M.S. International Inc. of Orange, Calif., is launching its first U.S. luxury vinyl tile (LVT) manufacturing by acquiring ROKplank Inc. of Cartersville, Ga.
ROKplank makes stone-polymer composite (SPC) flooring of 70 percent natural stone and 30 percent virgin PVC. It claims to be the first manufacturer to produce SPC flooring in the United States. The plant, which employs 50, will now operate as Premium LVT Manufacturing LLC, a division of MSI Surfaces.
MSI has a quartz facility in Latta, S.C., but the Cartersville plant will allow it to begin domestic production of its Everlife-brand rigid-core LVT. The line of waterproof flooring materials includes more than 200 products. Everlife currently is available in 37 countries, but the acquisition will provide MSI with sourcing options, an MSI spokesperson told Plastics News in an Oct. 14 email.
The factory will help MSI deal with "the exponential growth in demand of LVT coupled with significant industrywide supply chain challenges," MSI President Raj Shah said in an Oct. 7 news release. "Our plans include large investment in the factory to continue to grow production capacity."
The company did not provide specifics but said the investment will be large enough to make the plant one of the largest LVT production sites in the country.
MSI was founded in 1975 and until 1987 mainly distributed granite for tombstones and monuments. According to its website, in 1981, while the company was still operating out of the Shah family's basement, it received a contract to supply black granite for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Today, in addition to flooring, the company supplies wall tiles, countertops and hardscaping products, bringing in annual sales of more than $2 billion. It employs 2,500 worldwide, including about 2,000 at 30 showrooms and distribution centers in the United States and Canada.