the new SolidTech Premier with Signature HDX. Read Mohawk’s Plan to Revolutionize Resilient Flooring.

Shaw Elevate showcased a number of innovations, including no pattern match technology on soft surface. Available in certain styles in the Anso Colorwall, Simply the Best Values and Pet Perfect+ collections, allows customers to get the visual appeal of patterned carpet any way it’s installed, saving labor and materials. See the video.

At Domotex in Hannover, Germany, FLOOR Trends & Installation managing editor Beth Miller discovered a variety of innovations in manufacturing, sustainability and installation. Read the story.