Laminate: a natural look elevated to a new level of perfection A variety of decors and layouts for individualists
7 November 2014
Even in these times of rapidly-changing design trends, the wide variety of laminate flooring available on the market can satisfy the customer’s desire for individuality. The creative potential presented by laminate flooring is fascinating in its vastness and, with each new collection, the products are refined not only in visual terms, but also in their technical specification. At Domotex 2015 in Hanover, the European laminate flooring manufacturers grouped within the EPLF e.V. organisation, together with their suppliers, will once again be showing how they set the pace for the international flooring markets.
The big furnishing trends for 2015 on the international markets are “Shabby Chic”, “Vintage” and “Scandinavian Style”. In terms of interior design, originality, clarity of style and naturalness are in demand – and with their current laminate flooring designs, European manufacturers are already well equipped for this. Thanks to advanced printing and finishing techniques, the boards they offer demonstrate the perfect interplay between decor and texture. More defined printing with a strong three-dimensional effect gives the true-to-nature grain patterns of the decors a more authentic look and more vibrant colours. Whether brushed, sanded or rough sawn – the surface textures are always finished so as to be obvious to the touch. The wood effects in laminate are presented in an overall calmer and more reserved way than in previous years; cracks and knots on the surface are rather less pronounced. The finishes range from high gloss through to semi-matt and matt low gloss effects in oiled wooden flooring style. In the stone decor range, there are authentically-recreated surfaces with high-quality ceramic textures and the appearance of semi-matt or porous natural stone.
The versatile oak decors continue to dominate the international range of laminates. However, other premium and natural design wood decors such as wych elm, ash, spruce, larch, walnut and pine are increasingly finding favour amongst buyers. With regard to colour, wood effects currently have a tendency towards the lighter natural tones: greige, light beige, cream, warm light grey shades, or even matt white.
Extra-long length planks and effective multi-strip flooring
The current trend for open space living is satisfied by popular plank flooring, with even more choice provided by the extra-long and
extra-wide formats. These create the impression of generously-sized rooms and result in a beautiful floor pattern, as this setting lets the colours and textures of authentic wood decors really come into their own. Even with the extra-long single strip flooring two or more metres in length, there is still no distracting repeat effect in the decor; each individual plank looks like it has grown naturally. With the aid of intelligent click systems, even the XXL planks can be laid quickly and conveniently.
In the multi-strip sector, European manufacturers have devised highly effective and elegant laminate flooring modelled on traditional laying patterns. They are playing in a creative way with the decorative, geometric possibilities of traditional parquet panels, but using a modern twist; for example, they are combining classic wood with stylish stone finish decors to produce the look of a mixed material.
Special plank designs are available and they are increasing the size of these versatile laminate flooring collections: moisture-repellent surfaces for use in kitchens and bathrooms are just as easy to find as are highly non-slip surfaces for use in entrance and work areas. With their proven quality and future-oriented innovations, laminate floors made in Europe will once again be the undisputed world leaders in 2015.
elnd1414_b1: Oak decors in a variety of settings will again dominate the laminate flooring market in 2015. – Photo: Kaindl
elnd1414_b2: Laminate floors in XL format satisfy the trend for large, open space living areas, shown here in plank design with a natural softwood appearance. – Photo: Unilin/Quickstep
elnd1414_b3: Light natural shades in greige, light grey or matt white colouring are becoming ever more popular. – Photo: Egger
elnd1414_b4: The laminate collections show classic floor designs such as Herringbone with a fresh, modern interpretation. – Photo: Parador
elnd1414_b5: Sophisticated printing techniques create the perfect interplay between decor and surface textures. – Photo: Meister
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