Words by Catherine Martin
Sustainable floorcoverings will set the trend in 2010 with the faltering economy and ecological issues being the main driving force, say Sleeper’s handpicked industry experts.
Specifiers are driven by many factors when selecting a floorcovering for a hotel, from what is practical for the usage of an area, through to hassle-free installation, ease-of-maintenance, and adherence to regulations. Carpet is likely to bring about homely connotations, whilst hard flooring has many practical benefits. Hybrid products, such as a new Flotex collection soon to be launched by Forbo, are said to offer the best of both worlds: the comfort of a carpet with durable, hygienic, and environmental benefits.
“Ultimately,” says Angus Fotheringhame, General Manager UK & Ireland, Forbo Flooring Systems, “specifiers are increasingly looking to floorcoverings based on the principles of good design, solid economical benefits, and best ecological performance.”
According to representatives from four flooring manufacturers, current trends are set to continue throughout 2010. Steve Maltby, Sales, Technical & Marketing Manager, Junckers, believes that dark woods, often with a bespoke stain will remain popular, as will longer floorboards and natural-looking finishes. The Axminster market will see a shift away from standard hard borders towards more flowing designs and an increasing size of design repeats, believes Roland Jonkhoff, Managing Director Hospitality, Marine & Aviation, Desso.
What is expected to come to the forefront of the floorcovering sector over the next 12 months is the effects of the economic downturn and the pressure to be green. “I anticipate there will be more experimentation with surface materials in 2010 to meet with expectations of sustainability,” comments John Bain, Global Design Director, Brintons. “This is influenced by the eco-drive so products made from hemp, banana, raffia, bamboo and grass will be everywhere.”
Desso is already rising to the challenge “by sourcing sustainable raw materials, introducing new manufacturing methods, and recycling used carpets from clients,” says Jonkhoff, adding that the company’s first range of 100% recyclable carpet tiles is now on the market.