Shift in flooring trend pushes the European laminate industry to evolve

The vintage look continues to be a major theme in flooring. 

At the Domotex 2017 trade fair in Hanover, Germany, manufacturers and suppliers within the EPLF Association will be showcasing their impressive array of innovative laminate products.

Recently, there have been three dominant styles – country, urban and modern – in the living and furnishing trends across the globe, which has also influenced the flooring design. The surfaces need to harmonise with the different styles to look as natural as possible, and at the same time be easily-maintain. To meet these demands, European laminate flooring producers have developed products with a range of features to ensure they are suitable for any living or working space.

Laminate: Versatility in design with technology at the forefront

New surface decors have their own characteristics, which is told their colours, effects and textures. The colour palette for trendy, versatile Oak decors predominantly feature matt white, “greige”, light beige, creme and warm light grey hues; equally as appealing are modern wood reproductions ranging across the spectrum from light to dark, which is inspired by Maple, Acacia, Beech, Alder, Ash, Spruce, Larch, Walnut and Pine.

However, the vintage and shabby chic looks are still key themes in flooring. With the country-style surface structures are going out of style, the visual appearance of laminate wood decors has become more calm and reserved. Special surface treatments on planks, such as oiling and brushing, are beautifully reflected in the way they feel and in their optical finish. By applying innovative, industrial digital printing to decorative paper, it is now possible to design an entire laminate collection with a wide variety and colour.

The laminate is also available with more size options: the choice now includes extra tile sizes, single-strip planks in various dimensions, and a large variety of modern multi-strip styles. Traditional country-style planks, wide and generously-proportioned, are still indisputably the winners as the larger sizing of these authentic-looking wood decors perfectly reproduced textures and natural play of colours.

Increasingly, laminate producers are seeing more installations of contemporary, easy-to-maintain wood laminate flooring in kitchens and bathrooms too. This has resulted in an increase supply of special water-resistance laminate boards, hence, European manufacturers are offering more sophisticated products that incorporate modified HDF core boards. Swelling protection is achieved by using special board compositions with increased hardness and density characteristics combined with corresponding impregnation of the overlay and edges. Joints between laminate boards are securely sealed with proven and patented locking techniques.

As laminate products are ever-evolving, the European laminate flooring industry is constantly producing new designs and intelligent use of technologies.