Cove base, moulding and trim are some of the wide range of accessories that can offer finishing touches to a flooring installation. Manufacturers say consumers are looking for three characteristics when choosing these products: great performance, easy installation and sustainable content.
Stoler noted that his company began adding post-consumer content to its cove base four years ago, and is researching ways to make its products even more sustainable. “We are working to make all our products 100 percent natural,” he said.
Jeff Robinette, Johnsonite product manager, said that making products using green materials brings more excitement to the category. “We have gotten very positive feedback on Ecolibrium, our new wall base made from natural materials such as walnut shells, oyster shells and pine rosin. Designers like the rapidly renewable content, and the walnut shell content is a novel way to get it.”
Gary Hernandez, Jr., Healthier Choice’s vp specialty products, said people are looking for more choice in finishing accessories. Healthier Choice is launching new products in its Flexitions stainable flexible transition mouldings line, including a rigid version of the moulding and a line for use with LVT products.
According to Melissa Quick, Flexco’s marketing coordinator, it is important to reinvigorate finishing lines with new designs. “Last year alone Flexco took out 21 colors of wall base that were in the bottom percentage of sales and talked to architects and designers. With their suggestions, we added back 26 colors to the wall base line to offer a total of 61 colors.”
Eric Lindberg, Artistic Finishes’ online sales & marketing director, said that consumers and dealers are looking for a coordinated package when it comes to prefinished accessories for hardwood flooring, including moulding, trim, stair treads and risers, and even vents. “Consumers are recognizing the added value that [these] flooring accessories bring; distributors and retailers are recognizing the significant margins these products create.” He also said that special finishes, like hand-scraping and wire-brush treatments, are growing in popularity.
In the commercial arena, sculpted designs and streamlined profiles have moved to the forefront, according to DeeDee Brickner, Roppe’s marketing coordinator. “Streamlined profiles that are easy to install with a knife and straight-edge are being preferred over the original profiles available to the market,” she said.
Additionally, green content is an important consideration. “If our products contain any green content, we market it so we are sure the end-user or building owner is getting a great-looking product that is also environmentally friendly,” Brickner noted. “Our sculpted products, Pinnacle Plus, are only available in our PVC-free compound. This compound contains 10 percent natural rubber and can be recycled as part of Roppe’s IMPACT recycling program.”