James Kings, New House-Build Manager at Karndean Designflooring, explains how the UK flooring market has developed in recent years and how they can help
How has technology improved flooring products in recent years?
As the UK’s market leader in luxury vinyl flooring (LVT), we’re an expert on replicating stone and wood effect floors with an impressive portfolio of over 150 products. Inspired by nature, we offer all the attractions of real wood and stone without the drawbacks of these materials.Improvements in high-definition (HD) printing, laser engraving and ink viscosity have greatly enhanced the look and feel of our products allowing us to recreate natural stone and wood looks to such a degree that it is indistinguishable from the real thing.
What flooring trends have you noticed within the new house build sector over the last 12 months?
There’s been a real trend of late with new build homeowners opting for our flooring over traditional carpet for its practicality and easy maintenance. Unlike carpets, our floor does not harbour dust mites or bacteria, making it ideal for busy family homes with children and pets. What’s more, in the unlikely event of damage, a plank or tile can be easily replaced.
Designers are continuing to move away from traditional straight laying patterns and are instead looking to make a statement and add character with random panel and parquet designs; LVT is the ideal means of achieving this with the endless design capabilities it offers.
We expect to see this trend grow to incorporate the use of our full sized tiles matched with our FreeLengths designs for seamless integration that will help to define an area without the requirement of a physical divide.
How do you provide quality flooring for homebuyers at price point that’s attractive for house builders?
We offer homebuyers a wide selection of products, ideal for all rooms in the house and covering a number of price points to suit all budgets. Our products carry lengthy guarantees of up to 20 years and are transferable to future owners, meaning that the homeowner gets real value for money over many years.
How important is practicality from a homeowner’s point of view?
Practicality is increasingly becoming more important for new build buyers when selecting their floor surface, they want to be sure their new floor is going to look great aesthetically but also be easy to clean and maintain.
Karndean Designflooring is the perfect investment for homeowners looking for a practical floor that’s easy to clean and look after. What’s more, it’s stylish and practical for everyday living. Whether it’s for contemporary, classic or traditional kitchens, bathrooms or bedrooms, there are a wide range of colours, textures and finishes to choose from.
How do you break down the three considerations of aesthetics, practicality and sustainability?
From a house builder perspective, the right floor surface ultimately needs to be straight forward to install and easy to maintain. As flooring can represent the biggest single purchase for new homeowners, factors such as appearance, functionality and cost all need to be taken into consideration.
Traditionally, housebuilders have been led by manufacturers on floor surfaces; they’re now being very receptive to homeowner demands and emerging trends. We’re quick to respond and offer a wide spectrum of colours and finishes from our entry range, Knight Tile, up to our most exclusive designs in our Art Select collection. Home buyers expect choice nowadays and offering a product that can come with up to a 20 year guarantee, as our floors do, is a great additional benefit to a practical, beautiful floor.
How can flooring contribute towards the Code for Sustainable Homes?
What’s great about Karndean Designflooring is that all our floors have a Generic Building Research Establishment (BRE) Green Guide rating of A/A+ in the UK. This means that housebuilders, architects and designers specifying any of Karndean’s products can rest assured they are selecting products suitable for the guide.
How important is underfloor heating? Is this still viewed as a luxury item or are more and more buyers expecting it as standard?
This is still very much viewed as a luxury or bespoke item for new build buyers when purchasing their new home. Interestingly, housebuilders are seeing an increased demand for this option as buyers look to complete their new home with an underfloor heating system. It may not be cheaper than radiators to install, but the right system can be eco-friendly and save money in the long term.
It is important to select a floor covering that will work in conjunction with your chosen heating system. Karndean Designflooring can be used with underfloor heating systems up to 27 degrees, but we do recommend that every installation is discussed with the fitter as early as possible. Even without underfloor heating, our planks and tiles are softer and warmer underfoot than natural wood and stone products.
And finally, what are your predictions for 2015?
Greys, whites and creams are all on trend for 2015. House builders are moving away from the traditional magnolia of new builds and using the more sophisticated colour pallet accented by one feature wall. We have already seen a rise in popularity of our fashionable grey and cream floorings, for example Knight Tile Linton Stone with its gentle grey mottled hues.
About Karndean Designflooring: Karndean Designflooring is a global leader in flooring design with operations in the USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand. By offering a wide range of colours, textures and finishes, our products allow you to create looks that are unique to your home or business and are guaranteed to last. With a passion for creating floors which are both stylish and practical, we’re here to help customers find the right floor for their space, needs and unique style.
For more information, visit www.karndean.com