Industry experts reveal their top flooring trends for 2016.

The highly anticipated annual DOMOTEX Hannover Expo took place in January 2016. Editors Liezel van der Merwe and Roxanne Mancini travelled to Germany to bring our readers fresh and must know information about the trends that will directly impact the flooring sector over the coming year. Both editors took the opportunity to liaise with some of the international brand representatives.

We posed the following question to 12 international representatives:
What product or trend do you see as a “mover and shaker” in 2016?

Definitely printed tiles. We expect our Concept Top Tile product to change the company going forward. It will certainly take us from being specified mainly outdoors to being used indoors as well.
Ulf Hellmuth, Export Manager, Bergo Flooring

We see natural looking floors being a big trend in 2016. The more natural a floor looks, the better it will be received in the industry. Another strong element is the growing popularity in bigger size floor tiles such as 1.3 x 1.3 m sizes. We also see smaller sizes making a return such as parquet block sizes. Another trend gaining momentum is the retro flooring style.
Peter Kuipers, Director, MFLOR

3D flooring designs. We see our Moving Floors collection as a trend setter for 2016. We have pushed the limits of tufting in carpeting and we are excited to see the payoff. We use the power of texture to create new patterns.
Nathan Stevenson, Director of International Sales Operations, Mohawk Industries

We have identified four global trends, around which we elaborate our collections, and we see this as setting the tone for us this coming year. The four mind-sets/lifestyles that we have identified are: Sense: getting back to basics; Bloom: getting in touch with nature; Glam: spending without guilt; and Source: being disconnected from technology.
Emmanuel Lioen, Group Brand Manager, Beaulieu International Group

I see two areas of growth for us, namely the corporate and hospitality sectors. On the corporate side, the move towards carpet tiles continues, brighter colours are gaining popularity again and patterns are still linear but a little more organic. In the hospitality sector, many of the same trends are relevant, such as a tendency towards solution dyed nylon, custom designs and large scale patterns and textures.
Robert Munister, Director of International Operations/Sales, Masland Carpets

Our new product, Aspecta 10, is a brand new LVT innovation that is set to take the market by storm this year. It’s an industry first with brand new ISOcore technology or “structural LVT. It’s lighter, more stable, and a far greener product, not to mention its antimicrobial properties and drop lock installation method. Or as I like to say; “Welcome to the future of vinyl flooring!”
Don Nase, Director of International Sales, Vertex and Aspecta Brands

Our new stair-nosing is a unique product at the moment. It can be used across many floor types. With its unique installation method, signage capabilities and design options we see this as a mover and shaker for us in 2016.
Patrick Welscheit, Export Manager, Kuberit

There are several answers to this question, however, I see natural looking products taking centre stage. Directional and organic patterns are also set to be a favourite. No two tiles are the same and that’s what specifiers will be after. The goal is to make use of an arrangement of tiles that form one big pattern. The ‘green’ feature will continue to be a priority and of course the demand for new shapes in carpet tiles.
Christophe Mortier, Export Sales Manager, Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa, modulyss

People are increasingly turning to more natural looking products and we see this as a growing trend this year. Customisation will play a big role seeing as customers are seeking more options, not only in colour choices but also tones of colour and design variations in their carpet choices. Our pre-tone system addresses this need.
Olaf Woggon, Sales Area Manager, Africa, Asia and Middle East, Loba

Creating unique and alternative LVT flooring designs will be a big theme in 2016. Colour, style, installation options, and how they work together will all be key factors for consumers.
LA Train, Director, EarthWerks

We have seen a trend lately for a new width which lies in-between the regular plank formats. Egger has developed a plank format called Large. With a width of 246 mm, it is neither too small nor too wide and perfectly meets the requirements for a modern living environment. The combination of textures and bevels of the Large format decors result in a very natural and authentic appearance which looks like an engineered or solid wooden flooring.
Martin Farmer, Sales Representative Africa, EGGER

These fresh and exciting trends will undoubtedly gain momentum fast and influence several decisions made going forward.