Additional $180 Million
Dalton—Shortly after announcing it was investing $85 million to build a carpet tile manufacturing plant in Adairsville, Ga. that will employee 500 people, Shaw Industries said it will invest upward of $140 million on three projects designed to meet growing demand for its flooring products.
First it announced a dual project totaling $100 million to streamline its distribution network and expand its fiber extrusion facility in northwest Georgia. A few days later the company said it will invest at least $40 million in South Pittsburg, Tenn., to meet the growing demand for its Epic engineered flooring product.
Vance Bell, Shaw’s chairman and CEO, said these investments will expand capacity for projected growth and improve service to its customers. They will also add approximately 200 jobs. “As our end-use markets recover, we are accelerating our investments in our business. This will benefit not only our customers, but our associates and the communities where we operate.”
The distribution network upgrades will include constructing an additional 535,000 square feet of warehouse space in Dalton as well as consolidating shipping points for both carpet and hard surface flooring in other distribution centers in northwest Georgia. When completed, he said hard surface distribution will be consolidated into one central location with an additional 70% capacity. Construction at Shaw’s Plant 34 in Whitfield County, Ga., started this fall, and the planned changes in efficiency and capacity for both hard surface and carpet distribution will be complete by the end of 2015.
Shaw’s extrusion facility, Plant WM, in Dalton is getting additional capacity within its existing space and the company is purchasing an adjoining piece of land for future expansion. Bell said the state-of-the-art high-speed extrusion equipment will increase the plant’s output by over 30% and will be able to run all resin types currently used in the industry.
The Epic expansion will add more than 60% capacity to the existing facility. Construction is set to begin in late 2013 and is the latest in Shaw’s efforts to expand and enhance its hardwood manufacturing, Bell explained. Plant HW currently employees 200 people, and has already grown by 65 employees this year as a result of Shaw increasing the number of shifts at the facility.
For more information, contact Shaw at (888) 742-9932 or visit shawfloors.com.
MP Global Enters Radiant Heat Market; Adds Peel & Stick Membrane
Norfolk, Neb.—MP Global Products, a manufacturer of earth-friendly acoustic fiber floor underlayments, has entered the radiant heat market with QuietWarmth.
Jack Boesch, MP’s director of marketing, said the electric radiant heat underlayment is suitable for use under new floating wood, laminate, and ceramic and porcelain tile flooring.
QuietWarmth is manufactured from a minimum 77% recycled textile fibers and provides contractors, installers and homeowners with an easy-to-install product which also has insulating qualities that add an R-value of .50 to the floor assembly, he noted. “It also sports strong acoustic properties. It will dampen ambient sound in the room it’s installed in and help minimize impact and airborne sound from traveling to the room below.”
Pre-packaged in two sizes to accommodate varying room sizes, QuietWarmth features roll-out pads that are duct-taped at the seams. There is no need to bury the system in mortar or concrete. However, it can be adhered to the floor if necessary for glue-down wood or traditional ceramic tile floors.
Matching accessories include programmable thermostats with a dedicated floor sensor probe and a built-in GFCI.
In other news, MP is now offering the labor-saving UltraLayer Peel & Stick (P&S), a self-adhesive acoustic and protective membrane for under ceramic tile, porcelain tile and natural stone.
Boesch said it features a self-stick adhesive under a peel-able protective backing, which allows the underlayment to be installed onto concrete subfloors smoothly and quickly.
“UltraLayer P&S is made with the same earth-aware manufacturing, acoustic and insulating technologies used in all MP’s fiber underlayments,” he concluded.
To learn more about MP and its products, call (888) 379-9695 or visit quietwalk.com
WFCA Elects Clifton Chairwoman; Open East Coast Office
Anaheim, Calif.—Janice Clifton, owner of Abbey Carpets Unlimited in Napa, Calif., was elected chairwoman of the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), taking over for Harold Chapman of Bonitz Flooring Group in Greenville, S.C., who became immediate past chairman.
Having owned her store since 1985, Clifton joined WFCA in the early 1990s as an affiliate member and then 12 years ago was invited to join the board. Since then she has served on the association’s certification committee, affiliate committee, membership committee, industry relations program and others. She has also been a part of WFCA’s executive board for over six years.
Along with Clifton, WFCA elected its executive committee for the 2013-2014 fiscal year ending June 30. They include Paul Johnson of Interiors Carpet One in Tulsa, Okla., chairman-elect; Mark Weaver of Carpet Weavers in Bloomington, Ill., secretary; Scott Walker of Walkers Carpet One in Bellingham, Wash., CFO; Aaron Pirner of CAP Carpet in Wichita, Kan., vice chairman, and Tom Jennings, past chairman.
In other news, Scott Humphrey, WFCA’s CEO, said the association has opened “WFCA East,” a new office space based in Dalton, as well as hiring Freida Staten as vice president of recruitment and affiliate relations, and Kay Wiley as executive assistant to the CEO. Both are based out of the Dalton office and each has more than 20 years of industry experience.
Humphrey said WFCA plans on maintaining its Anaheim headquarters, but noted having an office in the heart of the flooring capital brings the association closer to many manufacturers and retail members based in the area. “We will be more accessible to East Coast based members and can more easily travel and attend events than has been possible in the past.”
The Georgia facility boasts extra offices for members to use, and a combination boardroom/conference room that can be utilized for meetings and training. Humphrey said he will split his time between the Anaheim and Dalton locations.
For more on the WFCA, call (800) 624-6880 or visit wfca-pro.org.
Wools of New Zealand Fall Promotion a ‘Brilliant Choice’
Marietta, Ga.—Through the end of November, consumers will be seeing savings on a large selection of wool carpets and rugs carrying the Wools of New Zealand brand as the organization has launched its fall promotion, Brilliant Choices.
Wools of New Zealand is supporting this high-profile event by providing retailers with a number of promotional tools including print ads, templates for local press releases, posters and e-banners linked to an event-specific website, brilliantwoolcolor.com.
Hallie Cobb, executive director of North America for Wools of New Zealand, said the promotion is “our way of reminding consumers that New Zealand brand wool is a brilliant choice when it comes to quality floor covering. Wool is sophisticated fashion for your floor. It makes a huge difference in a home when it comes to beauty, performance, and health and safety benefits. It also makes a difference in the showroom—Wools of New Zealand’s Premier Partners run leading luxury showrooms that distinguish their business and increase their wool selling power with exclusive advantages such as Brilliant Choices.”
For more about the promotion or the Wools of New Zealand brand, call (770) 977-1440 or visit woolsnz.com.
FIANA Elects Ray
President, CEO; Verhey to Retire
Nashville, Tenn.—At the recent Floor Installation Association of North America (FIANA) meeting here, Gary Verhey, president and CEO, announced he and his wife, Barbara, the organization’s secretary/treasurer were retiring at the end of the year. At the same time, the association’s board elected Doug Ray, an industry veteran of more than 30 years to take over as president and CEO.
Ray, who recently retired from The Cronin Co. after 15 years as product manager of installation supplies, told Floor Trends’sister publication Floor Covering Installer,among his main goals are to grow membership in the organization as well as expand the level of participation in FIANA University, an online training program for members. “Many installers are trained by their ‘uncle Bruce,’ and don’t necessarily know how to install floors correctly. We’re looking to the next generation of young kids wanting do it right.”
He later told Floor Trends, “The Boomers, my generation, are finally retiring and moving on. There is a whole new group moving into key management and ownership positions. I strongly believe today’s current leaders have a responsibility to give the new kids on the block every good opportunity they can get.”
Ray added, there are not that many parts of the building industry that foster true friends, advisers and idea sharers as does FIANA. “And it isn’t just distributor-to-distributor. The manufacturer/supplier is an integral part of that camaraderie. There is a great empathy among all who purvey floor installation supplies. It is, with few exceptions, a non-glamorous part of the finished product. Yet, no floor goes down without those supplies. So if there is an association that can connect product wise, relationship wise, and knowledge wise, FIANA is it.”
To learn more about FIANA, call (509) 468-9268, or visit fiana.org
Carpet Mills Team-Up with State on Training
Dalton—Georgia’s Governor’s Office of Workforce Development (GOWD), in partnership with five leading carpet mills, has launched the Fast Track Innovation Program to provide technicians with on-the-job training for employment in the industry.
In coordination with the Northwest Regional Commission and Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC), the 10-week program is offered to individuals selected by Beaulieu America, Engineered Floors, J+J Flooring Group, Mohawk Industries and Shaw Industries.
Blake Ashbee, GOWD’s executive director, said, “As Georgia’s top industries continue to grow, it’s critical the skilled trades workforce match that progression. With support from principal companies in the industry, programs such as this ensure the next generation of employees has the talent to succeed in the in-demand positions that make up the foundation of our critical industries.”
Joe Yarbrough, Mohawk’s senior vice president of advanced manufacturing engineering, said “the company’s need for highly skilled individuals will only increase as market demand for our next generation products continues to grow rapidly. These skills will be required for careers that include industrial maintenance, electrical and electronics technologies, and mechatronics.
Vicki Delfalco, director of employee development for Beaulieu, added, “This endeavor is a win for everyone involved.”
To learn more, contact one of the participating mills, or call the GOWD at (404) 463-5030 or visit workforce.georgia.gov.
Retailer Buys Bus for Local High School
Framingham, Mass.—Chris Zizza, president of C&R Flooring in neighboring Westwood, Mass., came to the rescue of Marian High School when he pledged to help the school in obtaining one of two new buses it desperately needed.
Faced with budget constraints and the challenge of needing to replace two aging buses school administrators reached out to parents and the community with a fundraising event earlier this year. Optimally they hoped to raise $10,000 for a one-year lease, and $50,000 for a five-year lease. Despite everyone’s generosity, the result fell short, raising only $12,500 toward transportation—until Zizza stepped in and assumed responsibility of the five-year lease for a second bus.
“It was pretty clear the funds weren’t going to cover both buses,” Zizza explained. “It’s a matter of safety. The students deserve reliable transportation. This, to me, is a no-brainer. I love being able to help a school that has given my family so much. And the safety of our children should always be a priority.”
A former executive board member for the school, Zizza regularly supports the high school, which became its own entity in 2004 through a change in the governance within the Archdiocese of Boston, by refinishing and installing hardwood floors and helping with other needs throughout the year.
For about C&R, call (781) 326-4099 or visit candrflooring.com
Mannington to Double Size of Georgia LVT Plant
Madison, Ga.—Mannington Mills held an official groundbreaking ceremony last month here with plans to double the size of its existing luxury vinyl tile (LVT) facility by 2015, and adding at least 219 jobs in the process.
In a statement by Nathan Deal, Georgia’s governor, Mannington’s total investment in the state over the next few years will top $50 million. And according to published reports, the plan includes the immediate enlargement of its existing building and the construction of a new, 90,000-square-foot warehouse.
Company officials said LVT is the mill’s fastest-growing product category and this expansion is part of its plan to move more and more production to the U.S. instead of China in order to more effectively meet customer demand.
Russell Grizzle, Mannington’s president and CEO, said the company is “the leading LVT manufacturer in the world, and this expansion will further secure that position. We’re especially excited that we are expanding domestically, onshoring jobs from China and investing in the U.S. economy.”
The LVT plant was acquired by Manningtion when it purchased Amtico in March 2012. Doug Ankney, Mannington’s vice president of operations, said when this expansion is complete the company’s LVT manufacturing capacity will have quadrupled since the Amtico acquisition.
For more information, contact Mannington at (800) 356-6787 or visit
Armstrong Honors Elite Retailers
Lancaster, Pa.—With 150 Elite Dealer showrooms up and running across the U.S., Armstrong has instituted an annual award to recognize the top three retailers in the country.
The Gold award goes to Worldwide Wholesale Floor Coverings of New Jersery, the Silver award went to Certified Carpet in Pennsylvania, and the Bronze award was given to Dalene Flooring in Connecticut.
In an Armstrong Elite Showroom, customers find the largest selection of Armstrong samples in the industry’s premier display systems. Larger sample areas also are featured throughout the showroom to provide customers with a better idea of what the floor will look like in the home. As a requirement of this program, Elite Retailers go through extensive training, allowing them to specialize in Armstrong product knowledge and installation expertise.
Some unique incentives are offered to consumers who purchase through an Armstrong Elite Showroom, including a 30-day satisfaction guarantee and an extended Armstrong product warranty.
Steve Staikos, Armstrong’s national sales manager, strategic accounts, said, “Finding the right floor for each customer is our goal and the personalized customer service delivered by an Elite Retailer is certain to deliver the best customer experience.”
Darren Braunstein, executive vice president and COO of Worldwide, said the Armstrong Elite program “enhanced our merchandising of hard surface flooring products, and has helped us to grow our business not only with Armstrong, but in the hard surface category in general.”
Winners were selected based on Elite Retailer sales and mix performance for key 2012 initiatives for each residential category—hardwood, laminate, premium tile/LVT, vinyl sheet—Elite lead conversion rate, Elite showroom and website excellence, and Elite program support.
Each winner was awarded with additional funds for paid per click search to be spent this year, a plaque of recognition, coverage in the Elite enewsletter, and an Elite Retailer of the Year badge for the dealer website and/or co-branded website.
For about Armstrong and its Elite Retailer program call (717) 397-0611 or visit Armstrong.com.
Beaulieu Donates Funds to Three Local Schools
Bridgeport, Ala.—As the largest employer in this city, Beaulieu America showed its part of being a good neighbor by helping the elementary, middle and high schools with monetary donations.
Earlier this summer, Vicki Baker, employee development manager for Beaulieu’s Bridgeport facilities met with representatives from the three schools and asked about their needs and the manufacturer then responded with a check for each.
Bridgeport Elementary received $3,000 for security cameras; Bridgeport Middle School received $3,000 for e-readers and e-books, and the North Jackson High School Marching Band received $3,000 for concession stand renovations.
Beaulieu employs approximately 900 people in Bridgeport, and operates two plants within the city—a carpet yarn facility since 1987 and a carpet backing facility since 1990. Both plants have been hiring recently, with additional growth anticipated. Online applications can be made at beaulieucareers.com.
For more about Beaulieu, call (800) 227-7211 or visit blissflooring.com.
USFloors Given Patent for Corboo
Dalton—USFloors said it has been granted a patent for its Corboo flooring. Corboo is a cork-infused strand woven bamboo product that marries two of nature’s more sustainable flooring materials to create a truly unique, distinctive and environmentally responsible flooring option for both residential and commercial markets, noted Piet Dossche, president and CEO of USFloors. “Corboo represents a signature achievement for USFloors that affirms our commitment to bring unique and sustainable floors to the market.”
Philippe Erramuzpe, USFloors’ COO, who was instrumental in the development of Corboo, added, “It’s important we continue to be innovative and inventive, and to keep pushing the envelope of style and performance in these categories. Products like Corboo and our new COREtec Plus LVT are the result of these efforts to provide retailers and consumers with products that are unique and different in the category and not just another ‘me too’ floor. This is what our company is about.”
Speaking of COREtec Plus, he said the company is seeking to add it to its intellectual property portfolio due to its unique engineered construction on a rigid, waterproof core. “It is unique in its construction with sustainable components, including recycled wood and or bamboo dust and features an attached cork underlayment.”
Dossche pointed out the timing of the patent award coincides with the launch of six Corboo floors into the specialty retail segment as an expansion of Natural Bamboo Expressions, the company’s flagship collection of solid locking strand woven bamboo floors.
The six products include four popular stains profiled on 5¼-inch wide x 72-inch long planks in a ½-inch thick solid drop/lock glueless construction. The products are finished with USFloors’ proprietary Endura AR Advanced Generation UV-cured finish. Corboo samples are currently being shipped to specialty retailers nationwide as updates to the company’s Green Island display and its new Natural BambooT Style Studio merchandising system, which was unveiled at Surfaces 2013.
For more on USFloors, call (706) 278-9491 or visit usfloorsllc.com.
Domotex 2014 Set to Showcase Defining Trends
Hannover, Germany—The holiday season is just around the corner, and shortly thereafter the industry gets into full gear with what is commonly referred to as market season. Helping to kick off the 2014 market season is the annual Domotex trade show here, Jan. 11 to 14.
Some 1,400 companies from 60 nations are expected to participate in the 2014 event, which is largely looked at as a key indicator of trends and innovations that will be coming to market in the near future.
One of the show’s new items, Innovations@Domotex, will give “unprecedented exposure to a select handful of product innovations and design highlights,” noted Jochen Köckler, a member of the managing board of Deutsche Messe AG, the official organizer of Domotex. Special display zones for the concept will be set up as central meeting points in three of the show’s massive halls—6, 9 and 17.
Want to get an overview of today’s key developments in home living and more? Then the seminar, “The Future of Home Living – Central Trends Through to 2025,” is the place to be. Presented by Germany’s Future Institute, the lecture will be presented on Jan. 11.
Recognizing there is a growing awareness in the market of the immense lifestyle design possibilities offered by flooring solutions for outdoor living, Domotex will embrace this trend with a comprehensive offering of innovative floor coverings for outdoor use in exhibition halls 8 and 9.
Köckler said Domotex is not just for retailers and distributors. “With its winning mix of lectures and presentations of innovative materials for the contract furnishing sector, Domotex is also a must for architects, interior designers, planners and furnishing designers on the lookout for creative new ideas for their design palette.”
For more information on attending Domotex 2014, visit domotex.de.
Karndean Selected as Top Workplace
Export, Pa.—For the second straight year, resilient flooring company Karndean Designflooring was selected as a top workplace in the Pittsburgh community. Karndean’s U.S. headquarters here employs approximately 70 people who reside in the Pittsburgh region.
The announcement was made in a special supplement of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Karndean was listed 35th out of 50 in the small company category, which consists of businesses with up to 149 employees in the region.
The winners were chosen following an online survey by research firm by WorkplaceDynamics, which asked employees to rate their employers on general job satisfaction, flexibility, perks and benefits such as healthcare, insurance and paid holidays, as well as rating aspects of leadership, career development, communication and engagement.
Ed Perrin, Karndean’s CEO, said, “We have a set of core values that underpin how we want to do business, both with our customers and with one another. I believe following these values has created a workplace full of passionate people who care about one another and care about the work they do.”
For more about Karndean, call (888) 266-4343 or visit karndean.com.
Recording Star Tillis to Close Out NWFA Expo
St. Louis—The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) announced award-winning country music star Pam Tillis will perform a private concert during the 2014 NWFA Wood Flooring Expo in Nashville, Tenn.
The Expo takes place April 16 to 19, and Tillis, who is the daughter of country legend Mel Tillis, will perform during a dinner and concert event on Friday, April 18 at Music City Center in downtown Nashville.
Tillis calls Nashville home, and has been celebrated as a Country Music Awards Female Vocalist of the Year. Many of her songs have been featured on television’s “The Voice” and “American Idol.”
The Expo will feature a trade show with more than 450 booths and 250 companies, in-depth education and training for all business segments, and several networking opportunities. Registration is now open.
For more information about the NWFA 2014 Wood Flooring Expo, call (800) 422-4556 or visit nwfa.org.