Trends Q&A with Gail Alcock, Flooring Director

What are the latest flooring trends that housebuilders need to be aware of?

Consumers want to achieve a feeling of warmth and homeliness in open plan living spaces and the longer plank lengths in luxury vinyl tile flooring are very much on-trend at the moment as they highlight the rustic features and knots of the woodgrain effect to create a more natural look and feel, which can help any property be more welcoming – particularly beneficial with new builds. Within the Malmo™ Senses collection, a number of woodgrain designs and colours are available in longer plank lengths of up to 1830mm which enhances the rustic charm of the overall flooring look.

Do you think that the pandemic will affect future flooring trends in any way?

With households spending more time at home and flooring getting more footfall than usual, consumers will increasingly want products that are stylish, but also easy to maintain, are quiet underfoot and offer longevity against wear and tear. Tiles have long been a popular choice with housebuilders and developers, but consumers can find them noisy and hard underfoot and they can also break. Luxury vinyl tile flooring is fast growing in popularity because it is a denser floorcovering option with higher impact resistance and cannot chip or break, while also being warm underfoot and easy to clean with no grout lines.

Hygiene has naturally moved up everyone’s agenda over the past year and having smooth and seamless surfaces in the home, which are very easy to clean, will be an important consideration going forward. LVT makes a smart flooring choice as it can deliver the authentic looks of say reclaimed planks, but with the performance and cleaning advantages of a technical, man-made material. The flooring is fast and simple to clean with a mop and suitable cleaner and will cope with more frequent cleaning as people ramp up their cleaning routine to safeguard health and safety.
With increased working from home and busier households, floorcoverings with low noise benefits should be considered. LVT is a good flooring choice as it’s very quiet underfoot and naturally warm to bare feet. At the same time, it’s very high performance which is particularly beneficial in the high traffic areas of kitchens and bathrooms.

Which type of floor covering is currently the most popular? Wood, LVT, tile or carpet?

Carpet remains the leading floorcovering choice but LVT has the strongest growth and higher demand over the last 12 months. AMA Research indicates that LVT grew by 4% whereas other floorcoverings declined by 10%.
Over the years LVT has become more accessibly priced and this, coupled with advances in technologies such as registered embossed printing which gives as superb level of authenticity, have played a part in this growth.

Please tell us more about your latest range.

The Malmo™ Senses collection of LVT flooring combines the look and feel of real wood with the technical hard-wearing properties of vinyl, thanks to the authenticity achieved by the registered embossed print and texture technology. It offers excellent functionality including wear and R10 slip resistance, compatibility with underfloor heating and sound absorbency and is suitable for use throughout the home including kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms. This combination of high-design and technical performance qualities make it a very smart choice.

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