As Renee Tester, vice president of marketing, e-commerce and digital, QEP, explained:
“We start off with the base grade (Cottage collection), then work our way up to Chalet, which is still entry-level but more fashion-forward. That’s followed by Watercrest, our click program, and from there we move up to our premium line—the Mountain Series. We’ve reformulated a lot of the products that go in Mountain, and we’ve added a maple and a hickory to the lineup. Traditionally, we’ve had a lot of red and white oak, so we’ve expanded the species.”
Beyond the Harris Wood-branded products, the company has also expanded its Naturally Aged offerings. According to Tester, this line is billed as a more curated product offering that features more cerusing than what you might see in a typical Harris Wood product. “We’re introducing nine new SKUs in a 9 1⁄2-inch-wide plank with a 4mm face,” she noted. “Three will launch in May; the others will launch in June.” Suggested retail pricing will run in the $10-$12 per square foot range.
Demand for Indusparquet’s imported products remains strong. Pictured is Brazilian oak (Tauari) in the color South Beach.
The mad scramble for alternative imported supply from Asia has put the spotlight back on species gleaned from South America. And that’s welcome news for suppliers like Indusparquet.
“Our retail and distribution partners are seeing increased demand for our products,” said Jodie Doyle, vice president of sales and marketing of the 52-year-old company. “We are seeing tremendous momentum with our Brazilian oaks (Tauari) in both solid and engineered formats. We have seen these swings in demand before, and we’re in a great position to manage this challenge.”
While there are some supply chain issues regarding Indusparquet’s traditional solid exotics (i.e., Jatoba, Cumaru and Sucupira) due primarily to raw materials availability, the outlook is upbeat. “The inquiries we’re receiving on both traditional exotics and new products like Tauari is really energizing for our entire team,” Doyle explained. “We pride ourselves as being the gold standard when it comes to our category because we have the entire package. I sense that customers are wanting to see new, different looks and many of the products we offer are hitting that sweet spot.”
Mannington, via its long-term licensing partner, Välinge Innovation, has launched TimberPlus, a collection of real wood flooring featuring Woodura surface technology and 5G Dry locking system for the North American market.
“Mannington’s new TimberPlus hardwood with Woodura and 5G Dry is truly a great addition to our award-winning hardwood line,” said John Hammel, director of hardwood and laminate, Mannington. “We’re excited to have a real hardwood floor that stands up to the high-performance standards from the American flooring customer, with durability, water resistance and colors and formats consumers are looking for.”
The Woodura surface technology featured in TimberPlus is based on fusing a thin sheet of wood with a high-density core through a powder mix layer, creating a significantly stronger surface and enabling 10 times more flooring to be produced from the same amount of lumber, according to the company. The line is said to provide up to three times the impact protection of a traditional hardwood floor, while still being sustainable.
Mercier’s finishing process doesn’t change the natural characteristics of the species.
Mercier puts the spotlight on several top-performing collections and species: Atmosphere, White Ash Naked, White Oak Naked (herringbone) and Red Oak.
The Atmosphere collection boasts light and neutral shades that let the wood shine through and is available in both solid and engineered platforms as well as assorted quality grades.
New from Mercier’s Naked Series comes White Ash whose contrasting colors are softened for a more uniform appearance. Available in both solid and engineered options, white ash Naked comes in widths ranging from 3 1⁄4 to 6 1⁄2 inches. A new herringbone offering, also available in white oak, rounds out the collection.
“With this finishing technology, we are able to apply a coating to the wood and seal the wood and then apply our Generations coating on top of it without changing the look,” Wade Bondrowski, Mercier’s director of sales, U.S., explained. “With most other wood flooring finishes, once you put a urethane finish on it really does change the look of the graining of the natural wood species. What we have been able to do with the Naked Series is seal that visual with a finish without changing the natural sawn look of the wood.”
Lastly, Mercier’s red oak reflects the timeless appeal of this tried-and-true color. Available natural or stained in satin, matte or matte-brushed glosses, this species is designed to bring warmth to any décor. Red oak is available in solid and engineered platforms, with widths ranging from 2 1⁄4 to 8 1⁄8 inches.
Mirage has expanded its popular DreamVille collection with a new color—Sanibel. The blend of Sanibel’s warm tones with copper and golden honey accents highlight the inherent wavy grain of oak. Sanibel, based on a popular Southeast U.S. island bearing the same name, is available on brushed oak on a 5-inch-wide engineered platform and features Mirage’s DuraMatt X finish.
“With its warm tone and timeless elegance, this new color will inspire those who demand the very best in design,” said Brad Williams, vice president of sales and marketing at Mirage.
The low-matte, yet durable finish aims to reproduce the look of an oiled floor without the hassle or maintenance typically associated with oil finishes.
Mohawk Island Air
Mohawk is keeping its finger on the pulse of consumers seeking more trendy, desirable looks in hardwood with the launch of Islandair, a 6 1⁄2-inch-wide sliced European oak in random lengths up to 75 inches long on a 3⁄8-inch platform with 1.2mm face with a light wire-brushed texture.
“Our retailers have been asking for thinner products and traditional colorations,” said Paige Osborne Nichols, product director. “We think that’s coming from this re-emerging trend of mid-century modern style and design. Gold colorations and fixtures are gold or champagne gold that are really driving the market right now , whereas two years ago you saw these heavy silver-grays. Now, we’re seeing that on its downward slope.”
The release of Islandair reflects the overall shift in consumer demand for less aggressive scraping. “In years past, it was heavy texture—more sunken knots and splits,” Nichols explained. “This is a more refined and cleaner visual—a little bit of character in there but not dominant.”
While it offers both hardwood and resilient flooring offerings, Provenza’s forte is real wood. The company prides itself on providing leadership in the styling, design and innovation of hardwood floors. This is evident in its approach to the manufacture of distinct, one-of-a- kind products that differentiate itself from both commodity products as well as other mid-to upper-end hardwood floors on the same price level. Its award-winning floor and wall collections reflect beauty, style and innovation, as evidenced by the growing popularity of signature collection such as Lugano, Tresor, Vitali, Affinity and Volterra, to name a few.
“There are many synthetic hard surface products designed to look like wood, but nothing beats the visual appeal and characteristics of the real thing,” said Ron Sadri, principal owner, Provenza Floors. “There is nothing that you can do to create that look on a waterproof or a vinyl product. With most vinyl wood-look floors that utilize a digitally printed design layer or a decorative film, you will always find repeats through the boards. But this doesn’t happen with real hardwood; you put a thousand pieces of wood on the floor and they all have something different about them. The natural look of it, the graining—you can tell the difference when you look at a vinyl floor vs. wood floor.”
Matt Rosato, hard surface channel director Shaw Floors, showcasing the Tactility collection
Shaw expanded its popular Repel Splash-Proof hardwood collection with two new styles: Tactility and Landmark. The former, which comes in a 3⁄8-inch format with a micro-bevel, debuts in five colors: Sisal, Parchment, Woven, Hewn and Etched. Landmark, by comparison, is offered in a 1⁄2-inch-thick format with a classic bevel edge. Five shades in hickory and four colors in oak are available.
“Our new Repel engineered hardwoods address increased consumer demand for wider, longer planks and lighter, cleaner, sliced-oak and hickory visuals,” said Matt Rosato, hard surface channel director for Shaw Floors. “With a keen focus on craftsmanship and overall practicality, Repel hardwoods provide timeless beauty that’s built to last.”
Repel hardwood floors are not only designed to turn heads, but they also tout high- performance attributes as well. Repel floors feature an advanced splash-proof sealant and ScufResist Platinum technology for six times more protection from scuffing than traditional hardwood, according to Shaw. “Made in the USA, these natural hardwood styles provide timeless beauty and are built to last,” Rosato added.