Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Jim Gould Reports from Domotex Hannover

Domotex Hannover 2011 is over and early reports say it was a big success with 1,350 exhibitors from 70 countries and 40,000 visitors.  Jim Gould sends his comments....

As always, new products, new innovations and renewed friendships added to the optimistic start of a another year.  The crowds seemed bigger than last year and sentiments were optimistic.  One of the most interesting products I saw (and there were several) was Bolefloor's (Estonia) curved-length wood flooring with planks that follow the shape of the tree's natural growth. Their technology scans the tree, and using custom algorithms, cuts the tree in long planks leaving no waste. Planks are numbered so the tree is actually reassembled as flooring making each floor unique. Talk about optimization and uniqueness!

Bolefloor Oak courtesy of Bolefloor.com
The ITC anit-dumping case was a hot topic but the general feeling here is that it is much to do about nothing. Sentiment seemed similar to the remark of one flooring exec who said, "Eliminating $119 million worth of imported product from China will not create new jobs unless you are counting attorneys."

Frans de Cock is happy to have his son Paul (and daughter-in-law and grandson) back in Belgium running Unilin.

Ed Korczak (National Wood Flooring Association) and Wanda Ellis (American Flooring Alliance) were busy with their very large consolidated American exhibitor spaces. Bas van Genderen was busy in his Pedross space where they are using reclaimed, post manufactured oak waste to make finger-jointed moldings that are then laminated with everything from real exotic wood to direct print designs.

Although I love going, I'll be glad to get back to home turf...even if it's only for a couple of days before heading out to Surfaces.  Hope to see many of you there!


Jim Gould is President of the Floor Covering Institute

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