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Design reigns supreme! Laminate flooring producers set the trends for 2009

11 November 2008

Laminate flooring offers the perfect combination of individuality and versatility, and therefore responds to the growing consumer enthusiasm for design-oriented living environments. Never have there been so many extraordinary decor ideas as there are for the new season – in wood, stone and creative decors. They are the result of first-class technical know-how and offer trend-oriented designers creative inspiration for new interior fittings concepts – both in residential buildings and in the fast-growing commercial construction sector. These new design concepts are made possible by modern digital printing and optimised processes in intaglio printing technology.

The wide range of creative decors, which are in ever-increasing demand, are characterised by graphic and photographic motifs. You’ll be won over by the aesthetic expressiveness of abstract wood finishes, digital network structures, geographical motifs with lines and diamonds, drapes and colour blends in trendy retro colours, warm beige and brown tones and classic black and white. However, you'll also see representational motifs such as stitched canvas, weathered sacks of coffee, colourful gummy bears, playing cards from diamonds to clubs and carpets with an ornamental finish. Kitsch and cult is a design theme which wakens nostalgic memories, while the latest logo look gives floors a modern touch.

Wood decors demonstrate character and naturalness. Oak is an amazingly versatile wood, as it comes in light and dark colour variants, with an elegant or rustic look. Now there is even a whitewashed oak that finds its perfect niche in the current black and white theme of the fittings sector. “Art design” neatly sums up this trend in wood decors, which also includes other woods as well as oak. Wood surfaces are subtly altered from their natural appearance in off-white to silver with an aged patina. This is entirely different from walnut and teak, which make a dramatic impact and invite you to look again with their red-brown colouring. Classic beech is also back on the scene with its new, veneer-like look. Domestic fruitwoods like apple, pear and plum also offer wide scope for an expressive surface feel.

New functionality with light tones

Light are in great demand for stone finishes, as they stand for a new functionality in the world of home living and fittings. You’ll also find expressive, dark types in the range, but light white, beige and grey tones are the trendsetters amongst tile decors. In some cases light and dark types of stone are combined to create appealing contrasts. The stone decors are amazingly realistic, giving them a very authentic look. The circular groove supports this impression.

While the tile format is naturally the dominant trend amongst the stone decors, farmhouse boards and ship´s deck pattern are the in-demand formats for most wood types. Farmhouse boards come in compact, long or narrow versions. The narrow boards in particular have recently achieved a fixed place in the fittings world and their appeal lies in their elegant, clear appearance. Ship´s deck pattern, which were very popular when laminate flooring first appeared on the market and then took a back seat, are making their comeback. A new look enables the expressiveness of classic and rustic woods to come into its own. The
2-strip-design is the alternative for a slightly different floor design and works particularly well with light wood types like beech, maple and birch. Herringbone patterns and mosaics like on parquet flooring are chic, yet they remain the exception in laminate flooring.

Builders, architects and end consumers must ultimately decide for themselves what they like and don't like – the European laminate flooring sector offers them a variety of options for individual living and fittings concepts. Creativity and innovation are the driving forces which make this possible time and again.

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