Press Room | 2011

January 15, 2011

Leading The Vinyl Revival:
Armstrong positions retailers to win in growing category


Armstrong, the leader in vinyl sheet flooring, has come to market with an offering and program designed to provide its distribution and retailer partners with a powerful advantage. 

“We took the opportunity to start with a clean sheet of paper, and design for success over the next five to ten years. The result is a refreshed, new offering in vinyl sheet of best-in-class designs, performance and value, supported by breakthrough merchandising and sales training,” said Allen Cubell, vice president, residential sales & marketing.  “Our timely reinvention of vinyl sheet will drive business for dealers by offering the right product and the right program at the right time.”

In what is arguably the broadest vinyl flooring portfolio of any single flooring manufacturer – more than 130 designs, across 400 skus and three structures –the Armstrong residential vinyl sheet line represents more choices for consumers and additional sales opportunities for retailers. 

“We launched this program to our Armstrong and distributor sales forces two weeks ago, with very high expectations,” remarked Ed Sofia, Armstrong residential channel marketing manager. “The response from the market is very enthusiastic –exceeding our initial hopes. Retailers are seeing the value.”

How it’s made

Only Armstrong offers three vinyl sheet flooring structures, fiberglass, felt and our exclusive Stratamax™ construction, each designed to meet specific performance and lifestyle needs, including glue-down as well as loose-lay installation options. 

Armstrong is the market leader in vinyl sheet; roughly 97 percent of all flooring retailers sell Armstrong vinyl. Today, Armstrong is leading the transition to fiberglass vinyl sheet flooring with its new Duality™ collection.

“The durable artistry of Duality combines ultra-realistic, three-dimensional visuals with our new ToughGuard® Flex backing offering durability unmatched by other fiberglass floors,” said JoLynne Brew, Armstrong product manager, residential vinyl sheet. Duality will withstand even the most active lifestyles offering best-in-class warranties including lifetime limited and up to 15 years light commercial.

“Dealers benefit from the robust light commercial warranties on the new Duality product line,” said Cubell.  “Think about the Main Street options—over 80 skus that can brighten up a bathroom, a doctor’s office or dorm room, military housing or a beauty salon. And, the list goes on.” 

In addition to Duality, Armstrong has refreshed its CushionStep™ and Starstep® collections with terrific new designs and colors.  CushionStep, a fiberglass floor that is soft underfoot with flexible installation options; and StarStep, Armstrong’s tried-and-true felt-backed vinyl flooring offering performance and value in a glue-down installation.

The fiberglass vinyl sheet floors are manufactured in the U.S.A. at Armstrong’s state-of-the-art Lancaster, Pa., manufacturing facility.  Like all Armstrong resilient floors, they are third-party FloorScore™ certified for better indoor air quality and a healthier home.  And, are compliant with California Section 01350 recognized as the toughest standard in the country.

How it looks and performs

Flooring customers shop first and foremost by visuals. With the broadest selection in the industry, Armstrong offers choices for every customer. 

The new vinyl sheet collection is organized by visuals–stones, woods and alternatives–and then broken down by performance attributes, features and benefits unique to each selection. Progression from one level to the next is distinguished by upgrades in design, stain protection and warranties, creating an intuitive shopping experience for consumers and a practical selling story for retail salespeople.

From the unique markings of dramatic slate to modular designs that mimic the look of a ceramic installation, the stones collection captures the beauty of natural material and provides warmth and comfort underfoot. The wood collection captures the timeless looks and rich graining of natural hardwood, from exotic and reclaimed, to the character of the finest cuts of oak.  The alternatives collection is visually exotic, combining floor and fashion, from the stylish look of leather to modern designs that add drama and sophistication to any room. 

The new Duality collection’s stunningly realistic visuals are achieved by exclusive Masterworks Technology® printing that creates floors that look as good as their natural inspiration. Like a high-definition television MasterWorks Technology® 3D with VTx™ captures the Depth, Definition and Dimension of natural materials, so that stones look and feel like stones, and wood looks and feels like wood. 

In addition to design, Armstrong’s CleanSweep® protective coating prevents stains from everyday spills, scratches and scuffs, with minimal maintenance.  For the additional benefit of antimicrobial protection, certain floors in the Best and Premium collections also are available with an antimicrobial layer to help guard against stain and odor causing bacteria on the floor’s surface. 

How it’s bought and sold

Simpler, more attractive, more functional, smarter—that sums up the new Armstrong vinyl sheet selling system.  The displays have been carefully designed, with input from retailers as well as consumers, to make the shopping process for consumers stress-free and the selling process for retail sales associates easy.

Armstrong is offering new ways to bring this collection to retailers—six displays and one sample kit—that highlight the beauty of the new vinyl sheet flooring products.  Selection is made simple by focusing on the consumer’s visual preferences, which allows her to choose the look that best coordinates with her décor.

Armstrong uses a new-patent pending spline for the loose lay samples in its new selling systems, enabling them to be quickly and easily removed, viewed and replaced.  On the back of every sample is a label with a room scene photograph. 

“We don’t for a second believe that one size fits all,” said Cubell. Since the displays feature a modular system, they can evolve over time.  “If loose lay floors continue to grow, out go the wings, in go another table for loose lay product.  This display system is designed to provide years of successful selling in retail showrooms. No competitive selling system comes close,” said Cubell.

A newly simplified product line creates greater exclusivity in the market place, with products unique to the independent retailer. 

“Customized product offerings mean increased sales for dealers, and helps to eliminate cross-shopping,” said Cubell.  “Armstrong provides a unique opportunity to retailers to leverage a powerful brand with distinct products.” 

New technology and new style ideas come together to enhance the beauty, performance and comfort of Armstrong’s vinyl sheet flooring, qualities that are in step with what today’s consumers want to buy.  While kitchen and bath renovations still top the list of remodeling and repair projects, people want to spend less but get more. 

“Today’s consumer is frugal, reluctant to spend and when they do spend they choose function over appetite.  This behavior crosses all categories – automobiles, homes, clothing, and of course flooring,” said Cubell. “We believe we are launching the right product for the world we are living in and the world to come.”

About Armstrong World Industries
Armstrong World Industries, Inc. is a global leader in the design and manufacture of floors, ceilings and cabinets. In 2010, Armstrong’s consolidated net sales totaled approximately $2.8 billion. Based in Lancaster, Pa., Armstrong operates 33 plants in eight countries and has approximately 9,500 employees worldwide. For more information, visit or become a fan on Facebook.

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Michelle Zelman
phone: 717-396-4664

Armstrong Duality™ Premium Plus in Bandelier™ Flint is a truly unique design offering high fashion and high performance.
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