Välinge has stated that the physical properties, design and cost structure of engineered wood floors could be "improved considerably" by utilizing new technology. Hans Brännström, previously R&D manager at Kährs and with more than 20 years of experience in the wood flooring industry, has on a consultancy basis joined the Välinge Innovation R&D team. Brännström will also support the VFT group management as advisor in wood flooring related matters.

Several projects have been initiated related to core materials, locking systems, surface finishes and production technology. Välinge hopes that new inventions within the engineered wood technology field will create "a new strong technology base with the same potential as the new technologies that have been developed for laminate floors, powder based floors and LVT floors."

In a separate announcement, USFloors Inc. has signed a global, non-exclusive license agreement to use Välinge's patented 2G technology for mechanical locking systems with Fold Down installation, on its cork and wood flooring products.

USFloors is a partner with one of Välinge's first licensees, Amorim, which acquired a 25% ownership in USFloors in 2008. This partnership has allowed USFloors to work closely with Välinge and its technology.

"It is with great pleasure that we welcome another US manufacturer to use the Välinge technology. We have been working together for about a year with the Amorim products. This agreement expands our cooperation with USFloors and reinforces a welcome trend towards more flooring production with mechanical locking systems in North America," said Per Nygren, EVP Marketing, Välinge.

"We are excited to extend our relationship with Välinge. Our Natural Cork collection combines great styling with a great installation system. This agreement further prepares us to expand our U.S.-based production in a growing market for sustainable flooring enhanced with mechanical locking systems," added Piet Dossche, CEO, USFloors.