Mohawk’s Innovative Airo: Revolutionary 100 Percent Recyclable Alternative to Traditional Carpet

Apr 28, 2017 9:20 AM ET
Press Release

CALHOUN, Ga., April 28, 2017 /3BL Media/ — Mohawk’s new Airo soft floorcovering is a complete breakthrough in carpet—it gives consumers a completely recyclable revolutionary alternative to traditional carpet and retailers an easy-to-install, easy-to-service product.

“Airo is not just an improvement to an existing product line,” said Tom Lape, Mohawk’s president of Mohawk residential. “It represents an entirely new, completely recyclable flooring category called USF – Unified Soft Floorcovering.”

Mohawk Airo is leveraging the Niaga® Technology to redesign soft flooring from the consumer backwards, instead of the manufacturing plant forward. The development of Airo represents what today’s consumers and retailers really value.

“What’s remarkable about Mohawk Airo is that the innovation that makes it a revolutionary product with regard to performance, service and installation also makes it one of the most sustainable flooring products on the market today,” said George Bandy, vice president of sustainability for Mohawk. “Airo gives us an opportunity to look at a circular economy in a different way.”

Airo features a simple, two-part design unified by a single polymer. The 100% PET fiber is constructed on a premium cushioned backing using an innovative, tension-free process. This creates a dimensionally-stable floor, which will not wrinkle or delaminate and is easy and fast to install. It requires no additional cushion, no tack-strip at edges to snag socks and no power stretching or seaming iron.

“The beauty is in the simplicity of Airo’s construction,” said Bandy. “By using just one material to make every element of the carpet, from the backing to the face fibers, we are able to easily recycle Airo into another Airo style. It’s a fully closed loop recyclable product.”

Green Label Plus certified, Airo also is a family-friendly choice. Airo eliminates the “new carpet smell.” Also, moisture cannot be absorbed into the fiber, backing or cushion—a significant factor in reducing odor in the home.

“It has been a distinct honor to work with the world’s largest flooring manufacturer on the Airo launch — a product that will truly change the way we experience flooring, and how retailers go-to market and install broadloom,” said Josse Kunst, general manager of DSM-Niaga. “Niaga’s vision extends beyond the flooring industry, in how we change the way products are made, to better serve customer needs.  Airo is the ideal embodiment of forward-thinking sustainability and innovation.” 

Mohawk presented Airo to flooring retailers in January at the International Surface Event in Las Vegas, and the product captured awards in product design and innovation. Airo will be available to consumers later this year.

“The new product will benefit both the consumer and the retailer,” said Lape. “Airo is important to retailers because it offers a simpler-to-install, easier-to-maintain, better performing and more sustainable soft surface. Mohawk has spent more than four years developing and refining the Airo production process to prepare for this launch. Just as we changed the industry 11-years ago with the introduction to SmartStrand, we are aiming for the same result with the introduction of Airo USF by Mohawk.”

About Mohawk
Mohawk Industries is a leading global flooring manufacturer that creates products to enhance residential and commercial spaces around the world. Mohawk’s vertically integrated manufacturing and distribution processes provide competitive advantages in the production of carpet, rugs, ceramic tile, laminate, hardwood, stone and vinyl flooring. Our industry-leading innovation has yielded products and technologies that differentiate our brands in the marketplace and satisfy all remodeling and new construction requirements. Our brands are among the most recognized in the industry and include Mohawk, American Olean, Daltile, Durkan, IVC, Karastan, Marazzi, Pergo, Unilin and Quick-Step. During the past decade, Mohawk has transformed its business from an American carpet manufacturer into the world’s largest flooring company with operations in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, India, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia and the United States.

Melissa Stocks