Yap Leng Kuen | SF Floormart

Pushing ahead to sell more floor tiles

Within the constraints of the Conditional Movement Control Order, SF Floormart & Hardware is eyeing small projects to sustain the company through the hard times.

It currently has a two-month project for the supply and installation of 4mm (thickness) of stone polymer composite (SPC) flooring to 133 residential units in Kuantan.

Another job to supply and install anti-static vinyl flooring at the electrified double tracking from Gemas to Johor Baru, is expected to start at the end of this year.

This flooring will be installed for each electrical control room in the four stations.

“We hope to do a good job and build up the relationships with our clients so that in future, they will consider us for other jobs,’’ said founder T.Y. Yong who has about 20 years of experience in the industry.

In the residential sector, Yong sees a lot of potential for flooring products.

“For many people with 20 to 30 year-old houses, it is time for them to renew their flooring.

“If they have an existing cement subfloor, tiles or terrazzo floor, these SPC and laminated products will be convenient for them; they can just put an underlay and then place the floorboard on top,’’ said Yong.

With the main focus on SPC flooring for residential and commercial usage, he plans to expand his business online through distributorships.

The company has appointed local distributors for the Pasadena brand of SPC and laminated flooring; this is a US-based brand that is made in China, under the original equipment manufacture.

As piling works have commenced on the flooring factory in Malaysia, Yong hopes to secure a bigger distributorship, and export to emerging markets and neighbouring countries.

He is also visiting potential agents in the southern region to sell his products online, instead of having to set up physical shops.

Currently, there are three retail agents that are selling products from SF Floormart, within their own buildings that also sell other hardwares including electrical and sanitary products.

“If we get more sales, we can set aside the money and employ professionals to improve our online site,’’ said Yong.

The company has just launched a new product for plaster wall finishing, which will give ‘old walls’ a new look.

Among its other products, the 4mm SPC floorboard is in demand; with limestone compressed as the core and the top surface laminated with protective film, it is a type of waterproof and termite proof flooring.

Standard vinyl is waterproof and used in residential and commercial areas such as retail shops.

High density 8mm fibre for laminated flooring is water resistant, and mostly used in residential areas.

Before setting up SF Floormart 12 years ago, Yong was working as manager, having been promoted from salesman, for a well-known flooring company.

He had started by selling laminated and standard vinyl flooring; after seven years, he decided to form his own company.

While setting up his own business, Yong had taken four years to learn about the solid wood business; he now has a finishing machine that can grind, polish, varnish and buff solid wooden floors.

The hardware section of his company supplies flooring accessories such as skirting, profiles, self-levelling compound, gaps sealant, bonding/glue and do-it-yourself decorative finishes.

As a small company, Yong is able to be flexible and, if the stock is available, offer smaller volumes with a mixture of colours that are preferred by customers.

Times are critical now, and jobs are slow to come by. But Yong is pushing ahead and looking to diversify his product range as well as explore various channels to sell online.

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Yap Leng Kuen had a respected career as a senior business editor and widely read columnist speaking plainly, for the leading local newspaper. She continues to write Plain Speaking for The Star Online.

I am delighted to share her view points and insights, here.

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