Vinyl Trends was created in an effort to find uses for automotive and industrial off-goods and scrap materials. In 2000, Rob Kuepfer, founder and President, began creating mats and RV products made from various vinyl and foam materials. Shortly thereafter, Vinyl Trends saw an opportunity to create a vinyl/foam underlayment for laminate flooring. The business grew quickly, along with the product base. An opportunity presented itself to develop a high performance underlayment for a large OEM direct attach laminate manufacturer. Seizing the opportunity, Rob looked at the features of existing products in the flooring industry, and also similar products in the automotive, aerospace and medical industries.
The main complaints of laminate customers were sound transfer, and laminates reputation of being hollow and plastic sounding. By looking at a variety of materials, Rob narrowed his search to a Polypropylene Hybrid foam, as it has a cell structure which reduces sound transfer and creates a rich real hardwood sound when walked on. Additionally, Rob’s formulation created a product which is very resistant to crushing, has a very strong vapor barrier, rolls out flat, is very easy to install and is Zero VOC* which makes it a health wise product.
The business grew through distribution in Canada and the US. In 2009, Vinyl Trends set up a 35,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Resaca, GA under the name Summit Innovation. Shortly afterward Rob spun off his die cutting and fabrication division to what is now EarthEdge, which operates out of Hickory, NC as a stand-alone enterprise.
Vinyl Trends has been quick to develop new products providing innovative advantages to their customers. By creating and patenting a unique lip and tape system, Vinyl Trends is currently miles ahead of its competition. The full 3 inch edge seal along with building code regulated sheathing tape, makes them the only lip and tape product on the market to have a system which is truly to building code. Vinyl Trends recently added an aluminum cladding to their product to create a heat reflective underlayment and they have a number of innovative products in development which will help their customers to stay ahead of the competition.
Vinyl Trends' edge really comes down to finding ways to make a better North American made product, with a cost advantage, along with training its customers on the products advantages. The desire to grow its customer base is guided by a distinct set of principles. To deal respectfully with their suppliers and customers, seek new business that is in line with their current customer’s needs, and continue their culture of environmental awareness.
Rob believes that God has blessed him with many opportunities. He is most proud of the longstanding relationships that he has developed, and that he has diverted 10,000,000 plus pounds of industrial and automotive seconds and scrap from North American landfills. Rob is thankful for the dedication of his employees. The team’s goal is to keep their customers excited about the products, complemented by exemplary service.
*VOC levels measured below quantifiable levels