By Annette Callari, Allied ASID, Chair Holder CMG
Aloha from the picturesque Kona Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii. I admit it—I am enjoying a restful vacation with family and friends and I see why they call this paradise. Imagine sipping a tropical drink and watching a crimson sunset on the beach. That’s the hard life I’ve been leading for this week.
But writing is never too far from my mind, and this was an excellent opportunity to find out what trends are hot in floor coverings in our 50th State. So I went on an adventure yesterday to do a little research and talk to a respected local retailer. Here’s what I found out….
If you think flooring retailers in Hawaii are free from the Big Box competition, not so. Yes they have Lowe’s and Home Depot looming large, but Hawaiians like the personal, local touch only an independent flooring contractor can provide. Life is slower here, much slower, so some of the stress of “I need it NOW” is alleviated.
Hardwood floors are popular. I was a bit surprised to hear that because of the high humidity and inevitable presence of sand. Engineered woods do extremely well because of their stable core construction and of course, the protective surface coatings manufacturers have developed. In speaking with Floor Coverings Hawaii, LLC in Kailua-Kona, they feature woods from a local island manufacturer called Koa. I was very impressed to see these beautifully designed products. Exotic, high movement woods are their specialty, and these unique species of woods are well-suited to island life. My favorite is Monkeypod! I made sure to snap a picture for you to see.
Floor Coverings Hawaii, owned by Taryn Johnson, has over 10 years of experience on the island. Todd Olson was on duty during my visit and gave me some great inside-information.
As popular as LVT is on the mainland, it is just beginning to make its mark on this island. Karndean displays were prominent, and introducing the locals to the benefits of LVT is opening up a whole new perspective for their customers. The future looks bright for gaining LVT market share in Hawaii.
Porcelain tile, as you would expect, is a solid choice for island homes. Ease of maintenance, stability in a high-humidity climate, longevity of product life–these are all good reasons for porcelain to enjoy a top position. Linen-weave and strand bamboo patterns are examples of highly popular styles.
Cork floors and bamboo are much in demand. Organic, nature-based products suit the environment here. Whereas bamboo may offer some challenges in less humid climates on the Mainland, the high humidity here nourishes and stabilizes bamboo floors. Very interesting! Medallion’s Strand Woven Bamboo is a big hit in both light and dark color options.
Carpets from Mohawk, Shaw and T & A were featured at Floor Coverings Hawaii. The big manufacturers are attentive to the special needs of island customers. Solution-dyed nylons, shorter, denser pile heights, woven organic patterns, all ranked high.
As you can see, the casual, slower-paced feeling of the islands is reflected in their floor covering choices. Ease of maintenance is a priority, of course. Decorating paradise is a tall order, but looks like the challenge is being met in style.
Mahalo and Aloha…
By Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID, Chair Holder, CMG
I had the privilege of touring the Karndean Design Flooring facilities in Export, Pennsylvania this week. After this California girl got over the shock of 50 degree highs for the day (versus 101 degrees left behind in CA) I was able to appreciate the depth and scope of the luxury vinyl plank and tile products Karndean manufactures.
Designers are quickly finding out that Karndean products are highly specifiable for commercial designs. A newly ordained commercial team across the country is dedicating a huge effort to getting the word out to the A & D community. And, if Karndean LVT serves commercial applications so well—just imagine the excellent performance it can provide in a residence! Kids, pets, busy families can enjoy the look, texture and richness of nature’s best wood floors and natural stones, without the stress of treating their flooring with extreme care. It can take it—no matter what a family brings on.
Art Select, Michelangelo, VanGogh, DaVinci, Opus, Knight Tile, and LooseLay are the creative product ranges available to choose from. High-resolution film of wood grains and stones are digitally reproduced onto vinyl to create an ultra- realistic aesthetic. Register embossing adds to the visual, providing an authentic tactile (even hand-scraped on their woods) replication. No wonder LVT is the fastest growing product segment in the flooring industry. Beauty and guaranteed performance are an irresistible combination.
Tucked away in the park-like setting of Export, PA, Karndean made the Top 10 Employers list recently generated by the state. And they are planning a major expansion that will bring many new jobs to the area. I like the way this company does business. The depth of their current line along with intriguing new introductions are generating much excitement.
For residential customers, you can see the products locally by searching Karndean’s dealer network at www.Karndean.com. For architects and designers reading this article, please be alert to this design-forward LVT manufacturer and feel free to contact them through their Customer Service department for more information (888-266-4343888-266-4343). They will send a request to your local commercial rep to contact you and provide a copy of their beautiful, hard-bound Product Selector book. …A most impressive company—on so many levels.