It’s not just a new product, it’s a whole new category of floor covering. That was the message from Mohawk executives at the 2017 Solutions convention here last month when they introduced Airo soft flooring.

“Airo is our effort to literally rethink the carpet category,” Tom Lape, president of Mohawk Residential, told FCW here in Dallas.

The beauty of Airo, said Lape, is that it will solve many of the problems carpet is having in the marketplace today — at the top of the list is installation. “Airo benefits everybody — our retail partners, installation labor. It’s easier to install and faster to install.”

The product, which is being categorized as Unified Soft Flooring (USF), features a simple, two-part design unified by a single polymer. The 100 percent PET fiber is constructed on a premium cushioned backing using an innovative, tension-free process. According to Mohawk, this creates a dimensionally-stable floor, which will not wrinkle or delaminate and is easy and fast to install. It does not require additional cushion, no tack-strip at edges to snag socks and no power stretching or seaming iron. It is soft and flexible, which makes it easier to handle.

Seth Arnold, senior director of brand, soft surface, explained, “We’ve eliminated many tricky installation steps, reducing hours and equipment needed during the actual installation process. With Airo, we have reduced the install time by 25 percent and eliminated 100 percent of the complexity. This gives retailers remarkable flexibility with labor crews and has the potential to dramatically increase their productivity and grow their top line sales.”

Lape added that Airo, which the company has been working on for some 4 ½ years, also brings value to the customer with its odorless installation. And, it’s made in Northwest Georgia.

The launch of Airo will include eight styles – solids, tonals and flecks, noted Lape. It is also treated with Mohawk’s Fresh Carpet Technology. In addition, according to the company, moisture cannot be absorbed into the fiber, backing or cushion — a significant factor in reducing odor in the home.