06 October 2014
James Erskine is our area specification manager in the UK. He’s 27 years old. When he’s not obsessing over your floor he likes mountain biking and weight training. James lives with his wife in Chorley, Lancashire.
Hello James! Tell us a bit more about yourself. How long have you been active in the flooring business? How did you get to know the business?
I've been in the flooring business for around five years now. My career really started when I went to work for a British tile manufacturer. I had a territory sales role before that after leaving university but was really looking to start my career with a large manufacturer. I owe a lot to the guys that gave me that opportunity.
Which project inspired you the most?
We have completed some really large projects with Pergo but the one that really inspired me was actually a relatively small college communal area in Leicester. The flooring contractor who completed the installation was walking past it well over 10 years later and sent me a picture (right). It looked like it had just been put down and it really showed off the performance of Pergo laminate. Technology has moved on even further since then and seeing examples like this really gives you confidence when advising on the correct floor in high traffic areas.
Laminate, wood or vinyl?
They all have different performance properties which makes them suitable for different areas and is why we manufacture all three. However, my personal choice is still laminate. I made it my lifelong ambition to re-educate the market in laminate flooring.
Our laminate floors should be the choice for high traffic areas. We have all seen floors worn out at someone’s desk. Even our lowest performance level completes a test where 3 castor wheels, loaded with 90kg, rotate on the surface for 25,000 revolutions and after completing the test there are no visible changes to the surface! So apart from being extremely durable, it won’t break the bank, looks fantastic, can be installed very quickly, is hygienic, easy to clean, fire resistant, stain resistant, UV light resistant………I can go on all day!
You’ve been in the tiles business. What separates Pergo floors from the ceramics industry in your opinion?
Wood is something most of us aspire to having. It really is a beautiful product and we are lucky enough to have this in our range but the goal for some other types of flooring, including ceramics, is to get as close to the appearance of wood as possible. I think our décor and embossing technology allows us to achieve this so closely that I have often mistaken our vinyl and laminate floors for our wood ones. On top of this, a major difference is the cost of installation and since the invention of the uniclic joint and now our new PerfectFold joint, you can install our laminate, wood and vinyl floors all in the same way. Say goodbye to adhesive, grout and sealants.
What is your biggest challenge for the future? What would you really like to achieve with Pergo?
Pergo has changed a lot and a tremendous amount of work has gone in to achieving these changes. Our biggest challenge is letting people know about these changes. From how we are now multi category to our controlled route of supply and the support we can give to each project.
I also want to achieve some more national deals with housebuilders. On so many occasions our products are being used anyway but by speaking to us and deciding on a national range, we can support sites so much more effectively while continuing to work with flooring contractors. It really makes the difference for the customers buying experience. After all, the floor is the part of your home that you are in contact with the most and getting it wrong can have a big impact on a housebuilders brand.
What is your favourite Pergo floor? Pick one from each category.
Laminate – Long plank European Oak. 20cm wide, over 2m long and available in the highest performance level in the world!
Wood – Svalbard Grey Vintage Oak. Really rustic, long, wide and in a very fashionable colour (or so I have been told by our designers).
Vinyl – Black leather tile. Really interesting and luxurious effect but with all the benefits of vinyl.
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The flooring contractor who completed the installation was walking past it over 10 years later and sent me a picture. It looked like it had just been put down and it really showed off the performance of Pergo laminate.