The Innovator – Neel Bradham


Showhome Editor Joseph Clarke speaks with Neel Bradham, CEO of Parador, about the latest trends and innovations in flooring, and what to expect in 2024 

Who and what is Parador?  

Parador is an international interior brand, born from passion and a desire to create fashion-forward spaces that are uncompromising towards sustainability. Established in 1977, the foundation of Parador has been to provide the very best quality products to its customers. Its design approach is based upon sustainable practices and combines this with a fashion-forward approach to offer the market a truly holistically designed product that is fit for a customer’s specific purpose. With a strong emphasis on craftsmanship and European production, all Parador products are manufactured at the brand’s headquarters in Coesfeld, Germany and its Austrian production site in Güssing, using sustainably sourced materials.  

Parador, which officially launched in the United Kingdom at Decorex 2023, aims to redefine standards for the foundation of a beautiful room, by changing perceptions about engineered wood, laminate, and vinyl floorings. Its expertise and know-how have been handed down through generations, producing innovative designs to inspire its customers and enhance their interior spaces.  

What are the current design trends in flooring within the new-build sector? 

In 2024, parquet – a flooring style said to have originated in the chateaux of France in the 16th century – will be the go-to foundation in both residential and commercial spaces. The elegant patterns add texture and interest to an interior whilst remaining neutral. Our new parquet flooring range – the Chevron Collection – was designed in response to this ever-growing trend. The collection includes six high-quality oak engineered wood floors in the classic chevron installation, which is particularly popular in the commercial sector and is celebrating a comeback.  

Sustainability is also at the forefront of design trends. Sustainability needs to be at the core of a business and run through every sector of the company, from its supply chains, craftmanship, production, processes, quality and employees.  

How can flooring manufacturers promote sustainability through their products?  

Making greener choices and reducing one’s carbon footprint is more important than ever, especially when selecting the foundation of your home. Customers don’t want to compromise – they want flooring that is as sustainable as it is stylish, that combines high design with environmental awareness, and that is what flooring manufacturers should aspire to offer. 

Sustainability has always been at the heart of our business ethos. Our pioneering Modular One collection testifies to this. Our products are produced at two locations in Germany and Austria. At these sites, we ensure the highest possible quality and know-how precision craftsmanship combined with best practice eco-friendly manufacturing practices. The sites are optimally networked and work according to principles that are in harmony with ecological, economic and socially acceptable principles of sustainable forestry. From the raw materials we choose to our supply chains and the working conditions of our employees, Parador is actively committed to designing flooring solutions with minimal impact on the environment. 

How can flooring designers/manufactures keep up with flooring trends? 

Parador has been at the forefront of design since our beginnings in 1977. Our award-winning, in-house design team takes inspiration from everything around them – art, design, architecture, lifestyle. These influences are transformed into innovative and contemporary flooring options, ranging from use in wet rooms to the seamless integration of underfloor heating. We pride ourselves on creating the perfect solution for every flooring context to meet our customer’s needs.  

When designing our collections, our teams do not follow the latest fast-paced interior trends. Instead, we are looking to design timeless, durable and sustainable flooring options that will last a lifetime in the home and commercial spaces. We believe that it is crucial for designers to create beautiful rooms by offering exquisite flooring and décor to clients and customers. A passion for craftsmanship and innovation is displayed in our extensive collection of products, for a variety of different spaces across both the residential and commercial markets. 

We have witnessed a shift back towards vinyl flooring, why do you think this is?  

Vinyl flooring ticks all the boxes. It is versatile, highly affordable and durable, making it an ideal flooring choice for high traffic areas. As a modern and innovative material, vinyl is the first choice for combining function with style. Shining in both residential and commercial spaces, it is a genuine all-rounder. That said, we know that innovation must happen to increase the input of recycled content and close the loop on recyclability of vinyl. This is why we are continuing to innovate across our Modular ONE platform, to provide a non-vinyl resilient solution that is fully recyclable and has a closed loop solution for our customers.  

What makes the Modular ONE flooring unique?  

The Modular ONE range has pioneered resilient, plasticiser-free flooring, making it completely unique and innovative. The collection is free from PVC (the single most environmentally damaging of all plastics) and plasticisers, and unlike other PVC free options, it has the sound characteristics and comfort under foot of a traditional wood flooring option. Thus, making it a perfect option for both the home and office. Modular ONE offers warmth without compromising on durability or healthy living. The collection sets a new standard for sustainability in flooring, and we are extremely proud to be leading the way in this field.  

Which type of flooring would you say is the most energy-efficient?  

This depends on the overall technical structure of the floor in question and the use case. In technical terms, it plays a role whether the substructure is made of wood or screed, for example, whether underfloor heating or conventional heating is used, which underlay is required, etc. Parador floorings are generally suitable for installation over underfloor heating. 

What type of flooring material do you think finds the best balance between aesthetics, durability and energy-efficiency?    

I believe in the need for a holistic design process in order to consistently provide a range of products that are fit for purpose. Providing products that perfectly meet the different demands and needs of customers is crucial. 

In terms of durability, we are undoubtedly talking about engineered wood. Engineered wood flooring stands for many years of experience and craftsmanship. Engineered wood flooring is a natural and environmentally friendly floor covering that lasts for generations, as it can be repeatedly refurbished and restored to its original state. But a patina also looks good on engineered wood and emphasises the naturalness and beauty of this product. Engineered wood is one of the oldest floor coverings in existence and its naturalness has fascinated people for centuries. We are therefore very proud that we manufacture engineered wood floorings with timeless aesthetics, long-lasting quality and modern technology in our own production facility in Güssing, Austria. 

On the other hand, when we talk about “durability” in terms of a perfect floor for high-traffic areas that is both easy to maintain and robust, we are talking about design floors, in particular vinyl with SPC core board or our eco-friendly product innovation Modular ONE Hydron. 

Modular ONE Hydron is characterised by a unique pvc and plasticiser-free elastic surface that looks and feels like real wood. Thanks to the special core board, Modular ONE Hydron is also 100% waterproof and therefore perfect for use in damp rooms. Vinyl, especially with SPC core board, is characterised by their resilient and resistant surface, which stands the test of time and is also easy to clean and maintain without additional effort. Both types of design floors are available in a wide range of different formats and designs – not only in wood, but also in stone or concrete look, and offer a perfect balance between design and durability. 

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Media Contact
Joseph Clarke
Editor, Showhome
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920

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