Laminate flooring has always been at the forefront of modern flooring design and in 2013, it will embrace its design standards once again. Experimental timber looks with blue- or green-coloured cracks and branches are all the rage for the coming season. For trendsetters, mind you – not the mainstream. Coniferous woods like larch and pine are mainly used but deciduous woods like ash and elm are also popular. They come in their natural, light and partly glazed look as well as those textures with unusual colours which are synonymous with a new experimental design. Bold colours – bold designs.
And what about oak? Oak may not be coniferous but it's always popular with designers. No other laminate flooring decor offers as many different possibilities as this expressive domestic timber that has been a dominant mainstream player over the last few years and will continue to be so. Natural, light shades, very rustic textures, patinated, subtly altered vintage looks – oak offers an impressive range of possible designs. But again: bold colours are called for. Not blue, not green – no, dark, grey, almost black oak decors are the new experimental character in this traditional decor segment of the European laminate flooring industry. But does this just apply to the property business or private homes too?
Quite apart from digitally printed surfaces, creative decors will include more modified, coloured and altered wooden surfaces than ever before. The ways in which overlays can be processed using modern print techniques and press plates are hugely diverse. They enhance the colourings and textures of the laminate flooring decor or produce the desired contrast. In any case, the effect is always natural and authentic, suits the current interior style and meets the desires of the architect and end user. This trend is picked up by matt floors, but also furniture.
"It's all about length": extreme formats are in vogue
The board formats of laminate flooring are more extreme than ever before. You could even say: "It's all about length" – as the trade press has recently reported. In actual fact, the long rustic board with all-over print is THE trendsetter of the moment. The all-over decors – especially with oak – express themselves in full and give the room a generous, spacious look. Real or "fake" V joints further reinforce this look. Playing and experimenting with formats, including width, is one of the favourite jobs of designers and developers in the laminate flooring industry. New interesting possibilities are emerging all the time. Bold designs indeed.