Wednesday, July 23, 2014
'Green' Coatings Company Enters Flooring Market
Hybrid Coating Technologies Inc. (HTC) is entering the wood protection coatings market with a new polyurethane patent that increased its coating's elongation by 300 percent.
HTC is currently the exclusive licensee of Green Polyurethane coatings and paint, which eliminates a toxic chemical in conventional polyurethanes called isocyanates from the entire production process, the company said in a statement.
A number of state and national organizations, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and California's Department of Toxic Substances Control, are considering banning isocyanates due to the harmful effects it has on workers exposed to the chemical through their occupations.
Mohawk Shares EPDs With GreenWizard Software
Mohawk Industries (Dallas) is partnering with product management software company GreenWizard Inc. to promote product transparency—a priority of sustainable building ratings systems.
Mohawk has the "largest and most varied" selection of flooring products with environmental product declarations, health product declarations and declare labels, it said in a statement. The company would give all that information to GreenWizard, which would upload the information to its softare platform.
“We love that architects, designers and building construction professionals can locate any Mohawk product in a few clicks using GreenWizard’s powerful search tool, whether it be a selection from our extensive list of more than 120 red list free Declared products, as well as products with HPDs or EPDs," said Rochelle Routman, director of sustainability at Mohawk.
The companies' partnership, given the green-themed named Emerald, will last three years.
NAFCD Seeks Lifetime, Leadership Award Nominees
The National Association for Floor Covering Distributors is accepting nomination submissions for the 2014 NAFCD Leadership in Action and Lifetime Achievement awards.
“NAFCD is pleased to offer two highly valued opportunities for leaders in the floor covering industry,” said George Roth, former NAFCD president, in a statement. “I encourage members to take advantage of these honors and consider recognizing a qualified candidate with one of the two NAFCD awards.”
The Leadership in Action award recognizes people for the positive and meaningful contributions they've made to their company.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is for exception leadership or outstanding contributions that have expanded the industry's vision. Recipients do not need to be a NAFCD member.
Submissions are accepted through Sept. 1. The award winners will be announced at the 2014 NAFCD + NBMDA Annual Convention, taking place Nov. 18–20 in Dallas.
Learn more about how to submit at NAFCD.org.
UFloor Picks Lanham to Distribute in Three States
UFloor Systems Inc. (Aurora, Colo.) has a new distribution partner. The company said in a statement that Lanham Hardwood Flooring Co. will distribute its products in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.
Lanham will distribute Pallmann's Hardwood Complete range of wood flooring products in its Indianapolis, Louisville and West Chester, Ohio, branch locations.
"Contractors in these regions have been telling us that Lanham is their distributor of choice when we asked them who they would like to purchase from," said Mark Weglowski, brand manager for Pallmann, in a statement.
Bostik Demos At Intermountain's SLC Grand Re-Opening
Intermountain Wood Flooring held a grand re-opening of its Salt Lake City distribution center last week with help from its long-time adhesive and sealant supplier, Waukesha, Wis.-based Bostik Inc.
"We wanted our customers and premier vendors, people we view as business partners, to be part of our excitement," said Ron Winterton, Intermountain's director of marketing, in a statement. "Our 'Grand Re-Opening' provided just another reason for Intermountain to get these good people together and in doing so… share valuable information with each other!"
Bostik Inc.'s Territory Sales Manager James Allred gave a demonstration of the company's latest wood flooring products, including the adhesives GreenForce and Ultra-Set SingleStep2.
Other industry players based in the northwestern United States, like Utah's largest flooring dealer R.C. Willey, were also in attendance.
HF Briefs: Installers and Finishers Wanted
A wood flooring business in southern California is looking for installers and finishers. Pay is dependent upon experience. For more information, see the HF Classifieds.
Zvara Custom Wood Floors in Washington is looking to hire someone with sanding and finishing experience. See the HF Classifieds ad for contact information.
Monday, July 21, 2014
Report: Middle-Market Distributors Report Sales Boost
Almost three-fourths of distributors reported an increase in sales during the last 12 months, according to a report from the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors.
The numbers should continue to grow, too, with 91 percent of distributors surveyed expecting to increase sales an average of 8.9 percent in the coming year.
The report, which focused on companies with revenues between $100 million and $3 billion per year, also showed that 39 percent of distributors said they are thriving in 2014, compared with 32 percent a year ago. Two-third of distributors expect to add jobs in the United States throughout next year.
The distributors cited competition and government regulations as chief among impediments to growth. With respect to government regulations, the implementation of the Affordable Care Act was the most commonly cited limiting factor (69 percent), the report showed. State taxes were also identified as potential threats (61 percent).
Download the report here.
NWFA Members Volunteer With Nurses for Newborns
Four National Wood Flooring Association members volunteered their time and expertise recently to install a wood floor for Nurses for Newborns, a nonprofit that provides at-risk families with education, healthcare and parenting skills.
The member volunteers were Nick Motto and Trever Carson of Motto’s Flooring (O’Fallon, Mo.); Mathew Young of Craftsman Flooring (Victoria, Australia); and Dustin Tunstall of Tunstall Flooring (Port Allen, La.). The flooring was donated by NWFA member Mannington Mills (Salem, N.J.).
“We are incredibly grateful for members of our community to contribute this magnificent floor,” said Demetria Jackson, administrative and community engagement specialist at Nurses for Newborns, in a statement. “To receive such a tangible gift we never could afford on our own, and one that allows us to improve our environment while still focusing our resources on programs for the community we serve is extremely valuable to us.”
The NWFA member volunteers were joined by other volunteers from the wood flooring industry, including Local Floor Layers 1310's Paul Fromme, Dave Vanderpool and Dustin Mueller.
NWFA Intermediate Training in Chicago With New Format
The National Wood Flooring Association's Intermediate Installation and Intermediate Sand & Finish will be held at E.J Welch Company's Chicago location in August.
Kjell Nymark of Nymark Custom Wood Floors (Coquitlam, Canada) will present Intermediate Installation on Aug. 5–8, and Daniel Boone of Daniel Boone WFT Inc. (Jacksonville, Fla.) will present Intermediate Sand & Finish on Aug. 12–15.
The four-day schools will be in the same format of the Intermediate courses at NWFA headquarters in June, which were attended by more than 40 students. The new four-day course format allows instructors to cover more topics and in-depth techniques.
For a list of topics and information on how to register, visit the Technical Education Schedule.
South's Housing Start Decline Pulls Down National Rate
Nationwide housing starts fell 9.3 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 893,000 units. The drop, according to the National Association of Home Builders, was caused by a nearly 30 percent decline in the South.
Despite the crash, all other regions posted monthly gains. Combined single- and multifamily house production in the Northeast, the Midwest and the West rose 14.1 percent, 28.1 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively. Production in the South fell 29.6 percent.
"Take away the South and nationwide housing starts would have been in positive territory this month," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe in a statement. "This sharp regional decline could be due in part to lots and labor shortages, which are particularly acute in that part of the country. However, the general direction of housing production is trending upward, and we expect 2014 to be a positive year."
Nationally, single-family housing starts decreased 9 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of 575,000 units and multifamily production fell 9.9 percent to 318,000 units.
Building permit issuance saw a 4.2 percent decline to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 963,000. Multifamily permits dropped 14.9 percent to 332,000 units and single-family permits increased 2.6 percent to 631,000 units.
"A modest 2.6 percent increase in single-family permits falls in line with the general optimism that we are hearing from our builders," said Kevin Kelly, chairman of the NAHB.
HF Briefs: Sales Positions, Fly-In Registration Deadline
Four sales agent job openings were posted to the HF Classifieds. The positions are based in North Carolina and Georgia. For more information, scroll to the bottom of the “Jobs Available” section in the HF Classifieds.
A Georgia-based company is looking for an inside salesman with telemarketing experience and general knowledge of wood species and solid and engineered flooring installation. See the HF Classifieds for more information.
Hardwood Federation Fall Fly-In registration is open and available online at HF Fly-In 2014. The fly-in is an opportunity to meet with and discuss federal issues that impact the wood industry with members of Congress. Register before Aug. 1 to receive a group rate on accommodations.
Ligna, running from May 11–15, 2015, will feature a new offering called the Wood Industry Summit. The Summit will comprise an exhibition area, a matchmaking platform and forum, "making it a powerful hub for international lead generation and dialogue," the company said in a statement.
An unused and unopened CMEX II Digital Concrete Moisture Meter is for sale in the HF Classifieds under “Used Equipment for Sale.” The device comes with a certificate of calibration. For more information, see the posting.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Builder Confidence Highest Since January
The newly-built single-family homes market reached a milestone in July—the Housing Market Index rose four points to 53, the first time builder confidence has been above 50 since January, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
A reading above 50 in the NAHB’s HMI means more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.
"An improving job market goes hand-in-hand with a rise in builder confidence," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe in a statement. "As employment increases and those with jobs feel more secure about their own economic situation, they are more likely to feel comfortable about buying a home."
All three components used to calculate the HMI—which includes sales expectations and traffic of prospective buyers, in addition to builder perceptions of the market—posted gains in July.
The index gauging current sales conditions increased four points to 57, while the index measuring expectations for future sales rose six points to 64 and the index gauging traffic of prospective buyers increased three points to 39.
Philly Floor Store Introduces Seasonal Discounts for Contractors
The Philadelphia Floor Store (Conshohocken, Pa.) will offer quarterly promotional discounts to contractors, the company said in a statement.
The seasonal specials will give contractors "substantial savings on a variety of hardwood flooring and material." Philadelphia Floor Store will also award Philly Floor Rewards bonus points on each purchase. The discounts will be offered over the course of a season, said Mike Glavin, owner and founder.
"[Contractors] don’t have to worry that if they don’t buy now they might lose out, as the sale prices are good for several months," Glavin said. "This way, our contractors can also get a feel for what they might use in a three-month period and then stock up toward the end of the promotion in preparation for the rest of the year."
Philadelphia Floor Store’s Summer 2014 Savings Event includes deals on Aacer Flooring, Dura Seal finish and Norton Red Heat products.
NAFCD Executive Trends Index Forecasts Q3, Q4 Recovery
The second half of 2014 should be characterized by sales and profit recovery for building materials and floor covering distributors, according to the Q2 Quarterly Executive Trends Index released by The North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors this week.
However, neither sales nor profit recovery will be on the same pace as in 2013. The report's manufacturing index shows that survey respondents, gleaned from NAFCD and North American Building Materials Distribution Association members, are gaining confidence in underlying demand trends. More than 50 percent of manufacturers expect to add employees in the near-term and about 80 percent expect to add distributors over the next year.
The report is available at no cost for NAFCD members on the organization’s website.
Cradle to Cradle Products Are 60 Percent of Shaw Sales
Of Shaw Industries' (Dalton, Ga.) sales in 2013, 64 percent were products with Cradle to Cradle Certification, according to the company's recently released sustainability report.
The report contains a number of other successes, including recycling materials, investing in energy and greenhouse gas reduction systems and the installation of a 1MW solar panel system. Additionally, the company invested $65 million in its hardwood operations, including $26 million into its hardwood facilities in Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina to reduce wood waste.
“We committed to significant investment in business expansion and continued to advance our sustainable business strategy in 2013,” said Shaw Chairman and CEO Vance Bell in a statement. “Sustainability at Shaw means driving innovation into the business, protecting and efficiently using resources, and actively engaging with our associates, customers and communities while focusing on long-term financial success.”
The full report can be downloaded on Shaw's website.
Penn State Extension to Host Installation Workshop
Penn State Extension will offer a workshop for hardwood flooring installers called "Avoiding Problems with Solid Wood Flooring Installations" on July 30 in York, Pa.
The workshop will detail proper procedures to ensure proper handling of wood before, during and after the flooring is installed. Topics include wood and moisture relationships, moisture mitigation, wood acclimation and new fastening equipment.
Instructors include Ron Cramer and Tony Pastrana, Armstrong World Industries; George Chagnon, Powernail; and John Peachy, Peachy’s Wood Products LLC.
The workshop takes place from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and will be held at the Holiday Inn at 2000 Loucks Road, York, Pa., 17408. The cost of the workshop is $50, including lunch.
To register, click here or register by phone by calling the Extension at (814) 755-3544.
Floor Salvaged From Almost-Largest U.S. Flag Maker
The largest American flag in the country in 1913—well, technically the second largest—was sewn by the nimble fingers of the female workforce at Amoskeag Mills in Manchester, N.H. Now workers from Longleaf Lumber Inc. (Cambridge, Mass.) are milling the wooden beams and floorboards from Amoskeag Mill No. 12 Annex, built in 1891, and recycling the historic timbers into flooring.
“These woods are a part of textbook American history,” said Longleaf owner Marc Poirier in a statement. “Thousands of American immigrant families got their start working on these boards and beams, and in 1909 Lewis Hine photographed workers here."
The wood is heart pine originally cut from old-growth southern longleaf pine trees and shipped north for industrial building during the American Industrial Revolution.
"It doesn't get more historic than this," Poirier said.
Editor: A previous version of this article named the company Longleaf Lumber Mills. The company's name is Longleaf Lumber Inc. The article also said the company was in the process of salvaging the wood, but Longleaf Lumber Inc. finished salvaging and is now milling.
HF Briefs: Two Jobs at Amazon Wood Floors
Amazon Wood Floors (Sun Valley, Calif.) has two positions available: administrative office manager and an independent sales agent. The office manager would be based in Sun Valley. The sales agent would be responsible for expanding business in Texas, Washington, Oregon and Florida. Visit the HF Classifieds for more information.
Monday, July 14, 2014
SCOTUS Aligns With Paper Association on Biogenic Emissions
In a June ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court aligned itself with the American Forest & Paper Association and other forest product groups, ruling that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency needed to further evaluate its approach to regulating emissions from biomass.
The EPA, in 2010, released its rule on regulating greenhouse gases from stationary sources. The AF&PA disagreed with the rule because it treated biogenic emissions the same as fossil fuel emissions; the AF&PA arguing that emissions from burning wood versus burning coal should be treated differently.
“AF&PA was concerned that EPA’s approach did not adequately reflect the realities facing U.S. paper and wood products manufacturers,” said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman in a statement. “We operate in highly competitive global markets, and adding to the cumulative regulatory burden our industry already faces harms our ability to invest in forward-looking technologies for new, innovative, high-value products.”
The EPA is currently producing a framework to clarify what biomass qualifies as carbon-neutral. The framework will inform permit issuance under the Clean Air Act.
“We are anxious for this framework to be completed, as the paper and wood products manufacturing industries produce, on average, about two-thirds of our energy from biomass,” said Harman. “We believe the science supports recognition of the inherent carbon neutrality of manufacturing residuals for their GHG-reduction benefits and of biomass in general when growth exceeds harvest, and we hope that EPA will agree.”
Space Flooring CEO Kent Goodman Retires
Kent Goodman, owner and CEO of Space Flooring, is retiring.
Goodman and his family operated the Atlanta-based company since its founding in 1969. He sold it to CMH in 2008 but stayed on as president of Space Flooring and became a partner and shareholder of CMH Space.
Goodman started work in the wood flooring business at 16. He worked his way up in Space Flooring until becoming vice president of operations in 1985. He succeeded his father to become the president and CEO in 1993.
Goodman grew the company from $18 million in sales in 1993 to $70 million in sales today.