Shaw Industries hosted dealers throughout the Austin, Texas, area for a tour of the HGTV Smart Home that is being given away this month to one lucky person.
The mill is the exclusive flooring sponsor of the home, something it has done since HGTV first began the concept eight years ago, with the first five being known as the Green Home.
Jack Thomasson, HGTV’s house planner, said the switch from the house being known as a green home to a smart one three years ago was a natural evolution as “we believe green is smart. This just gives us the ability to enhance the level of the house with technologies that can help you control your life.” He added, the house is still built along environmental standards, noting if it would qualify as a LEED Platinum home.
When it comes to smart technology, he said there is approximately $100,000 of it built into the home, including a remote controlled shower in the master suite so mom and dad can have the temperature as they like, windows which sense rain and close by themselves, and iPads and other remote devices throughout to control just about everything.
The 2,300-sq.-ft. home was built in the historic Zilker Park neighborhood in the heart of Austin and features every type of Shaw product from carpet to hardwood to resilient to tile and stone, including certain porcelain and metal products used for backsplashes and walls such as in the master bath.
Thomasson said Shaw’s products fit “perfectly” with the Smart Home concept, as “they are not only beautiful, they are smart choices for the situations for which they are being used.”
For example, Shaw’s new Life Happens Carpet Protection System was used in the kid’s bedroom because it not only “looks great and feels wonderful, it has a purpose as kids—and adults—spill things.”
In the eight years since HGTV has been doing the Smart/Green home, this was the first that actually used Shaw’s carpet in a complete wall-to-wall fashion as technically intended. Up to now, all the carpets were binded and acted more like a room-sized rug.
“Because of its unique properties to keep spills from penetrating through the surface,” Thomasson said, “we felt this was the perfect time to use the carpet throughout the entire room.”
Another example of how HGTV used the flooring for both design and function is with Floorté, the mill’s new waterproof luxury vinyl, which was used in the laundry room. Beyond its practicality, or “smart application,” the product used—Premio in the color Duomo—transitioned perfectly with Shaw’s Epic hickory hardwood Winterset, which was used throughout the home.
That blending was important, noted the home’s designer, Linda Woodrum, who said, “We wanted to create a ‘wow’ factor in terms of a beautiful living space, but you also need things to be practical for everyday living.”
In fact, she noted how when the planning process begins for the home, “Shaw is our first stop, as it always has great selections for us. We were so overtaken by the Epic product we decided it would be the basis for our color theme throughout the house.”
Lisa Goodson and Mildred Hoffmann of Hoffmann Floors in New Braunfels, Texas, were “very impressed” with how the flooring products looked throughout the three-bedroom home.
“We stock Floorté and it has done really well for us,” Hoffmann said. “And the Epic floors looks wonderful. Epic works great for our area because of the humidity and high temperatures.”
The duo was also impressed with Shaw’s Napa Plank Tile & Mosaic glazed porcelain in the guest bathroom, “especially the tile on the walls and how it looks so much like wood.”
Heather Yamada, Shaw’s director of consumer marketing and merchandising, said, “All the products in the home are new styles,” noting the company’s goal with this sponsorship is to not just show the latest designs but to get as many of them featured as possible because of “HGTV’s broad reach of nearly 100 million viewers.”
Trey Thames, Shaw’s vice president of residential marketing and product management, added, while getting dealers in the local area to see how the products look in a real home is important, as with each HGTV house, Shaw provides a variety of in-store merchandising and marketing materials, so retailers around the country can showcase it for their customers who are familiar with the network. Shaw and HGTV also cross-promote the home and its products on their respective web sites. “It’s amazing the audience HGTV has and the enthusiasm people have to try and win these, so for us and our retailers it’s great exposure to showcase our great new designs as well as their ability to function as they’re supposed to because there is a trust factor with what [Thomasson] and his team have accomplished over the years. They know if it’s good enough for HGTV to use then it’s good enough for us.”
At the time of the tour, Thomasson said HGTV had already received over 50 million entries from viewers wanting to win the prize package featuring the Smart Home. The total package, which includes a 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class plus $100,000 in cash, is worth over $1 million.
HGTV is expected to announce the lucky winner this month.