LVT mills help the A&D community navigate products

October 03, 2016

Fall 2016

Metroflor’s Aspecta Ten is a locking floor with isocore technology, making it ideal for spaces with imperfect subfloors that also want a quick installation with minimal downtime.

Metroflor’s Aspecta Ten is a locking floor with isocore technology, making it ideal for spaces with imperfect subfloors that also want a quick installation with minimal downtime.

There is no question luxury vinyl tile (LVT) has revolutionized the flooring industry. While the commercial vinyl market had once pledged its allegiance to VCT and sheet, the hottest resilient offering available today has gob- bled up market share from seemingly every other flooring category, including its closely related predecessors. With that, top LVT manufacturers take every opportunity to share their latest innovations to help differentiate from the pack.

When it comes to design options, flooring companies that produce LVT have continued to go above and beyond since the product made its biggest splash yet around 2012. For example, EarthWerks’ Cocktail collection is a line geared toward the commercial market with a 22 mil wear layer and 30-year warranty. But what sets Cocktail apart is its color palette, which includes bold blues and greens in addition to grays, browns and beiges. The varied options allow for unique custom installations. “You can get abstract with fun colors,” said Lindsey Nisbet, head of product development and marketing strategy.

“And on top of that, all our other products come with the same warranty so you can mix and match. We offer flexibility with LVT in the commercial market so you can provide the best of both worlds.”

For the contract space EarthWerks also touts its relationship with Enzo to create customized designs for any of its products using water-jet cutting technology. EarthWerks can add logos, patterns, pictures, designs and way-finding elements to provide one-of-a-kind installations. “The program [to create a design] is easy to use and removes the guess work from the process,” Nisbet said. “It is very cost effective and easy for designers to work with.” With proper labels and a floor plan summary, she added, a custom water jet installation can be installed in less than a day.

To help appeal to varied environments and applications, Metroflor products are offered in an array of platforms to meet the needs of any specifier. “We do not rely on a singular installation method- ology,” said Paul Eanes, senior vice president, Metroflor. “We offer the correct plat- form to address jobsite requirements, whether they be poor subfloor conditions, noise abatement concerns or even where moisture is the primary issue. Not all sub- floors are created equal, and dry-back or glue-down products may not be the most cost-effective answer. Metroflor can resolve the technical problem without sacrificing design or color while meeting virtually any flooring budget.”

Metroflor’s Aspecta is its brand of LVT that is specifically tailored for the contract market with three collections: Aspecta One, Aspecta Five and Aspecta Ten. Aspecta One is the company’s latest intro- duction that, like Aspecta Five, is a glue-down option. It is available in plank and tile looks, offering a high-performing but value-priced alternative to Aspecta Five. Aspecta Five’s 1⁄8-gauge thickness perfectly aligns with VCT without the need for transitions. Further, this thickness helps mitigate subfloor telegraphing. Aspecta Ten is a locking floor with Metroflor’s new Isocore patent-pending technology and an attached pad for noise reduction and enhanced comfort underfoot. “It is the ideal product where subfloor conditions are undesirable and speed of installation is important to minimize downtime, such as hotel rooms, condominiums, select retail shops and medical office buildings,” Eanes explained. “It is also 100% water- proof and is treated with UltraFresh, which helps retard bacterial growth, mold and mildew.”

Armstrong’s new Diamond10 technology uses the hardness of diamonds to keep its Natural Creations floors looking new through heavy traffic. By repelling dirt and stain-causing agents, the diamond-infused coating means Natural Creations floors are easier to clean, there- fore requiring less maintenance. According to the company, the new col- lection with 135 designs was created “in direct response to commercial interior performance needs, and emerging and future interior design trends,” answering the call of architects, designers and facility managers in various sectors for a number of reasons. For instance, Diamond10 technology also provides protection from alcohol-based hand sanitizers, making it a preferred choice in healthcare facilities.

Uncommon tile shapes from Kardean create unusual yet attractive geometric designs like a Cubix installation.

Uncommon tile shapes from Kardean create unusual yet attractive geometric designs like a Cubix installation.

For Karndean Designflooring, its Kaleidoscope collection is a “home run” in the commercial market thanks to its different design features. Six atypical tile shapes are included in the line, including diamond, hexagon and rhombus, among others. “It’s a custom program that allows end users to design floors that fit their particular needs within a space,” said Emil Mellow, vice president, marketing. “It is very simple to select. Just pick the shape, pick a color out of almost 200 SKUs we have available and put in the design you want. It really creates focal points.” With a commercial grade rating standard to Karndean’s LVT, Kaleidoscope stands up to heavy traffic like that typical in restaurants or corporate environments.

In working with the A&D community, Mellow said Karndean’s linchpin in communication is its Product Selector, a three-inch-thick coffee table book with a complete product catalog featuring large-plan view swatches and angled laid-floor images for every offering, along with a synopsis. “It’s part of our go-to-market strategy to get this resource in the hands of every designer or architect in a firm. We want it to be the go-to book on their desks. It is electronically linked on our website, but we understand these are visual people and they like having something in their hands.” The Product Selector — which is consistently updated in its digital form through its app and on the Karndean website — is now in its third generation and is available in addition to Karndean’s architect folders and its Commercial Sector Portfolio, which comes with educational materials to provide information on not only product but the company itself.

Tarkett’s Collections Infinies line allows specifiers to ‘co-create’ tailored product using selections from world-renowned designers through a unique online visualization tool.

Tarkett’s Collections Infinies line allows specifiers to ‘co-create’ tailored product using selections from world-renowned designers through a unique online visualization tool.

Tarkett has developed a unique new resource to specificers with what it calls a “co-creation” tool that allows for the customization of product from the company’s Collections Infinies line, which includes a sampling from four renowned designers. After conceptualizing a custom-made LVT product from Collections Infinies, the specifier can then use the online visualizer to see the flooring in the actual space. “It enables [users] to get some background about the product designers themselves and their inspiration,” explained Jonathan Klinger, chief marketing officer, Tarkett. “One of the things we hear time and again is the romance and narrative around designs are key parts of the selling process. This tool really helps bring that inspiration to life for any designer who chooses to work with our partners. It also provides the actual functional tool that allows designers to design their personalized LVT products.”

While Klinger said Collections Infinies stands out on its own with digital printing for expanded design capabilities and enhanced realism, along with some top names in design tied to the line, the online tool helps product stand out “by changing the colorways from a curated palette to create the absolutely right designs for that client. Co-creation allows the client to partner with the designer and personalize the product.”

 

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