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Selling Strategies Customer Service with a Smile Wilsonart's Flooring Awards

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VOLUME 5 · NUMBER 2 |

summer

2002

Laminate Flooring Journal is published on behalf of Wilsonart International by Bedford Falls Communications, Inc. for floor covering distributors, retailers and installers. We welcome your questions and comments. Direct correspondence to: 905 Clark St., Watertown, WI 53094. Copyright 2002 by Wilsonart International, Inc. Printed in the United States.

Seek the High Ground

Floor covering purchase decisions are not easy for today's consumer. With so many products to choose from, so many options, it is no wonder that selecting the right floor covering can be a confusing task. Quite often, the consumer isn't even sure what they are looking for. So, they seek the advise of the retail salesperson, the one person with tremendous influence over the consumers ultimate purchase decision. How influential you might ask? The Point of Purchase Advertising Institute research shows that an extremely high percentage of purchase decisions (over 85%) are made in the store...in other words, the consumer isn't sure what they want until they get to your store. As a retailer, or retail salesperson, you are faced with a golden opportunity to "seek the higher ground." There is a misconception in retail that every prospect who walks through your door is interested only in price. Countless research reports prove that price is way down on the list, and what they are really looking for is product quality, service, warranty, a respected brand, an enjoyable purchase experience and a professional installation. Consumers are savvy...they may test you with "I want a deal", but it is not necessarily what they mean. Consumers know, just as you and I do, that "you get what you pay for". So, seeking the higher ground, or taking the high road is critical to your profitability and success. Seek the high ground by representing companies with a first class reputation, high quality products, and a dedication to serving the customer. At Wilsonart Flooring...these traits are part of our culture. As you read this issue of Laminate Flooring Journal, I think you will see some of these traits come to life. Whether we are talking about our retail partners (Beckler's, page 18), a tribute to service excellence and Donna Cluck (Customer Service, page 9), dedication to top notch education and training and Gene Wainscott (Installation Corner, page 12) or proof of Wilsonart Flooring performance in the "At Home", "At Work" and "At Play" triumvirate of application features, Wilsonart Flooring is seeking the high ground.

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From the Floor | Seek the High Ground Selling Strategies | Selling higher quantities for

higher margins

Newsline | Installation Training schedules,

Distributor News, Redline Express

At Home | Wilsonart Flooring meets the needs of a growing family while honoring a house's historic charm Customer Service | Above and beyond ... Donna Cluck sets the highest customer service standards At Work | Healthcare facility thrives

on the high durability and low-maintenance of Wilsonart Classic Flooring

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Selling higher quality for higher margins

Why should I sell Wilsonart Classic Flooring when it's a more expensive product, and there is less expensive product out there with the same warranty?

mitment, and Wilsonart's world-class service and distribution network. If you can communicate these three important points, customers will understand that the value of Wilsonart Flooring more than warrants the higher price.

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Installation Corner | Gene Wainscott, Florstar's

installation training road warrior

Q

How do I sell better quality goods like Wilsonart Flooring?

Knowing that you have a limited amount of time with that customer, focus on three key selling points. First, customers want the most realistic visuals in the business. Wilsonart Flooring has in excess of 100 designs for 2002, coupled with the best overall moldings package to complete the look. Next, emphasize Wilsonart Flooring's award-winning quality, resulting from the company's high commitment to manufacturing precision ­ not all laminate flooring is created equal! Third, stress the support Wilsonart customers receive, from the retail salesperson's commitment, their store's com-

Q

What's the difference between margin dollars and margin percentages?

Q

At Play | WhirlyBall ­ flooring solutions

for high-use, high abuse areas

Recognition | Wilsonart Flooring's Awards Product Spotlight | Installing

One StepTM Stair Treads

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Dealer Profile | Beckler's credits Wilsonart

Flooring's training and commitment for its high-volume success

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On the Cover This charming breakfast room is part of an 80-year-old English Cottage style home in Elmhurst, Illinois. The recent renovations made inspired use of Wilsonart Flooring to match the home's original oak floors in other parts of the house. Shown here is Cottage Oak 2010.

Curt Thompson National Sales Manager

Wilsonart Classic Flooring is a high-pressure laminate product. HPL floors have better impact and indentation resistance than direct pressure products, which equates to better performance. A Volkswagen may carry the same warranty as a Mercedes, but there's definitely a difference in price, and in performance. You have to sell those additional performance qualities much like you'd sell the performance quality of a luxury automobile. When you talk about performance as a luxury, that's where you start selling.

Selling better, more expensive products leads to more margin dollars per sale than selling inexpensive products at the same gross profit margin percentages. Margin dollars buy cars; margin percentages don't. Let's say you have a job that's 1,000 square feet, and the product costs you $1 per square foot. If you sell it at a 40% gross profit margin, that job generates 66 cents in margin dollars per square foot, or $660 for the job. Do that same job with a product that costs $3, sell it at a 35% gross profit margin, and you'll generate $1.61 in gross margin dollars. If you wanted to generate that same $1,615 in margin dollars on the $1

product, you'd have to sell almost 2,500 square feet, not 1,000 square feet. That's two and onehalf times the footage to get to the same margin dollars. If you took the $3 product and sold it at the 40% gross profit margin on a 1,000 sq. ft. job, you'd be generating $2 per square foot in margin dollars, or roughly $2,000 in margin on that same job. You'd have to sell three times as much of the $1 laminate floor to make that kind of money. So the question is, if you're only going to see "X" number of customers, per week, per month, or per year, and margin dollars buy cars, then isn't it in your best interest to sell more expensive products?

ance compared to vinyl, direct pressure, or foilwrapped moldings on the market. Moldings take as much or more abuse than the floor, and should have the same performance values.

Why Wilsonart vs. traditional hard surface?

Wilsonart Flooring represents a new age in flooring, as a highly engineered highstyle product designed for modern consumers, who are looking for high performance without sacrificing luxury or design. With Wilsonart Flooring, you can have premium design and premium performance in one product. In the past, the customer has had to sacrifice one for the other. Don't wait for customers to come in and ask for laminate or Wilsonart Flooring. The average consumer buys flooring once every five to seven years, and some haven't seen what's on the market in laminate flooring. When they come in, it's because they need flooring, and its our obligation to educate them about new options. LFJ

Q A

What are the advantages of Wilsonart Flooring moldings?

First, Wilsonart Flooring's moldings are matches of the flooring patterns, so there's never any question which moldings go with which floor. Second, they are all made with HPL, which has superior perform-

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I N T R O D U C I N G

Wilsonart People on the Move

Anthony Marshall, formerly Tech Services Wilsonart International, has been added to the Wilsonart Flooring team to work on multiple fronts. Anthony will be managing the Flooring training center, working on product development, and flooring technical development. Anthony's more than 15 years of Wilsonart experience in multiple product areas is sure to be an asset to this group. Anthony will be based in Temple. Randy Phillips has been promoted from Installation Manager for the Southwest Region to Manager, Trac-LocTM sales. Randy's sole responsibility will be to actively promote the sale of the Trac-LocTM commercial installation system throughout North America. He brings an outstanding background in sales, installation training, and product knowledge to this position. Randy will continue to work from his Shreveport, LA office.

The All-New Redline Express

The Redline Express web site will soon have a new look, and greater functionality for distributors, dealers, architects, designers and specification reps. You'll see improved design and graphics, and a higher degree of user friendliness than ever. The site will be updated more frequently, and will offer samples and support materials right online. Distributors will have access to go in and update the dealer listings. Pop into Redline Express and see the improvements for yourself!

Distributor Specialist Training Dates

Rusty Kimball ­ Wilsonart Installation Manager Midwest and Canada

Stan Glogowski ­ Wilsonart Installation Manager East Coast

SUPERIOR PRODUCTS INC. AUTHORIZED INSTALLER TRAINING AND ADVANCED INSTALLER TRAINING INSTRUCTOR: Jon Sands CONTACT NUMBER: (443) 807-3660 Classes held at Superior Products New Training Facility in Elkridge, MD WILLIAM M. BIRD & COMPANY AUTHORIZED INSTALLER TRAINING INSTRUCTOR: Skip Marsh CONTACT NUMBER: (843) 554-3040 August 6-8 . . . . . . . . . Lawrenceville, GA

DURANT DISTRIBUTING AUTHORIZED INSTALLER TRAINING INSTRUCTOR: Mike Hickey CONTACT NUMBER: (303) 289-2220 Contact Mike Hickey to schedule training FLOOR SUPPLY AUTHORIZED INSTALLER TRAINING INSTRUCTOR: Bob Stewart CONTACT NUMBER: (253) 395-3639 Contact Warren Halbakken to schedule training FLOOR SUPPLY AUTHORIZED INSTALLER TRAINING INSTRUCTOR: Jim Murcar CONTACT NUMBER: (509) 535-9707 Contact Harvey LeDoux to schedule training

FLORSTAR AUTHORIZED INSTALLER TRAINING INSTRUCTOR: Gene Wainscott CONTACT NUMBER: (800) 458-9575 ext. 6292 August 14-15 . . . . . . . Milwaukee, WI August 21-22 . . . . . . . Milwaukee, WI September 11-12 . . . . Itaska, IL September 18-19 . . . . Itaska, IL October 9-10 . . . . . . . Canton, MI October 16-17 . . . . . . Canton, MI INTERSTATE AUTHORIZED INSTALLER TRAINING INSTRUCTOR: Brent Stoller CONTACT NUMBER: (816) 231-2530 ext. 537 August 13-14 . . . . . . . Kansas City, MO September 10-11 . . . . Kansas City, MO October 15-16 . . . . . . Kansas City, MO ST. LOUIS, MO TRAINING CENTER COMING SOON OHIO VALLEY FLOORING AUTHORIZED INSTALLER INSTRUCTOR: Bill Tepe CONTACT NUMBER: (800) 955-7228 August 27-28 . . . . . . . Cincinnati, OH

Dave Parker - Wilsonart Installation Manager West Coast

TOM DUFFY COMPANY AUTHORIZED INSTALLER TRAINING INSTRUCTOR: Terry Rickerson CONTACT NUMBER: (707) 451-2755 (Sherry Rickerson) September 23-25 . . . . Sacramento, CA THE CRONIN COMPANY AUTHORIZED INSTALLER TRAINING INSTRUCTOR: Ken Schulte CONTACT NUMBER: (503) 226-3508 (Janet Scott) August 13-14 . . . . . . . Portland, OR September 24-25 . . . . Portland, OR October 8-9 . . . . . . . . Portland, OR

Anthony Marshall ­ Wilsonart Technical Training Manager

WILSONART INTERNATIONAL FLOORING DIVISION ­ ADVANCED INSTALLATION TRAINING INSTRUCTORS: Naill Barrett (Festool) and Anthony Marshall (Wilsonart) CONTACT NUMBER: (254) 207-2749 (Donna Cluck) September 23-25 . . . . Temple, TX ADLETA COMPANY AUTHORIZED INSTALLER TRAINING INSTRUCTOR: Arnold Tijerina CONTACT NUMBER: (972) 620-5666 August 1-2 . . . . . . . . . Carrollton, TX August 20-21 . . . . . . . Carrollton, TX

New Classic Fan Deck Available

For those looking for a small, handy easy-to-carry sales aid for Wilsonart Flooring Classic, look no further. This new fan deck includes laminate samples of all 40 Classic designs - 22 planks and 18 tiles. It also includes two flooring construction samples: one plank and one tile. Details on moldings and other product information are included on the back of the fan deck. The Wilsonart Flooring Classic fan deck is the perfect carry-along for builders or dealer salespeople making house calls. It's light, convenient, and complete!

Wilsonart Flooring Literature Helps You Sell!

Product literature is an important tool in the sales process. Salespeople rely on it to reinforce important benefits to their customers, who in turn use it to help in their decisionmaking process. If you don't have Wilsonart Flooring literature on hand, you just might be hurting your sales! Reordering Wilsonart Flooring literature is easy. Just call 800-710-8846, and use these literature part numbers: Classic: H5000098 Home: H5000100 DuoLink: H500131. Keep your displays stocked with Wilsonart Flooring product literature. Your customers and salespeople will appreciate it!

Distributor News

D I S T R I B U T O R N E W S

Interstate Supply, the parent company of Case Supply, will now be distributing Wilsonart Flooring products throughout Kansas, Missouri, and central and southern Illinois. "Wilsonart Flooring is excited to have them on board," says Curt Thompson, National Sales Manager. "Case Supply has always done a great job for us, and I'm sure Interstate Supply will carry that tradition forward." Distribution changes have also taken place in Oklahoma. The Adleta Company will be taking over the distribution area formerly serviced by O'Neil Wholesale throughout most of Oklahoma.

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P R O J E C T

P R O J E C T:

I N F O

Kristin and Keith Rozmus Home, Elmhurst, Illinois

DISTRIBUTOR:

atHOME

Florstar

F L O O R I N G PAT T E R N S :

Cottage Oak 2010

ome is where the heart is...and the kids, and someday a dog. Spending the early years of their marriage living in Hong Kong gave Kristin and Keith Rozmus the rare opportunity to satisfy their wanderlust, exploring much of the opposite side of the globe at their leisure. But when "outward bound" became family-bound, the couple decided to return home to the Chicago area, where both are originally from. They settled in an 80-year-old English Cottage-style home in Elmhurst. "The house has plantation wood shutters, original windows, a fireplace, arched throughways between rooms, and crystal glass doorknobs," says Kristin. "It's very charming, and in really good shape, but we knew we would be needing more space for kids." The desire to preserve the charm of the cottage was paramount, particularly because their neighborhood was seeing a lot of similar houses being razed and replaced with milliondollar homes. Kristin has nothing against this trend, but was keen to start her family in a quintessential American house.

H

The flooring in the kitchen would have to be tough, indeed, but Kristin wasn't about to sacrifice looks.

"We'd been half-way around the world, and were looking forward to settling down in an American neighborhood. Elmhurst is a tremendous community for raising a family. We decided to knock out the back walls, extend the kitchen, and put in a combination TV area and family room. One side of the kitchen is a breakfast area, which opens up through French doors to the back yard. We knew it would get a lot of traffic because it leads to the back yard and the garage, and with kids playing out there, dirt would be dragged in." The flooring in the kitchen would have to be tough, indeed, but Kristin wasn't about to sacrifice looks. "The new floor had to match the original oak floors in the dining and living room, which were refinished five years ago. That was the key for the addition - it could not look like an addition, it absolutely had to honor the charm of the house." Kirstin and Keith had heard about Wilsonart Flooring from family members, had seen it in other installations, and were sold on the idea from the start.

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"The flooring was the one thing we totally agreed on with this whole project," laughs Kristin. "It looks great, which of course is the number one priority, because if it didn't look great, there would be no point in putting it down. I had also heard that it was extremely easy to take care of ­ you don't get nicks on it, it doesn't stain, and it's safe for kids to play on because it isn't too hard. It was really perfect for a growing family." The Rozmus's boys are Luke, two years, and Alex, nine months. The next family addition will be of the four-legged tail-wagging variety. Kristin says this decision was yet another plus for Wilsonart Flooring: "I've seen what dogs can do to hardwood floors! "The floor was installed last September. Our contractor installed it himself in a single day, and was very surprised how easily it went down . I wish the rest of our project had gone that smoothly! The floor is absolutely beautiful, and the transition does not look like an addition at all. We got the charm we were looking for, and the ease of care we need. The hygienic qualities of the floor were a bonus, but the most important thing, honestly, is that it's so durable and it looks so good. We've had people come in who thought it was hardwood!" Even during this interview, Kristin and her boys were putting the floor to the test.

Donna Cluck

Wilsonart Flooring's premier customer service representative

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"The floor is absolutely beautiful, and the transition does not look like an addition at all."

"My son just dropped a glass of red juice, and it went all over. On a hardwood floor, it would have made a dent. On the Wilsonart floor, you can't tell anything happened. There are incidents like this every day. Crayon wipes up with just water. On hardwood it would take a lot more elbow grease, and I don't have time for that. I actually haven't even used the Wilsonart cleaner yet. I usually use just water. It's that easy." LFJ

ou've heard it many times: "It's the people that make the difference." Nowhere is this more true than in Customer Service, where you never know what's going to happen when you pick up the phone. You might suddenly find yourself in the role of a diplomat, a punching bag or a miracle worker. Regardless, it's your job to do whatever it takes to fix problems and make people happy. Few people do this better than Donna Cluck, Wilsonart Flooring's premier customer service representative. "In a nutshell, Donna makes Wilsonart a better company," says Curt Thompson, National Sales Manager for Wilsonart Flooring. "It's her spirit, her enthusiasm, and her willingness to do whatever it takes to satisfy our customers that make her an outstanding employee and an outstanding member of our organization. She's always smiling regardless of circumstances. The way her attitude rubs off on the rest of our organization is the thing I enjoy most about her." But Thompson doesn't want you to take his word for it. Here is what some of Donna's distributor contacts have to say about her efforts above and beyond the call of duty.

Julie Sootoo, THE TOM DUFFY COMPANY: "I deal with any and everything when it comes to Wilsonart. Donna is in charge of making sure we know when our trucks are coming, keeping us abreast of where our orders stand, and any "in-apinch orders" where we've run out of stock. Donna is wonderful, always right on top of whatever we need. If she doesn't have it, she finds it for me. `Resourceful' doesn't even begin to describe her, and here's a perfect example: we had a customer who needed product that was discontinued three years ago. We weren't hoping for much, but Donna found it in Florida, and we had it the next day!" Charlie Cobb, ADLETA "Donna has bailed us out of too many jams to mention, and she goes out of her

way, even when she's not supposed to. I'd say she goes further than almost any other customer service rep we've dealt with before. Finding trim is a big issue for us; we always seem to be needing a piece here or there. She has actually run out to the warehouse to find us what we needed right away. This is incredibly important to our business, because our customers don't get paid until the last piece of trim is installed. Knowing this, she actually ran right out of her shoes one time, looking for some trim for us." Heidi Mandell, THE CRONIN COMPANY "Donna will work until she can't work anymore. She's very thorough; if you have a problem, she documents everything. If she doesn't call you right back, you'll have an e-mail, and with that e-mail you have copies of all her correspondence with whoever she had to deal with to take care of the problem. We're never left highand-dry. Honestly, Donna is the sweetest, most honest and hardworking person to deal with; she handles every situation professionally." LFJ

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atWORK

"It's great aesthetically, highly durable, and really easy to care for."

our wear-and-tear and slip resistance requirements. In the end, we chose Wilsonart over several other laminate flooring brands." Wilsonart Classic Cherry Rose makes up the largest part of the 4,000-square foot installation, with way-finding strips of Northern Birch. "We used it in the public areas and in the exam rooms, pretty much throughout the facility," says Nowak. "The exceptions are in the lab, which has sheet vinyl, and the toilet rooms, which have ceramic tile." Installation was closely overseen by Cross and his distributor representative, Florstar's Pat Ricchiuto. "We've trained them on how to clean the floor using Wilsonart cleaner," says Ricchiuto. "You just spray it on terry cloth and wipe it down. There's no soaking it with a mop." "It's very easy to clean ­ we never have to bother harsh chemicals," says Nowak. "This is great for off-site clinics, who have their own cleaning services to manage. After two years the floor still looks very good. We've achieved exactly what we were looking for ­ it's great aesthetically, highly durable, and really easy to care for. We've recently decided to use it in another off-site clinic that needs a facelift. It was an easy LFJ choice."

Way finding strips of Northern Birch help guide patients through the clinic.

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P R O J E C T:

I N F O

South Shore Senior Center, University of Chicago's Center for Advanced Medicine

DEALER:

Commercial Carpet Consultants

DISTRIBUTOR:

Florstar

F L O O R I N G PAT T E R N S

Cherry Rose (2013) Northern Birch (2040)

hen the University of Chicago's Center for Advanced Medicine was planning a new geriatric outpatient clinic, one of the goals was to honor the design aesthetics of its Duchossois building. The Duchossois Center is fairly posh by clinic standards, sporting lots of wood, terrazzo, and marble. Budgets, naturally, forced some creative substitutions in the new project. "We wanted to emulate that feeling in the new South Shore Senior Center," says senior project coordinator Michelle Nowak, "but of course we couldn't afford to have those same finishes.

We needed something that costs less, but still looked great." Steve Cross from Commercial Carpet Consultants was called in to offer suggestions. "They wanted something that looked very rich," says Cross. "Vinyl planks were originally considered, as was a vinyl-impregnated wood product. We really like Wilsonart Flooring, and I believed that this would be the lowest maintenance option for them." "We've tried woodlook vinyl strips at another off-site geriatric facility, but it gets scratched and dingylooking," says Nowak. "You have to do a lot of maintenance to keep it

looking good, and we don't want to deal with that. We were assured that maintaining a Wilsonart Floor would be very easy. Plus, we knew it had a good reputation, had several pad options, and the designs were great. It also met

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installation

CORNER

Taking training on the road

f installation training were boot camp, Gene Wainscott is the sergeant every recruit would want. In his twoday on-site crash course, given upwards of 30 times a year, no one gets left behind, everybody learns the skills they need, and all leave with smiles and praise for the class. Flooring has been a way of life for Wainscott for nearly 40 years. "I married into a floor covering family, and worked 18 years as a contract installer for all kinds of flooring. In 1980, I went to work for a distributor in central Illinois selling flooring, and for 10 years I was the top salesperson." That distributor was bought out by the giant Florstar, and laminate flooring was introduced as a brand new product line. "We saw the need right away for installation training," says Wainscott, "and I felt very strongly that we needed a full-time installation trainer. So I began training installers on our flooring product line in 1999. I discovered that a competitive brand actually had a formal training school, so I applied to attend, letting them know exactly who I was. Surprisingly, I was admitted, and endorsed on installing their brand." At about that time, Wilsonart Flooring was preparing to take installation training to the distributors, because it wasn't practical for every installer to train at Wilsonart's facility in Temple. It made sense to launch the program with Florstar, capitalizing on Wainscott's momentum in that direction. "I view my job as simply making people more comfortable with Wilsonart, whether its Florstar's sales force, retailers, or installers. The more comfortable they are, the more they're going to sell." In Wainscott's world, salespeople need to be able to talk about installation; this enhances their credibility, and gives their customers confidence that they fully understand the product line. Likewise, installers

I

need to be able to talk features and benefits. "Installers are after-the-sale salespeople. When I was an installer, all we had to do was get it right side up and make it look good. That's changed. The customers are better educated and informed than ever. If the installer's working in one room on a floor that the customer paid $4 a foot for, and the customer's in the other room reading the paper and sees an ad for laminate flooring for $1.89, you might imagine he'll have some questions. The installer needs to know how to handle the situation. This will give the installer a lot of credibility, and will make his job easier. If that customer has confidence in him, they'll feel better about the whole job." Training Florstar's salespeople is a major investment for the company, says Wainscott, involving two days off the sales floor, and the $350 course fee. Even though they won't be certified (only full-time installers can be certified), they're still expected to install floor panels or planks, do a panel replacement, glueup, clean up, and pass the test.

"Some of them just love it," says Wainscott. "They're right down on the floor with the installers, cutting and routing, getting right into the nuts and bolts of laying a Wilsonart floor." When asked if there's a simple secret to a successful installation, commonly overlooked, Wainscott doesn't skip a beat: "Glue ­ you've got to make sure it squeezes up through the top. That's the main reason for most failures." LFJ

All in a day's work.

Festool builds tools that help the flooring installer work faster, cleaner, and smarter. For example, with our plunge saws and guide rails you can make clean, straight and

Wainscott with Wilsonart Flooring's 400th Certified Installer, Ronald G. Halling, of MCI/ICI in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.

accurate cuts right on the floor, without clamping. The extremely accurate height adjustment on our router lets you do regrooves without ledging. Our advanced dust extraction technology keeps the area clean, and our modular organization system keeps it neat. You can do things with Festool that you can't do with anything else. Your floors will reflect it. With Festool, it's all in a day's work.

Like nothing else

Gene Wainscott, wrapping up a two-day Certified Installer class in Eagan, Minnesota. 2002

888.463.3786 www.festool-usa.com

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atPLAY

P R O J E C T

P R O J E C T:

I N F O

WhirlyBall, Chicago

DEALER:

Home Carpet One

DISTRIBUTOR:

Florstar

F L O O R I N G PAT T E R N S

Golden Oak Blocked 2033-71 Oakwood Blocked 2042-71

WhirlyBall Wins

With Tough Wilsonart Flooring

Looking for a sport for the new millennium? Throw basketball, hockey, polo, and a dash of jai lai into a bowl, blend it with bumper cars, and you've got...WhirlyBall!

As a sport it's been around for 17 years, and can be played by almost anyone, in teams of five. Players move around the court in bumper cars, called WhirlyBugs, using hand-held scoops to propel a whiffle ball toward a backboard. WhirlyBall facilities house not only the playing courts, but a sports bar, observation areas, and meeting rooms. Many of those found playing on any given day are part of an outing - corporate excursions, birthday parties, bachelorette parties, or any group of people looking for a different kind of good time. One WhirlyBall location, on Chicago's West Fullerton Avenue, houses three courts in its 24,000 sq. ft. building, as well as a sports bar with video games and pool tables, a small lounge area, and lofts that overlook each of the courts and double as meeting spaces and buffet areas. "The original flooring in the bar area was wood," says owner Sam Elias. "Between the regular moisture problems you have around a bar, people putting out cigarettes on the floor, and the fact that the rubber feet get torn off the bottom of barstools, that floor looked awful after a year. It definitely needed to be replaced." Dave Neustatder, WhirlyBall's rep from Home Carpet One, was brought in to make suggestions. He recommended Wilsonart Classic Flooring, but before jumping into anything, Elias and his manager Dave Ortiz wanted to put the product to the test. "Cigarette butts were our number one concern," says Ortiz. "So we tested its resistance to burning with cigarettes, hot water, and it looked like it would hold up." "We also tested it very heavily with the barstools, literally smashing the metal bottom of the stools against the Wilsonart Flooring in order to try and scratch it, and we weren't able to. This pretty much sold us." After this floor had been down for a year and a half, an air conditioner in another area leaked all over another wood floor there and ruined it. Elias says replacing with Wilsonart Flooring was a nobrainer. "We've had leakage problems since, but the Wilsonart Flooring looks as good as the day we put it in. It's also very easy to clean, it's incredibly durable, and solved a major hassle for us." LFJ

"The Wilsonart Floor looks as good as the day we put it in. It's also very easy to clean, and incredibly durable."

SAM ELIAS

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The Wilsonart Floor looks new after 18 months, despite frequent moisture from an air conditioning unit.

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product

TM

SPOTLIGHT

One Step Stair Treads: The Finishing Touch Installing Flooring on W Stair Riser

Wilsonart Flooring has again received some of the flooring industry's most prestigious awards! We couldn't have done it without you, our extraordinary dealers and distributors,

February, 2002:

Floor Covering Weekly awards Wilsonart Flooring FIRST place (three years in a row!) in the Surfaces 2002 Dealers' Choice Awards in two categories: · Laminate Flooring for Estate Plus · Flooring Related Category for Trac-Loc ilsonart Flooring's One Step Laminate Stair Treads complete the look of any Wilsonart Flooring installation, and offer a competitive advantage to Wilsonart Flooring dealers. Some basic installation guidelines must be followed, but overall, the procedure is very straight-forward. adhering to the steps. If Wilsonart Flooring is used at the top of the stairs, scribe the riser before installing the One Step tread, laminate-wrapped stair nose, or step-down molding. To reduce the number of time treads and risers are dry fitted, make a pattern for each tread and riser with scribing paper or a template system such as the Stair Wizard®. Use the pattern or template to transfer scribe marks to the tread, being sure to allow for the riser and stair nose thickness. When routing the left side of the tread, start at the nose and rout in 1/2 inch in to prevent laminate blowout when you make the final rout from the rear of the tread. Risers should be scribed before the upper tread is glued into position. The factory groove should sit on top of the lower tread, and risers should slip behind the stair nose and support the upper tread, holding it in place. Risers should be glued with a construction-grade mastic. To cut tread widths, first rough cut the tread 1/16-inch greater than the desired mark. Then use a top bearing router bit or template guide system with a straight edge for the finish cut. The final cut of each tread and riser should be at least 1/16-inch shorter than the width of the actual step. This will allow for easy installation and avoid damaging or marring the stringer, and allow for expansion and contraction. Splitting the difference will leave a 1/32-inch gap that should be filled with color-matched caulk after gluing. If Wilsonart Flooring is installed on the floor at the bottom of the stairs, maintain a 5/16-inch expansion gap, scribe the first riser, and rough cut and router treads and risers as above.

June, 2002:

Floor Focus awards Wilsonart Flooring #1 in Service, Design and Quality in 2002 Retail Survey

so please consider this a heart-felt thanks for a job well done. Here is what your commitment and spirit of teamwork has earned for all of us:

Installing One Step Stair Treads

The existing steps must be clean, flat, structurally sound, and securely nailed. On prefabricated staircases, you may have to remove or build out the existing stair nose, without damaging or marring the existing stringers. Installation may start from the top or the bottom of the stairs. In either case, dry fit all treads and risers prior to

Adhering Treads and Risers

Use a constructiongrade mastic like Wilsonart's WA7190 or Liquid Nails LN-602 to glue treads and risers. Either the full-spread or bead method is acceptable. For full-spread, use a 3/32-inch "v"-notch or square-notch trowel. For the bead method, apply five 1/4-inch continuous beads of adhesive along the width (long dimen-

"As a company, Wilsonart has made outstanding customer service a priority since its founding over 40 years ago," says Curt Haffner, Wilsonart Flooring General Manager. "The Supplier Service Award from National Floor Trends recognizes the dedication of the people who represent Wilsonart Flooring, from product development and manufacturing, to the distributor salespeople in the trenches. "We never forget the needs of independent flooring retailers, because they are ultimately responsible for the success of Wilsonart Flooring. We know we have to keep earning their loyalty, day in and day out. That's why our focus is always on their needs and on what it takes to help them succeed in the flooring marketplace.

sion) of the treads and risers. With either method, apply a continuous bead of adhesive, behind the stair nose in the inside corner, so the riser can seat and fill in voids. Brad nailing or placing hotmelt glue in a few spots will help the One Step stair tread stay in place until the construction adhesive has set. For concrete or metal stairs, use only Wilsonart's WA7190. LFJ

May, 2002:

Floor Covering News awards Wilsonart Flooring FIRST place in the 2002 Award of Excellence for laminate flooring!

May, 2002:

National Floor Trends awards Wilsonart Flooring (three years in a row) with the 2002 Annual Supplier Award in Best Service!

"The recognition Wilsonart Flooring has received validates our emphasis on manufacturing the highest quality laminate flooring," says Haffner. "Our manufacturing precision and product innovations have helped make Wilsonart Flooring a recognized market leader, and we're honored that the flooring industry acknowledges our efforts. "We thank our dealer and distributor partners for making Wilsonart Flooring such a success story. We couldn't do it without you!" LFJ

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PROFILE

Wilsonart Commitment Motivates Beckler's Sales Force

that make us feel that Wilsonart has a vested interest in our success." Wilsonart Flooring was one of the first brands the Beckler's chose to stock on a daily basis, starting with 10 plank and 10 tile designs. It's definitely the most popular laminate flooring brand at the store, and is increasing with the new DuoLink product. "The "click" category is huge in the southeast. I don't know if it's the ease of installation, or how the high humidity in this area complicates working with glued-up products - although we haven't experienced this ­ or just excitement about a new product category. Manufacturing quality and design style make Wilsonart Flooring a natural seller, says Peeples, but it's the on-site training and grass-roots marketing that make it stand out for both Beckler's' salespeople...and customers. "We've had Wilsonart training in house a number of times, most recently over Memorial Day weekend. They spent time with the entire product line, emphasizing the DuoLink system, with both our sales force and with consumers. We advertised that we had a Wilsonart Flooring rep on site, and the turnout was good. "I'd have to say that our salespeople definitely like Wilsonart Flooring best, because of the training they receive, and because we have very few customer callbacks. Without a doubt, the training has made the biggest difference. No one else has taken their effort to this degree. Dealing with Wilsonart makes you feel like you have a partLFJ ner in business."

The Latest Discovery in Lasting Natural Beauty

Beckler' s

Doug Peeples, Beckler's sales manager

DALTON, GEORGIA may not be where you'd expect to find one of the top 50 floor covering retailers in America. But right off of highway 41, at one-time the main North-South thoroughfare, sits Beckler's, quietly doing over $19 million in sales last year out of a single location. "Dalton is the carpet capitol, the floor covering Mecca of the world," says Doug Peeples, sales manager. "Our company used to be known as Beckler's Carpet, but we actually sell a full array of floor covering, including ceramic, laminate, wood, carpet, vinyl and oriental rugs. "We aggressively started pursuing the

laminate category in the fall of 1998, and in that process developed a relationship with Wilsonart. That's one thing that really impressed us about them. They've maintained a very good relationship with us directly as a store, not just through their distributorship. The majority of my sales force has been to Wilsonart Flooring's facility in Temple, Texas on mill tours, as has our management team. This was a Wilsonart Flooring initiative, and it's one of the things

Introducing Duraline XT Wear Resistant Overlay

TM

Duraline XTTM is a brand new overlay technology that not only adds improved depth to wood finishes, but also a layer of clear protection unmatched by liquid overlay products. In independent testing, Duraline holds up longer with improved clarity and scuff/scratch resistance, resulting in long-term savings and lasting beautiful floors. It's the newest standard for the industry.

40 Willow St. · South Lee, MA 01260-0188 tel: 413-243-1231 · fax: 413-243-4602

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PAID

MADISON, WI PERMIT NO. 2223

Whoever said beauty is only skin deep didn't know the Wilsonart laminate story.

Once you look beyond the surface, you'll see

that not all laminate flooring is created equal. Our two-step, high pressure laminate process creates a floor that's more durable than the "other guys." This high pressure bonding process also allows for more "graining" and color variations in the laminate, giving it a much more realistic wood-look and feel. A protective wear layer on top of the pattern keeps your floor looking as beautiful years later as the day you installed it. Our water-resistant fiberboard core provides extra moisture resistance so that the integrity of your floor isn't spoiled by puckering seams or swollen planks. Flooring experts know Wilsonart high pressure laminate flooring is the best and most durable flooring available in the widest range of styles and colors. And did we mention it's beautiful?

Visit www.wilsonart.com or call 1-800-710-8846 for more information.

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