Gerflor’s range of environmentally friendly vinyl floor coverings are made using over a million recycled plastic bottles
With a top class range of innovative floorings, including loose-lay systems, traditionally bonded LVT products, self-adhesive tiles and planks and sheet vinyls, Gerflor has a product solution for new build housing, whatever the need.
It is however only through excellence in design, a broad ranging product offering and an unwavering commitment to the development of new technologies that Gerflor is established as a world renowned vinyl flooring manufacturer across residential, contract, sport and transport markets. The company also continues to pioneer new innovations in flooring for housing that bring wide choices and practical benefits to house builders and home owners alike.
Founded in Lyon France in 1937, Gerflor is headquartered in Villeurbanne, Cedex, France, whilst Gerflor UK is based in Warwick. The Gerflor group employs 2,000 employees worldwide, has a €552 million turnover and a presence in over 100 countries.
With dedicated R&D laboratories in St. Paul-Trois-Châteaux (France), Tarare (France) and Troisdorf (Germany), new innovations and pioneering, world-class brands have been commonplace in Gerflor’s portfolio across more than eight decades. In 1937 Gerflor introduced the very first homogeneous flooring followed by many other industry ‘firsts.’ Its most notable innovations in the domestic flooring sector include the launch of 2m and 4m width cushioned vinyls, which revolutionised domestic sheet vinyl sales in the 1970s, the introduction of the first self-adhesive, PVC tile in 1985 and the first slip-resistant tile in 1998.
Five years later Gerflor pioneered Agrippa, the first residential sheet vinyl to combine the comfort and aesthetic appeal of a domestic product with an R10 slip resistant standard. It also met the recommendations of the HSE. Being a design-orientated, high specification, consumer product, Agrippa filled a welcome gap in the marketplace and quickly became the market leader in residential, slip resistant floorings – where it is still positioned.
Gerflor remains committed to bringing new innovations to the marketplace and good looks are also an essential element of Gerflor flooring, whether it’s an excellent imitation of natural wood, stone or ceramic or a non-imitating, trend-setting, decorative design in its own right.
However residential flooring is undergoing radical change as flooring manufacturers, such as Gerflor, push the technological and aesthetical boundaries in order to introduce new product innovations.
“Find out about new floorings!” urges John Hardaker, Sales and Marketing Manager of Gerflor Residential Floorings. “Given the wave of new product types on the market, it is advantageous to gain a better understanding of their features and how to benefit from them. As differing housing projects have varying needs and each and every location in the home makes different demands on the floor, specifying a flooring that is fit-for-purpose is as essential as recognising a flooring product’s limitations. Also, price may not always be the best indicator that a product is the best option for the location, whilst buying by brand can lead to an unnecessary over specification. By matching the flooring to the needs of the housing project, the best product and most cost-effective solution can be identified.”
Gerflor also remains ahead of flooring trends and the trends are two-part according to the manufacturer: One is construction and performance and the other is look and finish.
“The rising trend in flooring construction are the straightforward and less costly to install loose-lay systems that do away with adhesive – on-floor costs can be reduced by up to 30% by switching to loose-lay systems,” says John Hardaker. “These include unique Gerflor Fibre technology (GFT) based products and other textile-backed sheet vinyl floorings, plus the new generation of click system products. These floorings are easily installed with minimal subfloor preparation and without a specialist workforce, plus there is no waiting for the adhesive to cure.”
Gerflor is also a pioneer of decorative floorings in terms of look and finish. Gerflor vinyl floorings continue to mimic natural materials but with greater realism in the finish and with more creativity in colour. In addition, new, non-imitating designs and greater use of pattern and colour are evident. These improvements broaden the appeal of vinyl and widen its use in rooms beyond the kitchen, bathroom and utility areas.
Gerflor’s in-house design team also focuses on international trends in colour and finish. Current themes include grey, concrete and urban looks, contrasting effects, rough timbers, coloured woods, mixed tile and plank sizes and heavier embossed surfaces, giving greater surface relief with roughened, grooved and angled effects.
As flooring is an integral part of the interior decor of every housing project and contributes to the sales package, early planning by house builders and specifiers is advised by Gerflor: “Involve a flooring manufacturer at an early stage in the planning process along with other interior products, so that flooring is not considered in isolation but as part of the overall aesthetic scheme,” says John Hardaker. “When the flooring is specified later in the process, the house builder may not necessarily get the right product or the best value.”
Gerflor: An environmentally sustainable approach
In the 21st century Gerflor remains a driving force in the vinyl flooring industry, dedicated to new initiatives and with a pro-active approach to environmentally sustainable products.
However, commitment to more environmentally friendly vinyl floorings does not come without heavy investment in production methods. The company therefore made a strategic decision to pursue a ‘green’ policy and, as a result, has achieved ISO 14001 certification across all its industrial sites and has eliminated heavy metals from its manufacturing processes. It has also reduced its energy, water consumption and VOC emissions, has withdrawn solvent based inks, only uses EU approved plasticisers, excluding all BBP and DEHP phthalates, and has implemented best practice in industrial waste management, air pollution and water resource protection.
In addition recycling is uppermost on Gerflor’s environmental agenda. It has been recycling for over 25 years; most products are fully recyclable, nearly all postproduction waste is recycled back into product manufacture and the company regularly uses recycled waste from other manufacturers.
To demonstrate the extent of its recycling programme, Gerflor has announced that it uses over one million recycled plastic bottles in the production of its environmentally sustainable, vinyl floorings.
“Annually we use over 1.2 million recycled plastic bottles in the production of our floorings as the end of life of our own products as well as other materials is important to us. Our patented Gerflor Fibre Technology (GFT) backing system is just one good example of how we incorporate recycled materials into manufacture as it contains 97% recycled fibres and they, in turn, include recycled bottles. GFT also has other environmental benefits including allowing loose-lay fitting, which eliminates adhesive and also adhesive residue,” says John Hardaker, Sales & Marketing Manager, Gerflor Residential Floorings.
It is, however, only by working in partnership with other industry players that global sustainability can be widely achieved. To this end, Gerflor is a founder member of both the first international recycling workshop, AgPR, and the HQE® (High Quality Environment) in France, amongst continuing work with other international organisations, which aim to increase the recycling of end of life PVC products.
It’s a loose-lay flooring revolution!
Gerflor Residential Floorings’ portfolio of sustainable, loose-lay floorings for residential housing has expanded with new, high performance, textile-backed and advanced click and lock system floorings that combine fast, cost-effective installation with the benefits of top quality vinyl.
Loose-lay flooring systems are the straightforward and glue-less way of fitting residential flooring. Gerflor was an early pioneer of loose-lay floorings with the introduction of its patented, textile-backing system : Gerflor Fibre Technology (GFT). It is now broadening its loose-lay product offering to include differing specification, click and lock system flooring innovations, which use superior interlocking technologies. By providing unique product benefits, doing away with adhesive and streamlining installation, Gerflor loose-lay floorings bring longer-term value and cost-savings to housing projects.
These innovative products include Easitex, a unique, 4.2mm ultra thick, cushioned underfoot, sheet vinyl for wide ranging new build and refurbishment projects. Due to its 0.7 tog and 20db sound insulation rating, it is a thermally and acoustically advanced, textile-backed flooring. It also incorporates Gerflor’s patented (GFT) backing system, which together with a 90% RH resistant waterproof interlayer, permits up to 35 sq.m of adhesive-free installation with minimal subfloor preparation. Available in attractive designs and colours, Easitex has an R10 slip resistant, durable, 0.35mm PureClean™ surface wear layer. It is100% recyclable and contains recycled materials, including 97% recycled fibres in its GFT backing.
Another Gerflor patented technology is a feature of 100% recyclable Insight Clic, a vinyl plank flooring that ingeniously clicks together using a superior, built-in, vertical tongue and groove interlocking mechanism that is exclusive to Gerflor. Due to this technological innovation, up to 10 m² per hour can be laid quickly, cleanly and without adhesive or tools other than a sharp cutting knife and a rubber mallet for tapping the planks into place. Insight Clic suits the needs of house builders and developers that require a high-end product. The 100cm x 17.6cm x 5mm thick, wood-effect planks, have a 0.35mm wear layer and are high performing in domestic use.
For those specifiers seeking a lower price point yet high performing product for residential housing, new Senso Lock delivers on both value and quality. Suitable for new build and refurbishment, it uses Unilin’s patented, proven and glue-less locking mechanism for far quicker and cost-effective installation. It is also easily lifted for redecoration purposes. A resilient, 100% recyclable, vinyl laminate plank in eight attractive wood designs, it is 4mm thick and has an 0.3mm wear layer.
For where the appeal of laminate and the advantages of vinyl are desirable, Gerflor’s new Top Silence delivers. It is an entirely original flooring concept and the new alternative to wood and wood laminate products. Technologically-advanced, with ‘4-tech’ system construction, it combines the softness of cushioned vinyl with an integrated, 16db sound-insulating sub-layer to differentiate it from other types of flooring planks. The 9.5mm thick planks also incorporate a 23/32 wear layer, which is equivalent to AC4 in laminate, with a 0.35mm, R10 PureClean™ surface, and rapid-fitting, HDF board with glue-less, 4-sided Megaloc vertical clic locking for straightforward fitting at 12 m² per hour.
The result is a high performing flooring that provides exceptional levels of durability, cushioning and warmth underfoot with up to 10 times more sound insulation than traditional laminate. 100% recyclable, Top Silence comes in a desirable range of 190 cm x 1290 cm wood-effect planks and 270 cm x 1198 cm mineral-effect planks with superior surface graining for top class looks.
Gerflor’s LVT floorings are solution-driven
Gerflor’s range of traditionally-bonded, luxury tile and plank floorings come in differing specifications and price points to cover the broad specification range for residential flooring in housing.
At the top end of the market, Creation by Gerflor is a superior quality, luxury vinyl tile (LVT) flooring collection with over 80 innovative designs and three distinctive themes: Creation Urban, Creation Nature and Creation Authentic to reflect the latest flooring trends in colours, moods, finishes and formats.
Global influences are also evident in this inspirational, new collection, which has been developed at the company’s dedicated, international, R&D laboratories. Included are fashionable concrete and contrasting effects, rough timbers, aged wood, painted and denim-style boards, gloss finishes and new formats such as extra long planks for creating a greater illusion of space and mixed boxes of different width planks for added realism.
In addition, Gerflor has pushed the technological boundaries with enhanced graining, embossing, texturing and other realistic finishes. The wide format of tile and plank sizes also echoes the variety of the collection: tiles come in 61 cm x 61 cm, 61 cm x 30.5 cm and 45.7 cm x 45.7 cm sizes, whilst there are also six plank size options.
The first-class looks and superior performance of the Creation collection tiles and planks are combined with greater underfoot warmth, comfort and quietness than traditional ceramic or wood floors.
In terms of specification, the 100% recyclable Creation collection scores very highly: overall the tiles and planks are 2.5mm thick and have a 0.7mm pure PVC wear layer, which is extremely resistant to wear and damage and has improved resistance to scratches. The addition of Gerflor’s PUR+ surface treatment ensures that the tiles and planks are easy and low cost to clean and maintain.
For where a high performance yet more economical LVT product is required, Gerflor’s Insight range of luxury wood planks and mineral and urban design tiles will enhance any interior décor scheme. With a 0.55mm wear layer, they are durable in domestic environments and also benefit from Gerflor’s easy-to-clean, PUR protective surface coating.
For the economy scale of the LVT market where a decorative tile and plank flooring of high quality is required, Gerflor’s Artline range of luxury vinyl wood planks and mineral tiles, delivers on price point, looks and performance. With a 0.30mm wear layer it is hardwearing in domestic environments, whilst its PUR surface provides improved resistance to scratching.
Gerflor’s environmentally sustainable products are 100% recyclable and widely specified within housing applications. They are manufactured at Gerflor’s ISO 14001 certified production sites.
For more information, visit www.gerflor.co.uk