Super Stars at the International Surfaces Event

By Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID; CMG

Flooring manufacturers brought their “A” game to the Surfaces Trade Show in Las Vegas this past January. Covering the show adequately equated to walking a marathon, but it was certainly well worth it. I am happy to share some highlights with you:

Lauzon Flooring – A smart floor called Pure Genius that purifies the air? Can this be true? Yes it is, and it was highlighted at the show by Lauzon. Here’s what they said about their new introduction: Pure Genius floors work constantly without any loss of performance over time. It is activated by light, and the active nanoparticles in Pure Genius decompose VOC’s in the air and convert them to harmless molecules. That’s pretty impressive, especially since Lauzon says it makes the air in your home up to 85% purer over time. Products that perform double-duty are much in demand in the world of flooring design. Expect this one to be at the top of the list.

Karndean Design Floors – Karndean’s booth at Surfaces was a strong draw. They chose TISE to preview their newly re-designed DaVinci collection. The launch is scheduled for this spring and highlighted by 12 planks and 10 stones. Moving away from a tailored, traditional look, the new DaVinci captures the best of vintage, reclaimed wood looks. This is a design direction that is gaining momentum and (added bonus) works as well with contemporary interiors as well as traditional. High character LVP woods with aged-looks bring the best of the past to the here and now. 48” x 7” planks capture the look of woods gently aged by nature over time.

Nourison – As always, Nourison and Nourtex broadloom did not disappoint. The US made Hagaman line in particular featured 80% new styles made mostly from natural fibers. Nourison plays artfully with a neutral palette and creates softly dramatic geometrics for their carpets. Line, shape, form are the building blocks of their broadloom styles. The bar is set high every year by Nourison, and what I experienced was carpet focused on artistic styling.

Mannington – This is a BIG year for Mannington—celebrating their 100 year anniversary in business, they were a major presence at TISE. This company can do it all: carpet, LVT/LVP, hardwood, rubber floors, VCT, laminate, sheet vinyl. This certainly positions them as a leader in the industry. This year, I saw a focus on new LVT/LVP styles with 92 new SKU’s being introduced. Their marketing strategy is to offer customers a comprehensive package of floor coverings, and they do that very well. Befitting of their 100 year celebration, they introduced “Centennial” a retro-inspired vinyl floor that gives a modern interpretation to mid-century designs. Patterns are well-named and inspire the customer to take a closer look at Penny Lane, Filigree, Empire and Chaumont.

Of course this article is just a teaser for anyone searching for the latest, greatest new introductions in floor coverings. There was so much more debuted that deserves attention. But to see any of these amazing floors mentioned in this article, I encourage you to go online to the manufacturers’ websites. They are so new, it may be a few months before you can see them in person at your local retailer’s showroom, but take heart, they are definitely on the way!

Leather Tiles

Leather has always been a symbol of luxury and leather floor and wall tiles are no exception. The same softness and warmth enjoyed on leather furniture, by leather shoes and handbags and clothing is enjoyed on leather floors and walls. Leather floors and walls compliment most any decor and can instantly add warmth and comfort to a room. Literally, leather will warm to your body temperature, literally keeping you warmer!

Leather tiles:

  • Are available for floor and wall/ceiling installations
  • Have a high degree of dimensional stability
  • Come in smooth or textures surfaces
  • Come in a variety of sizes and colors
  • Are sustainable and renewable

Design options – leather tiles are available in many colors and can be embossed, distressed, antiqued, sandblasted or produced with custom inlaid designs. Sizes offered range from: 2×6,3×3,4×4,6×6,8×8,10×10,12×12,18×18, 24×24, 26×26, 4×6, 6×12, 9×18, 12×18, 18×24, 2×8 and 2×14 for borders.

Durability – one very important thing to keep in mind is that leather is a natural product and is not wear or scratch proof. In fact, leather will scratch, nick and show markings from traffic and daily use. This is considered one of the more desirable features of a product like leather and the look that is achieved by the natural wear on leather tiles is called “patina”. Much like copper and other materials that change or age with wear and use, leather falls into the same category.

Installation – Leather tiles are glued directly down to the floor or wall. For floor installations, tiles are glued to plywood, wood or concrete subfloors with proper floor preparation. Some tiles are available where they are pre-glued in order to make gluing directly to drywall easier. Proper installation is important because if not installed properly the floors can unadhere from the floor or the edges can curl up and detach.

Recommended Areas – Leather floor and wall tiles are recommended for virtually every application except for bathrooms and kitchens. The harsh detergents used in these areas are not good environments for leather products.

Maintenance – Daily leather maintenance is simple. Only a damp mop or soft cloth should be used to clean leather tiles and a soft attachement on a vacuum when a vacuum is being used. Leather tiles do need to have wax applied to them 3-4 times a year to protect the finish and nourish the leather.  Also, do not use rubber backed or non-ventilated rugs on leather floors.

Recycled leather tiles – another option for leather tiles are recycled leather tiles.

Benefits of recycled leather tiles are:

  • Available in larger formats
  • Less humidity absorption levels
  • Regular liquid wax can be used rather than hard, pasty wax
  • Higher resistance to abrasion
  • Made of 65% post industrial waste

Whether you are considering leather floor or wall tiles or recycled floor or wall tiles, you will be able to enjoy this product for years to come. Be creative with the different places you can install leather tiles or use them as accents. Send us your pictures and show off your leather floors or walls!