A distributor goes to the floor to get a firsthand impression of the latest additions to Nafco's PermaStone line.

Nafco by Tarkett has rolled out PermaStone Modular, a new 24-SKU extension of its successful PermaStone luxury vinyl tile line, to the enthusiastic reaction of several dozen distributors who gathered recently for the product's launch at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn.

The PermaStone line, which was introduced in September 2002, "far exceeded our sales expectations," said Pierre Lefort, Nafco general manager. In fact, PermaStone, which Lefort characterized as "a homerun product," now accounts for more than 25 percent of all Nafco sales.

"We have high expectations for our new modular collection," Lefort continued. "We expect [PermaStone's] double-digit growth of 2004 to be carried through 2005."

Like the original PermaStone product, the new modular collection features Nafco's exclusive GroutFit system, which features a grout treatment on only two sides of each tile to create a virtually seamless visual when installed. The line also includes the company's Tritonite wearlayer, which incorporates ceramic technology for improved resistance to abrasions, scuffs and scrapes.

David Cassady (center), Nafco by Tarkett product development director, points out some of the unique features of new PermaStone Modular flooring to members of the company's distributor network.

Each carton of the new collection, which comes in brick-plank and modular-tile formats, contains 26.7 square feet of product. In modular format, seven tiles -- two 16-by-16-inch, three 8-by-8-inch and two 8-by-16-inch tiles -- together comprise one 40-by-24-inch modular unit. Four modular patterns, in 13 different colorations, are available.

In addition, the new collection includes an 8-by-16-inch paver pattern in three colors, as well as a 4-by-36-inch strip-format brick pattern available in eight colors. The brick selection is also designed for wall installation.

The product launch is being supported with ad placements in consumer and trade publications, and a new 20-wing display will be available to dealers.

In something of a departure from Nafco's traditional focus on residential product applications, the company also is promoting the new PermaStone collection for Main Street commercial environs, said the company's Product Development Director David Cassady.