|Posted on December 31, 2013 at 12:40 AM|
Laminate has been under tremendous pressure in recent years. So when Shaw had the opportunity to introduce two of its laminate collections to key customers, the company was extremely pleased with the enthusiastic response.
“The reaction was overwhelmingly positive. They said these new collections made them think totally different about laminate than they have in years,” said Drew Hash, Shaw’s hard surface category manager.
The Ancestry and Reclaimed Collections, both launched this summer, mirror the trends that Shaw has seen in hardwood. This, the company believes, is the key to being successful in laminate. “Laminate tends to follow the trends that you see in wood, it’s a matter of how quickly we adapt to and mirror those trends,” said Eric Ericson, product development in hard surface, Shaw. “I think the trend in wood right now is a plainer look. We’ve seen a lot of the white and softer scrape looks, and not as much of the rustic. Things are definitely lightening up in laminate and moving away from darker stains.”
The Reclaimed Collection reflects the trend toward a vintage look and features wider 8-inch, 2-strip visual planks. The line comes in a barnwood look, white-filled and wire-brushed look, and an antique skip-sawn look, each offered in three different variations of color. The products also feature an ultra-matte finish texture that mirrors a European oil-rubbed look and diffuses light for color enhancement, according to the company.
The Ancestry Collection is a more sophisticated and high-end look featuring a 5-inch wide mini-plank with micro-beveled edges. This line comes in Zinfandel, Moscato and Chardonnay. It features the appearance of a white-filled white oak, wire-brushed finish with sawn-face styling and a low gloss that gives a hand-done, oil-rubbed visual.
According to Car Newton, Shaw’s category manager for laminate, these collections replicate the wire brushed look seen in hardwood as well as a low gloss look. “Low glossing is huge for us in laminate right now,” Newton said. “It is very tricky for laminate to be low gloss because it can get a bit of a milky visual. We developed ways to avoid that, which is what makes these lines incredibly unique.”
Ultimately, Shaw is most pleased that it has developed quality laminate collections that pleases the consumer and grabs her attention. “We believe we have hit something that not a lot of our competition has in laminate at this point, so it’s an exciting position to have in the market,” said Hash.