Engineered Floors made its mark on the flooring industry with its PureColor solution-dyed polyester carpet fiber. This carpet innovation offers color that goes all the way through the fiber, meaning the color won't fade, wear off, or stain. Now, the company aims to tackle a new frontier of flooring surfaces with its latest cutting-edge technology: digital print luxury vinyl tile. 

PureGrain LVT with High-Def Technology by Engineered Floors is the company’s first domestically made luxury vinyl tile. It uses digital print technology to create high-resolution designs directly on a high-density SPC core, which it refers to as DLVT. 

The benefit to Engineered Floors and its customers is more reliable supply. The entire process, from extrusion to boxing the product, happens inside the Seretean plant in Dalton, Georgia. A complete revitalization of the 1.2 million-sq.-ft. facility from carpet to LVT provides Engineered Floors with reduce lead times and allows for expansion in the future. CEO Robert E. Shaw says Engineered Floors “manufacturing model is to have a large operation which allows for efficient product flow and minimize work in process inventory in the facility. The Seretean facility will certainly permit that model to be executed with our LVT production.”

“I always tell customers touring our new DLVT operation that nothing has changed versus what they get out of us on the carpet side,” said Joe Young, VP of product development, Engineered Floors. “We have manufacturing all under one roof that allows for us to service the business faster and quickly pinpoint issues whenever they may arise, and our product is made on the most state-of-the-art equipment available in the global marketplace. I can tell you exactly where our raw materials come from and the integrity with which they were produced. There is a peace of mind in seeing the operation for customers, and they are starting to believe they can actually start buying domestic product. This is a shift we have seen across multiple resilient categories in recent years.”

LVT was developed in the 1970s as an economical and durable upgrade to sheet vinyl. Because of its durability and moisture resistance, it's become the fastest growing flooring category. But for decades, LVT has been manufactured the same way, mostly overseas. Engineered Floors’ PureGrain LVT has significant advantages and improvements compared to legacy LVT, according Young.

“We have to create confidence behind the product,” Young said. “It always amazes me that people can be so confident in buying a product from halfway around the world, and when there is finally an option to go domestic, there are lots of question marks. We have the best manufacturing group in the industry, and they have worked tirelessly to preserve our reputation built on quality and service. It’s up to the rest of us to continue to innovate and market DLVT and its advantages.”

The DLVT is built through what the company calls its four Ds: depth, dimension, design, and durability. The product collection offers realistic wood visuals created by state-of-the-art high-resolution printing techniques. 


Manufacturing Process

Engineered Floors was founded in 2009 by flooring veteran Bob Shaw who took his knowledge of the flooring industry to create one of the world's largest and fastest growing flooring companies. The company brought every step of the carpet manufacturing process under one roof, from extrusion to distribution, which uses 87% less water, 30% less energy, and emits 42% less greenhouse gases than traditional flooring manufacturers. 

Hymmen digital press

PureGrain Direct Digital Print DLVT by Engineered Floors is manufactured in Dalton, Georgia, on a Hymmen digital press. PureGrain is the first domestically manufactured DLVT that uses digital emboss technology to create high-resolution designs directly on a high-density core. | Photo courtesy of Engineered Floors

The Seretean manufacturing facility can produce 200,000 square feet of DLVT flooring per day and up to 72 million square feet annually. Engineered Floors owns a number of proprietary digital wood-look designs, which allows the company to have up to 35 different planks per style resulting in fewer repeats that traditional LVT. The plant currently employs 36 people but will employ 110 when at capacity.

“Engineered Floors has proven time and time again that if the market dictates expansion as it did with our proprietary solution-dyed PureColor polyester, we will continue to move capital to that area in a big way in order to capitalize on growth in the market,” Young said. “That being said, we have laid the future groundwork for doubling our capacity within the site we are operating today.”

The journey of a blank plank to a digitally printed LVT product involves the expertise of design and manufacturing professionals, as well as new state-of-the-art tools. including a Hyman digital press. The creative process begins by scanning unique wood species, allowing for unlimited design possibilities and minimal plank repeat for a more authentic wood look.

Once the expert stylists finalize the patterns with on-trend colorways, the manufacturing process begins. An SPC mixture begins the process as the polymer moves the wood to the extrusion phase. The polymer is then extruded into boards to prepare for the printing process. Next, a base coat is applied by inkjet technology to create an opaque white surface. This creates a blank canvas where the digitally printed image will reside. During the digital print step, the high resolution digital file becomes a decorative surface as it's printed onto the board via inkjet technology.

PureGrain manufacturing line at Engineered Floors' Seretean plant in Dalton, Georgia

A sheet of Engineered Floors’ new PureGrain Direct Digital Print DLVT makes its way through the manufacturing process at the Seretean plant in Dalton, Georgia. | Photo courtesy of Engineered Floors

After exiting the digital printer, protection is added as an abrasion-resistant coating layer covers the decorative printed image. Next, digital lacquer embossing technology [DLE], uses a UV inhibitor and chemical reactions to create perfectly registered embossings to the printing, resulting in unparalleled visual and physical depth on the product's surface.

A final topcoat coating defines the gloss level and creates the performance attributes such as scratch and stain resistance. During this process, the locking system and the painted edge microbevel are added depending on the product.

After the planks finish on the digital print line, cushioning is attached. They then travel to be boxed in preparation to be shipped. At the end of the process, all scraps, seconds and reusable material is re-ground and recycled into beautiful new DLVT.


Marketing for Flooring Retailers

 “While it's still early days since launch, we're encouraged by the initial traction we're seeing with our dealers,” said Eric Ruppert, director of product marketing for Engineered Floors. “We're excited to see early adopters embracing the new product, and we're gathering data to quantify that enthusiasm.”

All PureGrain DLVT products carry a lifetime residential warranty along with a lifetime waterproof and pet stain warranty.

PureGrain DLVT products will be showcased in a new merchandising system and immersive selling experience. “This system, paired with initial launch promotions and pallet order rewards, empowers retailers to create an irresistible shopping experience for their customers with the latest technology in hard surfaces,” Ruppert said. 

Investing in its sales teams was paramount and the company developed a comprehensive training program to ensure they can effectively engage with all levels of decision-makers, from owners to RSAs. 

“By equipping them with deep product knowledge and confident communication skills, we’re setting them up for success in building impactful relationships and driving PureGrain DLVT’s growth,” he said. "The dynamic combination of innovative PureGrain display system and the accompanying POP kit is a game-changer. It allows customers to visually experience the product’s beauty and innovation, while the compelling messaging reinforces PureGrain DLVT’s unique American-made story. This immersive experience will undoubtedly spark conversations and generate sales."