James Halstead PLC — the parent company of Polyflor — was founded in 1915 near Manchester, England. It was there that the engineering team pioneered the revolutionary homogeneous vinyl floor coverings that Polyflor produces today.
Over one hundred years later, we are still manufacturing in Europe, and Polyflor operates as a major global manufacturer of commercial floorcoverings with dominant market share in the UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, and beyond.
Beginning over a century ago as a leader in the process of dyeing, finishing, and later waterproofing and rubberizing textiles for rainwear and other outdoor clothing, James Halstead PLC maintains an unmatched legacy that lives on throughout the world.
The family business developed rapidly under the energetic stewardship of founder James Halstead and sons, Herbert and John, and it was they, in 1934, who expanded the manufacturing capabilities to include flooring products.
This proved to be an inspired decision.
The healthcare market in Northern Europe required a longer lasting, more resilient floor covering that was easier to clean and harder wearing than linoleum flooring, which had been the standard for many years.
After many experiments, Halstead's engineers provided a real breakthrough when they were able to make the worlds first homogeneous vinyl sheet product in 1952.
Branded Polyflor, James Halstead PLC’s homogeneous vinyl sheet product, and its many adaptations have become the cornerstone of Polyflor’s success.
Halstead Limited became a public quoted company in 1948, listing on the London Stock Exchange FTSE, and as demand in the 1950’s grew, the Halstead’s looked overseas to develop manufacturing and sales capacity by setting up or acquiring satellite companies in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
Over the past few decades, Polyflor’s award-winning success has continued with James Halstead PLC becoming one of the few flooring companies in the world to receive the prestigious Queen’s Award on more than one occasion.
From our early origins to our current position as a leading global manufacturer of commercial & residential floorcoverings, our success story continues in the practical and beautiful solutions we provide to our customers.