Embrace Nature in the Home with Organic Sculpture

In a world where interior design trends continuously evolve, one aesthetic that has been gaining traction is Organic Sculpture. This trend seamlessly blends natural elements with contemporary aesthetics, creating spaces that breathe life and tranquillity into the home environment.

Nature-Inspired Elegance

For homeowners looking to infuse their living spaces with a touch of natural beauty, Organic Sculpture is the perfect source of inspiration. This trend takes inspiration directly from nature and brings together sculptural furniture pieces that mirror the curves and lines found in the environment, tactile surfaces and soothing colours that are easy on the eye.

Central to the Organic Sculpture Interiors trend is the harmonious blend of textures and colours. Homeowners are encouraged to embrace materials that echo the natural world, such as reclaimed wood, stone and textured fabrics. The colour scheme revolves around earthy tones such as greens, browns, blues and calming neutrals which evoke a sense of tranquillity and mimic the natural world.

With its soft, elegant round forms, the Organic Sculpture trend lends itself particularly well to the bathroom environment. Picture freestanding curved baths, wall mounted storage modules in clay, brick shaped glazed porcelain tiles in pale green, concrete bathroom basins and warm white paint shades to create the perfect cocooning spa-like retreat that is a safe haven from the stresses of day-to-day life.

Set the Scene with Flooring

Flooring serves as the canvas for any interior setting and plays a key role in planning Organic Sculpture inspired spaces. Tile designs inspired by materials like natural stone, such as marble, slate or limestone, seamlessly align with this trend. Within the Malmo™ LVT collection, a diverse range of tile effects is available, offering the visual appeal of natural materials along with the installation and performance benefits of a technical, man-made material.

Elegant and seamless, the creamy white tones and natural stone design of the Livia Rigid Comfort Tile will add grace to any room. This tile design gives a nod to Scandinavian simplicity, embodying the principles of Organic Sculpture with its easy-living neutral essence.

Rigid Comfort tiles not only offers an elegant aesthetic but also presents a practical alternative to real stone and ceramic. Its durability, ease of installation through the advanced Välinge 5G system and low maintenance make it particularly suitable for bathrooms. The tile features a rigid SPC waterproof core, R10 slip resistance and compatibility with water-piped underfloor heating systems.

The Malmo™ Stickdown Freedom collection also incorporates several designs that align with the trend. The versatile stone effect Boren Freedom Stickdown Tile not only looks sophisticated with its neutral light grey tones and natural texture, it is also hardwearing and water resistant. While Roxen Freedom Stickdown Tile, a lightly textured, neutral stone effect in a large, square tile design provides a light and practical base. Stickdown Freedom tiles are naturally warm to bare feet, sound absorbent, slip resistant and suitable for use with water-piped underfloor heating.

The Livia, Boren and Roxen tiles are the perfect nature inspired stone floors to combine with Organic Sculpture’s soft elegant round forms to create the perfect bathroom retreat.

For homeowners seeking to fill their living spaces with the beauty of the natural world, the Organic Sculpture interiors trend is the ideal choice—a harmonious blend of nature and modern design that transforms spaces into serene and stylish sanctuaries.

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Grand Millennial design: Blending classic allure with modern convenience

For homeowners looking to merge the comforts and traditions of the past with the practicality and aesthetics of today in their interiors, the Grand Millennial design trend is one to embrace. More than just a blast from the past, the Grand Millennial style is a celebration of classic characteristics combined with the contemporary ease consumers want from modern living spaces.

Embracing Grand Millennial style

Homeowners can achieve the Grand Millennial style by bringing together old and new design elements to create a charming yet balanced look. The trend mixes old family furniture with contemporary art and blends classic floral patterns with fresh, modern colours. Bold wallpapers integrate seamlessly with modern furnishings, while sofas and soft furnishings with tassels and fringing give a nostalgic touch.

Key to the design look are textured and woven fabrics that blend vintage style with modern colours. Soft, calming neutrals are seen alongside jewelled hues which add richness and personality to interiors. This is an eclectic look that mixes the old and new vibes perfectly.

Heritage-inspired flooring

Flooring sets the stage in any interior setting and the Malmo™ LVT flooring range offers several aged timber decors that align perfectly with the Grand Millennial style. These designs from across the brand’s Rigid and Stickdown ranges take inspiration from the past, while offering technical performance benefits that are bang up-to-date.

The Bergen Herringbone Plank from the Stickdown Freedom range with its stunning herringbone pattern and natural wood textures offers homely elegance and works particularly well in living rooms, dining rooms and hallways. Alongside its timeless aesthetic, the flooring offers many modern advantages. The innovative AO coating significantly boosts slip resistance, ensuring safety without compromising its visual quality. It also offers enhanced scratch resistance, thanks to its protective layer, as well as seamless installation capability across large spaces. In addition, it offers a thick wear layer, compatibility with underfloor heating systems and impressive sound absorption, making Bergen Herringbone Plank a flooring choice that perfectly blends heritage styling with contemporary functionality.

Fusing old-world charm with modern convenience

The Ivar Rigid Comfort Plank is another style that works well with the Grand Millennial trend. Warm and welcoming with plenty of natural texture, Ivar creates the perfect base for a wide range of styles and tastes.

Meanwhile, the beautiful Brada Chestnut multi-width plank from the Malmo™ Rigid Senses registered embossed collection offers a multi-tonal floorcovering in warm, rich browns that perfectly replicate the charm of reclaimed wood.

Integrating the timeless charm of Grand Millennial style with practical modern features, designs from the Malmo™ Rigid Comfort and Rigid Senses ranges offer a perfect balance of elegance and functionality. These flooring options not only exude classic allure but also prioritise ease of installation and maintenance, easily meeting the demands of contemporary living There’s no getting down on your knees for a good scrub in the manner of Upstairs Downstairs – a simple dry-mop of the floor with a proprietory cleaner is all that’s needed.

Both of these ranges include the advanced Välinge 5G installation system which ensures a hassle-free fitting with a simple push-down mechanism that secures joints without the need for extra tools. This user-friendly installation process adapts effortlessly to restricted spaces such as bathrooms and washrooms. Its 1mm built-in underlay contributes not only offers time and cost saving benefits, but also excellent sound absorption. Naturally warm underfoot, the floors are also compatible with water-piped underfloor heating systems, ensuring comfort throughout the space.

Paying homage to the past and to the present, Malmo™ LVT offers easy installation and minimal maintenance for both residential and commercial spaces. Designed with durability in mind, these decors ensure that the beauty of the Grand Millennial style endures for years to come.

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By Gail Alcock, Product Director for Malmo™ LVT

With summer beckoning us to explore far-flung destinations, the Earth Bound trend presents an opportunity for homeowners to infuse their living spaces with a sense of wanderlust and adventure.

As one of the key interior design trends for 2023, Earth Bound draws inspiration from travel, escapism and a deep connection to nature. By incorporating warm earthy tones, textural materials, and handmade organic objects, this trend creates an ambience that resonates long after the holiday is over. While it can be prominently showcased in living rooms curated with interesting finds from abroad, Earth Bound has the versatility to inspire any room within the home.

Get the look

To truly embrace the Earth Bound aesthetic, every element of the room’s design should harmonise with the theme. Warm, earthy paint colours such as ochre, baked terracotta and sand bring the essence of nature indoors. Add in rugs and throws rich in colour, pattern and texture, exquisite wall tapestries and ornate, ethnic lanterns which give a warm, sunset glow even when unlit. Pieces that look to be one of a kind such as hand made ceramics and nik naks sourced from souks or local markets can be curated into the design, igniting memories of adventurous journeys. Incense and scented candles in woody aromas such as sandalwood or citrus scents, such as orange, lemon, and grapefruit, help to cultivate a warm, welcoming and relaxing ambience.

As the foundational canvas of any setting, flooring plays a vital role in creating an Earth Bound-inspired room. Opting for dark wood flooring with a characterful texture grounds the scheme for the rest of the design elements.

LVT blends form and function

When creating an Earth Bound-inspired space, Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) flooring offers a compelling alternative to real wood combining aesthetics with functionality. Homeowners can effortlessly achieve the desired look and feel of natural wood, while enjoying numerous practical benefits.
Here are just a few of them:

Realistic wood effects

Advancements in technology mean that LVT is able to mirror the natural beauty and texture of wood more closely than ever. With enhanced knots and the texture perfectly inline with the visual pattern of the woodgrain, the Malmo™ Senses Registered Embossed designs allow homeowners to capture the look of a rich, aged floor without sacrificing the practical advantages that LVT offers. The Tyra decor with its dark, chocolatey hue and Asta with its rich, warm brown tones are good options to pair with the rich red shades associated with Earth Bound.

Longlasting beauty

LVT flooring is designed to withstand the demands of daily life while maintaining its beauty. Its durable construction makes it resistant to scratches, stains and fading, and, being water-resistant, it’s also suitable for areas prone to moisture, such as bathrooms and kitchens. Designed with longevity in mind, with Malmo™ decors are guaranteed for up to 25 years for residential applications, ensuring your Earth Bound-inspired space remains vibrant and inviting for many years to come.

Easy maintenance

In today’s fast-paced world, convenience is paramount and LVT flooring offers the advantage of low maintenance, requiring minimal effort to keep it looking its best. The wide choice of wood effect LVT decors now available allows homeowners to get the look and warmth of real wood, without the need to periodically sand and re-finish to keep it looking its best. Day to day, regular sweeping or vacuuming, along with occasional damp mopping, is usually sufficient to maintain the pristine appearance of LVT, allowing you to spend less time worrying about maintenance and more time enjoying your Earth Bound sanctuary.

Start your very own Earth Bound design adventure now!

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By Gail Alcock, Product Director for Malmo™ LVT

It goes without saying that fitting a customer’s flooring to a high standard is the key aim of any installer, but some customers may also want some advice on the latest flooring trends. Being clued up on the latest designs to recommend to customers can give fitters a competitive edge and help them attract more business.

Trends by their very nature come and go, but this year one of the biggest trends that a savvy installer should have on their radar is what we’re calling Urban Garden, which is all about bringing the outdoors indoors. This is recognised by having plants and greenery, water features, large windows, skylights and glazed doors that bring in lots of natural light and natural materials such as timber and stone. The trend lends itself particularly well to open plan kitchen spaces, but it can be applied anywhere in the home.

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) flooring is growing in popularity with consumers who increasingly recognise its benefits for easy installation, fashionable design, high performance and easy maintenance. With its broad design choice and installation flexibility thorough its Rigid and Stickdown formats, LVT is a versatile floorcovering that will adapt to any design trend. Here are some things to bear in mind when recommending LVT to customers looking to bring Urban Garden into their home.

Design Choice

When it comes to flooring, the choice of colour is ultimately a personal one based on the customer’s taste, but for customers looking to create the Urban Garden look, light coloured woodgrains or wood effects work particularly well. Light oak, pale birch, ash and whitewashed effects will provide a blank canvas for the room, allowing the earthy colours associated with the trend such as ochre, burnt orange and forest green to really stand out. Across our Rigid and Stickdown collections we offer a wide choice of light wood effects as well as stone-inspired designs in light neutrals which can also bring a touch of nature to interiors.

Heat and Light Considerations

Natural light is a key feature of Urban Garden achieved through large glass door openings to the garden and skylights over the kitchen, connecting the interior of the home to the natural world outside. When fitting flooring in rooms with lots of glazing where temperature ‘hotspots’ from direct sunlight can occur, it’s important to consider that some types of flooring can be prone to expansion and contraction due to changes in temperature and humidity.

Installers can avoid any come back from customers further down the line by recommending they use Stickdown LVT in these areas. Because it’s a fully adhered system that is glued directly to the floor or sub-floor, Stickdown LVT can withstand high and fluctuating temperatures and will resist movement, so there’s no danger it will lift, fade or warp. The flooring can be recommended to customers with confidence in conservatories, open plan spaces with bi-fold doors and skylights and garden rooms.

Surface Texture

Reflecting the look of nature in interiors is very popular just now, whether that’s adding a timber accent wall, a marble effect worktop or wood effect flooring. With Urban Garden, patterns and textures that mimic natural elements such as the grain of wood or the texture of stone are key as they can create a sense of calm and relaxation in indoor spaces.

Installers who can offer their customers advice on trends, and who can demonstrate an understanding of the look and feeling their client is looking to achieve, will be better placed for recommendations and repeat business than those who simply turn up to fit a floor and leave without a second thought. Keeping on top of trends shouldn’t be a burden though, we all know that demand is high and time is precious.

At Malmo™ we have done some of the legwork for installers, retailers and consumers by creating a set of mood boards showing how our flooring designs fit with Urban Garden, as well three other key interiors trends: Organic Sculpture, Earth Bound and Grand Millennial. These can be found on our website and they have also been shared on our social channels.

The Urban Garden trend looks set to be around for some time, and by recommending flooring that reflects the look, installers can help their customers achieve beautiful and relaxing spaces that bring a little bit of the outdoors inside.

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Furthering its commitment to innovation and market-leading product development, Malmo™ has added a new Pressed Bevel collection to the Senses range of Rigid LVT flooring.

Comprising a broad palette of eight stunning woodgrain designs, the planks feature an eased bevelled edge which further enhances the appearance of the flooring to be even closer to real wood. Practical benefits include increased water resistance and enhanced cleanability compared to painted bevel alternatives.

The bevelled edge of the flooring is formed by pressing the surface layer down into the joint during the manufacturing process, rather than cutting through it as painted bevel alternatives do. This ensures the joint is completely water-tight, while the elimination of v-grooves means there are less places for dust to gather.

Like all Rigid Senses products, the new decors offer a 1mm underlay already attached and a wear layer of 0.55mm, with a 25 year domestic use warranty and 10 years for light domestic use.

However, the Pressed Bevel collection features the Välinge 5Gi click installation system rather than the Välinge 5G system that’s featured on other Malmo Rigid products. 5Gi provides even tighter joints, but like the standard 5G system it can still be installed by hand with no need for hammers or tapping tools.

Trend-inspired and design versatile, the eight new Pressed Bevel designs include whitewashed effects, warm greys, classic oaks and rich brown tones to meet a range of tastes and interior styles. All are in plank sizes of 1244mm x 181mm, with the overall product thickness enhanced to 6mm.

Gail Alcock, Product Director says: “The addition of these eight new Pressed Bevel designs demonstrates the evolution and continued innovation within the Malmo™ brand, not just in providing new on-trend designs but enhancing the performance benefits of the flooring too.”

The Senses Pressed Bevel collection is part of the comprehensive Malmo™ Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) range which now offers a wide choice of 65 designs across its Rigid and Stickdown formats. To view the Pressed Bevel collection, click here .


Malmo™ has added four stunning, on-trend tile designs to the Rigid Comfort range, increasing the choice of stylish, durable, easy to install and low maintenance alternatives to real stone and ceramic tiles.

The chic new decors comprise a classic white marble in the shape of Arla; Marma, a fashionable terrazzo design; and Voxna and Ollsta for cool stone and concrete effects.

These new additions complement the existing tile designs within the Rigid Comfort range to offer a total of nine natural stone inspired decors. Ensuring a stylish solution for all interiors from traditional through to contemporary, the Comfort range also includes a broad palette of woodgrain effects in wide and narrow plank options.

Versatile and hardwearing, Malmo™ Rigid Comfort tiles are ideal for both domestic and commercial applications. R10 slip resistant, they’re backed by a 15-year domestic warranty with seven years for commercial applications. Each tile measures 457mm x 300mm x 5.5mm and benefits from a built-in 1mm underlay with a rigid SPC (stone polymer composite) waterproof core. The advanced Välinge 5G installation system, with push down end joints, makes the flooring fast and easy to fit for DIY enthusiasts and professional installers alike, even when working in tricky, tight or restricted spaces.

These new Rigid Comfort tile additions mean that the comprehensive Malmo™ Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) range now offers a wide choice of 65 designs across its Rigid and Stickdown formats. To view the full range click here

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Gail Alcock, Product Director for Malmo LVT flooring shares trend insights for 2023 and how they influence business

The New Year signals new beginnings and a time for making positive changes. It’s often a time for reflection on the design of our home environment and how it supports our lifestyles, but for all of us working across this sector, it’s also a time for considering the bigger picture of trends and how it influences our business.

In our NPD and range development, we are immersed in design and are continually influenced by many aspects. How people choose to live their lives, at work, at home and at play are all linked, and we are increasingly seeing a blur of boundaries between residential, workplace and hospitality design. Many of the trends are in fact ideas borne out of human desire to create spaces which make them feel better. Consumers are seeking designs which have longevity, are sustainable in themselves since they are built to last. A backlash to the throw away fashions and fads borne out of Changing Rooms (no disrespect Linda) and cheap flat pack furniture.

Urban Garden

The Urban Garden trend is all about connecting home interiors to the outdoors and has many claims to enhanced wellbeing. In the pandemic people turned to nature and plants as a salve for stress and to create calmer, more restorative home environments. Biophilia expert Oliver Heath has talked extensively about how the space that surrounds us can have a dramatic impact on our physical, mental and emotional state and how incorporating nature into interior design can make people feel calmer and more relaxed. This trend is most apparent in the places we spend most time – the home and workplace – and shows no sign of waning.

Kitchen and bathroom designers can achieve this look with large glass door openings to the garden, skylights over the kitchen and by using materials derived from nature within the interior. Natural tones such as ochre, burnt orange and forest green are all part of this trend complemented by light coloured woodgrains in furniture and flooring.

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Earth Bound

This trend captures inspiration from travel and escapism, which after lockdown has an even greater sense of importance but it’s also strongly connected to nature. It incorporates warm earth baked tones, textural materials and organic objects made by hand, bringing together nature and culture. We’ve seen rich red shades chosen as the colour of the year 2023 by paint companies such as Graham & Brown and according to trend reports, we’ll be seeing grounding earth tones such as terracotta, sepia and Italian clay for some time to come. Dark wood flooring with characterful textures are part of this trend.

Organic Sculpture

The Organic Sculpture trend brings together cocooning curves, tactile surfaces and soothing colours that are easy on the eye. It’s driven by the need for creating interiors that are safe and welcoming and offer a place of security during times of conflict and anxiety. The bathroom is a key room here as it’s a sanctuary where we want to recapture time for ourselves. People want a more luxurious bathroom environment with large bathtubs, waterfall showers and indulgent bathing products that are also kind to the skin. TikTok shows more than 23m searches on #BathRitual. There’s a clear opportunity for manufacturers and retailers to tap into this desire to create the perfect bathroom retreat. Nature inspired tile designs, whether in LVT or ceramic or natural stone floors, are integral to this look.

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Grand Millennial

The Grand Millennial style allows spaces to be infused with personality and embraces a mix of old and new. This trend taps into the transition from blind consumerism to more conscious consumption which has come to the fore in the past couple of years. You only have to look at companies like The Used Kitchen Exchange to recognise the appetite for repair and recycling. Grand Millennial captures the love of vintage which has been widely adopted as the responsible and ethical way of shopping for the millennials. They are brave and rebel against the catalogue interiors they were brought up with – looking back to their grandparent’s generation for inspiration.

This look incorporates vintage heirloom furniture, chintz and floral patterns which can be combined with contemporary art and fresh colours keeping it from looking cluttered. Aged timber flooring is an excellent choice to incorporate into this eclectic design trend and our herringbone designs and those that replicate reclaimed planks work very well here.

All the trends we have identified are borne from the human response to the world around us and hybrid working, well-being and sustainability feature heavily. These have been the biggest drivers of the past few years and they look set to play a major part in shaping our home environments for many years to come.

2023 trends

How did you start your career?

I started as a part-time receptionist in May 1998. Since then, I have progressed through a range of roles including customer service, internal sales, regional external sales and national account manager, eventually becoming a Product Director. I’m so grateful for the opportunity and when I look back, I still can’t believe that over 24 years later I’m now at this level working for a fantastic brand.

Why are Malmo™’s products better than your competitors’ products?

Malmo™ luxury vinyl tile (LVT) was initially conceived as a ‘challenger brand’ to the longer established market players, and in just a few years has gone from strength to strength, driven by its ethos of design innovation. We now offer a total of 57 decors across stickdown and rigid click formats that offer a high-performing and creative flooring solution for any environment.

A key to our success has been continued investment in product innovation, the latest development being the application of an Aluminium Oxide coating as standard across the entire collection of Malmo™ Freedom Stickdown designs which increases the flooring’s slip resistance to +36 PTV, low risk in wet areas. This feature is usually reserved for safety flooring where design choice can be quite limited, but we wanted to offer our customers a design-led flooring suitable for use in any environment, including those where safety is a priority.

What one piece of advice do you wish you could give all flooring contractors?

Make sure you are aware of the environment that the flooring is going into and ensure the surface floor chosen is the right one for the customer’s requirements.
For example, when it comes to LVT, stickdown is ideal for installing in kitchens as cabinetry and island units can be placed on top of the flooring without risk of movement or contraction. It is also more stable to variations in temperature than its rigid counterparts, so is a good choice near bi-fold and patio doors and in conservatories. Rigid LVT may be a better choice when working in tricky or restricted spaces such as around sanitaryware and underneath doors in bathrooms because the joints need less positioning space. Understanding these technical features is key to a good flooring installation.

What’s the worst flooring installation you’ve seen, and why?

I’ve seen a few over the years but one that sticks in my mind is a wood floor that caused tremendous damage to the structure of a house. It had expanded into a bay window area and made the wall collapse. Needless to say, it was a very expensive fix!

Who, outside your company, do you most admire in the industry?

I admire lots of people within the industry so it would be unfair to single out any one individual. We have some fantastic talented and knowledgeable people within the flooring sector, but it’s also important that we continue to invest in the next generation of flooring professionals.

What’s the secret to a successful flooring installation?

It’s important for retailers and installers to get to know their customers and their lifestyle to determine whether they are they choosing the right floor for their environment. For example, in a busy family home LVT might be a more practical choice than its real wood, ceramic or stone counterparts due to its durability and easy maintenance qualities. Installers need to ask themselves whether they’re offering their customer their forever floor.

And what’s the secret to creating a successful flooring product?

When it comes to design, a successful flooring product should offer a mix of traditional and trend-led decors to appeal to all customer tastes. Traditional floors never age but they must also keep up with the new technical innovations within the flooring world.

What worries you most about the challenges facing the industry?

The biggest challenge we face is ensuring a future talent pool. We need to encourage more young people into the profession and to see the benefits of learning a trade. It’s a physical job to lay a floor and it can be demanding, but it’s also rewarding to play a part in installing a product that can be there for years.
There’s also a lack of specialisms among some flooring fitters which can affect the innovations in design being driven into the industry. For example, chevron, herringbone and hexagonal flooring designs require a level of specialist installation and are not often attempted by the DIY market. We need to keep passing on the skills of specialist installation to the younger generations to ensure we have a constant pipeline of skilled installers with the expertise to fit all types of flooring.

What in your opinion is the most important characteristic of a successful flooring contractor?

Being able to listen and communicate well is key. It’s also important to be able to accept change and adapt to the innovative new products coming through and understand what the benefits of these changes are.

In today’s economic climate, what’s the biggest threat to your company’s profitability?

It is vitally important that we continue to invest in good environmental and sustainable manufacturing practices, but at the same time this does have an impact on costs, from materials to transport. All Malmo™ products offer Greenguard, Floorscore and ISO9001 and ISO14001 certification and in our manufacturing processes we aim to use minimal amounts of energy and keep emissions to the lowest possible levels.

The industry as a whole has a duty to continue to invest in sustainability as it’s important to protect this wonderful world for future generations.

In what state is the flooring industry emerging from Covid-19, in your opinion?

The flooring industry grew during the pandemic as homeowners found the time, and financial means, to invest in their homes. Malmo™ emerged strongly as LVT chimed with consumers’ desire for products that helped their homes be safe, stylish and easy to look after. Unlike grouted tiles or wood floors, LVT delivers a very smooth and streamlined surface that is very easy to clean and does not require any ongoing maintenance such as re-sealing. LVT also goes hand in hand with the trend for people to create light-filled rooms and bring the outdoors in with free-flowing open spaces. With no expansion gaps or door profiles required, it is highly stable to deal with the temperature variations from direct sunlight and deliver a streamlined design look.

Of course, we’re all facing very different challenges now, but I think the desire for people to invest in their homes as a place of safety and enjoyment will continue and LVT offers a stylish, hardwearing and long-lasting flooring material.

How does the industry solve the problem of no new blood coming through the ranks?

We need to instil in the younger generation that it’s OK not to be an academic whizz. You can achieve your goals with non-academic training and at the same time develop better social and emotional skills. Communication is key……..says the sales lady!

Does your company do a good job helping contractors when products go wrong?

Most definitely. We will always investigate and advise why the problem has occurred. We all want a satisfied customer at the end of the day.

What would you tell a contractor who complained about sustainable products costing them more money?

Do you have children, nieces, nephews or grandchildren? If so, would you like to keep the world a brighter place or as dark as the earth you will be in one day?

If you weren’t in the flooring industry, what would you be doing?

Something that keeps me in front of people, talking, caring, sharing and meeting new faces.

What is your favourite flooring installed in your home?

I bought an old house seven years ago and upon removing the carpet in the lounge and hallway I found a beautiful teak parquet floor. I paid to restore it back to its beautiful self and I love it. It was well worth the investment.

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Design & market trends

LVT continues to be a popular flooring choice in 2022. It’s a material that is stylish, affordable and easy to maintain, making it a fantastic option for domestic and commercial projects alike, and we only expect this trend to continue with technological advances, improvements in installation methods and design development.

The material offers a cost-effective way of achieving the premium look of real timber or the stunning appearance of tiled floors, while offering the advantages of being affordable, highly durable, scratch resistant and easier to clean and maintain compared to real wood and stone. With a myriad of colours and design styles now available offering higher levels of authenticity than ever before, it’s no wonder that LVT flooring represents a healthy portion of the flooring market.

One of the continuing design trends is wooden parquet effects. Herringbone and chevron flooring has long been associated with luxury and grandeur in stately homes and a marker for style and affluence, and the pattern’s expansion into LVT flooring over the last decade or so has opened up the design scope of this sought-after look to a much wider demographic.

Herringbone offers a more classic parquet look with tightly alternating boards laid at 90° angles which create a stunning focal point in any room while chevron takes the classic style and gives it a modern update. Here the planks are cut at 45° to create a more modern geometric zig-zag effect, which is particularly popular among younger homeowners.

One of the main advantages of LVT flooring is its hardwearing surface layer. It does not crack like a ceramic so is increasingly viewed by consumers and retailers alike as a real alternative to a traditionally laid ceramic tiled floor, and of course the fact that it can be laid with ease in a fraction of the time to tiles is a major selling point for installers.

Patterned tile effects are another trend in the LVT flooring market that is showing no sign of waning, as you can instantly achieve the look of retro tile flooring with all the convenience, value and performance benefits of a man-made material. These designs are currently enjoying a revival among younger consumers and at the same time, they conjure up feelings of nostalgia among the older demographic, so are a good option with the increasing trend for multi-generational households.

Similarly, large format tile designs such as concrete and slate effects are continuing to have a moment. The flooring offers a great way to create a bold statement while injecting a sense of space into a room and offers the benefits of easy maintenance and compatibility with underfloor heating systems, unlike natural stone.

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Steve Ball, Technical Services Manager, outlines his top tips for laying Rigid Click luxury vinyl tile (LVT) flooring.

It goes without saying that any professional flooring installer wants to avoid the inconvenience of revisiting a project once the work is complete, especially if it involves time consuming and costly remedial work and a dissatisfied end customer.

Rigid click LVT is generally regarded as a fast and easy to fit floorcovering due to its ability to be laid and locked into place with ease, in fact Malmo™ Rigid LVT only requires a firm finger touch with no need for hammers or tapping tools. However, despite being easy to fit, there are common problems that we see regularly occurring which installers can easily avoid.

Horses for courses

With rigid LVT, incorrect subfloor preparation is a common error which can lead to damaged flooring and wear and tear quicker than expected. Another mistake that we see time and again is the installation of rigid flooring underneath heavy objects leading to buckled and damaged locking systems. Understanding which LVT flooring products are best suited to which environment should be the starting point for any flooring professional.

Rigid LVT was originally invented as a quick to install floorcovering that was thin enough yet sturdy enough to be installed directly over other hard floorcoverings such as wood or ceramics without having to remove them first, with homeowners often reverting to the original floorcovering as trends changed. Over time rigid LVT has become one of the most popular types of flooring available, assuring a stylish and long-lasting solution when installed correctly.

The good news for installers is that mistakes can be prevented with thorough forward planning, and we always recommend that the full instructions are read prior to installation and followed carefully, as incorrect installation will invalidate the warranty.

Fit and Forget

Here are our ten top tips to ensure a ‘fit and forget’ rigid LVT flooring installation.

  1. Always allow 48 hours for the LVT product to acclimatise in the room where it is to be installed. Store the packs flat and no more than two packs high.
  2. Take appropriate time to prepare the subfloor ensuring it is level. Use a good quality levelling compound with a maximum 2mm variation over a 2m x 2m space.
  3. Remember that expansion gaps of 6mm are required around the perimeter of the room and any fixed items like door jams and radiator pipes. Do not obstruct any expansion gaps with objects or sealant.
  4. When installed over underfloor heating, expansion gaps should be 10mm and the surface temperature not allowed to exceed 27⁰C. Refer to the full UFH instructions prior to installation.
  5. Install a door profile in every doorway.
  6. The maximum area of coverage without an expansion break is 10m x 10m.
  7. Heavy furniture, such as kitchen cabinetry, American style fridge freezers and range ovens cannot be installed over a rigid LVT floor. In these instances, a stickdown LVT would be the correct choice because it’s fully adhered to the subfloor and therefore more stable.
  8. If the area has lots of glazing, e.g. skylights or bi fold doors, recommend to the customer that they install blinds to minimise temperature variations. For the same stability reasons outlined above, stickdown LVT is the correct option for conservatories.
  9. Recommend to customers the use of door mats and furniture protection pads to prevent the floor from scratching.
    And finally, if you’re struggling with installation and need advice, call the UK based Malmo™ technical team, we are more than happy to assist.

The complete Malmo™ collection offers a total of 57 designs; 25 stickdown and 32 rigid, including the award-winning Senses range. The range has up to 25 years domestic wear warranty, with up to 10 years for commercial applications.

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Expansion gaps of 6mm are required around the perimeter of the room and any fixed object when fitting Malmo™ Rigid LVT.

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The maximum area of coverage without an expansion break for Malmo™ Rigid LVT is 10m x 10m.

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The Malmo™ Freedom stickdown LVT flooring range has undergone a major technical update, with an Aluminium Oxide coating now applied as standard across all décors to offer the slip resistance required for use in any commercial or domestic setting.

Applied across the entire collection of 25 Malmo™ Freedom Stickdown designs, the Aluminium Oxide surface coating increases the flooring’s slip resistance to +36 PTV, low risk in wet areas. Usually reserved for safety flooring, this development demonstrates Malmo™’s commitment to continuing product innovation. The 0.55mm wear layer assures a safe and stylish floorcovering suitable for use in care homes, retirement homes, holiday lets, hotel bathrooms and more. The coating, which does not compromise the visual quality of the flooring, also provides an additional protective layer against potential scratches compared with a standard urethane layer alone.

The Malmo™ Freedom stickdown range combines high-end looks with high performance specification and offers a variety of designs to suit all tastes. Decors span on-trend large format square tiles, Moroccan tile effects, elegant woodgrains ranging from warmer tones to cooler, neutral shades and chic herringbone designs. The flooring can be seamlessly installed across large areas without the need for expansion gaps, eliminating the trip hazards that trims can create – perfect for environments used by small children, or people with reduced mobility. It also benefits from being exceptionally sound absorbent and warm underfoot.

Gail Alcock, Flooring Director, says: “The Aluminium Oxide coating applied to the Malmo™ Freedom Stickdown range is usually reserved for safety flooring where design choice can be quite limited. We recognised an opportunity to offer a design-led flooring that is suitable for use in any environment, including those where the prevention of slip accidents is vital such as the care and hospitality sectors. We see it as part of our care in the community to offer the Aluminium Oxide coating as a standard feature rather than an add on sale, providing additional peace of mind to our customers.”

The Malmo™ Freedom stickdown LVT range is compatible with water-piped underfloor heating systems and is supported by a 25-year domestic wear warranty, with 10 years for commercial applications.

The complete Malmo™ collection offers a total of 57 designs; 25 Freedom stickdown and 32 rigid, including the award-winning Senses range – ensuring a stylish flooring solution for a host of applications.

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Moderna MA103

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Working from home and hybrid working are fixtures of modern living now and for the foreseeable future this is going to have a direct, positive impact on home renovation as consumers look to create more space whether it’s a garden room, a kitchen extension or a loft conversion for an ensuite.

The pandemic has put the entire home under scrutiny for decoration, comfort and hygiene with consumers seeking out products that deliver these benefits.

Design-wise, products that offer smooth and seamless surfaces such as luxury vinyl tile flooring will be seen as more beneficial than ever because of the heightened consumer focus on health and hygiene and feeling safe at home and their ability to combine high performance with simple maintenance. From a retailer’s perspective, they also offer the benefits of being easy and fast to fit which can help ease some of the pressures on installation and skills shortages.

As we begin to enjoy greater freedoms again, I think there will be a renewed burst of enthusiasm from consumers for refreshing the looks within their home to psychologically move them away from anything that reminds them of the pandemic times. This may be a bright new coat of paint, a stylish floor or a bathroom makeover with custom-printed wallpanelling – anything that enhances personal pride in the home.

While consumers may not have recovered their confidence to travel again, by contrast they are fuelling a boom in the purchase of a second holiday home or moving altogether to a new part of the UK as part of a life-change. This all benefits those involved in home improvements across the entire UK as people have sought out lesser populated and cheaper places to buy than they might have otherwise considered.

Everyone is beginning to realise that they can all play a part in helping the planet and making sustainable design choices is going to come much more to the fore, especially with the younger generations who are vocal and influential. All Malmo™ products offer Greenguard, Floorscore and ISO9001 and ISO14001 certification and in our manufacturing processes we aim to use minimal amounts of energy and keep emissions to the lowest possible levels, making them an appealing and sustainable choice. I think we will see more and more consumers prioritising these credentials when they come to choose products for their homes.

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