: Don't Judge a Floor by Its Cover

What's old is looking quite new again at Tandus, after input by two of the country's leading textile designers, Jhane Barnes and Suzanne Tick. While Powerbond was first introduced by Collins & Akimann (now a brand under Tandus) in 1967, it is likely that many designers have never even considered specifying it—or perhaps never even heard of it. The reason? It was admittedly not the most attractive product around, even if it does boast outstanding performance and maintenance characteristics. But when Tandus recently added the design talents of Suzanne Tick and Jhane Barnes to the functional equation, Powerbond emerged as a floorcovering that is finally turning some heads.

Neither resilient flooring nor carpeting, Powerbond is actually termed by Tandus a "hybrid resilient with a textile wear layer" that encapsulates the best qualities of each category. The patented, 6-ft., structured-back floorcovering has long combined the performance characteristics of hard surface flooring with the textile-like appearance of carpet. "Durability, maintainability, and acoustics cost are qualities that usually point to resilient flooring," says Tom Ellis, vice president of sales at Tandus. "The addition of the textile face to a resilient construction opened up a whole new design medium. Powerbond can save 20 to 30 percent on cost and still offers those same performance characteristics." Now, it also features updated styling.

"What Suzanne [Tick] and Jhane [Barnes] brought to us was their ability to design any type of fabric. We brought the technology to put that onto a floor," continues Ellis. Tick and Barnes actually lobbied Tandus to add specific manufacturing technology that made new patterns like Tick's Manufactured Landscapes and Barnes' Box Study possible—a significant purchase that was proven worthwhile when the new Powerbond products received an outstanding reception among designers at NeoCon®.

Powerbond has proven to be a long lasting product, with some installations dating back 30 years or more. It has been favored in the durability-obsessed education and healthcare markets, and the retail sector is beginning to take note. It is offered in three different constructions: condensed cushion, which is recyclable, ER3 Cushion made from recycled content flooring material, and non-PVC Ethos. Water-impermeability and excellent seaming qualities add to its appeal, as does its new look—the next chapter in the decades-old story of Powerbond. Readers Service No. 200

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