Foundation of Comfort: Interfloor’s Leadership in Flooring Solutions

Solid underfoot

Operating as part of the part of the Victoria plc group of companies, Interfloor provides carpet underlay and flooring accessories to flooring retailers, distributors and specialist contractors within the UK and around the world

Interfloor was established in 2002 following the merger of Duralay International Holdings and the Consumer & Industrial Division of Gates Ltd, which owned the Tredaire & Gripperrods brands. Incorporated in 1920 and originally manufacturing jute products, the company’s modern brand heritage dates back to the early 1950’s when Duralay became the world’s first manufacturer of rubber based underlay. In 2015 Interfloor was acquired by Victoria plc, a group of highly successful entrepreneurially managed companies principally operating in the UK, European, and Australian flooring markets.

“We are today the largest manufacturer and distributor of carpet underlay and related accessories in Europe. Interfloor is a truly successful UK manufacturing business and award winning exporter with a great brand heritage and an exciting future. We have a turnover of circa £75m and employ over 300 people across our two manufacturing sites, which are located in Haslingden, Lancashire and Dumfries in Scotland. We supply almost 2000 UK outlets incorporating a wealth of small independents as well as virtually all the main flooring retailers and wholesalers, including Carpetright, John Lewis, United Carpets, Headlam, Floorwise and Kingfisher.

In addition we also supply around 400 customers across the rest of the world. Export accounts for almost 20 per cent of our business and we are particularly strong within the Middle-East, Far-East and Northern Europe,” reveals CEO, John Cooper. “Joining Victoria plc has been highly beneficial to the company, as it has allowed increased investment into our manufacturing base to deliver increased capacity and efficiencies throughout the business. This is coupled with the fact that the sharing of best practice amongst the companies within the Group has obvious benefits, and we are now working alongside an exceptional team of entrepreneurially minded senior managers, all focused on growth and delivering increased shareholder value, which is helping to further drive the Interfloor senior team to even greater heights.”

Interfloor provides a suite of underlay flooring solutions, which provide several highly desirable advantages in terms of comfort, aesthetic and insulation. In addition to helping to ensure carpets continue to look new throughout their lifetime, underlay provides an effective barrier, aiding heat retention that can potentially cut heating bills by up to 15 per cent. Furthermore, underlay also acts as a barrier to sound, which helps to secure a quieter home. In many cases underlay for wood and laminate floors can reduce in-room noise by as much as 30 per cent. In terms of appearance, wear, day-to-day usage and cleaning, underlay acts as a shock absorber against everyday wear-and-tear that can extend the lifetime of a carpet by up to 50 per cent. In terms of hygiene underlay also acts as a barrier to embedded dirt, making it easier to clean and maintain carpets.

With a comprehensive base of underlay products and associated accessories, Interfloor represents a one-stop-shop for clients looking to secure a safe and effective solution to their flooring needs. This extensive product line includes the highly respected Durafit range, as well as underlay products for wood and laminate and underlay systems for underfloor heating. The Durafit system was the first double-stick system for carpet and underlay upon its launch during the 1980s. It is now regarded as the de-facto standard for stick-down systems and has been used successfully in thousands of contract installations, large and small, around the world. The Durafit system offers many major benefits to any installation regardless of size and adds to the creative use of carpets, including border work and brand logos, which can enhance any site whether it be a sporting venue, welcoming hotel or a strong corporate business unit. Durafit achieves all this and more while retaining impressive qualities in terms of durability, comfort and sound and heat insulation.

Further to developing a strong product portfolio backed by a high level of customer service, Interfloor has invested significant resources into ensuring that it represents a responsible operator within the market with an acute awareness of issues surrounding the environment and sustainability. “Interfloor has great green credentials, with almost 50 per cent of all the materials used in production being of a recycled nature, and all of the resulting underlay products themselves then being 100 per cent recyclable. Subject to environmental permitting regulations and periodic environmental audits due to the nature of the manufacturing processes, the business strives to surpass any base requirements and challenges itself to take an industry leading position,” John says. “This has included investing £3.4 million into installing a state-of-the-art regenerative thermal oxidiser to ensure emissions are well within legal bounds. As a result of being a major supplier to the likes of Carpetright, John Lewis, and Kingfisher, Interfloor is also subject to regular social and ethical responsibility audits as required by these highly regarded professional retailers. Social responsibility is also seen as being very much an integral part of the cultural change undertaken, with works councils recently being introduced at both manufacturing sites, involvement in charity activities and increased involvement with local authorities and elected officials.”

While the recent decision to trigger the UK’s exit from the EU has created some uncertainty within the market, Interfloor has been fortunate in that its UK sales and export activities have continued unabated. In fact, the increase in new housing developments within the UK presents a further source of opportunity, while an increase in contract services for a variety of business types throughout the world should equally prove to be a sector for growth. “Interfloor is a genuinely great UK manufacturing business and we are proud of our heritage, our brands, our people, and our success to date. The strategy moving forward is simple – we will continue to build on our strengths by embracing an even more customer centric culture within the business,” John concludes. “We will do this by always asking ourselves ‘If I was the customer, would I be happy?’ We will also further drive profitable growth and deliver increasing shareholder value through delivering exceptional customer service. This means customer service encompassing not just delivery on time and in full, but equally quality, range, price, sales support, marketing support and new products.”

Products: Underlay for carpets and wood & laminate, and flooring accessories