Ideas & inspiration for customised flooring

by Tania Wannenburg
Customised flooring Jnl 4 16

Be inspired by new ideas for customised floors that are unique & innovative.

Customised flooring has the ability to add a stamp of individuality and originality to any space, making them a popular option for specifiers who seek flooring installations that are unique, beautiful and timeless. In keeping with these qualities, we selected five flooring projects that clearly demonstrate how customised flooring can transform the look and feel of any environment, with the aim to inspire new ideas and innovative techniques for any and all flooring projects going forward.

1.    Epoxy – BoHouse Café
On the ground floor at BoHouse Café, swirling rainbow stripes, sparkling clouds and colourful disks and heart pops create a vibrant appearance against a radiant white background. The mezzanine level floor shows off a fiery pattern of ripples and swirls in blue, red, green, yellow, pink and brown.

A beige epoxy and a white polyurethane were used to create the white background. Thereafter, several colourful designs were printed on vinyl material, applied to the floors and emphasised using several layers of a specific product serving as a reflector enhancer. A clear epoxy was used to finish the floors, achieving the depth, seamlessness and anti-yellowing effect the client needed.

Bohouse Cafe

Did you know?

When it comes to epoxy floorcoverings, your imagination can truly abound to guide you when selecting colour schemes and patterns. This is what makes these floorcoverings such a popular option, however, it is advisable to stick with patterns that will stay in trend, and preferably colours that incorporate the company’s brand in a subtle manner to ensure its longevity.

2.    Natural Stone – Mediterranean inspired exterior
Close to 186m² of 41cm x 61cm custom-cut travertine stone tiles with a tumbled finish was used for the beautiful project in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which included the pool decking and special-cut stone drains. Special 3cm pieces were also used for the pool copings. Travertine was selected as it is an excellent choice for pool decking, is cool underfoot and durable. A buff-coloured, Type 2 mortar grout was used.

The project entailed a few speciality fabrication items, including the creation and installation of custom drain covers, which involved using an advanced waterjet to cut the 41 x 61cm travertine pieces down to 20cm x 61cm pieces and bullnose all exposed edges for the spa caps and planter caps.

Mediterranean Inspired Exterior

Did you know?

There are several natural stone types to choose from when planning an exterior installation. However, decorative concrete is also a viable option and very much in trend, as it can recreate the look and feel of natural stone and can be used in an array of unique patterns. Terracotta tiles installed outdoors are also a prominent trend due to their natural, warm colour tones, creating a cosy and comfortable atmosphere.

3.    Hardwood – Super Yacht
This 57m super yacht envisioned a one-of-a-kind wood floor. The client wanted a modern “wave” motif on the floor that would complement the rest of the yacht’s finishings. For the wood combinations, the owner chose a rare Karelian Birch wood and Hard Maple woods. The entire floor was constructed as a large medallion to fit the shape of the room. A specific thickness had to be used to transition to an adjacent carpeted room. The edges were fitted with a brass strip to protect against chipping. The floor was mounted over an aluminium platform with rubber insulations and springs to dampen the boat’s vibrations.

This specific company specialises in custom designs, which means they are able to incorporate an array of patterns or species to achieve any desired look, which in this case entailed the “wave” motif. Their master craftsmen then complete it according to their specifications.

Super Yacht

Did you know?

As beautiful as timber is, there are alternative options such as bamboo and engineered hardwood which shouldn’t be overlooked. These alternatives could prove more cost-effective or be easier to maintain long-term and more resistant to heavy wear and tear.

4.    Vinyl
Texas Office Space
An office with a different look that stands out from the rest – this is what the client desired. The client sought to express her personality and as such was looking for ways to incorporate an image of a map on a background of hardwood. Graphically, this resulted in three layers:
Layer 1: Chainsaw wood from a tree
Layer 2: Reclaimed wood from a barn
Layer 3: 1908 Vintage Texas Map
The final floor is a 1,8mm thick vinyl, with a digitally printed layer on the underside, and a matte finish top coat.

Texan office

Custom Printed Textured Flooring
At this exhibitor show in Las Vegas, the installers started with a clear 2mm vinyl, then applied a reverse print using the highest quality UV links so that the image is always protected, no matter how much wear and tear it is exposed to. A sealant was applied on the back to protect the graphic to create a durable, long lasting printed surface for the trade show and event industry. This unique floor is a fully reusable and recyclable flooring product.

Moroccan Spa

Did you know?

When it comes to the world of vinyl flooring, the opportunities are endless. This floor type is ideal for company branding, or should you desire a more customised experience, there is an array of visual and colour patterns to choose from thanks to the advancements in digital technology. South African suppliers of vinyl flooring have such a wide variety of options available, not to mention design services which enable you to take your unique flooring design scheme one step further to create a floor that speaks exactly to a specific client’s needs.

5.    Soft flooring – Phoenix Symphony Hall
The Phoenix Symphony Hall took on the challenge of a significant carpet replacement project. The signature piece of this project was a custom pattern carpet on over 60 rolls. Each roll has its own unique pattern to create a wide scale and distinctive visual. A custom broadloom was produced using computer yarn technology, as well as a custom tufted carpet.

Because of the custom borders and patterns, it was critical that the installation specialists worked closely with the designers on placement of the carpet and seaming details. Carpet tile was installed over raised flooring across the casino gaming areas. The other casino and public spaces featured custom carpet. Another area that required critical focus was a fully-carpeted, three-level stairway that was located in the indoor amphitheatre.

Symphony Hall

Did you know?

Customised carpeting, as highlighted in this project, enables you to achieve more than just a visual image, specific colour tones or patterns – it also enables you to create the desired textures specific to your needs. It should be noted that these textures are a result of the different types of construction in carpeting selected, or even a combination of various construction types to achieve a certain effect.


When considering the following options it’s important to speak with your flooring provider and to enquire about the numerous choices available to you when opting for a customised installation. Below serve as a few examples of how customised flooring options are making their way into the market.

1.    Technology available
The rapid advancements in technology have changed the scope of customised flooring profoundly. This technology has resulted in the manufacturing of hyper-realistic products, which closely matches natural materials, both in appearance and texture. 3D printing, digital technology and high definition printing is transforming the world of customised possibilities, as it can create and recreate absolutely anything. This technology enables clients to mix and match colours, shades and hyper-realistic textures to create innovative spaces that fulfil their every request.

If one takes into consideration the natural looking and feeling vinyl, laminate and ceramic products available, it becomes evident just how much this technology has changed and continues to change the face of the floorcovering industry. Printed textile flooring through, for example, specialised Chromo-Jet machines, have also dramatically expanded the realm of possibilities with regards to carpeting. Simply put, these technologies afford you the opportunity to select the type of design you prefer, the visual image, patters, colours etc., placing you in the driving seat when it comes to your next flooring installation.

2.    Shapes/Patterns/Colours
The use of colour in various floor types continues to offer the industry an array of customised options, however, these colour options are very often combined with several unique patterns to further enhance a customised request. This may seem simple, but it is one of the quickest ways to create a customised installation. As demonstrated on the Super Yacht project, hardwood was masterfully shaped to the precise needs of the space at hand, and can be used in a manner to represent the client’s brand, or to follow a specific pattern that suits the décor needs of the client.

This can be achieved with most flooring types, and is often ideal for exterior installations when making use of natural floor types such as marble, porcelain, ceramic tiles etc. Printed shapes and patterns are often used on flooring types such as carpets, vinyl sheets or vinyl tiles, ceramics, laminates etc. Thanks to digital inkjet technology an unlimited number of high-quality patterns and decorations can be produced with fewer materials, less waste, less development and product time.

All flooring types can be successfully used to achieve a customised installation, however, advancements in technology may make some floorcoverings a better or simpler option than others. As long as the commitment is there to achieve something unique and individual to a brand, there is without a doubt a flooring type to achieve it. Creativity and inspiration is key to any successful customised installation, as each of these projects have clearly demonstrated.

Acknowledgement and thanks go to the following for the information contained in this article: www.concretedecor.net; www.stoneworld.com; www.concretenetwork.com; www.czarfloors.com; http://graphicimageflooring.com; www.spectracf.com and www.theinsidetrackinc.com 

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