News

Featured Designs: Gris & Mineral

November 2022

GRIS

Synergy Thermal Foils introduces two new walnut designs to its extensive in-stock 3DL collection. Gris and Mineral are the latest matches to embossed-in-register Lakeland Walnut TFL from Kronospan, joining previously available Cocoa and Oatfield. All four walnuts are part of an exclusive North American arrangement between STF and Kronospan.

Austria-based Kronospan has invested nearly $1 billion to develop and grow its multi-faceted manufacturing facility in Oxford, Ala., since its initial start-up in 2008. When Kronospan began producing particleboard in Fall 2019, it became the only manufacturer in North America to produce MDF/HDF, MUF/UF resins, treated paper, laminated HDF and TFL/MF PB, laminate flooring, and particleboard on one site.

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MINERAL

Come See Us at IWF!

August 2022

Oatield

The International Woodworking Fair is open! We’re there in force displaying our newest and most in-demand designs.

In addition to our Elme designs featured above, we are showcasing two new walnuts and four new oaks..

Cocoa and Oatfield are two new wonderful walnut woodgrains that match designs by the same names of TFL panels offered by Kronospan. Cocoa is a rich, dark chocolate walnut, while Oatfield is a lighter color with a strong grain character.

Carolina Oak

Carolina Oak

Our four new instant-classic oaks include HighlandsWilliamsburgCarolina and Charleston. Each matches textured TFL panels offered by Funder America.

If you’re attending the show, be sure to stop by and see us at booth C-1208. See and feel our textured 3DLs and let us know how wc can help you choose the perfect design for your next project.

If we aren’t going to see you at the show, contact us to receive samples of our latest designs.

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Come See Us at IWF!

August 2022

The International Woodworking Fair is just around the corner. We’ll be there displaying all of our new and traditionally popular designs.

In addition to the Cabrera Elme designs featured in this newsletter, we will showcase two new walnuts and four new oaks..

Oatfield

Cocoa and Oatfield are two new wonderful walnut woodgrains that match designs by the same names of TFL panels offered by Kronospan. Cocoa is a rich, dark chocolate walnut, while Oatfield is a lighter color with a strong grain character.

Highlands Oak

Our four new instant-classic oaks include HighlandsWilliamsburgCarolina and Charleston. Each matches textured TFL panels offered by Funder America.

Stop by and see and feell these and other great designs at IWF booth C-1208.

Construction Input Prices Are Up 21% from a Year Ago, Says ABC

July 2022

Construction input prices rose 2.3% in May compared to the previous month, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index data. Nonresidential construction input prices also increased 2.3% for the month.

Construction input prices are up 21.4% from a year ago, while nonresidential construction input prices are 21.9% higher. Input prices rose in 10 of 11 subcategories in May. The largest price increases were in natural gas (+39.7%) and unprocessed energy materials (+16.3%).

“Inflationary pressures show no signs of abating,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “For months, economists and others have been expecting inflation to peak and then subside. Instead, the Russia-Ukraine war has disturbed markets, driving energy prices higher. Those elevated energy prices are now circulating across the economy, affecting manufacturing and distribution, and there is little prospect for inflation to meaningfully subside during the weeks ahead.

“Federal Reserve policymakers will continue to aggressively combat inflationary pressures,” said Basu. “But what the Federal Reserve most directly affects is demand for goods and services, not supply. By tightening monetary policy and raising interest rates, the Federal Reserve will suppress demand over the rest of the year. Eventually, suppliers will respond to diminished demand. This dynamic will quite likely drive the economy into recession either later this year or at some point in 2023.

“Based on the historical lag between the performance of the economy and nonresidential construction spending, more difficult times could be ahead for contractors in 2024 or 2025,” said Basu. “Looking at the most recent reading of ABC’s Construction Confidence Index, contractors are already seeing momentum slow. The likely exception is public contractors, who will continue to benefit from stepped-up infrastructure spending.”

Read more.

2DL Is the Best Choice for Profile Wrapping

July 2022

While our claim to fame is offering sensational textured three-dimensional laminates (3DL) that closely mimic the look and feel of solid wood, we also offer more than a dozen 2DL designs. These products, available by special order, dovetail with our matching TFL/HPL program.

2DLs are PVC films primarily used in flat lamination and profile wrapping of trim and mouldings. In some cases, they are vacuum formed around contour components to provide a seamless design.

Check out our 2DL designs.

Featured Design: Corvina Elme

July 2022

In the salty wilds of the Pacific Ocean, corvina fish roam. Corvinas have a silvery, blue-grey on their dorsum. They are a white firm fish akin to sea bass.

Funder America has aptly borrowed the Corvina name for one of its new Cabrera Elme Collection of TFLs. That same silvery grey look is now perfectly matched by Synergy Thermal Foils’ Corvina Elme 3DL. Corvina is one of several new Cabrera Elme design matches offered by Funder and Synergy.

Stop by and see it, feel it at Synergy Thermal Foil’s booth C-1208 of the International Woodworking Fair, August 23-26 in Atlanta.

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Most Manufacturers to Increase Inventories, NAM Survey Says

May 2022

Nearly 89 percent of respondents in the Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey for the first quarter of 2022 felt either somewhat or very positive about their company outlook, up from 86.8% in the fourth quarter.

The quarterly survey conducted by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) noted that the challenge for manufacturing firms has been in meeting heightened demand, with sizable hurdles from supply chain disruptions, workforce shortages, soaring costs and COVID-19.

To counteract supply chain disruptions more than half of the respondents said they plan to increase inventories:

15.90% — increase by more than 10 percent

18.02% — increase 5 to 10 percent

17.31% – increase up to 5%

31.10% — stay the same

8.83% — decrease up to 5 percent

4.59% — decrease 5 to 10 percent

4.24% — decrease more than 10 percent.

Read NAM’s first quarter survey.

2022 Cabinet Sales Continue to Surge

May 2022

Cabinet manufacturers participating in the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association’s (KCMA) latest monthly Trend of Business Survey reported overall cabinet sales increased 13.5% for February 2022 compared to Febraury 2021.

February 2022 cabinet sales over February 2021:

Overall sales up 13.5%
Custom sales up 19.4%
Semi-custom up 5.4%
Stock sales up by 18.1%

In addition, February 2022 showed big sales gains over January 2022:

Overall sales up 7.4%
Custom sales up 10.5%
Semi-custom up 11.0%
Stock sales up 4.6%
Estimated cabinet quantity increased 3.3%

Survey participants include stock, semi-custom and custom companies whose combined sales represent approximately 75% of the U.S. kitchen cabinet and bath vanity market. KCMA is the major trade association for kitchen cabinet and bath vanity manufacturers and key suppliers of goods and services to the industry. KCMA has been compiling and reporting industry sales data for more than 40 years.

Harvard: Home Remodeling Boom to Peak in 2022

March 2022
Harvard Home Remodeling Index
Spending for home improvements and repairs is expected to expand at a stronger pace in 2022, but signs point to some easing of growth by year end, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

The LIRA projects double-digit gains in annual homeowner renovation and maintenance expenditure will top out in the third quarter of 2022 before beginning a deceleration toward more sustainable rates of growth.

“Strong increases in home sales activity, household incomes, and home equity levels are supporting a faster expansion of the home remodeling market over the coming year,” says Carlos Martín, project director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Center. “As owners continue to navigate the ups and downs of the pandemic’s trajectory, the focus on home improvements for changing wants and needs remains in sharp relief.”

“While annual owner improvement and repair spending could reach $430 billion by the second half of 2022, several headwinds may still temper growth expectations this year,” says Abbe Will, associate project director of the Remodeling Futures Program. “The rising costs of labor and construction materials, difficulty retaining contractors, and climbing interest rates could discourage owners from undertaking new or larger remodeling projects.”

Read more.

Why Our 1D Acrylics Are a Better Value Than Standard Laminates

March 2022
1D Acrylic Laminates from Synergy Thermal Foils
The North American woodworking industry knows Synergy Thermal Foils best for our incomparable 3D laminates available in more than a dozen textures.While flying under the radar, our 1D acrylic laminates have made a lot of fans among companies who want to offer something beyond standard cabinet-grade laminates.Sure, our 1D acrylic-finished product is a bit pricier than conventional laminate, but it offers so much more.

Consider these factors:

  • Our non-toxic acrylic finishes, with their glossy sheen, are more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. They are a better choice for higher-end kitchens, especially upper cabinets.
  • Our acrylic laminates age better. They retain their color and brightness longer than standard laminates.
  • Our acrylic laminates are durable and easier to clean and maintain. They will not delaminate.

View our 1D Acrylic Laminate collection.

Featured Designs: Antigua & Summer Breeze

March 2022

Our Antigua and Summer Breeze designs couldn’t be much different. Whereas Antigua is a mid-brown inspired by pearwood, Summer Breeze is a natural blonde that pays homage to ovangkol, a relative of bubinga and rosewood. Yet, we present them here side by side because both are among our most specified designs and both are matches for Tafisa’s Antigua and Summer Breeze TFL panels.

Our thermofoils can be flat-laminated, post-formed, membrane-pressed, miter-folded and profile-wrapped for residential and commercial cabinets, furniture, store fixtures and much more. The 3DL versions are available in a wide range of textures.

Need Woodworkers? Study Finds You’re Not Alone

February 2022

Woodwork Career Alliance woodworking workforce studyA new study of the U.S. and Canadian woodworking industry conducted by Woodworking Network and the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America reveals that the production worker shortage continues to increase at an alarming rate with no clear end in sight.

Among the study’s highlights:

  • 73.8% of the woodworking representatives participating in the survey indicated it is “very challenging” to hire qualified workers for their manufacturing operations. In addition, 57.9% said it has been “much more challenging” to hire now than three years ago.
  • 39.3% of the respondents said their operations lost at least one-quarter of their production workforce during 2020, including 4.7% who experienced a turnover rate of more than 75%.
  • 35.6% of the respondents said that their company’s failure to achieve full, stable employment has had a huge impact on their ability to increase revenues. An additional 38.4% indicated that staffing issues have curtailed their revenue potential.
Read more about the study.