Business Matters: Brooklyn Park’s Rust-Oleum Reinvents Floor Coating
There are more choices than ever before to improve the look and feel of your home when it comes to flooring. Gone are the days of choosing between carpet, hardwood or tile. In fact, new flooring products are being worked on every day at Rust-Oleum’s floor coating plant in Brooklyn Park.
“As much as you can think and dream about what you want on your floor, we can probably make it happen,” said Ben Sieben, marketing director of flooring at Rust-Oleum.
Rust-Oleum opened its new 110,000-square-foot floor coating plant in Brooklyn Park in December. Inside you’ll find what’s dubbed the “Flooring Center of Excellence.” It’s a place that’s turning conventional flooring wisdom on its head.
“With Rust-Oleum and our flooring innovation here, we’re pushing the limits with that,” said Sieben. “The cool part of this, whether it’s DIY or a contractor, is that it’s almost a little bit of art.”
New Floor Coating Ideas Come to Life
From colors inspired by your favorite team to floors that change colors in the light, Sieben says anything is possible now with floor coatings that mimic engineered surfaces.
“Gosh this looks like marble. It’s actually paint,” said Sieben referring to one of more than 30 decorative coatings used on office flooring throughout the Brooklyn Park facility. “We can mimic the same look, we can outlast them. And we can do it for a lower cost.”
Rust-Oleum has an R&D lab that collaborates with its marketing department to come up with new products and test them out.
“Last year we developed 40 new products out of this lab,” said Jason Hall, director of R&D for Rust-Oleum’s flooring division. “It’s a lot of fun seeing our products on shelves and seeing our products in the hands of the users and getting the feedback about people’s projects when they send us pictures.”
Room for Growth
The Brooklyn Park plant is triple the size of its previous facility. It currently has about 50 employees and leaves plenty of room for growth.
“We’re still in our infancy here,” said Sieben. “We moved from a space that was basically 35,000 square feet of usable space for us. We’ve got now a 110,000 square feet. And that’s in a few short years.”
Rust-Oleum’s Brooklyn Park facility pumps out 3,000 different products. That doesn’t count all the samples it produces for stores. Workers at Rust-Oleum make at least 150 samples a day. The facility also offers a lab for contractors to learn and test the products.
“We’ve got a concrete lab where we train contractors to do more of the complex systems,” Sieben said.
In about a month, the Brooklyn Park plant releases its RockSolid home product for do-it-yourselfers at Home Depot stores. It’s all part of the company’s effort to raise the ceiling on flooring.
“We really, really are investing in flooring, and we’re looking forward to the future,” said Sieben.