The flooring industry has never been at a greater impasse than it is right now. With so many styles and influences vying for dominance, Elastilon stayed true to the qualities that have helped them grow their brand while also taking their innovation to the rest of the world.
It isn’t easy to be one of the industry leaders in innovation, with many opting to follow trends rather than innovate and create products that truly make a difference.
Elastilon’s journey towards achieving professional recognition, like being awarded the ContractFloors readers’ award for hard covering underlay supplier of the year, dates back more than two decades.
The Elastilon system has been in the market since the mid-1980s. It was a time when a sudden demand for parquet strip floors manufactured from large and wide sections overtook the industry. This demand challenged the flooring industry to come up with workable solutions for broad parquet strip floors, but didn’t dim the interest in these products.
“Broad parquet strip floors were being launched into the market from all sides, although a sound laying system was not available and parquet and glue manufacturers offered no solutions,” says Fred van Bers, Managing Director of Elastilon. “For this reason, OSBE Parket BV decided to find a solution itself and, after long investigation and many experiments, finally found one in the shape of an elastic mat to which a heavy, elastic, adhesive layer was applied. This catapulted the company into a sector to which it was a complete stranger, namely the synthetic industry,” said Van Bers.
After entering the synthetic industry Elastilon had many challenges to face. Inventor OSBE Parket needed to find a material that would meet these challenges. Closed-cell polyethylene of a certain density was eventually chosen because of its “elastic memory”. Another quality that added to its appeal was its ability to withstand critical environmental tests with regard to indoor climates, with emission levels of practically zero.
Elastilon helped two different industries come together to create a product that changed the way these floors were installed. Its achievements led to revolutionary developments that have had a lasting impact on an entire sector.
It seemed the global market was also in need of the innovation that Elastilon achieved and soon the company would launch in the UK market – known for its high standards of quality. The market responded favourably to the Elastilon system’s launch. As a testament to this, demand for Elastilon has continued to grow each year.
As with any free-market society, imitations of the real product soon followed. Both large and small companies have been guilty of patent infringement of the Elastilon system. However, that is not to say that the infringement doesn’t impact Elastilon. One only needs to look at the growth of Elastilon in the UK and compare it with the company’s growth in Germany, where infringements are unheard of. The company sees knock-off versions of their product as something that could turn out to be an advantage rather than a burden.
“The demand for Elastilon in the UK has increased more strongly and is trailing ahead of Germany,” said Van Bers.
There are many reasons why the Elastilon product range continues to lead the way forward. One of the celebrated properties of Elastilon Basic and Elastilon Strong is that the wooden parts that are applied with this system are almost inextricably bound to the system. This can be seen as both advantageous and disadvantageous at times.
In response to this, Elastilon Removable was developed in order to remove this disadvantage. The result is that floors that have been applied to it can quickly be removed at an acute angle. Elastilon Lock was the next logical step for the company, who claims the product was inspired by the developments in the heating industry, particularly in Austria and Switzerland. This product has merged the floor heating system and the parquet floor into one complete and perfect unit.
Elastilon Lock has been extensively tested. One of its features is a reduction of the impact noise footsteps make to a whisper, particularly in laminate and strip floors. The unity that Elastilon Lock achieves with floor heating systems and parquet floors isn’t possible to the same extent with bonding due to its application in spots which only makes this feat greater.
“It is never easy leading an industry and indeed, a revolution. It helps when you have an indisputable and celebrated product that is in high demand around the world. For Elastilon, it is all in a day’s work,” concludes Van Bers.
Elastilon is a Dutch import and is an installation system used in 27 countries around the world for solid/engineered tongue-and-groove flooring. The system has a two-fold benefit: it’s a fully glued-down floor as the flooring is stuck to the self-adhesive mat, but the mat is not stuck to the screed (so it is basically free-floating while remaining fully glued).
This enables the floor to move unrestrictedly with climatic changes, thus allowing Suntups in conjunction with Elastilon to be the only company in South Africa to offer a 5-year humidity failure guarantee on the Suntups Super-Engineered floor.