Special floors for special rooms

In the 1998 cult-favourite film The Big Lebowski, “The Dude” initiates a series of wacky events after going in search of compensation for the defilement of his special Persian carpet. After all, “That rug really tied the room together,” he says in a line repeated often throughout the film. And he’s right. Whereas previously, carpets and floor coverings were only expected to be practical and easy to clean, these once-utilitarian items have now advanced to becoming unique objets d’art which make a statement of their own. This was nowhere more evident that at Domotex 2012 in Hannover, Germany, where for four days in January there were more new floor coverings spread throughout the halls of Deutsche Messe than your feet could possibly handle. And yet 45,000 visitors tried.

1—Feel the love

Among the Belgium-based Decospan Group’s half-dozen divisions, Par-ky was garnering particular interest for introducing its new “Friendly Floors” corporate identity, which focuses on environmentally-friendly products.One such product is the Trendy Oak collection; it uses a heat-treating process to give the
oak a warm brown tone similar to a smoking technique, but based on heat instead of ammoniac, lowering the amount of VOCs in the finished product.   par-ky.com 

2—No bichon here

The Balta Group from Belgium designs and manufactures a wide range of floor-covering products that are loosely grouped into five divisions: residential broadloom, rugs, contract, hard flooring and industry. All were showing new additions to their product ranges at Domotex 2012, for example Balta Rugs, which showcased new developments in the Modern Frise line (shown). This hand-carved frise utilizes an eclectic diversity of colours and yarns that gives both animation and structure to the carpet.  baltagroup.com

3—Second lives

As far as Belgian outfit Papilio is concerned, anything can be repurposed as a carpet. At this year’s Domotex, its booth was festooned with discarded t-shirts, denim jeans, newspapers, sari silk, woolen pullovers and even bicycle inner tubes (shown). When the previous life of these materials has ended, Papilio reworks them without additional finishing into rebellious rugs under the (somewhat obvious moniker) Recycled brand.  papilio.be 

4—Move over hardwood

It was only a matter of time: bamboo has found its way into the carpet industry. Lano caused quite a stir by bringing its brand-new Bamboo Collection to Hannover. These carpets feature a high percentage of bamboo, which, in addition to being exceptionally soft to the touch when turned into carpet yarn, brings many additional benefits such as
anti-bacterial and humidity-regulating properties.  lano.com 

5—They love New York

Ideal, a division of the Beaulieu International Group that focuses on the residential structured-loop-carpeting market, used Domotex 2012 to spotlight its new Rockefeller concept, built around four New York City–inspired themes: Central Park (shown), Brooklyn Bridge, Greenwich Village and Long Island. The collection consists of 24 designs available in four-metre widths, and utilizes the new Cosyback structure, a strong and durable woven backing finished with a felt layer.  bintg.com 

6—Mastering that squiggly line

Netherlands-based Boleflor is continuing to perfect its line of natural curved-length flooring available in a variety of species and finishes. At Domotex, Bolefloor launched a multilayer product with a 6 mm wood layer on 9- or 12-mm plywood. This product has all the aesthetic qualities of a traditional Bolefloor, but is specially designed for environments with inconsistent temperatures or powerful floor heating.  bolefloor.com 

7—Hipsters delight

Working together with designer Virginia Maissen from Studio Gustave in Zurich, Bauwerk Parkett created a trendy floor collection called the Vintage Edition. No two boards are alike; and the application of a special patina to a variety of colour options means there are literally hundreds of possible layout combinations that give a floor that old and used but still new and hip look.  bauwerk-parkett.com

8—Eastern promises

Interest in bamboo flooring is heating up, as evidenced by the crowded booths of such companies as Power Dekor Europe, one of Europe’s largest producers of bamboo flooring (and a subsidiary of Power Dekor from China). With its own fully integrated forest-to-finished-product production chain, its extensive lines under the brand name Bamboo Your Life carry some noteworthy qualities, such as surfaces that have been hand-scraped to create a richer, warmer texture.  powerdekor.de

9—Sweet success

Witex Flooring Products teamed up with Resopal to develop a new generation of environmentally sustainable floor
coverings in which the core material and finish are almost 100 per cent free of non-renewable fossil-based raw materials. The result, called RE-Y-STONE Elements, is a biocomposite product composed of an FSC-certified HDF core board and a wear layer made of recycled kraft paper and organic resin. The kraft paper is made of 100-per-cent post-consumer waste paper and the normally petrochemical-based binding agents are substituted by organic resin made from sugar manufacturing waste products.  witex.com

10—The silent type

Classen introduced a new home collection of Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) hard-surface flooring called Prestige at the show, which utilizes proprietary Air-Solution-Technology to a HDF core to reduce footstep and room noise.  design.classen.de

11—Sticks and stones

Windmöller Flooring used Domotex 2012 to spotlight expansions to both of its Bacana and Laguna glueless LVT lines. Bacana has been redesigned for this year with six brand-new wood effects replacing six discontinued designs, while Laguna has added six stone designs, including Silver Slate and Dark Slate, through the attractive Travertine to the trendy warm tile colours of Navajo Mocca (shown) and Desert Travertine.  windmoeller-flooring.de 

12—No limits

For rooms that cry out for attention, the ever-evolving capabilities of high-quality digital printing on laminate flooring can be uniquely suited to providing the flamboyant personalities such a room requires. And flooring companies like Parador are filling that need with lines like Identity, which can produce a laminate decor in nearly any conceivable motif at a resolution of 1200 dpi.  parador.de