Price is often a good indicator of quality, which is why it benefits the industry to be educated on premium products and how they serve the residential sector.

Price can often be viewed as a good indicator of quality, assuming the product originates from a reputable manufacturer with trusted Quality Assurance controls in place. According to Belgotex Floorcoverings, the relationship between price and quality suggests that higher-ticket items guarantee superior quality and the latest available technology. However, appearances can be deceiving and it is often necessary to delve a little deeper to understand the intrinsic value of a product before making a purchase decision.

Belgotex Floorcoverings always advise their customers to buy the best they can afford. Unfortunately, this is often tempered with a needs analysis that carefully matches the requirements of the customer (and space) to a particular product specification which usually transcends mere budget considerations.

The company prides itself on being a market innovator, offering up-to-the-minute flooring solutions whilst maintaining operational efficiencies for cost control and price management. Belgotex Floorcoverings’ commitment to achieving success was noted by the industry, and as such, they were awarded with the 360 Degrees Excellence in Flooring Award at the inaugural SA Flooring Awards in 2013. Through this they have set a high standard for those aiming to achieve the same reward at 2015’s event.

Their new product developments are occasionally offered at a premium, guaranteeing improved performance benefits and unique features – an assurance to customers that they will always benefit from the latest advances in flooring technology. Depending on the technology or manufacturing process used, these higher prices are usually justified by an enhanced customer experience and extended longevity, not only by the need to recover the cost of R&D!

Fact: Not all carpets are created equal

Upmarket carpet ranges from Belgotex Floorcoverings such as Royal Twist and Westminster, both made from Stainproof SDX, and Vogue and Reflections with new SDX Soft, represent the pinnacle of hi-tech luxury and quality. Offering the very latest in stainproof fibre technology and treatments such as anti-microbial Silvercare that prevent allergies and asthma, these premium ranges are engineered for outstanding performance and durability and aim to deliver on expectations.

Their higher decitex fibre, high-twist technology and higher stitch rates (produced on 1/10 gauge tufting machines) create more luxurious and dense products with an increased comfort quotient. In turn, the convenience factor is improved through the superior stainproof properties and wear characteristics of revolutionary Solution Dyed Nylon (SDX) yarn with trilobal filaments and antistatic technology.

SDX offers exceptional clarity and colourfastness, with unparalleled wear resistance in heavy traffic areas. The colour pigments are locked into the molecular structure of the fibre, running through to the core like the colour saturation of a carrot. Effectively making the colour more than just skin-deep, this process not only ensures that stains won’t become a permanent part of the carpet or that harsh cleaning agents won’t lift the colour from the yarn, but also makes these ranges more eco-friendly as they use less water and chemicals during their production.

The trilobal filaments keep soiling on the surface for easy removal with a vacuum cleaner, while the high-twist technology provides a high-quality tip definition, ensuring appearance retention and excellent soil-hiding properties.
SDX Soft yarn is the product of a unique colourlock technology that utilises a blend of UV and heat stabilisers to deliver better tensile strength and superior colourfastness without compromising on the carpet’s softness. The filaments of SDX Soft are finer, making top-of-the-range Vogue extremely soft to touch, without jeopardising performance.

It should also be noted that SDX Soft ranges have several fibres locked together by means of high-twist technology to achieve superior performance.

Buyers beware

Belgotex Floorcoverings cautions the industry to be wary of window dressing and making incorrect assumptions.

As vinyl flooring continues to grow in popularity, with innovation driving demand, it’s easy to jump to conclusions about a particular vinyl’s quality or performance based on appearance or price. According to Belgotex Floorcoverings, many people mistakenly believe that the thickness of the plank determines its durability, when in fact the thickness of the wear layer is the more important consideration. Furthermore, it is also incorrectly assumed that dry-back Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVTs) that are stuck down are more water-resistant than click-system joints.

Belgotex Floorcoverings once again advises industry players to make it their business to understand the real value of new product developments, which are usually driven by unsatisfied needs or shortcomings of existing products (gaps) already in the market. By illustrating their benefits (rather than just their features), a company will be able to pitch more successfully to its customers.

Belgotex Floorcoverings are also of the opinion that LVTs are undoubtedly among the best-value propositions for the high-end residential user, offering instant fashionable wood or stone finishes with minimal installation fuss.

However, what differentiates a top-end vinyl from an entry-level product is usually the technology in the backing; the installation method; and/or the wear rating determined by the wear layer. (Although one would not usually equate heavy residential with medium commercial but the latter could be used in upmarket households.)

Dimensional stability is one of the most important elements of LVT, which is why Belgotex Floorcoverings identifies a few factors to look out for. Fibreglass scrim and virgin PVC are both critical factors, especially when it comes to click-system or loose-lay products. The fibreglass scrim assists the product to maintain its shape and form when exposed to temperature fluctuations. Virgin PVC has two direct benefits which do come at a slight premium:
1.    The quality of raw materials used to construct the product can be controlled, which is critical when striving for the best possible stability.
2.    The product is guaranteed clean and free of banned plasticisers.

For a truly decorative floor, Belgotex Floorcoverings encourages the use of its Nottingham loose-lay LVT products with patented TacBac* pressure-sensitive adhesive backing, allowing for multi-coloured or creative designs. Unrestricted by male/female joints and directional limitations, Nottingham tiles can be mixed and matched or laid in any direction, while the tacky backing allows for tiles to be laid and moved.

Nottingham’s backing is activated when pressure is applied to it and consists of a nylon fibre that absorbs moisture in order to maintain its adhesive properties throughout the product’s lifespan. In conclusion, Belgotex Floorcoverings proudly adds that Nottingham’s fibreglass scrim adds 70% more dimensional stability than other click LVTs.

*TacBac is a registered trademark