Heritage


Interfloor is built on a rich British manufacturing heritage which includes a number of UK and world firsts and two of the UK’s oldest brands: Duralay and Tredaire.

Dating back to the 18th century, Interfloor can trace its roots back to the earliest hand weaving companies which have evolved into the modern flooring industry which currently employs over 6,000 people and generates over £950m.

During the 1940s, when wall-to-wall carpet became the “fashion”, a Lancashire-based weaving company named Durie & Miller (dating back to 1789) made its first foray into the flooring industry with felt underlay for carpet squares. It wasn’t long before the team (including a member of the original Miller family) came up with something truly innovative – the world’s first crumb rubber underlay. The Duralay brand was born; destined to become a world-class system for flooring installations.

Meanwhile, a Scotland-based company was also doing exciting things with rubber. In 1958 underlay brand Tredaire made its debut at the 1958 Carpet Fair in Earls Court and quickly reached sales levels sufficient to pave the road from Dumfries (where the company was based) to London every year.

Brands with similar heritage and pedigree include Hush Puppies and Pizza Hut, both established in 1958 like Tredaire, while Andrex (and its famous puppies) date back to the 1940s just like Duralay.

Fast forward to the 1980s, considered by many as one of the ugliest periods in interior design trends, but it was a boom time for Duralay which grew to become Europe’s largest underlay manufacturer and then, with global aspirations and a significant investment programme, the world’s first universal underlay manufacturer with both rubber and sponge underlays in its portfolio.

In 2002, the Duralay and Tredaire brands were brought under the same roof at “Interfloor”. (For a short time, Interfloor also owned the now world-famous Hunter boots brand, which has no less than two Royal warrants!).

 

Heritage - Old Ads

 

Now Tredaire® is synonymous with luxurious underfoot comfort and is well established as the number 1 consumer brand in the UK. Duralay® provides hard wearing underlays, ideal for the contract market, and a range of specialist underlays for the underfloor heating, double stick and hard flooring segments.

A consistent theme in both brands’ marketing has been support for the stockists and retailers. Back in 1963, Tredaire ran a dealer competition to win a Morris Mini-Minor!

Since then, there has been no stopping Interfloor’s global ambitions to spread the word about the benefits of underlay for flooring installations.

In the mid-1990s the company took a stand at a Dubai trade exhibition with the aim of introducing the local markets to the British methods of carpet installation involving the use of underlay. Up until that time carpets sold in this region were mainly plain in colour and of the high pile tufted “velour” variety sourced principally from the USA and Belgium. No underlay was used, indeed it was deemed to be unnecessary given the thickness of the carpet pile. Interfloor’s approach resulted in ever increasing numbers of customers demanding to have their carpets installed using the “British method”. Interfloor’s international achievements and success were rewarded in 2016 at the inaugural UK Export Excellence Awards when the company won two high profile categories: ‘Innovation in Exporting’ and ‘Exporting Excellence in MENA’.

Today Interfloor exports to over 400 customers in over 70 countries. Most of the world’s best known hotels as well as numerous mosques, cinemas, casinos and airports regularly use Interfloor underlays, while homeowners across the UK continue to trust Interfloor’s trusted and proven brands which have a heritage and history that represent British manufacturing at its best.


History & timeline
1789

Durie & Miller establish a small hand weaving company in Blairgowrie, near Dundee

1800's

Woven jute begins to make an appearance in the floorcoverings and furnishing industries

1921

Durie & Miller move the business to Waterfoot, Lancashire where it prospers with a growing range of products for upholstery, shoes and slippers.

1932

Fire destroys the mill at Waterfoot, but a move to nearby Fairholme Mill sees a quick recovery

1939

The company joins the war effort, making soldiers’ webbing and rot-proofing hessian for sandbags, closely followed by imitation and reconstituted leather

1944

As the war ends, the company enters the carpet market for the first time with felt underlays for carpet squares

1950s

The carpet revolution begins in America with the development of wall-to-wall carpets. With a member of the original Miller family still on the company’s board, technical director FS Roberts develops and patents the world’s first crumb rubber underlay: “Super Duralay”. It’s the biggest turning point in the company’s history. Domestic underlays of latex rubber are introduced shortly afterwards and Gripperrods Tackfast is introduced to provide the perfect carpet gripper

1955

A new factory opens in Haslingden to manufacture rubber underlay. The Duralay name becomes a by-word for high quality rubber underlays

1969

Super Duralay achieves a 75% share of the rubber underlay market, with a total of 80m square yards sold since production began in 1952

1972

The multi-national Guthrie Corporation buys the company and merges it with Lintafoam. Competition in the underlay market is fierce and the company loses ground

1979

A new high-tech approach, new marketing and technical developments help the company’s recovery to become the dominant name in the UK carpet industry again

1981

New products Ultracushion and Novacushion and the hotly contested Duralay Carpet Fitter of the Year competition are launched. There’s even a TV advertising campaign – and the Duralay Book of Carpets & Carpet Care finds its way into hundreds of thousands of homes

1984

The company builds on its position as Europe’s largest underlay manufacturer to become the world’s first universal underlay manufacturer, investing heavily in sponge manufacturing plant and expanding the Haslingden site with massive warehousing capacity

1985

The unique Duralay Durafit contract installation system is launched; the world’s first double-stick system

1990s

Duralay develops its first IMO certified flame retardant product for the marine market and the Timbermate range for hard floors

1999

The company buys the consumer and industrial division of The Gates Rubber Company – including underlay brand Tredaire and wellington boot brand Hunter – from owner Tomkins plc

2000s

Duralay develops its first underfloor heating products

2002

Interfloor is created following the merger of the Duralay and Tredaire brands

2004

A management-led investor group acquire the Hunter Boots business from Interfloor

2008

Interfloor acquires Stikatak Ltd, an established supplier of flooring accessories to the retail, contract and DIY segments in the UK and beyond

2015

Interfloor acquired by Victoria plc, a UK-based manufacturer, supplier and distributor of design-led flooring. Interfloor joins other leading flooring businesses in the Group such as Victoria Carpets, Westex Carpets and Abingdon Flooring

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