When it comes to building on the momentum created in 2013, Mohawk Industries went all out with its product introductions for this year—in both its soft and hard surface offerings.
In fact, as the only carpet manufacturer to make carpets with the three major residential fiber types—nylon, polyester (PET) and triexta—Mohawk’s broadloom introductions not only feature an array of styles in each, but executives noted this year they rounded out each construction to include products in a range of price points.
In fact, Tom Lape, president of Mohawk’s president of market development for residential and commercial, said, “Now you can satisfy every customer because you can offer every type of product type at every price level.”
A similar story has also emerged when it comes to the mill’s hard surface products, which include wood, tile, resilient and laminate. Roger Farabee, Mohawk’s senior vice president of marketing, noted thanks to technological advances, the company is now able to offer a number of the same looks and styles across product categories. “This way you can let the consumer first find the look she wants, then choose the type of product that best fits her needs. It’s a reverse from the way it used to be, but it’s great for the consumer, as she can now accomplish what she wants from a design perspective without having to compromise on performance.”
While Mohawk’s aligned dealers were given the first look at all that the company was offering before it took its show on the road for its annual winter markets tour last month, the following is a look at some of what the mill will be introducing in 2014.
Four years ago, Mohawk introduced SmartStrand branded carpets to rave reviews from both retailers and consumers for its styling, softness and durability. Then, in 2011, Mohawk took softness to a whole new level with the introduction of SmartStrand Silk, which became the most successful product launch in Mohawk’s history.
“Without question, the introduction of SmartStrand Silk changed the flooring industry,” said David Duncan, Mohawk’s senior vice president of marketing and sales operations. “Our plan all along has been to develop a robust SmartStrand Silk program our retail partners can use to win consumers and close sales. In response to the huge success of our 2013 launches, Mohawk is bringing even more style to market this year.”
For 2014, he said two new tonal LCL patterns “will bring organic and geometric patterns in exciting, trendy colors to Silk.” In addition, two solid LCL introductions “boast stylish small-to-medium scale patterns, including a block and tree-bark pattern.”
To further enhance Silk’s offerings, Duncan said Mohawk went all out with a new 70-oz solid texture loop with fleck that is available in 40 color options.
Lape said this was done not only to help round out Silk’s offerings but because “we are seeing consumers coming back to the mid- to high-end price points, and we wanted to make sure retailers had a full scale of products to show in SmartStrand Silk.”
While Silk was certainly the center of attention, especially with an all-encompassing display unit unveiled along with the new products, the company didn’t forget its original SmartStrand line.
“While our excitement for the Silk introductions cannot be understated,” Duncan explained, “Mohawk also understands the importance of maintaining the success of its SmartStrand Sorona platform.” As such, for 2014, Mohawk is introducing four SmartStrand Ultra with DuPont Sorona products. “These will bring renewed focus to the ColorWall through stylish new products, including two new solid textures and two berber fleck textures in better/best options.”
Though Mohawk has placed a great deal of emphasis on its SmartStrand products, the company owns another brand with high consumer recognition and value—Wear-Dated.
And, to help retailers take advantage of Wear-Dated’s reputation, in 2014, Mohawk is focusing on expanding the platform with new technology, new products and new price points.
First, on the nylon side, which is where Wear-Dated originally gained its reputation, Duncan said Mohawk is expanding the super-soft Embrace collection with two new fashionable LCL pattern solids. “The addition of these products will give retailers the best-in-class nylon platform, guaranteed to deliver on the Wear-Dated promise of quality and long-lasting beauty.”
The brand is now no longer confined to nylon as Mohawk has extended it into the world of PET carpets with the new Wear-Dated Allure fiber brand. Unlike other PET fibers, though, Duncan noted all Wear-Dated Allure carpets undergo Mohawk’s Continuum Process, which, in early December, was awarded its first U.S. patent.
In fact, Lape said not only does the Continuum Process make the fiber better resistent to dirt, grime and contaminants by reducing 95% of lubricants on the fiber, all carpets produced with the patented technology are made with up to 100% recycled content.
Duncan said six fashion-forward products featuring tight texture solids and flecks in a variety of weights and colors make up Allure’s initial introduction. “Mohawk is the only manufacturer that offers products with 4th generation softness in all three key fiber categories, which is a huge opportunity for retailers to upsell their customers in the value category.”
Speaking of value, Duncan said Mohawk didn’t forget about its EverStrand brand of PET carpets. Not only are this year’s introductions made using the Continuum Process, the company is extending the brand with a line of premium soft PET carpets called EverStrand Soft Appeal, which “represents the next generation of PET carpet innovation.”
The collection debuts with six products—three casual texture solids and three casual texture flecks—in an abundance of color and weight options. “This impressive new line is the perfect choice for families looking to balance a comfortable carpet with a comfortable budget,” Duncan said.
Recognizing the demand for negotiated commercial business is exploding, particularly for modular carpet Moahwk is launching a variety of commercial products designed exclusively for flooring retailers under the Aladdin Commercial moniker.
To help differentiate Mohawk’s retail partners, Duncan said all the brand’s 2014 introductions feature enhanced styling, added value and quick ship service.
Farabee said when it comes to the wood category, it is leading the way in hard surface looks as all the other categories are mimicking the popular distressed appearances being offered on the real thing. “Consumers are very interested in chatter marks, from light to heavy and this influence percolates throughout our hard surface introductions this year.
While all Mohawk’s new hardwood introductions display texture, Harry Bogner, Mohawk’s senior vice president of hardwood, said Artiquity, an engineered hardwood, “most dramatically captures the beauty from centuries past.” Featuring extra long planks, Artiquity can be installed three different ways—at angle, drop down or horizontally—and they can also be glued down.
The new American Retreat collection is a big innovation this year, said Paij Thorn-Brooks, vice president of brand marketing, because it is Mohawk’s first textured product with both ArmorMax and Scotchgard Protector Advanced Repel Technology to help preserve the floor’s weathered beauty and subtle natural color.
Jim Stevens, global sales manager, protective materials for 3M’s Home Care Division, maker of Scotchgard, said the company is “always trying to improve on its technologies,” especially with such a well-known brand as Scotchgard, and being able to work with Mohawk is a “great opportunity for this.”
Two other new wood lines are Channing and Antique Artisans. Bogner said Channing is a solid wire-brushed product with an “intense and unique touch of character brought to solid for the first time in Mohawk hardwood.” Meanwhile Antique Artisans features surface textures with “pronounced character.”
Thorn-Brooks said in response to consumer demand, Mohawk is extending its Henley collection of engineered hickory for 2014 with two “fashion-forward grays and one mocha tone. Our retailers have been incredibly successful with Henley. To further motivate consumers to buy, we wanted to broaden the line to include the trendiest colors, and these additions do just that.”
Tile and Stone
With brands such as Dal-Tile and Marazzi in its portfolio, Mohawk is the world’s largest tile manufacturer and, as such, is able to take advantage of its strength when it comes to offering products under the Mohawk name.
As such, Farabee said all of Mohawk’s 2014 tile introductions feature the company’s exclusive Reveal Imaging technology, which creates a three-dimensional appearance “for one-of-a-kind realism like authentic rustic stone.”
With nine new products as well as enhancements to its accent program, “This is arguably the most elaborate and impressive ceramic launch in Mohawk’s history,” he added. “These introductions capture dramatic visuals while also addressing multiple market segments and price points. From a design and performance standpoint, the possibilities are endless.”
An example of some of these products is Ava Terina, Senato and Treyburne. Farabee said Ava Terina is a “beautiful marbleized floor and wall tile in both a high-gloss and matte finish floor tile with a coordinating high-gloss wall tile.”
Senato, is a porcelain product that recreates a “beautiful travertine visual at a value-added price point,” he explained. It is offered in four size options, including Mohawk’s first-ever 2x4-inch brick mosaic, which can be used on the wall and the floor, and a 10x14-inch ceramic wall tile.
Farabee said Treyburne is a complete wood plank collection available in three distinct wood visuals—and each “boasts distinct surface textures that allow them to stand out even more.”
On the accent side of things, he said this year’s products feature a mixture of decorative elements in stone, metal, glass and a multitude of other materials “to help the consumer create unique and meaningful installations in the home.” This includes the launch of Miravaux, which features a high-end visual in a new mix of glass and stone in two patterns.
In the area of laminate, Farabee said the category “is experiencing a renaissance thanks to innovative technology and savvy styling and Mohawk’s new generation of beautiful, worry-free laminate flooring precisely captures the look of authentic wood.”
This can be seen in the launch of Havermill, a textured, single-plank product which provides the time-worn visual of rustic hardwood. “We have made significant investments in technology,” he noted, “that has allowed us to perfect a realistic, high-end hardwood look in our laminate offerings.” Havermill was created “in direct response to interior design trends.”
Presented in an array of styles and colors to fit every consumer lifestyle, Havermill is an upscale collection, including a new 12mm platform. The domestically made product features both popular and unique wood species.
Along with the new Havermill, the Carrolton line is getting eight color options to bring its total to 15. “The response to Carrolton has been overwhelmingly positive,” Farabee said, and “we are confident our retail partners will be blown away by the line’s new color options, which will ultimately allow for more design flexibility as consumers look for fashion at a value price point.”
When it comes to product categories, it’s no secret the luxury vinyl tile/plank (LVT) segment of resilient is the hottest there is and Mohawk is not only expanding existing lines it is introducing Simplesse.
Made from 100% virgin vinyl material, the tile visuals in Simplesse are “perfect for high-traffic living areas due to its incredible dent and scratch resistance,” Farabee said. Plus, the collection features Mohawk’s patented Uniclic glueless locking technology
Mohawk’s remaining 2014 LVT introductions will be announced within its existing Prospects and new Prospects Plus product lines. Prospects was developed for medium-to-heavy residential use and is being expanded this year with three popular rustic barn wood visuals. Taking Prospects a few steps further is Prospects Plus, which boasts longer planks and a tougher 12mil urethane wearlayer in 10 colors.
One of Mohawk’s and the industry’s best-known brands is Karastan and the company certainly did not forget about it coming into 2014. In fact, because it is its own unique brand, it is represented here separately from the Mohawk-branded carpet products.
“When it comes to luxury, Karastan is king,” said Duncan, and last year, Mohawk took it to a new level by introducing SmartStrand Silk into the mix. “This established top-of-the-line brand reputation makes SmartStrand Silk the perfect product for Karastan’s portfolio, and this year, we are taking it to the next level by giving consumers even more choices in styling and innovative design.”
Five new collections of Silk are being added to Karastan this year—Extravagance, Crowning Glory, Majestic Tradition, Beford Estates and Avalon Park.
As soft carpet fiber continues to gain market share, Moahwk is expanding its selection of Karastan Kashmere carpets with nine more styles. Duncan said, “This product launch is just another example of Karastan consistently delivering incredibly soft products that also embody the beauty and style the brand is known for in the marketplace.”
When it comes to sophistication and style it is hard to match a wool carpet, and Bill Storey, Karastan’s senior vice president of sales, said this is where the brand truly shines. “As the largest processor of wool carpets and rugs in America, consumers look to Karastan for the highest quality.”
He said as the wool market continues to improve—our timing of this year’s impressive product launch could not be better.” The assortment includes Karaloc and Axminster styles made from 100% New Zealand wool, as well as five wool blend offerings.
Karastan’s Karaloc looms, which were originally introduced in 1934, enable weaving the carpet and backing together into one unit. The result is a unique, high-quality product still made today and for 2014, three New Zealand wool products are being introduced using this unique technology.
There are also three new Axminster styles utilizing New Zealand wool, along with a tufted carpet, and five wool blend products for 2014.
“Wool has maintained an elite position in the flooring industry,” Storey concluded. “For those designers and homeowners with an eye for high-end style and an unwillingness to compromise for less than the best, Karastan continues to provide retailers with answers for every project.”