When we talk about what consumers want in flooring, the conversation usually turns to features like waterproof, wide planks, innovation and on-trend color and design. While those things remain in demand, due to recent events, many consumers have moved sanitation to the top of the list.
Now more than ever, homeowners are taking the cleanliness of their interiorsâ€”floors includedâ€”to a new level, in a concerted effort to keep comfort in and potentially harmful viruses out.
â€śFlooring choices related to style, design, color, and application havenâ€™t necessarily shifted; what has changed are the questions that a consumer is asking,â€ť said Mike Sanderson, vice president of marketing, Engineered Floors. â€śMuch like preferences or concerns related to sustainability and the environment, a consumer wants to know and understand more than ever about the ease of cleaning, sanitation, or maintenance of their flooring choices.â€ť
Continuing to stay abreast of the changing needs of its membersâ€™ customers, CCA has expanded its Healthier Living Installation System in a new program named Neutralize.
â€śOur belief is that our customersâ€™ homes should be the safest place in the world,â€ť said Frank Chiera, senior vice president of marketing and advertising, Flooring America/Flooring Canada, The Floor Trader, and International Design Guild. â€śWe believe that through Neutralize, we can help ease our customersâ€™ minds about viruses and other contaminants in the home.â€ť
Enhancing the Healthier Living Installation System, which rolled out almost a decade ago, CCA accelerated its efforts to take the program to the next level with Neutralize in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. With this system, the installation process destroys viruses and other contaminants before, during and after a flooring installation.
â€śWe have enhanced the program to not only protect the floor from mold, mildew, viruses and bacteria, but also to disinfect,â€ť said Bevin Andrews, senior vice president of marketing for Carpet One Floor & Home.
According to Andrews, Neutralize is a system that also has the ability to kill traces of coronavirus on the floorâ€™s surface.
In addition to the Neutralize system for residential applications, CCA has also developed Neutralize Pro for commercial applications, and CCA retailers have been given a kit that includes all of the necessary materials needed to get started, and training will ensure that everyone from members to sales pros and installers can confidently execute the program.
â€śOur mission at CCA is to lift up the independent retailer and make them better, provide more services and help them be the best they can be,â€ť said Chiera.
Coronavirus has visibly sped up product innovation in the antibacterial surface category and companies like Procter & Gamble (P&G) are offering families new sanitizing products that work around the clock.
Microban 24, a new antibacterial home sanitizing product from P&G, keep surfaces sanitized for up to 24 hoursâ€”even after multiple touchesâ€”kills 99.9% of germs, including cold and flu viruses and sanitizes both hard and soft surfaces, says Martin Hettich, P&Gâ€™s vice president of North American home care brands.
Along with a new $100 million campaign to promote the product, the flooring industry has also incorporated the new technology.
â€śMicroban 24 is a $100 million campaign, so it will become a household name,â€ť said Derek Brooks, senior vice president sales and business development, North America, Torlys. Brooks noted that P&G last invested into a brand at this level for its popular Febreze odor-eliminating products 20 years ago and Tide laundry detergent 30 years ago. Since 2016, Torlys has licensed the Microban technology on its EverWood and EverTile LVT flooring, which includes Microban on the CorkPlus attached underlay.
Phenix Flooring has also been onboard, offering the only carpet with built-in Microban antimicrobial technology. â€śLast year, we made a move to introduce 2019 PET products to include the added feature and benefit of Microban antimicrobial technology, and this year, weâ€™ve extended this protection to virtually all Phenix SureSoftSD polyester and newly launched SureSoftSDN nylon styles,â€ť said Mark Clayton, president of Phenix Flooring.
According to Clayton, the manufacturer chose to work exclusively with Microban