BHN looks at the latest flooring products on the market and the companies that supply them.
Flooring in a hotel needs to be many things – attractive, economical, but above all tough and durable. So what are the latest options available for the contract market?
Verde Ceramica is a project-focused wall and floor tile suppliers whose targeted clientele are architects, interior designers and developers. Established in 2012, Verde have been involved in many prestigious projects which include Barratt apartment marketing suites in Greenwich and Islington, a training academy complex for Southampton Football Club, and the largest project so far is the supply of 36 ASICS stores across Europe.
In the hotel sector the company has been working with Shire Hotels and its roll out programme. Company founder Duane McEwen says: “When working with Shire we decided we did not wish to make each hotel generic, by proposing one concept and executing this to all six sites we have currently worked upon. At each hotel we tweaked the design so that no two hotels looked the same but regular guests would still recognise that they were in a Shire Hotel. As well as working with a chain we have been involved with independents. Our most interesting was the contribution we made to the refurbishment of the Abbey House Hotel on the edge of the Lake District, the concept was to propose designs for three parts of the hotel the signature rooms, executive rooms and bridal suites. We concentrated on individual proposals working to stringent budgets but delivering a concept that merited the quality status of Abbey House.”
Verde predominately sources materials from Italian manufacturers who adopt very strict environmental policies, says McEwen. “Each year we visit the world famous Tile show Cersaie, in the autumn and analyse the trends which we think will drive the design sector for the next 18 months. What has been popular for the last few years has been the creation of wood effect floor tiles. We have seen them develop from a minute 600x100mm design into options as large as 600x1800mm. The true to life fabrication has seen many benefits over natural wood. The floor tile is a good conductor of heat and compliments an underfloor heating system. The underfloor heating will also dry the tiles quicker and thus ensure the performance of slip resistance is maintained consistently. However we have envisaged a new exciting introduction to the market. The reintroduction of marble. The first attempts of marble were uninspiring, with repeated patterns every three tiles.”
“Digital technology has expanded the natural appearance and allowed the manufacturers to now offer dimensions of 2400x1200mm. We are going to ensure our clients are at the forefront of the newest trends. At Verde we are determined to provide our loyal designers with an advantage that they will present Tile concepts which look like they have overspent on budget, yet they will definitely be coming in way under pre determined budgets,” he says.
Nemo Tile + Stone has announced the launch of its newest collection, Torrone, “a fine-glazed porcelain crafted to resemble traditional terrazzo flooring”.
Once common during Ancient Greek times, terrazzo was originally made from mixing chips of pottery and marble, setting these materials in a lime and clay mixture and then sealing with goat’s milk. Though technology has progressed, the on-site mixing and pouring of terrazzo is particularly labour intensive and costly. However, terrazzo’s durability and impenetrable nature have helped it remain a sought after flooring option.
Nemo says its Torrone range responds to the drawbacks of installing terrazzo through the use of high definition printing and detailed craftsmanship “which recreates the look of terrazzo, down to the slight shimmer the marble chips give off when reflected by light”. This new line is available in four colourways and durable, large format square and hexagon tiles.
Duro-Design says its products combines wood coatings technology with the beauty of cork to produce state-of-the-art flooring. “Great for comfort, sound, insulation, and durability with endless colour choice. The cork is offered in tile or prefinished plank size with an incorporated cork under-layering which is great for sound and comfort. With prices in the $3 (in the US) per square foot range, it becomes a great option for multifamily homes, hotels, apartment and loft projects.
The company also has an on-site finishing system designed for high-traffic commercial restaurants, and because cork is not at all affected by water Duro-Design says it is ideal for spas. It is also eco-friendly as cork is peeled of the bark and regrows every 10 years. The trees are never cut. “Our cork flooring is composed of 100% post-industrial recycled content from wine-stopper production. Cork trees store carbon in order to regenerate their bark, and a harvested cork tree absorbs up to five times more than one that isn’t,” says the company.