FLOORS THAT SCORE
Architect and Interiors India|February 2021
QUALITY AND SAFETY IS BEING COMBINED WITH AESTHETICS AND INNOVATION IN THE FLOORING INDUSTRY
VISHAL NAICKER

Designing an apt interior space requires not only the understanding of the right balance of colours, shapes, light and accessories, but also a professional knowhow of products of a good make. Keeping up with evolving design aesthetics, the flooring industry has seen significant changes in recent times.

LATEST TRENDS

Shedding light on some of the latest trends, Paul Mittal, director, Greenlam Industries Ltd, opines that “As we welcome 2021 with positivity and optimism, the flooring trends will be seen from a different perception. Whether for commercial or residential areas, people are looking for floor attributes such as – low maintenance, durability and aesthetic appeal. Analysing such consumer demand, we can confidently predict that engineered wooden flooring will top the preference charts this year. The empowering wooden feel does wonders to your space as it warms you up and acts like a balancing element when paired with other interiors.” This is where engineered woods are making major advancements in the industry. Products ranges like Mikasa that consist of three layers, which is composed of real hard wood, a stabilizing core and a balancing layer, gives floor the resilience to stand the test of time and climate. It’s easier to lay these planks because they can simply be clicked and placed according to your need. Along with that, engineered wood floors are cost effective as the damaged parts can be easily replaced by extra planks in the future. Mikasa from the house of Greenlam Industries comes with PlankLoc technology which lets the planks fit together, like an interlocking puzzle, without the application of any adhesive. These floors come in a variety of colors, textures & species such as, Oak, Maple, Sapele, Teak, Walnut and more, which satisfy those distinct needs of our customers.

Sharing her thoughts on the same, Reema Roy, marketing manager at Forbo Flooring, believes that “vinyl is another trending material along with the good old stone and ceramic flooring in the hard flooring category. The LVTs are ahead when it comes to choices in the resilient flooring category as they are easy and quick to install and come in various designs and shades. Carpets are the all-time favourite for a luxurious and plush look in areas with light to medium footfall. Terrazzo has made a comeback, and even vinyl flooring manufactures have come up with faux terrazzo vinyl tiles and planks. The bold and vibrant colours are still popular with subtler furnishings for retail stores and the education sector. However, beige and grey are timeless shades that will always be a choice for offices and healthcare segments. Wood and marble pattern will see an increase in demand this year due to their versatility and timelessness.”

In context to the current pandemic situation, Todd Jarvis, global marketing director, Shaw Contract, observes that “The most interesting trend being noticed in 2021 is the impact of floor design on health. The focus will be on products and brands that practice sustainability in word and deed. The Covid crisis has brought on a renewed emphasis on enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of workspaces. Floor design in 2021 will factor in the health aspect apart from visual aesthetics. Hence, our products undergo rigorous third-party testing for human impact and environmental impact.”

SELECTING THE RIGHT PRODUCT

Manufacturers and solution providers never stop building innovative ways of experimenting with materials to create unique textures and effects for interior flooring systems. These structured surfaces offer innumerable possibilities of pattern, colour and texture, designed to complement any decor style today. But there are various factors that need to be considered before selecting a product. Shedding light on this aspect Roy says, “Flooring has to perform many functions, so the key considerations revolve around durability, ease of maintenance, aesthetics, etc. In a commercial space, the number of footfall and the mood of the room matters the most. For example, in a retail outlet, a floor covering will withstand the traffic and appear clean and shiny throughout the day, since cleaning during the working hours isn’t possible. However, in an office area, the reception area should have a welcoming shade of flooring, the corridors can have resilient flooring and the board room can have a plush carpet as it will have the least number of footfall. Then of course, the overall look and feel of the space come to a play as well. In fast-food joints, bright reds and greens will be the norm, whereas a fine dining restaurant will prefer lighter tones of colours. Similarly, in a residential complex or a house to be precise, the hall calls for resilient flooring, easy to clean and maintain, and the bedroom can have a carpet.”

Further onto this, Alok Agarwal, chief marketing officer at OrientBell Tiles, adds that “Identifying the ‘need’ is the foremost parameter before you align your purchases. For example, in a data centre or any space handling sensitive electronic equipment or inflammable liquids, Orientbell’s anti-static Conductive tiles are well-suited to avoid electric sparks and currents in such spaces. On the other hand, floors which take a lot of heavy load and are subject to wear and tear (i.e. automobile garages, warehouses, etc), full-body vitrified tiles will provide the strength required.”

“OBL offers a range of ‘Forever tiles’ which are scratch resistant tiles and germ free and can be used to avoid scratches. These tiles are specifically designed to withstand the harshest scratches and most ordinary everyday used materials like screwdrivers, stainless steel chairs will not scratch them.

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