Erik Christensen appointed CEO and President of Swiss Krono USA.

Barnwell, S.C. – Swiss Krono Group, the world leader in laminate flooring, appointed a new CEO & President, Erik Christensen, to run its U.S. operations in Barnwell, South Carolina, effective October 24, 2017. Mr. Christensen comes to Swiss Krono from Hansgrohe, a German manufacturer of premium decorative plumbing, where he served as President for the North American business for the last 3 ½ years.  He brings to Swiss Krono over 28 years of building products experience including leadership roles at flooring companies such as Armstrong World Industries and Shaw. “Erik’s strong performance in the building products market segment, specifically his previous work within the U.S. flooring industry, makes him the ideal leader for our U.S. operations.  We look forward to working with Erik as Swiss Krono continues to grow its presence in the United States and as our Barnwell plant becomes home to our new HDF line, which starts up at the end of 2018”, said Mr. Brettenthaler, CEO & Chairman of the Executive Committee of Swiss Krono Group. Mr. Christensen will lead the Swiss Krono USA management team comprised of R. Dichiara (Finance), W. Graf Grote (Manufacturing), T. Bass (Sales & Marketing), C. Billue (Supply Chain) and N. Grant (HR). With his vast experience, Mr. Christensen and the leadership team will turn the company’s investment of $250 million into a successful new plant, another major milestone for the further growth of the Swiss Krono Group.  Construction is now well under way and the construction of the new factory has started. Mr. Christensen succeeds Zeb Portanova, who will remain with Swiss Krono through November to advise the company and... Read More
What Is Laminate Flooring and How Is It Made?

What Is Laminate Flooring and How Is It Made?

It’s an amazing manufacturing process by which four layers are fused together in a single press operation at high heat at over 300˚F using direct-pressure laminate (DPL) construction. DPL is the most typical fusing method used to manufacture residential laminate flooring. Let’s review each of the four layers starting with the bottom layer [labeled “D”]. Layer D: Backer paper At the base of every Swiss Krono laminate flooring plank is a bottom balancing layer that keeps the board straight. The backer seals the back of the laminate board so its dimensional stability isn’t compromised in any way, for example by moisture. Some Swiss Krono laminate planks have foam padding added, eliminating the need for an underlayment; underlayment or padding enhances the acoustical quality of the floors when you walk on it. Layer C: HDF core or board The core layer of Swiss Krono laminate flooring is high-density fiberboard (HDF). There is also medium-density fiberboard (MDF), which Swiss Krono does not use in the production of its laminate flooring planks. Both HDF and MDF are made from softwood fibers that are broken down, combined with a wax and resin binder, and formed into panels using heat and pressure. However, HDF offers superior stability and strength compared with MDF for the production of laminate flooring; it makes a better floor. During the manufacturing process, the HDF core will be milled to absolute, micron-precise tolerances. The edges of each plank will be cut to specific profiles to make them easily and consistently fit together for a snug, reliable installation according to one of four locking systems. The extreme micron-milling precision required for these locking systems... Read More
The World’s Best Workers Make the Best Floors

The World’s Best Workers Make the Best Floors

Our modern, state-of-the-art plant in Barnwell, S.C., is an ideal location for accessing wood from sustainable-forest suppliers and for shipping our flooring efficiently. All Swiss Krono USA management, marketing, design, sales and customer service staff are based here. This is important for a two reasons: First, we’re employing American workers to perform well-paying, highly skilled jobs. American workers craft some of the best products in the world. And because we make floors for families to live on — some floors with as much as a lifetime warranty— we believe we need the best workers in the world to make the best floors in the world, like Swiss Krono’s new lines of American Concepts laminate flooring. Cheap laminate floors produced in third-world countries simply don’t meet the quality standards Americans have come to expect … and might not meet our safety standards. Second, we think it’s important to support the American economy. After all, a healthy economy means more consumer-spending power. When consumers have jobs and can keep their families housed and fed, they have extra money to spend on redecorating their homes and buying laminate flooring. We urge all consumers to verify where the products they are buying were made, then to buy American. It means quality and safety, and for some it means a job!... Read More

Swiss Krono breaks ground for $230 million HDF mill and laminate expansion in Barnwell, S.C.

Barnwell, S.C. – Swiss Krono Group, one of the world’s leading producers of laminate flooring, and its American subsidiary, Swiss Krono SC, LLC, held a groundbreaking ceremony on July 13, 2016, for its $230 million high-density fiberboard (HDF) mill and laminate flooring production expansion. Swiss Krono anticipates adding 105 new highly-skilled technical and management jobs to the Barnwell area, increasing its total employment to 275 employees. The project commences this summer and HDF operations will likely begin by the summer of 2018. This expansion will allow Swiss Krono to produce 300,000 cubic-meters of HDF per year, which the company will use for laminate flooring manufacturing operations and sell to furniture, cabinet, fixture, door and other wood-based manufacturers. In total, the project will increase the company’s annual laminate flooring capacity by an additional 8 million square-meters. “Strong consumer demand for our quality laminate flooring drove our decision to expand,” said Travis Bass, EVP of U.S. Sales and Marketing. “And our strong retail partners who choose to sell our innovative products are the real foundation on which this expansion is built.” The company gratefully acknowledges the collaborative efforts of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, the South Carolina Department of Commerce, the South Carolina Forestry Commission, the Southern Carolina Regional Development Alliance and various Barnwell County governmental agencies. Their patience, perseverance and continuous support have been and will continue to be instrumental in the future success of this project. The SWISS KRONO GROUP has its origins in a company founded in Menznau, Switzerland in 1966. Today it is one of the world’s leading producers of engineered wood products with more than 4,500... Read More

New management to implement a sustainable growth strategy under a new umbrella brand

Lucerne, 30 June 2016 – The SWISS KRONO GROUP ranks among the world’s leading manufacturers of engineered wood products. With ten factories in eight countries, products for timber construction as well as for decorative furniture and interior fittings are manufactured. In the area of laminate flooring, the SWISS KRONO GROUP is the global market leader. Services tailored to customer requirements and regional differences complete the package of offered products. At the beginning of 2016, the names and logos of the individual sites are being replaced by a single, unified brand image. Since then, the corporation is acting as an integrated group under the name of SWISS KRONO. The group will also prepare itself to use organic and external growth to actively take advantage of the development opportunities for modern engineered wood products that will come its way in the next few years. The broad customer base, a leading technological role as well as a strong capital and financial base provide the ideal preconditions for this. At this time, significant investment and expansion projects are also being implemented at four locations (Hungary, Russia, Switzerland and the USA). In order to implement this strategy consistently, the corporation will have new strategic and operative management. Beginning on the 1st of October 2016, Martin Brettenthaler will take over as the new CEO of the SWISS KRONO GROUP replacing Maciej Karnicki. Mr Brettenthaler (45) has dual Austrian and Swiss citizenship, is at home in Basel, married and father of two children. He was educated in economics in St. Gallen and Paris and worked for a few years as a management consultant at the Boston... Read More

Is Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) Better Than Laminate Wood Flooring?

Is Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) Better Than Laminate Wood Flooring? Laminate Flooring Outlet Many people are putting Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) planks on their floor to simulate the look of real hardwood floors. Over the last several years, homeowner wanting more durability in their hard flooring surfaces turned to laminate wood floors for realism, affordability and style. Both have their strengths, and one has a secret. LVT is made of plastic with an image of wood on the surface. The primary components of vinyl floor coverings include polyvinyl chloride (or vinyl) resins, plasticizers (high molecular-weight solvents), pigments and trace stabilizers, and a carrier sheet or backing. According to www.whatisvinyl.com, polyvinyl chloride is made from ethylene, which comes from crude oil. That’s the secret LVT is keeping from you: it is plastic made from crude oil. Being plastic, LVT works well when wood is not really an option, like where there are frequent water spills or where mopping is required daily, like in a medical clinic. If you have frequent spills on your floor or need serious mopping on a regular basis, LVT is better than laminate flooring. Laminate wood floors are made from real wood timber, mostly pine, and has a protective layer over an image of a plank on the top. Being made of wood gives laminate flooring a more realistic hardwood feel, look and sound compared to LVT. Plus laminate wood flooring is made of, well, wood and not crude oil, which is the main ingredient in LVT. Laminate floors are great for those who care about the health of our planet since wood is a sustainably... Read More
KronotexUSA changes its name to SWISS KRONO LLC

KronotexUSA changes its name to SWISS KRONO LLC

BARNWELL, S.C. – KronotexUSA, a dominant player in the U.S laminate wood flooring industry, announced at Surfaces the latest of several changes that will provide distributors, retailers and consumers the best innovations and quality in laminate flooring. Effective with Surfaces 2016, KronotexUSA is changing its name to SWISS KRONO LLC to reflect the parent company’s and the products’ Swiss heritage in woodworking and precision technology. “It has been an exciting start for 2016,” said Travis Bass, EVP of U.S. Sales and Marketing. “The name change, our new CEO, and the expansion of our plant signal the awakening of a company known as the ‘quiet giant’ of laminate flooring.” All eight countries where Swiss Krono operates are changing their name and logo to reflect this pooling of expertise, intensifying R&D, and forging of a common identity. According to Ines Kaindl, President of the Board of Directors of the SWISS KRONO GROUP headquartered in Lucerne, Switzerland, “We want to leverage a strong, uniform brand to spotlight our tradition and history while making a greater international impact. This will enable us to help shape the market’s future.” The Group’s member firms in Germany, Poland, Russia and Switzerland unveiled the new corporate design at a shared stand at DOMOTEX 2016. “This consistent image and our modern, visually striking new logo are giving the Group a single face with a clear profile,” says Max von Tippelskirch, CMO of the SWISS KRONO GROUP. “We are clearly differentiating ourselves from our competitors and strengthening our presence in the global marketplace.” In addition to this news, the U.S operations announced late last year the hiring of CEO... Read More

Swiss Krono USA announces $230 million expansion in Barnwell County, S.C. to create 105 new jobs

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Swiss Krono Group, one of the world’s leading producers of engineered wood products, and its American subsidiary, Swiss Krono USA, today announced the expansion of its existing operations in Barnwell County, S.C. The company is investing $230 million to build a high-density fiberboard (HDF) mill and expand its laminate flooring production, creating 105 new jobs over the next few years. Headquartered in Switzerland, Swiss Krono Group’s origins can be traced back to 1966. With facilities today in France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United States, the company employs more than 4,500 workers worldwide. In an effort to meet increased customer demand, Swiss Krono Group is expanding its existing Swiss Krono USA facility at 810 Technology Drive in Barnwell, S.C. This expansion will allow Swiss Krono USA to produce 300,000 cubic-meters of HDF per year, which the company will use for laminate flooring manufacturing operations and sell to furniture, cabinet, fixture, door and other wood-based manufacturers. In total, the project will increase the company’s annual laminate flooring capacity by an additional 8 million square-meters. Preliminary engineering has been completed and construction is expected to start by mid-2016, with HDF operations to begin by the summer of 2018. Once completed, this expansion will increase Swiss Krono USA’s Barnwell County’s workforce to 275 employees. Those interested in applying for one of the new positions should visit the company’s careers page online. The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits, as well as a $1 million Rural Infrastructure Fund grant to Barnwell County to assist with the costs of real property improvements related to the project. Quotes “South Carolina has been a great investment partner for European... Read More
American Concepts Ad About Laminate Wood vs. Luxury Vinyl Tile

American Concepts Ad About Laminate Wood vs. Luxury Vinyl Tile

American Concepts laminate wood flooring recently ran this advertisement about the differences between laminate wood and luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) as flooring in your home. For more information about the differences between laminate wood floors and luxury vinyl tile floors, check out the article “Laminate or Luxury Vinyl Tile: Which is Right for You?” We’d love to hear your thoughts. Send us your point of view via Swiss Krono USA’s Facebook and Twitter... Read More