Sakkie Pretorius, Sales Manager from FloorworX, attended DOMOTEX 2020 with Dr Donald Platt (Managing Director) and Ms Peta Smith (Sales Director) as part of the company’s strategy to stay on the cutting edge of trends in flooring. FLOORS in Africa magazine caught up with Sakkie to find out what caught his eye at the exhibition, trends in vinyl, and where he sees vinyl and resilient flooring going in the next one to five years.
“SPC (Stone Plastic Composite), which has a core board that is fortified with stone powder to improve dimensional stability, is very big at the moment. There’s a push from manufacturers to keep increasing the attributes of laminate floors and they can now produce extremely natural-looking SPC laminates that are completely waterproof. A misconception is that SPC flooring doesn’t need screed preparation because it is stronger; however, a good substrate that is carefully prepared is a must,” says Sakkie. Waterproof or water-resistant laminated flooring is also an exceptional alternative to SPC flooring, as many of the better brands are more scratch-resistant and afford the floor-owner the same attributes, but at a lower capital outlay.
Combining natural products with composite floor coverings
Another trend from DOMOTEX is having a thin wood veneer on top of the SPC floor. “In the past, manufacturers would use a PVC top layer with a wood, concrete or stone look. Wood takes long to grow, but those who want a natural wood solution can find laminates that have a very thin wood veneer – which makes it eco-friendlier – with SPC at the bottom,” adds Sakkie.
When asked if he thinks SPC will take over types of LVTs, he says no. “There will always be an application for sheet vinyls. In hospitals, for example, a seamless solution is needed for hygienic purposes. Sheet vinyls offer flooring solutions that can go up the wall, something that can’t be achieved with planks. LVTs are also more affordable for homeowners and I predict many people will continue to opt for them as opposed to SPC flooring, which is a bit more expensive,” says Sakkie.
Trends in vinyl and resilient flooring
He found that very few of the exhibition stands advertised resilient flooring at this year’s DOMOTEX event. “Many of the well-known, bigger players weren’t at the event this year. Some of them only go to the show every second year or they have different marketing and networking strategies, and that led us seeing fewer resilients this year. There is a big push towards eco-friendly products, with more brands than ever before focusing on the recyclability of their products and making sure that no product unnecessarily goes to landfills. Sustainability is hands-down the biggest trend,” says Sakkie.
The colours were vast and included every shade, tone and hue that one can think of because different applications require different colours. In LVTs, there is a move towards patterns instead of the age-old square and rectangular tiles.
“We’re seeing more patterns, such as chevron, herringbone and Hungarian point. There were also more woven and natural stone textures than we have seen in the past,” says Sakkie.
The popularity of rugs is rising
The size of the rug market, especially Turkish and Egyptian influences in rugs, was another thing that caught Sakkie’s eye at DOMOTEX.
“There were many carpet and rug exhibitors. I believe that the millennial market, who are more likely to rent than buy property, may be driving this growth. Millennials prefer flexibility and often move around, so they are more likely to buy décor and furniture that they can take with them to recreate their spaces. In the past, people purchased property and would opt for more permanent flooring. Besides digital prints and unique textures, the influence from North Africa and Middle East was evident and I predict that we will soon see these trends locally,” concludes Sakkie.
Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to www.floorworx.co.za for some of the information in this article.
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