Wilsonart Laminate Flooring Manufacturing Discontinued In 1996, U.S. based Wilsonart shipped its first shipment of laminate flooring. One year earlier, Wilsonart International purchased a 140 thousand square foot building on 15.5 acres of land in Temple, Texas as the site for its flooring manufacturing plant. On August 16, 2010, an announcement was posted on wilsonart flooring.com that the last day of manufacturing of Wilsonart laminate flooring would occur on October 29, 2010. On December 3, 2010 the Wilsonart laminate flooring office and plant on Center St. in Temple, Texas will close its doors and discontinue business.
Having produced high pressure laminate products since the 1950’s, this global industrial corporation began as Ralph Wilson Plastics Company in Temple. Like many retirees, Mr. Wilson, a former executive in the laminate industry, set out simply to fill his time. Dedicated employees, coupled with a commitment to excellence in manufacturing and customer satisfaction, resulted in rapid growth throughout the 60’s and 70’s. Expansion within the United States in the 1980’s and 1990’s, then international acquisitions in Asia and Europe grew Wilsonart into a $10 billion manufacturer and distributor. As of this writing, Wilsonart, a business unit of Illinois Tool Works, Inc., is comprised of Wilsonart Laminate, Wilsonart Adhesives, Wilsonart Solid Surface, Wilsonart Flooring and Wilsonart International.
Laminate flooring was born out of the laminate countertop business. It seems a natural progression that an inexpensive, waterproof, dent and scratch resistant product available in an array of colors and patterns would find its way from the countertop to the floor. Having blossomed from humble beginnings in Europe during the 1960’s, laminate flooring would not find its niche in the United States until the 1980’s.
Wilsonart laminate flooring is offered in woodgrains to simulate hardwood flooring and in tiles with a subtle mottled effect that mimic a variety of materials including stone, slate and porcelain. Wilsonart touts itself as the exclusive manufacturer of high pressure laminates and promises that its HPL construction produces a higher quality product than that sold by their competitors. The company is confident enough in its engineering and quality to offer a twenty year warranty on many of its residential flooring products.
In keeping with the ‘green’ movement, Wilsonart Flooring uses recycled and rapidly renewable wood products in their woodgrain lamination process. This company’s floors are also certified as Low Emitting Materials, meeting standards for indoor air quality.
In 2007, Wilsonart received the certification seal from NALFA (North American Laminate Flooring Association). Manufacturers awarded the NALFA seal meet or exceed standards for impact, light, stain and wear resistance, along with passing other performance requirements.
On August 10, 2010 Wilsonart International issued a press release stating that “due to the sluggish U.S. economy and declines in sales of high pressure laminate flooring,” it would discontinue its flooring line. The press release cited that “Wilsonart flooring competes for consumer preference not only with other laminate floor products, but also with alternative products such as: wood, vinyl, tile, carpet and more.” It goes on to explain that Wilsonart’s high pressure lamination process requires a higher price point than other laminate flooring products, and that the current economy has forced consumers to opt for less expensive alternatives.
Wilsonart International promises to honor current warranties on all Wilsonart laminate flooring products sold through the end of 2011. The company has stated that they will continue to stand behind their products.