As our natural resources grow ever more precious, more companies are adopting new economic models to use resources as efficiently as possible. Dinoflex has been manufacturing high-quality rubber flooring made from recycled tires for over thirty years. All rubber comes from within five hundred miles of its factory in British Columbia, Canada, saving rubber from being relegated to landfills. With a global presence, Dinoflex is primed to lead the way in sustainable flooring manufacturing.
The company traces its roots to German founder Sabine Presch, supported by her father Peter, an early leader in German polyurethane chemistry. After operating and growing the business for twenty years, Vancouver-based Pender West Capital Partners acquired the business from Sabine in 2008.
Dinoflex has continued expanding its product lines to cater to multiple markets around the world. Although there have been bumps along the way, the market appears to be solidly embracing its business model of sustainably sourced rubber. “2020 did not come without its challenges given the COVID pandemic; however, our strategy enabled us to emerge from it quickly realizing significant growth in 2021 and now halfway through our fiscal 2022 year,” states Chief Executive Officer Mark Bunz.
The company’s primary advantage is in its manufacturing process. Unlike most recycled rubber products which are manufactured in cylinders, the company’s products are fabricated and molded in block format. Rubber’s natural elasticity causes cylindrically-formed rubber to continuously want to revert back to its original form, but as a result of Dinoflex’s manufacturing process, that never happens. The company’s ‘Made Flat, Stays Flat’ guarantee ensures rapid installation and that the product will never curl for the life of the installation. “This gives our customers peace of mind that for the life of their Dinoflex flooring they will not have the liability of curling edges or corners which can cause significant injury,” explains Bunz.
Dinoflex’s stringent sourcing of its materials has helped it manage production costs despite rising prices. “Our investment in automation and our relentless focus on continuous improvement has enabled us to limit what we pass on to our customers while keeping our business viable,” Bunz says. “We have also engaged alternate sources of raw material supply that meet our specifications, which has created some relief on increases simply due to a more robust competitive landscape.”
Dinoflex can work with a wide array of clients through its custom solutions capability. Typically, a rolled good manufacturer requires a minimum of 2500 to 5000 square feet for a custom order. At Dinoflex with block manufacturing, clients can create a custom colour for as little as 300 square feet.
“The water jet cutting of material also allows the company to cut logos and patterns, further demonstrating its versatility. It can even match speckled patterns, creating custom flooring guaranteed to fit with a client’s existing flooring with minimal variation.
As a result, the company has gained valuable contacts among architects and designers worldwide and is able to work with clients of all sizes. The company’s Colour Innovator is tailor-made for these professionals, allowing them to create their own inspired flooring designs using over 60 different EPDM color pantones along with its black rubber crumb.
Whether curated or custom colours, the result is a diverse product catalogue suitable for all manner of applications. Products can be installed for indoor and outdoor use and have earned their reputation through their durability, combining the ruggedness of harder materials with the pliability and comfort required for high foot traffic.
A recent development, the Vulca-NO! product line provides a non-vulcanized flooring solution with all the durability and quality of vulcanized rubber. Being non-vulcanized, it is also LEED credit generating and FloorScore-certified, ensuring clients share in Dinoflex’s commitment to sustainable manufacturing. FloorScore is an indoor air quality certification that was developed by SCS, a sustainability standards organization, and the Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI), a flooring manufacturers and suppliers industry trade association.
Other product lines reflect the company’s tradition of creating flooring for high-intensity areas like gyms. Its Stride, Sport Mat, and Next Step lines particularly suit the high shock absorption and fluid repellent properties required in such venues. For less intense applications, Nature’s Collection blends reclaimed rubber with sustainable cork to provide depth and texture, and Evolution brings together all qualities into one tile: sound dampening, durability, traction, and comfort.
Dinoflex’s outdoor product lines are no less robust. PlayTiles reduce injuries in outdoor play areas with a fall height of up to 12 feet, and NuVista is an esthetically pleasing rubber paver tile that provides year-round durability making outdoor spaces more liveable.
A recent example of Dinoflex’s versatility and precision manufacturing is a new wing at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital in Arizona. Being a hospital, it required flooring capable of accommodating massive daily foot traffic, and the designer selected a custom design incorporating many colours and shapes to cheer its young patients. Thanks to its custom capabilities and wide product selection, Dinoflex provided a highly customized floor that undoubtedly will last for decades.
Now, it is continuing its commitment to sustainability with new product offerings made from its industrial by-products. No manufacturing process is perfect in any industry, and waste is inevitable. Post-industrial waste is being used in the creation of rooftop tiles and impact-resistant backing material for its Next Step High Impact line, further enhancing its durability while preventing more rubber from reaching landfills. Additionally, the company is using its by-product rubber as a base layer for pour-in-place playgrounds, an internal idea. “It’s creative thinking from our team that keeps us on the forefront of sustainability and helps us eliminate any post-industrial waste from entering our landfills,” Bunz remarks.
Dinoflex will be introducing new underlayment and cargo containment product offerings this summer which will be available in a 4’ x 6’ format with thicknesses of three and five millimetres. The underlayment is designed to provide support under carpet, luxury vinyl tile, or other rubber floorings. Combined with its robust product line, it is sure to continue the company’s track record of solution based, high-quality products.
All research and product development is done entirely in-house, as Dinoflex’s talented team uses its skills to create new and better products. Haskell says the process reflects the company’s commitment to quality and precision. “It’s very methodically done at Dinoflex, to make sure when we launch a product, it’s a good launch with a quality product,” she says.
Modernizations and investments in automation at the main plant will boost productivity and improve worker safety now and into the future. The company has been investing in automation since 2018 when new investment incorporated robotics and automation into its manufacturing process. This allowed Dinoflex to increase capacity to meet market demand and create opportunity for a more diverse workforce throughout the organization.
The company “will continue to do whatever it takes to meet current and future customer demand while being true to our core values; Safety Above All, Customer Intimacy, Business Innovation and Extreme Ownership,” Bunz says.
Haskell elaborates that advances in automation continue to boost production while maintaining staff levels and significantly reducing potential workplace hazards. “For Dinoflex, it’s all about safety,” she says.
As Dinoflex looks toward another thirty years, the company is assured of its position due to its long history, unique product line, and thirst for innovation. As Bunz reports, the company intends to stay true to its values and become a globally recognized brand. But beyond the business focus, its team enjoys being part of a new, more sustainable economy.
Haskell says that Dinoflex is graced with exceptional business partners around the globe, and everyone on staff relishes the opportunity to go beyond merely making money to generating a positive impact. “It’s a wonderful feeling to work for a company with such a far reach that’s doing some good for the environment,” she says, “because everybody appreciates that.”