Ofar the years, Karndean Designflooring has proven itself to be an invaluable partner to the retail community. From stellar customer service to head-turning product design, the company continuously strives for excellence in an effort to support its retail partners.
As Cody Carman, co-owner of Wecker’s Flooring in York, Pa., put it: “They make it really easy to do business.”
In the current business climate, Carman noted that suppliers are often looking to cover their own best interests rather than those of their partners. Karndean is not that kind of supplier. “When it comes to working with certain manufacturers nowadays, if you have an issue it is a long, drawn-out process and their goal is to protect themselves over the customer,” he explained. “We have a relationship with Karndean where if there is an issue—and there aren’t many—they find a solution and make sure our customers are happy. It is important to them that we look good to our customers.”
Carman added that one of the biggest struggles for a flooring dealer today is the ability to get materials—but that’s where Karndean shines. “Karndean does a wonderful job of staying on top of stocking their material. If I order something it comes quickly.”
In fact, a major pillar of the Karndean brand is its elevated product portfolio. From high-end stone looks to real-world-inspired wood visuals, Karndean’s luxury vinyl product offering is seemingly unmatched.
Within that portfolio is Korlok Select, the company’s premier interlocking waterproof rigid core line, which dealers say has become an invaluable addition to their product selections. “We strive to provide the perfect balance of performance, original visuals and design options within Korlok Select,” Dave Capalbo, vice president of retail sales, Karndean Designflooring, told FCNews† †[We have a] wide breadth of wood and stone visuals with designs. Our herringbone format meets the need for expanded pattern and layout options in the rigid core format. Korlok Select Stones with InteGrout give homeowners the in-demand ceramic and porcelain visuals without the hassles of scrubbing traditional grout; plus, they don’t have to worry about InteGrout staining or harboring dirt and bacteria.”
Overall, the line itself features 24 wood visuals, sized 9 x 56; 15 stones, sized 18 x 24—most of which include color-coordinating and stain-resistant InteGrout. Three woods and two stones are also available in a 6 x 24 herringbone format. One hundred percent waterproof K-Core technology allows for installation over most existing hard floors and uneven subfloors, and a pre-attached acoustic foam backing helps to reduce noise transfer to rooms below by 22dB.
Locked and loaded (with benefits)
In terms of performance and innovation, Capalbo added that Korlok Select remains one of the few rigid products with a 5G fold-down locking mechanism for a fast and reliable install, which the company backs with its HoldFast lifetime warranty.
For Carman, the locking system is one of Korlok’s most accessible features. “Because of the 5G fold-down locking mechanism my installers enjoy installing it,” he explained. “Sometimes longer/wider planks are more difficult to put together, but it’s the look every homeowner is looking for right now. With Korlok, if one of my installation crews sees another crew leaving for a job with the line, they get jealous—every time.”
While the technology behind Korlok Select is impressive, it’s the line’s visuals and design story that truly impress. Candace Dolan, co-owner of Crossroads Flooring & Design in Victoria, Texas, who has been working with the Karndean product line since 2011, said the product is by far the highest quality and most realistic looking in the industry. “Funny enough, we used to hate Korlok,” Dolan quipped. “Mostly because it was a new product being introduced to the industry that we knew nothing about. It is now our favorite product line for many reasons. The looks are fantastic and the product itself is top-of-the-line as far as quality goes. Let’s just say, if I ever do get to build, this is what I am putting in my home.”
For Carman, it’s the story behind the visuals that truly allows Korlok Select to stand out from the—very large—luxury vinyl crowd. “They do a wonderful job of going out and finding natural products and making floors [designed to emulate that.] So, you’re not just selling a product, you’re selling a story. Salvage Barnwood is a product that [emulates] barn planks from the Northeast. You tell a consumer in Pennsylvania that story and they fall in love with it, and then Mrs. Consumer tells her friends who fall more in love with it. It’s not just a color—it’s a part of their home.”
It’s no secret that in the last five years the luxury vinyl market has become saturated. From high-end, design-forward offerings to commodities looking to snag any small piece of the massive $8 billion-plus resilient flooring pie, the value of each offering often rests on its technology or design prowess. For dealers, product lines like Korlok Select are a rarity that check all the boxes.
“Mr. Consumer wants to know the structural warranty, how it installs and what it’s made of,” Carman explained. “Mrs. Consumer wants a quality design and a realistic look. She doesn’t want somebody to walk into her house and say look at this beautiful luxury vinyl; she wants them to walk in and say look at this beautiful wood—and that’s what Korlok does. It checks the boxes for Mr. Consumer and his structural concerns and it more than checks all the boxes as far as the visuals and designs—and especially the story behind each color—for Mrs. consumer.”
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