In January, European laminate flooring producers (www.eplf.com) presented their latest collections at Domotex, the leading international trade fair for floor coverings. The hottest trends in furnishings are “Shabby Chic”, “Vintage” and “Scandinavian Style” and these are also evident in the flooring market with its wide variety of laminate decors, textures and sizes on offer – all displayed in individual and ever-changing ways. These resilient and easy-to-maintain laminate floors are made in Europe with impressive good looks and premium product features combined with proven quality.
The current look for flooring manifests itself as original, clearly defined and natural. So it’s no wonder, then, that oak decors – so versatile to use – continue to dominate the laminate market. However, other premium and natural design decors such as wych elm, ash, spruce, larch, walnut and pine are increasingly finding favour amongst buyers. With regard to colour schemes, wood effects currently have a tendency towards the lighter natural tones, such as greige, light beige, cream, warm light grey shades, or a white stained matt finish. The creative scope for laminate flooring designs continues to be intriguingly large – with every new collection, the products are refined not only visually, but also in terms of their technical specification. Due to advanced printing and finishing techniques, the planks present the perfect interplay between decor and texture. More defined printing with a three-dimensional effect gives the true-to-nature grain patterns of the decors a more authentic look and more vibrant colours. Whether brushed, sanded or rough sawn, the surface textures can invariably be clearly felt. On the whole, the wood-like appearance is being presented in a calmer and more reserved way than in previous years; cracks and knots on the surface are rather less pronounced. The finishes range from high gloss through to semi-matt and matt low gloss effects, in the style of oiled wooden flooring. Stone decor ranges are available with realistically recreated surfaces featuring high-quality ceramic textures and the appearance of semi-matt or porous natural stone.
The current trend for open space living is well served by rustic planks, which remain a favourite. Extra-long and extra-wide formats provide an even greater choice – equipped, of course, with the practical click-lock laying technique. Even where the length of the planks exceeds two metres, there is no pattern repeat to distract the eye. The extra-large sizes create the impression of generously-sized rooms and result in a beautiful floor pattern, allowing the colours and surface textures of these authentic wood decors to really come into their own.
To augment these versatile laminate flooring ranges, special plank designs have been added: moisture-repellent surfaces for use in kitchens and bathrooms are just as readily available as highly non-slip surfaces for use in entrance and work areas. – With their proven quality and future-oriented innovations, “made in Europe” laminate floors will once again be the world leaders in 2015.
elnd1503_b1: Oak decors which can be used in a variety of settings will again dominate the laminate flooring market in 2015. – Photo: Haro
elnd1503_b2: Sophisticated printing techniques create the perfect interplay between laminate decor and surface texture. – Photo: Meister
elnd1503_b3: Light natural shades in greige, light grey or matt white staining are becoming ever more popular. – Photo: Egger
elnd1503_b4: Laminate flooring in extra-large sizes satisfies the growing trend for large, open space living areas. Shown here in rustic plank design with a natural softwood appearance. – Photo: Unilin/Quickstep
elnd1503_b5: Elegantly reserved with a true-to-nature appearance. On the whole, laminate wood decors are being presented in a calmer
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