Designers say laminate offers an upscale look without the upscale cost.

Laminate floors were in use in Europe long before they made their way into mainstream interior design in the States. Consumers can be glad they’re here. They offer exceptional durability and stain resistance and are easy to maintain. And these days, designers say, they even look like wood! “When laminate first came out, it only came in three shades — maple, natural, or cherry — and the cherry could be really pink,” says Jamila Wilson, Specifications Designer with Courtney Ford Design of San Diego. “It had an artificial look. Now, however, you can’t easily tell the difference between laminate and hardwood.” Manufacturers are, in fact, producing an impressive array of traditional, rustic, and exotic woodgrain designs. Some laminate floors lock together without the use of adhesive, like Shaw’s VersaLock, allowing busy families to resume their activities immediately. And some patterns resemble natural stone, complete with mottled colors and textural shadings. No doubt about it, says designer Debbie Gunson with JPS Surface Solutions in Westlake, CA, “laminates have improved. Some are more textured and distressed looking than they were. The benefits are easy maintenance and that this flooring is virtually stain-proof. It’s for a busy family.” It’s also for the budget-conscious, Jamila Wilson points out. She knows that laminates can be quite cost-effective, offering a wood look that’s often less expensive than the real thing. “It’s a great choice in today’s economy,” she says, “if you want the overall look of high-dollar without the high-dollar cost.” Designer Andrea Kaja agrees. Kaja is a Project Manager with Ryan Young Interiors in Livermore, CA. “I used to think, ‘Oh, laminate,’ but now... read more

Brighten your kids’ world with carpet and rugs flooring designed just for them.

Your kids want their rooms to be fun and look great. Making those two wishes a reality is easier than ever with carpet and rug collections designed expressly for kids…or simply the young at heart. Because kids and teenagers like a place to call their own, Shaw has carefully researched the colors they love most. So why not have a room with carpet colors like lime harvest or orange grove or sour apple for a few years? It’s only one room! And, who knows, it may even encourage them to keep their rooms clean. The vibrant carpet colors of Shaw’s children’s collections coordinate beautifully with the youth linens, bedding, and clothing you’ve been buying for years. These carpet designs reflect today’s love of creative colors with charming palettes that will brighten your children’s world for years to come. And while your kids will love the carpet colors of the collections below, you’ll love the performance. Kathy’s Kids Kathy’s Kids, part of the Kathy Ireland Shades of America collection, is a group of eight cheerful, vibrant carpet colors. These 44-oz cut pile carpets feature SoftBac® Platinum, the backing system that enhances long-term appearance, and R2X™, the patented soil and stain resistance carpet treatment that provides total fiber coverage for superior protection. And you know THAT will come in handy in a child’s room. Made from Shaw’s innovative, new EverTouch™ carpet fiber, Kathy’s Kids styles are also wonderfully soft and remarkably durable. The Young Attitudes Carpet Collection This, the newest addition to the Kathy Ireland Shades of America carpet collection, features 20 different carpet styles that capture the attitudes and the... read more

Beaulieu Supports Its Dealers Like Never Before … Special Buys on HGTV, DIY and Food Network

DALTON GA, February 14, 2011 – “Never before has Beaulieu created the tools and the programs to support its dealers like we have in 2011,” observed Jeff Meadows, CMO of Beaulieu of America. “We’ve pulled out all the stops.” Beaulieu officials unveiled their comprehensive campaign for dealers at Surfaces to rave reviews. “People sometimes stood two to three rows deep to get a look at our new website on display in the booth,” observed Patricia Flavin, Senior VP of Marketing. The totally New is the centerpiece of Beaulieu’s dealer support strategy. Created solely from the customer’s viewpoint, the much talked-about site engages, entertains and educates about the brand and locates the nearest Bliss dealer for them. Driving customers to the new site is an aggressive online advertising and search engine optimizing campaign. Also new this year is a quick-as-a-click advertising website for all Bliss dealers to download professionally produced ads, flyers, direct mail and broadcast spots that are production-ready. Retail advertising expertise is even available to Bliss dealers via toll-free hotline. Dealers can even take advantage of a deeply discounted TV advertising, including spot packages in their local market on HGTV, DIY and Food Network; as well as new POP materials creating “Magic Fresh Zones” for Beaulieu’s new Magic Fresh Collection of odor reducing carpet. Also brought back is Beaulieu’s popular American Express Gift Card incentive program that rewards a $200 card for every 200 yards of qualifying carpet to qualified dealers. “In my years in this business, I’ve never seen a dealer campaign package this complete,” said Meadows. “We here to help our dealers win and we’re... read more

Mannington Floors wants Readers to Feel Right ‘At Home’ with New Blog

SALEM, N.J., Feb. 15, 2011 – Beautiful floors, beautiful homes, beautiful world – that’s the essence of what Mannington hopes to capture in its first consumer blog, “At Home” ( The blog, a first for Mannington’s residential flooring division, aims to motivate readers to be different, bold and exciting, both in their homes and in their lives. With an underlying theme of “happy homes and a better world,” it’s designed to help readers create comfortable and warm living spaces while providing inspiring content for their lives. Planned blog topics for the future include flooring design trends, inspirational articles, product spotlights, news, expert posts and other guest submissions, home design ideas, sustainability matters and more. Two of the first posts include a piece entitled “The Beauty of ‘Green’” and a feature on wood trends in home decor. “In creating our first blog, we wanted to engage with consumers on a new level, and be a spontaneous and resourceful place for information,” said Betsy Amoroso, blog editor, who also serves as Mannington’s director of corporate communications. “We also hope this blog will help inspire readers to do more beautiful things at home and in their lives, while keeping them informed about some of the latest trends in home products and flooring design.” About Mannington One of the largest flooring companies in the U.S., Mannington Mills, Inc., based in Salem, N.J., is the only North American company engaged in the manufacturing and marketing of residential and commercial resilient, laminate, hardwood and porcelain tile floors, as well as commercial carpet and rubber. In its 96th year, the privately held company continues to pursue... read more