With the weakening Rand and increased competitiveness from local sponge manufacturers, it’s time that flooring materials importers take note of opportunities to source more material locally, says John Haarhoff of John Moffat Prolock, a company specialising in converting materials such as sponge and metals into finished goods.
John explains that closed-cell EVA sponges made locally are perfectly suited to many flooring applications like conventional underlay, flooring and underlay protection in kids’ play areas, ergonomic flooring, and even skirting. EVA sponges offer a number of benefits to the client as well as installers and project managers. Not only is this type of sponge naturally waterproof, but it is able to retain its bounciness and comes in a variety of grades that can be tailored for specific applications.
“These sponges are easy to cut and join, so they can be tailored for project-specific purposes. It’s also a cost-effective alternative since they are manufactured locally. This also means that there’s excellent backup and support without the lengthy delays associated with transportation and the additional opportunity to configure products for particular applications,” commented John.
Another effective application of sponge is to use this material as skirting, where an endless number of cross sections can be manufactured with many benefits. “Skirtex* is supplied in 5m lengths which can be rolled up and painted. It is perfect for curved or angled walls,” said John. The skirting is also made from recycled material and it doesn’t absorb water, so it won’t swell or shrink and can therefore be used outdoors or in areas where water is prevalent.
“South African companies wishing to export these products to neighbouring SADAC countries can do so without incurring excessive import duties,” concludes John.
*Skirtex is a registered trademark