Floor Covering Weekly August 26, 2013 : Page 1

Vol. 62 No. 16 A Hearst Business Publication August 26, 2013 $4 15 F LOOR C OVERING W EEKLY The Industry’s Business News & Information Resource Stainmaster Flooring Centers De ned at retail Gainesville CarpetsPlus diversi es for success By Janet Herlihy Business is great this summer at Gaines-ville CarpetsPlus Colortile, Gainesville, Fla., according to Steve Elder, owner and founder of the area’s largest oor covering store. “We did close to a half a million in sales last month,” Elder said in early August. “It’s a crazy time. Mostly for apart-ments and rental properties that managers have been sitting on and haven’t updated and now, with an unexpected increase in students (at the University of Florida), need to update quickly. ere is much more ooring work here, mostly carpet.” Elder works with 14 property manage-ment companies as well as other market segments to be as diversi ed as possible. “I’ve been through seven recessions and every one was related to construction and over build-ing. I have learned to see them coming and I know how to survive. I make sure I know how much building is going on and it has started again here. But this time, banking is smarter. ey’re not loaning on ‘dirt.’ Now, you can’t borrow if you don’t own the property.” Elder was working his way through col-lege as a carpet installer, when he started his own business. Getting around on motorcycle had its challenges. “I didn’t have a car, but I FCW presents 5th annual GreenStep Awards [D] Floor Covering Weekly ( FCW ) hosted its 5th annual GreenStep Awards program, here in the heart of the ooring industry, July 23. Launched in 2009, the GreenStep Awards Pro-gram recognizes, honors and promotes environmental steward-ship within the ooring industry. “We saw this industry making serious investments in environ-mental issues even in the downturn. e industry was doing a lot of things it should be proud of but all of these investments are happen-ing behind the scenes at the plant or product development level so the consumer and retailer doesn’t o en see it. We created GreenStep to do something about that,” said Santiago Montero, publisher and editor in chief, FCW , a division of Hearst Business Media. Mohawk Industries, which ranks among Newsweek’s top 500 greenest companies, was awarded the 2013 GreenStep Pinnacle Award for the totality of its far-reaching environmental achieve-ments, which includes reducing its water use by 30 percent since 2008 and recycling 3 billion plastic bottles and 680 million pounds of wood to create new products such as its EverStrand carpet ber as well as laminate ooring. Continued on page 4 FCW publisher and editor in chief Santiago Montero fl anked by com-pany presidents Brian Carson of Mohawk and Randy Merritt of Shaw. Continued on page 16 Metrocon draws regional designers & national suppliers By Janet Herlihy [D] Metrocon 2013, a southwest regional commercial interiors show held here, not only managed to attract more than 1,500 architects, designers and design students, but also more than 20 ooring suppliers. “Metrocon is for regional designers, mainly Texas and Oklahoma,” noted Dottie Greaney, western sales manager for Lonseal. As a lower-cost alternative to NeoCon, “Metrocon is a good market for us,” noted Melissa Quick, Flexco’s marketing coordina-tor. “Overall, we are starting to see more atten-tion at local shows. Here, we can take time to get to the heart of what speci ers need.” Shaw Contract views Metrocon as a mini NeoCon and exhibits with a focus on “what the local market needs,” said Jim Carew, regional vice president, Shaw Contract Group. “About half of the people we see are current clients and we take the opportunity to nurture the relationship. e rest are new to us. Good business is created here.” Held rst in 2003, Metrocon is an alliance of the Texas /Oklahoma Chapter of the Inter-national Interior Design Association (IIDA) and the Texas Chapter of American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). It is also a non-pro t entity where any income from the event goes back to the IIDA and ASID chapters to fund special educational and recognition pro-grams, as well as scholarships and charities. Flooring exhibitors were upbeat, saying Josh Elder, left, and Steve Elder accept CarpetsPlus Colortile Retailer of the Year award in 2013. Alli Vaughan, left, Humanscale, and Stephanie McPeak, Texas Christian University, right, dis-cuss color trends with David Grant, Mohawk. P e r i o d i c a l business is better this summer. Here’s what some were spotlighting at Metrocon. BOLYU reported lots of interest in its Svelte, a needle punch polyester surface backed with its Nexterra modular backing for a product that is 70 percent recycled materi-als, according to Bruce Campos, BOLYU vice For breaking news updated each business day, visit us online at www.fcw1.com Continued on page 16

Gainesville CarpetsPlus diversifies for success

Janet Herlihy

<br /> Business is great this summer at Gainesville CarpetsPlus Colortile, Gainesville, Fla., according to Steve Elder, owner and founder of the area’s largest floor covering store. “We did close to a half a million in sales last month,” Elder said in early August. “It’s a crazy time. Mostly for apartments and rental properties that managers have been sitting on and haven’t updated and now, with an unexpected increase in students (at the University of Florida), need to update quickly. There is much more flooring work here, mostly carpet.”<br /> <br /> Elder works with 14 property management companies as well as other market segments to be as diversified as possible. “I’ve been through seven recessions and every one was related to construction and over building. I have learned to see them coming and I know how to survive. I make sure I know how much building is going on and it has started again here. But this time, banking is smarter. They’re not loaning on ‘dirt.’ Now, you can’t borrow if you don’t own the property.”<br /> <br /> Elder was working his way through college as a carpet installer, when he started his own business. Getting around on motorcycle had its challenges. “I didn’t have a car, but I had gotten to know some of the mill reps and I would have them drop ship the carpet to the locations where I installed it,” Elder said. “In 1978, when I graduated with a business degree, I didn’t like any of the job offers I got. I wanted to be independent so I went to the bank and opened my first business account with $40. I was friends with property managers and as the company grew, I just kept putting money back into the business. I still do the same today and we are very healthy.”<br /> <br /> Originally named Gainesville Carpet and Flooring, Elder rented his first space in a warehouse park in 1978. Three moves later, he purchased his first building in 1985, which was home until he built his current store in 2007. The new 7,000 square foot building houses offices, a showroom and a warehouse, which is Elder’s personal pride and joy. He manages the inventory and schedules installation by 12 fulltime subcontractor crews himself because, “It is the place where the most mistakes and losses can happen that affect our customers.”<br /> <br /> In addition to specialty flooring retail, property management, commercial projects and home construction, the dealer works with fire and water damage restoration companies. “Josh (Elder’s son) picked up his first restoration company client when he was 18 years-old in 1998,” said Elder. “Josh also began a cabinet business about four years ago that is picking up volume. You can’t just be focused on one market,” Elder stressed.<br /> <br /> The company’s staff of seven is diversified too. Josh Elder, who grew up in the store working after school and on vacations, is a dedicated salesman and handles the cabinet business. J.D. Finch, Steve Elder’s son-in-law, is his assistant, covering administrative duties including banking and inventory management. Four retail sales associates are dedicated to the showroom and handle the phones.<br /> <br /> “Each of us takes care of certain, individual management companies and contractors. We have a rule that at least two of us, preferably three, are on the property at all times,” he noted.<br /> <br /> A staunch independent since 1978, it took George Garmon, representing Alliance Flooring, the parent company of the CarpetsPlus Colortile program, to convince Elder to join in 2005. “George invited me to Green Bay to see how the program would work and I was so impressed, I joined,” said Elder. “CarpetsPlus gives tools and help to members. When we built the bigger store, CarpetsPlus helped bring in displays and set up the showroom. The members share ideas.”<br /> <br /> A unique feature of the Gainesville showroom is that each sales person has a private area with a desk and chairs for customers, similar to a car dealership. “All of our RSA’s have great people skills,” Elder stressed. Two have been with the company more than 20 years each, another was a competitor until his store closed and the fourth had been a tile installer and is already doing well as a RSA.<br /> <br /> While Elder is not ready to retire, Josh Elder is acquiring all the experience he will need to take the business forward some day. “Josh has a degree in business management and economics and brings another piece to the operation,” Elder said.<br /> <br /> Elder and his wife Jennifer also partner in a number of community services. “We believe in paying it forward,” he explained. The couple founded Arbor House, a shelter for homeless pregnant women and later started Mom’s Place to help single mothers and their children. The store also helps Habitat for Humanity with materials.

FCW presents 5th annual GreenStep Awards

Floor Covering Weekly (FCW) hosted its 5th annual GreenStep Awards program, here in the heart of the flooring industry, July 23. Launched in 2009, the GreenStep Awards Program recognizes, honors and promotes environmental stewardship within the flooring industry.<br /> <br /> “We saw this industry making serious investments in environmental issues even in the downturn. The industry was doing a lot of things it should be proud of but all of these investments are happening behind the scenes at the plant or product development level so the consumer and retailer doesn’t often see it. We created GreenStep to do something about that,” said Santiago Montero, publisher and editor in chief, FCW, a division of Hearst Business Media.<br /> <br /> Mohawk Industries, which ranks among Newsweek’s top 500 greenest companies, was awarded the 2013 GreenStep Pinnacle Award for the totality of its far-reaching environmental achievements, which includes reducing its water use by 30 percent since 2008 and recycling 3 billion plastic bottles and 680 million pounds of wood to create new products such as its EverStrand carpet fiber as well as laminate flooring.<br /> <br /> “We at Mohawk are thrilled to be recognized as the recipient of FCW’s GreenStep Pinnacle Award for 2013. Not only are our green initiatives smart for the environment and the planet, but they are also smart for business and the right thing to do,” said Brian Carson, president, Mohawk Flooring.<br /> <br /> FCW’s Montero said, “To win a Pinnacle Award, a company goes beyond a single product or production initiative, they have sustainability in their DNA. They set hard targets and go after them and knock them down in a very orderly fashion.”<br /> <br /> Shaw was awarded two 2013 GreenStep Awards for the Product and Promotion categories. Shaw was recognized for the advanced extrusion technology that allows it to utilize its recyclable N6 fiber for the creation of Caress soft, luxury carpet as well as its St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway, the largest single-event fundraiser that generated roughly $25 million for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.<br /> <br /> “I’ve been to every GreenStep Award since its inception; I’ve never missed a year,” said Randy Merritt, president, Shaw. “Our industry has been proactive in pursuing sustainability and helping the environment as much as we can, more than most. I appreciate FCW recognizing the progress our industry has made.”<br /> <br /> Mannington Commercial was honored with a 2013 GreenStep Award in the Process category for its LOOP reclamation and recycling program which has been transforming reclaimed postconsumer carpet tile into new carpet since 2006 and reclaimed vinyl composition tile (VCT) into new product since 2008. Mannington also incorporates recycled VCT into its popular BioSpec MD homogenous commercial sheet flooring.<br /> <br /> “We’re thrilled to win this award and have our efforts recognized,” said Jack Ganley, president, Mannington Commercial. “It’s also reassuring to see the industry striving to make the planet a better place.”<br /> <br /> The 2013 GreenStep Award judge panel consisted of Michael Martin, president and CEO, National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA); Dr. Robert Peoples, director, Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE); Bill Dearing, president, North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA); Bill Griese, standards development and green initiatives manager, Tile Council of North America (TCNA); Scott Humphrey, CEO, and Cammie Weitzel, general manager, World Floor Covering Association (WFCA); Dean Thompson, president, Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI); and Sara Gutterman, CEO, Green Builder Media.<br /> <br /> 2013 GreenStep Award Honorable Mentions<br /> Tarkett received a Pinnacle GreenStep Honorable Mention Award for its vast environmental initiatives that include the widespread use of rapidly renewable resources, closed-loop recycling efforts and low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC).<br /> <br /> Mohawk received an Honorable Mention Award in the Product category. Nearly its entire ceramic tile offering, 97 percent of its SKUs, contain recycled waste material.<br /> <br /> Beaulieu of America was presented a Process Honorable Mention Award for its Nexterra Carpet Tile backing — a PET-based hot melt backing process that utilizes a minimum of 40 percent postconsumer recycled content and a natural gas mixing reactor that is 50 percent more energy efficient than the industry average.<br /> <br /> Teragren received a Promotion Honorable Mention for earning and marketing the USDA Certified Bio Based Product Label for its entire line of bamboo building products. Its Pure- Form Traditional bamboo products tested for 99 percent bio-based content.

Metrocon draws regional designers & national suppliers

Metrocon 2013, a southwest regional commercial interiors show held here, not only managed to attract more than 1,500 architects, designers and design students, but also more than 20 flooring suppliers.<br /> <br /> “Metrocon is for regional designers, mainly Texas and Oklahoma,” noted Dottie Greaney, western sales manager for Lonseal.<br /> <br /> As a lower-cost alternative to NeoCon, “Metrocon is a good market for us,” noted Melissa Quick, Flexco’s marketing coordinator. “Overall, we are starting to see more attention at local shows. Here, we can take time to get to the heart of what specifiers need.”<br /> <br /> Shaw Contract views Metrocon as a mini NeoCon and exhibits with a focus on “what the local market needs,” said Jim Carew, regional vice president, Shaw Contract Group. “About half of the people we see are current clients and we take the opportunity to nurture the relationship. The rest are new to us. Good business is created here.”<br /> <br /> Held first in 2003, Metrocon is an alliance of the Texas /Oklahoma Chapter of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and the Texas Chapter of American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). It is also a nonpro fit entity where any income from the event goes back to the IIDA and ASID chapters to fund special educational and recognition programs, as well as scholarships and charities.<br /> <br /> Flooring exhibitors were upbeat, saying business is better this summer. Here’s what some were spotlighting at Metrocon.<br /> <br /> BOLYU reported lots of interest in its Svelte, a needle punch polyester surface backed with its Nexterra modular backing for a product that is 70 percent recycled materials, according to Bruce Campos, BOLYU vice president sales, central mountain division<br /> <br /> Crossville was spotlighting its Argent series of porcelain stone, which has a 40-shade palette in polished and unpolished finishes.<br /> <br /> Dal-Tile was showcasing porcelain products in stone and wood looks that were launched in May, according to Whitney Welch, architectural representative for Dal- Tile. “Business in Dallas is very busy,” she said.<br /> <br /> Earthwerks reported that its LVT in loose lay/floating floors in wood looks are especially hot this summer, according to Lori Starzynski, architectural & design specification rep.<br /> <br /> FLOR, the retail division of Interface that now has stores in 12 states, the District of Columbia and Ontario, Canada, is now building a commercial business through designers, according to Mike McKay, FLOR store manager in Dallas. “Designers are coming to FLOR for residential and commercial projects,” he said.<br /> <br /> Karndean featured its loose lay vinyl planks. “They are adhesive-free in wood looks and are very hot right now,” said Renee Mays, Karndean commercial sales representative. Art Select Parquet is available in 3 X 9 inch strips that can be installed in a variety of ways.<br /> <br /> Marazzi was showing Harmony, a new barn wood look in a 36 inch porcelain planks in three shades of brown plus white, according to Andrea Durbin, industry partner with Marazzi.<br /> <br /> The Mohawk Group featured its modular systems introduced at NeoCon including its Street Thread Collection.<br /> <br /> Shaw Contract was showing hard and soft surface flooring. Jim Carew, Shaw’s regional vice president, said the company is offering six-foot vinyl rolls as well as LVT (luxury vinyl tile) and LVP (luxury vinyl plank). The Chordinates collection, including Chroma- Tones and BassTones is a vinyl sheet assortment that features 20 percent postconsumer content and is FloorScore certified. It also contains FlorSept antimicrobial and has ExoGuard finish for durability.<br /> <br /> Shaw was also getting positive feedback on its Hexagon Collection, which won NeoCon Silver for modular carpet.<br /> <br /> Tarkett shared a large space with its divisions Johnsonite, Tandus and Centiva. Millicent McLane, solution development consultant for Johnsonite, said the company was featuring its I.D. Freedom LVT that is manufactured in the U.S. “There are more than 100 SKUs, which allows the designer the freedom to mix and match tiles and planks,” McLane noted.

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