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Fri, 25 Oct 2019 from Floor Trends
Donny Phillips, founder/president of Atlanta Flooring Design Center, offers a thumbnail description of his business with a presence in retail, builder, custom builder, and commercial sectors, and the growth the company has enjoyed in recent years. Phillips also discusses his approach to service and how he ensures all of the company’s units offer the best service day in and day out.
Monday, October 28, 2019 from Flooring Covering Weekly
[Atlanta] Fresh off of September’s convention, American Home Surfaces Group (ASHG) and Commercial USA CEO Bruce Weber is psyched for both the group’s and its supplier partners’ future. And while the group knows how to have fun — Joe Weber, son and vice president, general manager’s wedding kicked off convention this year — there is more to celebrate. Weber reported that, for the first nine months of 2019, sales for AHSG members were up 22 percent while sales for Commercial USA were up 33 percent.
“To start out in this environment and come into convention with the two divisions up significantly for the first months … it was a very upbeat group attending,” said Bruce Weber, adding that the uptick for members is, in part, due to the group’s methodical strategy to achieve set goals. “We have 50 or 60 different goals every week of every month and those that we don’t accomplish that are still meaningful roll to the next week. It’s our willingness to take the time to write goals every week that makes things happen,” he asserted.
ASHG and Commercial USA live by the set goal and what Bruce Weber called, “Five S’s” — “See them, sell them, service them, sympathize and save them.”
One goal AHSG has, noted Bruce Weber, is “the race for space. We are constantly battling and co-existing in member showrooms. Today, we are probably 15 to 20 percent of members’ showroom space. Twenty-one years ago maybe 4 or 5 percent. It’s an ongoing challenge and it all starts with that weekly plan,” he said.
Other accomplishments for 2019 include holding 118 PKs in partnership with its core vendors. “We hold them in the stores with our supplier reps,” Bruce Weber offered adding that efforts such as this have helped the group add 82 new members since last convention in 2017.
He added that the partnership with its suppliers is built to benefit both the supplier and the retail members. “Things happen when we collaborate with our suppliers,” he said. “We don’t want our people traveling alone but with a supplier. It’s teamwork.”
But success has also come from both AHSG and Commercial USA co-investing in their members. “We always look to improve the alliance. It never stands still,” Bruce Weber said. “We co-invest; it’s such a big part of making a partnership.” The group, for example, matches the expense to attend convention, association membership to the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) and supplier displays among other support systems.
In addition to guest speakers such as Peggy Grande (Ronald Reagan’s top Administrative assistant) and economist Ray Padron, Bruce Weber gives each of the 30-some vendors an opportunity to address attendees. “It’s not just meeting members in the supplier showrooms but they can take the stage and tell them everything they think they should know,” he said adding, “Convention was beyond all expectations and I’m so thrilled.”
Mon, 28 Oct 2019 from Flooring Trends
From the American Home Surfaces Group and Commercial USA convention in Lake Tahoe, president Bruce Weber and vice president Joe Weber discuss the future for the AHSG and Commercial USA, upcoming growth on the commercial side, and the imminent move into carpet tile. Also discussed is the installation shortage and technological advances on the part of manufacturer.
Thu, 24 Oct 2019 from Flooring Trends
Jean Erassarret, owner, Carpet Cave, a stocking dealer in Bakersfield Calif., talks about his operation and his membership in the American Home Surfaces Group. Erassarret also talks about his local economy in Bakersfield and the hottest products in his store, including LVT. Erassarret notes that people now ask for LVT, where formerly he and his sales people had to suggest it to them.
Wednesday, October 16, 2019 from Flooring Trends[Lake Tahoe, Nev.] American Home Surfaces Group (AHSG) and Commercial USA do not have a plethora of suppliers at convention, and there’s a reason for this. Bruce Weber, CEO of AHSG and Commercial USA said just as convention should be exciting for members, so too should it be exciting for supplier partners because they are not lost in a sea of sameness.
During his introduction to members, Weber noted some new offerings this year, including luxury vinyl tile (LVT) such as Floorfolio’s new Levitate, Congoleum’s CLEO and Novalis as a new supplier partner, including both its residential and commercial offerings. For carpet noted lines included a new Mohawk/Godfrey Hirst line, Hagaman Residential by Nourison and Legget and Platt carpet padding.
One buzzworthy offering was the magnetic floor and wall covering being offered by Floorfolio in partnership with Magnetic Building Systems (MBS), called Levitate. Noted Scott Humphrey, president of the World Floor Covering Association who was here on behalf of MBS, this technology will extend the career of flooring installers and allow them to install product twice as fast. He explained that this should also help retailers to sell more floors as installers will be able to install twice as much product in one day.
Mike Carter, vice president of Floorfolio’s multifamily division, explained that many retailers were excited about the prospect of being able to frequently change the visuals of an area using the magnetic tile, such as in the lobby of a building. In this way, he said, a building that a customer visits on a semi-regular basis can look new and fresh every time that customer enters, even with a simple change like swapping out flooring tile or wall tile in the same room. Ilene Herz and Jeremy Herz of Sterling Floor Designs in Commack, N.Y. told FCW the Floorfolio magnetic floors was one of the most exciting offerings they saw at the show.
Another product that retailers were talking about here was Daltile’s new RevoTile, a click installation tile that is meant to solve many of tile’s installation issues by installing like a rigid core LVT product while still being traditional tile. Jeremy Wooten of Diamond Home Improvement in Klamath Falls, Ore. noted that he thinks the click tile is going to be an industry game-changer.
Paul Ward of Ward Ceramic Tile & Stone, Inc. in Lothian, Md. agreed that the Daltile RevoTile is going to be a big seller. He also noted Daltile’s StepWise as something he is interested in. StepWise is a non-slip tile that offers the smoothness and cleanability of traditional tile without the inherent slipperiness that typically plagues traditional tile.
A product that has been around for a bit but is seeing a new marketing strategy is Forbo’s Flotex, which is being marketed as a waterproof textile product. Said Tim Donahue, vice president sales and national sales manager for Forbo, the way this is accomplished is through a flocked nylon that creates a positive/negative charge, isolating wetness to the surface. The product demonstration at Donahue’s booth included writing one’s name on the flooring with permanent marker and squishing jelly into the flooring, both of which were easily removed using common household cleaners such as isopropyl alcohol and water. Flotex has become popular in commercial settings, noted Donahue, but the visuals in the product lend themselves to residential applications as well. “It took a while to figure out what we had,” Donahue added.
Mon, 14 Oct 2019 from Flooring Trends
From the American Home Surfaces Group and Commercial USA convention in Lake Tahoe, president Bruce Weber and vice president Joe Weber talk about some the new introductions that have taken place at the convention, including Revo Tile, a proprietary, click-lock, porcelain floating floor product from DalTile that installs without thin-set mortar, made available exclusively to AHSG for the fourth quarter, as well as magnetic flooring. Also discussed is the organization’s addition of carpet to its repertoire.
Mon, 07 Oct 2019 from Flooring Trends
From the American Home Surfaces Group (AHSG) and Commercial USA convention in Lake Tahoe, president Bruce Weber and vice president Joe Weber talk about a first at an industry convention: the marriage of Joe Weber and Theresa Moore. Also discussed is the increased attendance and the venue changes with the group now celebrating its 20th year, the group surpassing 400 members, the name change of its commercial unit to Commercial USA from Commercial One, and the rapid growth in the unit as well as the collaboration that takes place with the group and its suppliers.
Tuesday, October 1, 2019 from Floor Covering Weekly
By Kacey Perinelli
Indeed, AHSG / Commercial USA have seen a thing or two. AHSG was started in late 1999/early 2000 and Commercial USA was started as Commercial One in 2014. Since its humble beginnings, AHSG has grown to more than 400 members and Commercial USA boasts 155. In fact, in the two years since the group last met, 82 new members have joined.
AHSG and Commercial USA continue to grow and thrive, thanks to dedication to members and commitment to being in the trenches, as well as keeping a small group of supplier members. “Our suppliers love that we don’t overload each category,” said Joe Weber.
One recent strength is the growth of women in the industry, Joe Weber said. “The growth we’ve seen on the commercial side in women in construction is a great opportunity for the future,” he shared, adding that AHSG and Commercial USA are partnering with the NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction).
Bruce Weber echoed similar sentiments, explaining that, in the past, women typically considered careers only in the design or the sales side of the business, but this is changing. This change was evident to Jana Tadlock of Builders Carpet & Design in McKinney, Texas, who has been attending convention since its beginning. She told FCW that she saw more women at convention this year than ever before.
For the future, Bruce Weber said, he wants to ensure things run smoothly when he is no longer running the show. “I want to leave things so Joe and the other guys can continue on,” he said. “We started 20 years ago with one member. We’ll get more and more known out there … we’ll continue to co-invest on things like merchandising and displays. The ROI (return on investment) is worth it,” he added.
Joe Weber asserted, “We are going to continue to grow responsibly, plan for what’s to come and be ready for the curveballs.”
One of the key takeaways from convention this year was an industry association panel that assembled to answer questions from industry moderators as well as members in the crowd. The panel consisted of Bart Bettiga, executive director of the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), Scott Humphrey, president of the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), Kim Oderkirk, executive director for the Flooring Contractors Association (FCICA) and Robert Varden, executive director of Certified Flooring Installers (CFI).
The panel addressed key concerns in the industry, specifically touching upon the industry’s installation crisis. The industry outlook for the next five to 10 years looks promising, many on the panel said. Oderkirk explained the employment opportunities in the industry are incredible, because flooring will always be an essential piece of construction — robots can’t install flooring, she offered.
The next five to 10 years should be great as long as the economy holds, Bettiga shared. There has been a groundswell of support for the trades, he said, adding kids are interested in learning more about the trades. It is up to the industry to create training programs to show kids a career path and get them to join in; tell a good story, he advised.
Humphrey cautioned that the industry would likely continue to see some consolidation in the coming years. However, he noted, this means opportunity for those who stick it out. He suggested members focus on their leadership, teams, technology and their stories. Listen to what others are saying about you, he said, because if you’re not telling your story, someone else is.
Wednesday, September 25, 2019 from Floor Covering Weekly
By Kacey Perinelli
AHSG holds convention once every two years, rather than every year or even twice yearly. Bruce Weber, CEO, noted the group does convention this way in order to hold a more robust meeting when they do get together.
Bruce Weber shared his hope for members to leave the convention with confidence. “We believe we’ve found the strongest manufacturing partners in every category,” he said, noting members trust the group’s research and analysis for selecting partners.
Joe Weber also told FCW the group wanted to make sure to talk about the industry’s installation crisis and show members that AHSG and Commercial USA have a plan to ensure continued success.
At general session, Bruce Weber spoke about the rebranding of Commercial One to Commercial USA, saying Commercial One was “too finite” of a name.
The keynote speech was delivered by Peggy Grande, former executive assistant to President Ronald Reagan and author of “The President Will See You Now.” Grande shared stories from her 10 years working for the president and encouraged attendees to write the legacy of their lives every day of their lives.
An Industry Association Panel answered questions about the industry’s most pressing issues. Pictured are Kim Oderkirk (executive director, Flooring Contractors Association), Scott Humphrey (CEO, World Floor Covering Association), Bart Bettiga (executive director, National Tile Contractors Association) and Robert Varden (executive director, Certified Flooring Installers).
On the last night of American Home Surfaces Group & Commercial USA’s convention, members gathered to celebrate their accomplishments. Jana Tadlock and Laura Goodwyn of Builders Carpet and Design Center in McKinney, Texas celebrated Tadlock’s win for 2019’s Outstanding Full Support award.
For more on the American Home Surfaces Group/Commercial USA convention, look for the Oct. 7 issue of FCW.
Floor Trends Magazine | March 7, 2019
February 7, 2019 from Floor Covering Weekly[Roswell, Ga.] Commercial One announced their alliance comprised of independent commercial flooring specialists has now grown to 135 members across the U.S.A. after a record year and rapid start to 2019. The alliance said it has big plans for 2019, with new supplier partnerships launching and continuing its targeted growth across the country.
Joe Weber, vice president, U.S. Commercial Markets, stated, “We announced our convention ‘We Know a Thing or Two Because We Have Seen a Thing or Two’ will be taking place in Lake Tahoe in September and there will be a lot of additions and announcements leading up to it. Our members tell us we put on the best show in the industry so there will be a tremendous amount of planning going into this special event. We love that we diversified into the commercial sector and getting close with our members in areas that we might be able to help. We have strategic teams set up coast to coast that tailor to our members needs every day. We truly enjoy what we do, and our rapid growth is the benefit of our hard work and our supporting Commercial One Suppliers. Our members know we dig in with them every day and work hard to build these relationships. Like I said earlier, we have big plans this year and we are full steam ahead!”
New Commercial One Members by state include:
–Allstate Floors in Jessup, Md.
–Cox Commercial Flooring in Concord, Calif.
–Integrity Floors in Dallas, Texas
Bruce Weber, president American Home Surfaces Group (AHSG) and Commercial One, discusses AHSH, its history and membership, and the Commercial One organization. Weber talks about the reaction of AHSG to the idea of launching into both specified and mainstreet commercial and how they can prepare for and manage the business going forward. Weber also talks about the additional managerial personnel who have joined Commercial One in recent months.
Bruce Weber discusses the Commercial One organization and its program, the challenges of dealing with the nation’s installation shortage, and what members are doing to deal with it in their area. Weber also talks about the product lines being offered by Commercial One and his growth expectations for both the long and short term.
Bruce Weber discusses the Commercial One organization, the interest in becoming involved in the commercial markets, both specified and main street, and the transition most retailers experience entering the field. He also talks about the successes Commercial One has enjoyed since its launch and efforts being made to add members.
Tuesday, July 03, 2018 from Floor Covering Weekly[Dalton] EF Contract announced today that it has joined the Commercial One Flooring Contractors Alliance. Made up of 105 commercial flooring contractors throughout the U.S., this partnership creates a unique opportunity for the company to work alongside many of the top dealers in the marketplace to achieve mutual business objectives and goals, the company said.
“We are honored and delighted to join this group of highly successful dealers,” said Brad Root, EF Contract’s senior vice president of sales and marketing. “It is a real ‘win-win’ that builds upon mutual respect, trust, and the willingness to partner on specified and negotiated business.”
“This is an exciting time in the industry,” said Bruce Weber, president of Commercial One. “We have seen huge growth in the commercial arena, and future economics are very encouraging! Our large membership of specialized commercial flooring companies service the whole industry, and our relationship with EF Contract will bring great value to customers from coast to coast.”
From the American Home Surfaces Group® Convention, Bruce Weber, Commercial One president, and vice president Joe Weber,discuss the convention and its turnout, the diverse group of retailers and contractors that make up both groups, and the several new programs that both groups rolled out for the convention. They also discuss the group’s new logo and website and the revitalization of the Commercial One group.
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Founded in November 2000, the American Home Surfaces Group® is an alliance of independent flooring and home surfaces dealers represented in each and every state throughout America. Nearly 400 dealers with over 700 showrooms are AHSG members.
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