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HALL 13 STAND D58 Brushed surface
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Real wood but stronger Sustainability is all about producing more out of less and making it last longer. By using thin wood sheets instead of solid wood, fewer trees get cut down. And by making the surface three times harder than traditional hardwood flooring, your beautiful floor will last for a lifetime. Everyone deserves a stronger and smarter wood flooring.
DOMOTEX CONTENTS 04
Twelve months is a long time in flooring. The pace of change is startling and manufacturers and the design world have been at the forefront of this with innovations that make Domotex a must
The new Global Director welcomes all exhibitors and visitors with a keynote message on Atmysphere and why the numbers speak for themselves
08 DOMOTEX NEWS
All the latest moves, changes, innovations and ideas from around the world from all the leading players in the carpets and flooring industry
Your essential guide to who’s who and how to get around the halls. A detailed map colour-coded and aided by a handy key to all sections
16 SONIA WEDELL-CASTELLANO
The Global Director of Domotex, Hannover, takes a look back over her first year within the job, and one in which changes were predicted - and delivered
The latest innovations within carpets, rugs, tiles and flooring that will help to define 2020
26 FLOORING SECTION
30 | Interview: HMTX Industries CEO Harlan Stone talks corporate family values 36 | Yachts and decks: Teak has been the staple component of the maritime industry. But its uses are just as appreciated on dry land 44 | Fitness flooring: As demand grows, we ask, is foam becoming the new rubber?
52 RUGS AND CARPETS SECTION
56 | Interview: Stefanie Wograth, part of the trio behind Illiz Architktur talks about sustainability and looks to the future 62 | Carpets: The ultimate comfort, thanks to the way they look, feel, and even smell 66 | Ethical footprint: Most modern companies are embracing their eco-credentials
72 TILING SECTION
74 | Interview: Instagrammer Gabriella Insana on how foot selfies are raising their profile. 80 | Cork tiles: We’ve been using cork since the 12th century. But it’s never been so appreciated
Director Alexander Collis Editorial Richard Burton Creative Direction Digital/Print World Show Media Operations & Production Alena Veasey Accounts Controller Martin Reece Project Services Corinne Germain, Helen Sinclair, Jeffrey Hoffman, Alex David
DOMOTEX 2020 is produced and published by World Show Media for and on behalf of Deutsche Messe. World Show Media Tel: +44 (0) 203 960 1999 Fax: +44 (0) 208 181 8633 Website: worldshowmedia.net For all sales enquiries: email@example.com For all corporate enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Domotex World 2020 is published under contract by World Show Media and provides visitors with comprehensive event information and essential industry reference material, helping delegates to plan their event. The Domotex trademark is owned and protected by Deutsche Messe. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, photographic, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of Deutsche Messe and and World Show Media. While every effort is made to ensure information is correct at the time of going to press, neither the publisher nor the organisers can be held responsible for any errors, omissions and changes to the event programme and content.
DOMOTEX SHOW TIME 06
It’s a new year, a new Domotex and a new theme. The numbers are high and the range of exhibitors is as wide and varied as ever. All of which means 2020 will be off to a strong start Words | Sonia Wedell-Castellano Photography | Domotex
To new Atmospheres! We have the numbers that speak for themselves: we will be welcoming more than 1,400 exhibitors from more than 60 countries. At Domotex 2020 we know that the quality of the visitors will be extremely high with, importantly, almost 90 per cent of them being decision makers. The share of international visitors is 88 per cent. This reflects our claim to be the world’s leading trade fair for carpets and floor coverings! We have the perfect offering: at Domotex you’ll get an overview of the trends and developments within the international flooring industry and you’ll keep your finger on the pulse. Manufacturers and buyers, as well as a variety of partners, architects and designers from all over the world take advantage of the networking opportunities at Domotex, creating new business relationships and opportunities for co-operation that you would never have thought about before. Among other things, special event and exhibition formats as well as new product highlights are among the special highlights of this year. And we have an exciting new keynote theme: with ATMYSPHERE, we are putting the focus on floor coverings as fundamentally important elements when it comes to room atmosphere. The Framing Trends special display will highlight all those properties of flooring, which can contribute to more wellbeing, naturalness and sustainability. As a result, Hall 8 will be the spot for
all inspiring trends, featuring atmospheric displays from manufacturers, designers, universities, start-ups and artists. All this goes to prove: we are the world’s most significant business platform for the carpet and flooring industries. And we trust that this magazine will do justice to the sheer breadth, scale and
diversity of all that’s on offer. Within these pages are features that reflect all that is innovative in flooring, tiling and carpets and rugs. From the very latest in technology to sustainability to ethical issues and also material developments, it’s nothing less than you’d expect. Then there are the pages of news and products which reflect the pride we have in our extended exhibitor ‘family’. This is the 32nd Domotex so we know we’re building on a very rich history while being up to date with our keynote theme which stresses the importance of wellness in all environments, from the home to the workplace. In a word: it’s all here. So, why not let yourself be inspired by topics and products related to the room element of flooring. In the meantime, we wish you all a very successful DOMOTEX 2020!
DOMOTEX NEWS 08
There’s never any shortage of news in the world of carpets and flooring. Here, we look at some of the latest offerings, from snippets to major corporate announcements Words/Tekst | World Show Media corresondents Photography/Fotografia | Shutterstock
FOUR PRAISED FOR TRAINING A number of US flooring companies have been listed in Training magazine’s 2020 Training Top 125. They include Mohawk, Emser, Shaw and Tarkett North America. Now in its 20th year, the Training Top 125
ranks companies which have done most to harness their employees’ potential. The rankings are determined by assessing a wide range of qualitative and quantitative factors. These include levels of financial investment, the scope of their training programs, how closely such training and development efforts are linked to business goals, and their effectiveness in terms of business impact. The rankings will be revealed at an awards gala on February 24 during the Training 2020 Conference and Expo in Orlando, Florida. | trainingmag.com/top-125/
After more than 90 years as a leading luxury carpet brand, Karastan is now expanding into luxury flooring with the 2020 launch of its first-ever hard surface lines: Karastan BelleLuxe hardwood flooring and Karastan LuxeCraft luxury vinyl flooring. Karastan BelleLuxe is engineered hardwood flooring featuring wider planks and designs inspired by nature. According to the manufacturer, Karastan craftsmen follow a 100-step process to preserve the story of every tree used in the production process. | karastan.com
ROUTMAN EXPANDS SUSTAINABILITY ROLE HMTX Industries has evolved to inspire a new direction for the flooring industry and has now fully merged quality and sustainability. Since Rochelle Routman came on board in 2016 as Chief Sustainability Officer, she has led a team of seasoned experts to oversee, among other things, sustainability and transparency. Over the past year alone, the team has expanded its focus on quality, a change has been formalised with Routman’s new title: Chief Sustainability and Quality Officer. | hmtx.global
Up for the challenge When subject to high vertical load, poorly designed locking systems will result in height differences and gap openings between panels. We put our locking systems through comprehensive testing to ensure that our licenseesâ€™ products last even under the toughest conditions.
DOMOTEX NEWS 10
Several of the exhibitors will use the title “Floor and More” to show how carpets, cork elements or design panels can be used to create atmospheric interiors. The manufacturers, Oriental Weavers, Wicanders and Swiss Krono will display solutions in which coverings become stylish eye-catchers and where floors visually blend into the wall design. Floor & More is based on the idea that rugs, cork elements and design panels need not be confined to the floors, but can also adorn ceilings and walls, creating an integrated design – a coherent, individual atmosphere that can further enhance our sense of personal wellbeing. Oriental Weavers, for example, will produce tapestries that can be matched with its rugs and carpets to give rooms a
stylistically coherent look. Its “Seychelles” product, for example, is a modern machine-woven tapestry featuring an atmospheric, abstract pattern in cool tones. Used with its Kelim cushion coverings, with their vintage designs and warm tones that complement Oriental-style floor coverings, they create the ultimate in harmonious atmospheres. Kelim is available in three sizes and comprises a hard-wearing mix of chenille, viscose and polyester. Dekwall by Wicanders, a brand owned by AMORIM Deutschland, is a collection of cork-based wall elements inspired by nature. With a range of patterns, textures, colours and shapes, it can be combined with Wicanders cork floors to create eye-catching interiors. | domotex.de
HUALI TO MAKE ITS DOMOTEX DEBUT WITH A NEW LAUNCH
SWISS PANELS THAT CLICK SwissClic panels by Swiss Krono deliver the ultimate in simplicity when it comes to realising integrated interior concepts. The new high-precision joining technology means the panels can be clicked together quickly and easily, without using special tools, to create continuous runs of wall or ceiling cladding with virtually invisible joints. The panels can be surfaced with a special primer foil, enabling them to be painted in almost any colour. SwissClic panels are also available in authentic wood and unpolished concrete looks, yielding endless interior design options. They are hard-wearing and easycare and available as acoustic cladding, capable of cutting ambient noise by up to 50 per cent. | swisskrono.com
Huali Floors will be introducing Ebenbild, a new product it describes as a unique, high-quality design made of vinyl that will contain no harmful substances. Unusual wood and stone decors are intended to create a feeling of ultimate comfort. Customers can choose either the standard or premium version, both available with a variety of wear layers. The Chinese vinyl flooring giant will be making its debut at Domotex. Their staff manufacture no fewer than 1,800 container loads of flooring each month, 90 per cent of which is exported worldwide. The company - one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of vinyl flooring - isn’t looking to impress with figures alone, though. It also considers high, sustainable quality and visual diversity to be increasingly important, as demonstrated by another big number - the company offers over 4,000 different designs. Ebenbild is also offered in DryBack, rigid LVT board, tile and click variants, which extends the possible applications further still. According to the developer, Huali vinyl flooring is designed to ensure quick and easy installation without the need for separate impact sound insulation. Huali sums up Ebenbild as an exclusive luxury vinyl flooring product that is available at attractive prices in authentic designs and also boasts sustainable environmental credentials. | hualifloors.com
GERFLOR MAKE HEALTHCARE A PRIORITY The GERFLOR Group, which is based in France, develops and manufactures innovative, sustainable vinyl and linoleum flooring for residential settings, with a special focus on education, sport, retail, industry, administration, hospitality - and above all healthcare. It has spent more than 60 years developing special solutions to meet their specific requirements, but above and beyond that, creating a wide range of patterns and colours to offer plenty of scope for interior design. | gerflor.com
SHANGHAI SET TO SURPRISE AS AN INNOVATION CENTRE The leading trade show for carpets and floor coverings in the Asia Pacific region opens on March 24 with an expanded design and conference area and welcoming new and returning brands. For Domotex Asia/Chinafloor’s 22nd edition, each flooring sector will have a distinct theme. The highlighted product category in wood is solid wood for ground heating systems. The category is taking over the entire hall, showing new technologies, designs and products in floor heating. Solid wood for round heating systems is growing in China, according to
China National Forest Products Industry Association, which reveals that around 80 per cent of China’s wood flooring brands have developed the product. At the same time, the market share is increasing by more than 30 per cent annually, according to the latest figures. It is expected that by 2025, the market size of solid wood for ground heating systems will reach RMB 10 billion (USD 1.4 billion). The international and local market leaders, such as Junckers, Foglied’Oro, Edelholz, IBF, Teclic, Nature, Fudeli, Bloor, Jinyi, Licher, Nuogao and Moganshan have already confirmed their participation. Also in this hall we will see the latest developments in the market in the dedicated InnovAction campaign. The resilient flooring section will be spread out to 69,500sq m gross, featuring Stone Plastic Composite (SPC) flooring. Among the resilient halls, there will be an “Inspiration Hall”, housing the InnovAction campaign and design forum, where famous interior designers will educate the audience on using resilient flooring in interiors. The InnovAction will be upgraded by showcasing all the new products within matching interior spaces. Domotex Asia/Chinafloor is the leading flooring exhibition in the region and the second largest worldwide. It attracts more than 66,000 industry professionals from the emerging Asian markets and 107 other countries attend each year. | domotexasiachinafloor.com
With its revamped, modernised design and coverage of practical themes and issues that matter to today’s trade professionals, the “Treffpunkt Handwerk” showcase located in Hall 13 is set to be a major highlight. This has been designed as a networking and community area where trades professionals will find everything they need for stimulating, quality dialogue with their peers. As well as that, there will be even more live demonstrations on offer than in previous years. The showcase will feature informative, stimulating presentations in which experts will report on current issues and challenges in trade practice and present new solutions that benefit the most seasoned experts and novices alike. There will be plenty of opportunities for interior furnishers, parquet installers, floor layers and painters to get up to speed with the latest developments relevant to their areas of speciality. The planned presentation topics will include digitalisation, skills shortages and succession planning, as well as all the important legal aspects of trade practice, restoration projects and marketing. The presentation program will feature an extensive line-up of talks and expert lectures and will run on all four days. The moderator will be Norbert Strehle, an expert in screed laying, parquet installation and floor laying. | domotex.de
DOMOTEX FLOORPLAN 12
The event will occupy roughly half of the floor space available at Deutsche Messe but it will be an event to remember, partly because there could be fewer better examples of a more fitting venue Words | World Show Media staff Photography | Domotex
Deutsche Messe’s events and services team have been bringing together exhibitors and visitors since 1947, helping many small enterprises become market leaders in the process. The requirements for a perfect exhibition facility are in a constant state of flux – and Deutsche Messe has proven to be committed to constantly adapting to meet this challenge. The organisation is the largest trade fair organiser in Germany and the exhibition grounds in Hannover are continually being modernised. These grounds boast more than two dozen exhibition halls and display space of 392,453 square meters. In addition, there are conference rooms which can be easily adapted to accommodate customer needs – from eight to 800 people. And the halls have personalities of their own. Hall 9 is one of the Hannover centre’s most impressive structures, featuring an exceptionally high ceiling, free-span design and 23,590 m² of display area. The building’s unusual mix of natural and man-made construction materials – timber, steel and glass – provides a unique and impressive backdrop. Hall 3 is located directly at the EAST 3 entrance, and therefore has its own separate access with the closest two hotels an approximate three-and fiveminute walk away. Closer still is a separate car park with over 1,000 spaces. Hall 27 along the western fringe of the exhibition grounds is the largest, with a gross floor space of 31,100 m². Its sheer size and other key features,
such as its own entrance lobby, automatic lift gates, well-lit interior and the very high load-bearing capacity of its floor, mean it’s ideally suited for major events. Another gem is Hall 13, in the southern area which has the capacity to be entirely darkened. It’s an architectural masterpiece because its roof construction allows for
unimaginable ceiling suspensions. Apart from its vast experience in running many international trade fairs and the unique capacity of its flagship German exhibition centre, Deutsche Messe offers exhibitors an excellent range of high quality services, ensuring the best possible support before, during and after the show.
DOWNLOAD THE DOMOTEX APP With such a vast area to navigate and so much to see, you’ll need all the help you can get. That’s where the Domotex App comes in. Use it to plan your visit in advance – all the exhibitors and event listings are there at the touch of the screen. It’s also an Ideal tool for efficient agenda planning and easy on-site orientation, a bonus when you’re pressed for time. The app’s main features are: exhibitor and product search, event search and detailed hall layouts with indoor navigation. You can bookmark exhibitors, products and the events, register for tickets and download them digitally. | domotex.de/en/for-visitors/domotex-app/
Restaurants The Domotex on-site restaurants and bistros have something for every occasion and taste, ranging from elegant à la carte dining to charming rustic eateries, to just a quick snack on the run. Note: reservations will be required for groups of 15 or more. My Domotex Shuttle Take the direct route straight to your chosen destination at the Exhibition Grounds. Simply get on at one of the My Domotex Shuttle stops or wave it down – the driver will take you to the hall you want without any detours. Whatever the weather, you can be sure to reach your meeting or business talk comfortably and on time at Domotex.
ENTRANCE INFORMATION CENTER CONVENTION CENTER STATION HANNOVER/LAATZEN TRAM NORD 2 NORTH 2
DOMOTEX SHUTTLE MESSE NORD
Disabled Facilities During the fair, all persons with restricted mobility can make use of our chauffeur-driven vehicles free of charge. Please note that visitors may only use the toilets in halls being used for the particular show that they are attending. Please visit the visitor Information counters for assistance.
5 6 FRAMING TRENDS ATMYSPHERE
OST 3 EAST 3
SÜD 1/SOUTH 1
DOMOTEX MAP OF GROUNDS KEY Framing Trends, Sustainable Flooring, Wellbeing Hall 8 Hand-made carpets and rugs Halls 2, 4, 9 Machine-made carpets and rugs Halls 5, 7
Mats Halls 4, 11 Textile floor coverings, fibres and yarns, Textile Machinery Hall 11 Resilient floor coverings, design flooring/LVT & laminate flooring Hall 12
Parquet and wood flooring, including all out door flooring Halls 12, 13 Application & installation technology Hall 13 Further information can be at the below link. | domotex.de
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HALL 6 D29
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DOMOTEX INTERVIEW 16
SIX QUESTIONS FOR SONIA WEDELL-CASTELLANO, GLOBAL DIRECTOR OF DOMOTEX HANNOVER
Industry expectations were high when Wedell-Castellano first arrived in her new role. Here, she looks back over a year in which many changes were predicted Words | Domotex Press Office Photography | Domotex
It’s been just over a year since Sonia Wedell-Castellano took over as director of the Domotex portfolio. She was the obvious choice to step into the shoes of Susanne Klaproth who became director of the auditing department, having produced the portfolio’s best-ever results. Her successor arrived with a very strong reputation of her own. As a department manager at Hannover Messe, she had added an impressive number of successful launches to her name and expectations were naturally high. Dr Andreas Gruchow, a member of the Managing Board of Deutsche Messe AG summed it up at the time: “Thanks to Susanne Klaproth’s many years of hard work, the brand enjoys a strong reputation in the market and a high level of trust among our customers. This year’s results were the best since the inception of Domotex – both in Hannover and Shanghai. We thank Ms. Klaproth for her outstanding commitment.” Sonia Wedell-Castellano, he said, will continue to drive that growth. “During her time within the Hannover Messe division, she successfully launched and expanded a number of different trade fairs and special formats.” Here, she reflects on what has been an interesting and challenging year.
DOMOTEX : As Domotex Global Director, you took over responsibility for the event just over a year ago. What have you been able to accomplish so far? SONIA : In rapid response to the wishes voiced by our exhibitors and visitors, we have, for example, opted for changes in the fair’s layout. Before that time, premium suppliers were located in the immediate vicinity of the special Framing Trends showcase. They will now go back to their traditional market environments in their respective halls. For all of our visitors, this means shorter distances and easier on-site orientation. We are also addressing our target visitors in an even more differentiated and more targeted way. We have also reassessed the concept of our classic “Show Preview” press conferences, and we are now touring key media cities, visiting a greater number of editorial offices and organising informal dinners, to which we invite exhibitors as well as all of our partners and the press – a networking event with a view to 2020.
Sonia Weddell-Castaliano | Global Director
DOMOTEX INTERVIEW 18
DOMOTEX : Nearly 94,000 square meters of space have already been sold for the 2020 show. Who are some of the more interesting exhibitors that visitors can look forward to at the event? SONIA : With some 1,500 exhibitors anticipated, the list is already quite long, so I’ll only mention a few: Rug Star by Jürgen Dahlmanns, Naziri, Creative Matters, Galleria Battilossi, Rica Basagoiti will be showing in the handmade carpets segment. In the category of machine-woven carpets we are looking forward to Oriental Weavers, Carmel Carpet, Royal Hali, Prado Egypt, Stefany and Reinkemeier. US Floors, Windmöller, Moderna (MeisterWerke) and IVC will be exhibiting their resilient floor coverings, while ter Hürne, Decospan, BIMBO, SWISS KRONO and Forestry Timber will be presenting parquet, wood and laminate flooring. The manufacturers of installation technologies include Mapei, Selit, Välinge, Unifloor, Uzin Utz and Küberit. DOMOTEX : What is the ratio of domestic to foreign exhibitors? SONIA : Of all Deutsche Messe events, Domotex is the most international by far. This applies to exhibitors and visitors, alike. German exhibitors account for some 12 per cent of the fair’s display space, with the international share consequently running at 88 per cent. This is naturally quite an achievement for the world’s leading marketplace for floor coverings and carpets. That said, we also aim to expand our exhibitor lineup by attracting more exhibitors from Germany and the rest of Europe. DOMOTEX : As a result of all the changes made to the show’s layout plan, Hall 8 will be devoted entirely to the Framing Trends display. What can visitors expect to see there – and what’s new? SONIA : Hall 8 will star as the pulsating, emotive heart of the event, with visitors being welcomed and wowed with a large textile horizon that shows projections of atmospheric images. Our new lead theme of “ATMYSPHERE” will address how floors can improve our sense of well-being. In a series of Frames, we’ll be showing the contribution that a floor’s appearance makes to the overall atmosphere, how its texture dampens noise and how ecological production techniques make for a far healthier indoor climate. Manufacturers, artists, universities and, for the first time, start-ups will take up these and numerous other characteristics to create soothing, personal worlds of experience via their creative approach. Our partner agency, Schmidhuber, will moreover be staging four pavilions consisting of furnished themed rooms, so as to make the lead theme even more tangible. “Hotel – Sustainable”, for example, illustrates the impact of materials and furniture, including acoustic paneling in hotel rooms. “Wellness – Green Living” emphasizes health-promoting and environmentally friendly aspects. “The conference – More than Floor” focuses on acoustic solutions,
going all the way to upholstered seating landscapes, while the “Health – Wellbeing” features a yoga room for relaxation. In the space between these focal points, the advantages of outdoor floors and also the flowing transition from both indoors to outdoors will be highlighted. The main aim is not only to provide some inspiration to designers, architects and retailers, but to illustrate concrete areas of application. DOMOTEX : Professionals from the retail, the skilled trades and architecture are among the show’s main target groups. All of these groups have different needs and requirements. So, apart from having all these interesting exhibitors, what else will Domotex be offering its attendees? SONIA : I know there will be something for everyone at this year’s show. For the top buyers within the wholesale and retail trades, we’ll be offering a special service package to make their visit to Domotex as pleasant as possible. Craftspeople can
Sonia Weddell-Castaliano | Global Director
Born in Detmold and raised in Lage, a small town that has a population about 40,000 people near Detmold in the Lipperland region, today she describes herself as the child of two “spirited Gastarbeiter” from Spain and Italy who first met in Lage. Her mother was very modest and religious; her father, while strict, was loving. Today, she lives close to Hannover with her family. Her early career saw Sonia begin work, firstly, as an Industrial Clerk in Industriekauffrau in 1995 before moving to Möbelfabrik Heinz Kopp two years later and, after several more moves, became sales and export manager at DMG MORI Services. As Sonia made her way up the career ladder, she was promoted to Marketing Manager, Europe, and then Project Manager. A series of directorships followed, firstly with Hannover Messe as both Sales Director and Global Director before moving over to take her current role with Domotex. Under her guidance, she insists, Domotex will once again take centre stage as a venue for all the market’s major players, whether they deal in hand-woven rugs, parquet or the many machines and tools required within the trade. Domotex, she said, “should be perceived as a hotspot, as a meeting point for trade, for architects, for designers and for the tradespeople who lay flooring”. And on a personal level, how is life today? She said: “I can truly say I’m very happy. We are not rich, but we have everything we need to be happy.” look forward to a more state-of-the-art “Treffpunkt Handwerk” – a forum which will be featuring issues ranging from the challenge of digitalisation for the skilled trades and topics related to personnel and recruiting young talent to current product trends and many cutting-edge application techniques. In addition, crafts people can visit their associations here, such as the Federal Association for Parquets and Flooring Technology. Within the adjacent live-action zones, our exhibitors will once again be giving practical tips on how to prepare and lay wooden floors. As a special showcase, Hall 8 is ideal for architects and designers. On all four days of the event there will also be a wide range of presentations by renowned architects followed by discussions. This year, for the first time ever, exhibitors can join in on staged panel discussions. The focus will be on the latest social transformations and their significance for architecture, in particular as it applies to
floors. In specific terms, trendy topics such as building information modeling (BIM) or healthy living and working will be explored. In addition, AIT Dialog Tours – guided tours where internationally renowned architects and interior designers will share their personal highlights of Domotex – will be conducted daily. Exhibitors displaying new products and services for digitalisation will be of interest to all three target groups. For retailers, this will consist of digital sales tools. For architects, the focus will be on building information modeling, and for craftspeople, interest will revolve around things like how to introduce an up-to-the-minute order database. DOMOTEX : What do you see as the top USPs of Domotex? SONIA : We are the world’s only global business platform for carpets and floor coverings: At Domotex, you can see and experience the entire range of products on offer by the global floor coverings industry. She had earlier spoken of her desire to bring Domotex back “en vogue” and re-claim its rightful place as the only trade fair devoted entirely to flooring and how the changes she was making were subtle, rather than “turning everything upside down”. She also spoke of the balancing act involved in dealing with tradespeople and interior fitters alongside professions such as architects and interior designers and the importance of not addressing everyone in such a uniform manner, stressing the importance of providing attractive offerings “perfectly tailored to target groups” to stand out from our competitors. One thing is for sure: she’s off to a good start.
DOMOTEX PRODUCTS 20
Behind the individual companies and the ideas, lie the all-important products. From the practical to the luxurious to the simply innovative, the industry ’s finest will be on display Words | World Show Media staff Photography | Suppliers
BUTTERFLY IS RUG’S NEW STAR With their Eden NewButterfly, Rug Star have invented a fresh dimension in storytelling patterns, reflecting the aesthetics from the turn of the 19th century. The collection is produced as a hand-knotted
Tibetan area rug in 150 knot count and silk wool, as well as luxury tuft. The finest graduations in the intricate pattern help to define the quality level of the product as well as the solid surface with H850 density, making it a perfect choice for hotels, for example. Jürgen Dahlmanns, the head of Rug Star, once spoke of a carpet as something that “has a soul that asks for special care compared to other pieces of furniture. It is like a respectable old member of the family”. It is fragile; but can last 100 years. Hall 3, Stand F23 | rugstar.com
The SOFTY-TEX bathroom set promises not only no cold feet but “new, unknown experiences of well-being”. There’s a choice of two sets: a madeto-measure bath mat and a toilet mat with or without a cut-out. The toilet mats are suitable for all standard wall-mounted and floor-standing WCs and are dirt-repellent, non-slip and easy to clean. Made from 100 per cent polyester, vinyl coated with anti-microbial treatment, they are suitable for saunas and under-floor heating. Hall 11, Stand E53 | friedola1888.de
TER HÜRNE SET TO UNVEIL AVANTRA 3.0 Flooring veteran ter Hürne GMBH plans to use Domotex 2020 to unveil its Avatara 3.0 Design Floor, which it says combines all the requirements for modern living in one product - despite the absence of wood’s natural credentials. “It’s a natural material that combines warmth, sustainability and healthy-living qualities with versatility and decorative flair. These are the principles that have guided us throughout our 60-year existence,” said Bernhard ter Hürne. Hall 12 | Stand B18 | terhuerne.de
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DOMOTEX PRODUCTS 22
The new range of Kibby machines draws on the expertise that Modra Technology has been demonstrating as the leading manufacturer of Axminster sampling technology for more than 20 years. The Kibby was originally developed for carpet manufacturers who needed a machine to produce samples quickly, efficiently and economically. The company was founded in Warragul, Australia, in 1991, initially producing error-detecting sensors which were designed to increase the efficiency of Axminster looms. At that time, carpet samples were either produced by hand — a slow and arduous process — or on volume production machines, which was expensive and disruptive. The Kibby was Modra’s answer to that problem, producing
high-quality samples of Axminster and woven carpets, and it became an immediate success. In the years since its inception, more than 180 units have been sold in over 20 countries around the world. It’s marketed as essential for product development and an effective marketing strategy. The G6.300 model makes it possible to show customers full-sized product samples in as little as 80 minutes. Robotics and automation related to carpets and tiles is a new focus for Modra. The Mtuft range has been expanded and gives tufted carpet producers the ability to experiment with colour, design and construction. The 24 Needle Mtuft Pro is suitable for larger sampling and small production runs. Hall 11 | Stand B55 | modra.com
ANASTASIA KEEPS ALIVE THE ART OF COLOUR MEDIATION
SPORT TAKES TO THE RED CARPET The Turkish floor covering specialist that supplied the red carpet for the Pope’s visit to Romania last May will be showcasing its wide range of sport floor coverings the main focal point of its business. The company has now supplied surfaces for everything from football pitches and golf courses to tennis, hockey, basketball and volleyball courts. The artificial turf it produces for soccer players, for instance, meets FIFA’s strict quality standards, as confirmed by a license agreement with the association that dates back to 2001. It uses this same robust, high-tech surface for landscaping and playgrounds, with a colourful version made for children set to be unveiled at the fair. Hall 6 | Stand A46 | nurteks.com.tr
Oriental Weavers’ Anastasia rug was inspired by the ancient Indian art of colour meditation. It features a traditional pattern that has been reinvented through colour and dimension to produce a one-of-a-kind piece machine woven from space-dyed olefin and polyester. Exotic patterns come alive as a series of repeating tribal motifs are overdyed in tones of ivory and amethyst, forming what the company describes as “a mesmerising composition of iridescent patterns evocative of poetic watercolor paintings”, thanks to its combination of the artistry of traditional techniques and the contemporary design of translucent colour. Oriental Weavers is one of the most recognised brands in the machine woven rug and carpet industry today, having been established in 1980 by the well-known Egyptian entrepreneur Mr Mohamed Farid Khamis. It is the flagship company of the Orientals Group, a multinational organisation that also embraces a wide rage of other industries such as petrochemicals, property and real estate development. Oriental Weavers has always had a valid claim to be a leader in design and colour as its recent Nyla collection proved, utilising a very soft eight-color palette and utilising various new techniques, whether in weaving, coloring or finishing methods. Hall 5 | Stand A16 | orientalweavers.com
DECORA AND THE BEAUTY OF AMARON POLAND’S Decora is promoting its Amaron flooring with the slogan: “As beautiful as wood - as practical as ceramic tiles”. The latter is mainly due to the flooring’s HD mineral core, which is made from a mixture of natural rock minerals and advanced polymers. In its own words, the manufacturer uses these ingredients to create 100 per cent waterproof flooring with unparalleled levels of robustness, a product of built on its philosophy of being open to new ideas. Hall 13 | Stand C23 | Decora.eu/en
DOMOTEX PRODUCTS 24
Uzin Utz has devised a handy spinning wheel selector to quickly and easily identify the right flooring components for every job. The device helps to identify which structure provides a good choice for the base layer, what adhesive should be used to fix the covering and which products are best suited to cope with residual moisture. The tool has been developed right in time for this year’s fair and “places the solutions to all challenges at a floor layers’ fingertips”, according to Thomas Schneider, head of application technology. He explains that the wheel offers a simple, clear and quick overview of Uzin’s tried-and-tested systems that have proved their worth in real-life applications. It’s a particularly handy guide for less experienced floor
layers, of course - whether working on renovations or new builds - suggesting potential solutions and approaches for tackling existing floors, base primers, coupling agents, fillers and adhesives. Users can quickly “dial up” results by simply selecting the existing floor type and planned covering on the spinning wheel - and the optimum configuration will then pop up in the window. Uzin’s premium products are designed and tested to ensure maximum reliability and quick progress on site. “The systems we recommend cover 90 per cent of all needs with optimum solutions for the base layer and floor covering,” Schneider points out. It will be at Domotex 2020 with its five brands: Uzin, Wolff, Pallmann, RZ and Pajarito. Hall 13 | Stand 25 | Uzin-utz.ag
B-FIX JOINS THE A-LIST OF INVISIBLE FASTENER EXPERTS
MOTIF MATS ARE TOP OF THE PILE Emcobau logo mats are all printed and then cut to the specification afterwards, a system of production which can enable colour choices and the ability to mix and match various shades, enabling them to reproduce any logo or brand name Thanks to the dyeing processes, not only can the characters, lettering and all graphic elements be reproduced with precision; contours, shading and colour gradients can be recreated. After adding a new cutting plotter to the machine pool, Emcobau is able to produce logo mats in many shapes with meticulous precision. They are called shape mats and their pile consists of top-quality high-twist nylon that guarantees durability of the motif. Hall 11 | Stand B47 | emco-bau.com
B-Fix, a Belgian company which specialises in the decking sector, has developed a revolutionary invisible fastening system now in use in most European countries, on various wood species. The B-Fix is said to ensure a perfect finish in record time. Developed by professionals for professionals, the system is manufactured in stainless steel with a memory effect which allows the boards to expand and contract. B-Fix offers a wide range of fixing systems and accessories which allow perfectly completed fitting and finishing. The products are divided into different categories: fixing systems, the various screwing systems available, integrated lighting sets, profiling tools and different profiles. The B-Fix Black One is the black stainless version of the B-Fix One. While preserving the technical qualities of the original, it guarantees total discretion and ensures optimal attachment. Because of its simplicity, it saves valuable time when installing. The company has built something of a loyal customer community via its B-Fix Pro Club; a space reserved exclusively for professionals in the building, carpentry and the outside construction industries. Apart from gifts and privileges, members are kept up-to-date with new product launches and invited to all relevant trade fairs. Hall 13, Stand E21 | b-fix.be
A COVER STAR THAT STICKS WITH IT Carpet Cover is marketed as a strong and safe option for the temporary protection of carpet, carpet tiles and upholstered stairs. A safety feature is the self-adhesive underlay, which is developed specifically for adhesion to porous surfaces which means it doesn’t move and doesn’t need to rely on additional masking tape. It’s also extremely resistant to intensive loads, thanks to the tough material. Manufacturer Easydek assure that it leaves no adhesive residue after removal. Hall 13 | Stand E47 | easydek.com
LAMETT’S YUKON TO GIVE VINYL A NATURAL LOOK Following the huge success scored by the triple-layer parquet flooring newcomer, Carcassonne, last time around, the 2020 show will see the global laminate and parquet flooring specialist Lamett unveiling its new Yukon ParquetVinyl collection. The idea behind ParquetVinyl is to embellish the latest innovations in vinyl-based floor coverings with an unparalleled natural look. Lamett proclaims the resulting Yukon collection to be virtually indistinguishable from actual wood, including deceptively realistic cracks and knots on
boards which have been structured and designed to create an authentic wooden feel using innovative EIR technology. One of the major advantages of Yukon is its fully waterproof finish, even on bevelled edges, which are generally a notorious weak point. All of this makes it an ideal floor covering in damp rooms such as bathrooms or kitchens. Yukon is easy to install using an extremely convenient click system and features an integrated IXPE backing that evens out any irregularities in the subfloor, while also improving acoustics. Its stable carrier consists of 70 per cent limestone and is entirely plasticiser-free, which is topped with a layer of film printed in high resolution, followed by a robust, transparent wearing surface (usage class 33) and finished off with a matt PU, anti-slip coating. Customers keen to capture this unique effect can choose from two options for laying the floor - either in parallel rows of classic boards or adopting a zig-zag fishbone design. Lamett has another tool in its box when it comes to ideas. The company insists that making a choice is sometimes easier when you can “unashamedly take a look inside someone else’s home”, adding: “That’s why we regularly send our in-house photographer Hanne on her rounds. Armed with her sunny smile and her favourite camera, she visits our nicest homes across Europe.” Hall 12, Stand 79 | lamett.eu
The new PVC-free Opticoat range from MercuryFlooring boasts a portfolio of “bigger, greener and cleaner” products. Each mat features a brand-new coating line and a PVCfree backing. And they’re designed to offer a sustainable alternative to conventional anti-slip vinyl. MercuryFlooring will be showcasing three variants from their new Opticoat range - ALPHA, as a budget model for promotional campaigns, SUNRISE as a luxury polyester doormat available in eight colours, and TRINITY as a walkoff mat with three functional zones. And what sets the carpets in their Inuci line apart is their outstanding versatility. According to the manufacturers, terraces, verandas and swimming pools are among the many places users can lay them, along with sanitary areas, saunas, fitness rooms, tanning beds, and even yachts. The Inuci line is also ideal for more everyday areas, such as living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms. And thanks to its robust design, it’s also suitable for commercial spaces, such as offices, showrooms, hotels and restaurants. MercuryFlooring is a proven specialist in high-quality indoor and outdoor floor coverings and mats. Thanks to its expertise and innovative approaches, it is able to offer bespoke products for both residential and commercial use. Hall 11, Stand A72 | mercuryflooring.com
DOMOTEX INTRO 26
DOMOTEX WORLD SECTIONS FLOORING CARPETS AND RUGS TILING
Trends come and go but hardwood usually promises to be as enduring as the material it’s made from. These days, it’s adding flexibility and sustainability to its list of credentials Words | World Show Media Photography | Domotex
When it comes to hardwood flooring, everyone, it would seem, has their own favourites. That’s no surprise, given the vast range of colours, textures and options available. Not to mention their forgiving nature. Just ask anyone who’s spilled red wine over a kitchen floor. And then there’s their durability. Bright painted floors, for example, appeal for their warmth and the way they can be made to complement the surroundings, especially when there’s an abundance of stone and tile in the form of worktops and backsplashes, not to mention metals. European white oak has been popular among the lighter woods of late, especially when it comes in wide planks, all of which ensure a balance of organic texture and warmth. Another wide-plank choice is dark charcoal, a colour with a range of hues, but one that always appears rich, a trend in keeping with the move away from the pastel-grey finishes and towards more natural tones that seem closer to their natural state. And nature always serves as a good guide. It was a passion for all that is natural that inspired the formation of the Italian wood flooring specialist CP Parquet 37 years ago in the town of Crespano del Grappa. These days we are spoiled for choice. Hardwood has been one of the most popular types of flooring for decades but engineered wood, vinyl and everything from bamboo to laminates and cork have come into their own at various times and each has become known for their enduring appeal. And parquet floors, once known for their fading orange back in the 1970s have been making a comeback in recent times with ever bigger and better examples of those geometric wooden mosaics forming integral parts of many high-end homes, incorporating designs which are variously intricate to bold and brash and often spectacular when highly polished. Many designers predicted at the beginning of last year that 2019 would be big for hardwood and they weren’t mistaken. Its environmental credentials helped, obviously, but so did its ability to add warmth and, thanks to those
wide planks, create a welcome sense of space. Another popular retro trend was white-washing as a way of introducing a fresh, and some would insist, as a classy, beach-style effect. Otherwise, with the environment very much in mind, sealing or finishing with polyurethanes emerged as a trend of using natural oils, along with the likes of soy, sunflower, hemp or safflower oil combined with resin waxes such as bees or carnuba wax. High-variation was another buzzword last year, another trend that grew on the back of the acceptance that, in nature, no two surfaces are the same. But one of the biggest leaps has been in the use of luxury vinyl. Much cheaper than the real thing, LVP has become particularly popular with families with children, especially those with pets, due to its durability and scratch resistant capabilities. They’re worth the investment though. For many, once laid, they are there for life. They may well change over time. They’ll be painted, stained, wire-brushed to expose the growth rings but they’ll look as good, if not better, in 100 years. In short, they are hard-wearing, very flexible - and when moods change, so can they.
Visit our stand and discover our world of floor coverings.
X MARKS THE SPOT #EXPECTATIONS?
FIND THE ‘X’ at DOMOTEX
_ MARKET LEADER
Our stand will be marked with an ‘X’ like the one on the mat in the picture. If you spot it, don’t hesitate to stop by. Our team will be happy to introduce you to our company and offer you a Belgian beer on the house! Don’t forget to scan this code with your smartphone to enter your details.
Discover a large collection dirt barrier mats and runners for residential or commercial use. Come and see the 1st PVC FREE & RECYCABLE MAT.
_ DIGITAL PRINT Be inspired by COUNTLESS DESIGNS created for kitchen, living room, bathroom, pets, kids and specific seasons.
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VISIT US AT DOMOTEX HALL 11 STAND A72
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We know, at Domotex there are countless manufacturers and suppliers offering mats and runners. But not many of them are as unique as we are. With more than 30 years of experience we push the limits of mats further every day.
We are not only investing in our products, but far more important, in our customers and environment. That’s why we search for solutions, and made a 100% recycable mat. Everything made possible with the latest technologies.
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Bosnia and Herzegovina , Republic of Srpska 78000 Banja Luka, Karanovac 3 phone: +387 (0) 51 427 465 +387 (0) 51 427 485 +387 (0) 51 426 050 fax: +387 (0) 51 426 051 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.drvoprodex.com
DOMOTEX ADVERTORIAL 30
HMTX Industries are a multi-faceted organisation describing themselves as a family with shared values. Here we talk to the head of that household Words | World Show Media staff Photography | HMTX Industries
HMTX Industries is a $700 million global materials manufacturer whose brands are servicing a diverse cross-section of the construction marketplace. The HMTX family includes, the Luxury Vinyl Tile supplier Halstead, the residential brand Metroflor, the healthcare business, Teknoflor, Aspecta, the global contract brand for architects and VerteX, the company seen as the foundation of the international supply chain. We put CEO Harlan Stone on the spot, beginning by asking him about the practical application of their slogan, “People before profits”. HARLAN STONE : Over the years, HMTX Industries has evolved and grown while being totally committed to the common values that have always been an integral part of our diverse brand-driven entities which are all owned by the Stone family. We feel that the values that we live and breathe daily establish and enhance the fundamental corporate culture of our enterprise.
Our corporate culture is why people come to work here, why suppliers prefer to work with us, and, ultimately, why customers have come to trust and believe in us. So, yes, it has worked wonderfully in practice. DOMOTEX : You’re known as a family firm. Does that pass down the employee chain; for example, longstanding employees and how does such loyalty pay dividends? HS : HMTX can trace its evolution to a multi-generational effort by our family that began in the early 20th century. Today, there are still many members of three different generations working in our company. We very much value our longstanding employees and have had many relationships of 30 years or more. Some of these employees are now starting to retire. Family is who we are and guides us in how we treat our people. And, as a family, we stand together to fight through adversity as well as celebrate our victories. This is how it has always been, and I am sure it is how we will continue into the future.
DOMOTEX INTERVIEW 32
DOMOTEX : Is there anything that marks out Domotex as special? HS : It opens the calendar in Hannover and this sets the tone for the global flooring industry each year. We love the idea of a marketplace where ideas are presented, exchanged and discussed. That is why we keep coming back year after year, bigger and bolder with our latest and greatest. There is nothing like Domotex anywhere else in the world—the space, the timing and the convergence of people.
DOMOTEX : What trends have you noticed emerging over the past few years within the global flooring industry as a whole? HS : Three basic trends have emerged: speed to market, transparency and sustainability, and an enhanced customer experience which includes design, saving time and money, and better environment for your home or workplace. DOMOTEX : Tell us about your plans for growth? HS : We are planning to continue our drive for greater penetration of the commercial space, which includes healthcare, corporate, education, and hospitality. We are planning to continue our drive for a far greater online presence in the consumer-facing space. We are planning to grow in new emerging markets across the globe focused in Asia Pacific, the southern hemisphere and Central Asia. DOMOTEX : And ditto, to continue to set and meet sustainability targets? HS : As stated, we see sustainability and transparency as key drivers in the marketplace, in both the commercial and consumer-facing markets. We are looking at every aspect of this from materials, to supply chain efficiencies, to recycle and reuse, as well as how we operate our buildings and our business. This has become a leadership opportunity for us, and we expect to remain the leader in the LVT space. DOMOTEX : Globally, the LVT industry is predicted to reach a value of $3,440 million by the end of 2025 (a CAGR growth of 15 to 20 per cent). What do you see as the key factors behind this? HS : LVT is still in the early stages of its growth trajectory, and we see innovation opportunities in so many aspects of the industry. This includes, but is not limited to, innovations in design, printing, materials, installation systems, sustainability, performance, and go-to-market strategies. But behind it all are three essential ingredients. They are: remaining nimble, accepting risk, and listening to the customer. As long as LVT continues to be led by these principles it will continue to grow above the industry growth rate and take share from legacy products.
DOMOTEX : The company has been in the Stone family for four generations. What do you imagine your predecessors would make of the $700 million giant it is today? HS : Wow! That is a really great question! I cannot imagine how my grandfather, or how my great-grandfather would respond to what we have become today. My father, who is almost 90 and still comes into the office routinely, can hardly believe it. It is humbling to think what has happened since my brother and I joined the business in the 1980s. Frankly, we just try to work hard each day and honour the opportunity that our immigrant forefathers provided for us when they took a great risk to cross the Atlantic Ocean with little money and no English-speaking skills to arrive in the Land of Opportunity. DOMOTEX : And finally Harlan, what do you think makes a perfect floor? HS : That is an easy one to answer: joy and happiness for the person who now lives, works or visits the place where that floor has been installed. Harlan received a BA in Art History from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2018 the Business Intelligence group named him a “Sustainability Hero”. | hmtx.global
All the HTMX brands share core values of integrity, trust, reliability, loyalty and honesty based on a deep commitment to sustainability, transparency, innovation and quality. This philosophy has inspired millions worldwide to install their floors and it’s one the company insists will never fade, no matter how big it becomes. It’s one that ensures they treat their customers, staff, suppliers and the planet with respect. The spirit can be sumarised in their words: “We will always remember we are human beings creating products being used by other human beings. Our thirst for excellence is on display, from brilliant and daring design to revolutionary installation systems. You will find it in every material we use, every carton we pack and ship and in the ways we interact with each other, our partners and our customers. We are dedicated to doing everything we can to improve people’s lives. We listen, we act, and we care.” DETAILS |
Designed to impress.
F O R E S T RY T I M B E R www.forestrytimber.com
With eight distinctive Collections and more than a thousand choices of colours and finish options we have the perfect solution for every space.
Hall 13 BOOTH D 60
DOMOTEX YACHTS 36
If you’re seeking examples of the best in teak flooring, you need look no further than the decks of a luxury yachts and ocean liners where such surfaces are commonplace Photography | Karen Fuchs and Quintessence yachts Words | Richard Burton
One of the most prestigious teak surfaces of recent times was delivered The downside is it’s becoming increasingly to a marina in Miami, Florida. It was one designed to withstand everything scarce and, as a result, it’s now becoming from sea storms to champagne spills. What’s more, James Bond would have much more expensive than anyone had approved. It was made of natural teak, immaculately designed and sat above previously been able to predict, all of which two powerful Mercury Racing 520bhp V8 engines that powered the Aston has sparked a boom within the market for Martin AM37, a luxury sports boat built in partnership with Amsterdam-based synthetic alternatives, which themselves, Quintessence Yachts. Blink and you’ll miss it FACT though, as this yacht has been designed to reach speeds of up to 50 knots. The teak used on yachts comes from rainforest The use of teak for decking is often a choice trees that are hundreds of years old and are becoming increasingly scarce as stocks are depleted based not only on tradition - and Bond is big on that as we know - but, despite the rising number of contenders on the scene, it’s still by far the most popular type of wood in to be fair, have been getting a good press the boating industry, especially when it comes to decking out superyachts of late. A bonus is that they are anything worth millions. And there are good reasons. between 25 and 50 per cent cheaper than For one thing, it looks the part, works both inside and out, is low-maintenance, the real thing, not that price should be an extremely durable and ridiculously easy to maintain. Its natural oils even form issue for anyone in the superyacht world, an effective barrier to algae and mold and it cleans easily with salt water. although on a large deck, this can make
ONE OF THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS TEAK SURFACES OF RECENT TIMES WAS DELIVERED TO A MARINA IN MIAMI, FLORIDA. IT WAS ONE DESIGNED TO WITHSTAND EVERYTHING FROM SEA STORMS TO CHAMPAGNE SPILLS. WHAT’S MORE, JAMES BOND WOULD HAVE APPROVED. IT WAS MADE OF NATURAL TEAK, IMMACULATELY DESIGNED AND SAT ABOVE TWO POWERFUL MERCURY RACING 520BHP V8 ENGINES THAT POWERED THE ASTON MARTIN AM37, A LUXURY SPORTS BOAT BUILT IN PARTNERSHIP WITH AMSTERDAM-BASED QUINTESSENCE YACHTS. BLINK AND YOU’LL MISS IT THOUGH, AS THIS YACHT HAS BEEN DESIGNED TO REACH SPEEDS OF UP TO 50 KNOTS. THE USE OF TEAK FOR DECKING IS OFTEN A CHOICE BASED NOT ONLY ON TRADITION - AND BOND IS BIG ON THAT AS WE KNOW - BUT, DESPITE THE RISING NUMBER OF CONTENDERS ON THE SCENE, IT’S STILL BY FAR THE MOST POPULAR TYPE OF WOOD IN THE BOATING INDUSTRY, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO DECKING OUT SUPERYACHTS WORTH MILLIONS. AND THERE ARE GOOD REASONS. FOR ONE THING, IT LOOKS THE PART, WORKS BOTH INSIDE AND OUT, IS LOW-MAINTENANCE,
DOMOTEX YACHTS 38
a sizeable difference. On the flip-side, the price of genuine teak reflects its scarcity, which itself suggests higher status; which is important in any luxury sector. Other than that, both can be equally as functional in terms of providing a very stable surface, although the cheaper versions are reputed to get a tad too hot if exposed to the sun for too long, which is why you see so many of them finished in pale colours. Otherwise, there’s little between them in terms of appearance and texture in comparison to the real thing; certainly to the untrained eye. Synthetic alternatives, given that they are, by nature, man-made, come with a certain level of creative freedom. For a start, they come in large sheets rather than planks and can be moulded and cut to any shape. Some boat builders have reported bubbling as a result of adhesive gassing or trapped air bubbles, both of which are easily dealt with by experienced installers but not something that they tend to experience when working with the real thing. There are some sustainability issues with man-made products. And also environmental ones in terms of its use of PVC; a substance that, by its very nature, isn’t particularly sustainable as it contains oil and chlorine, neither of which can be described as “green”. Robert Eldridge of the Palma-based Ocean Refit had interesting insights on this. He told Yachting-pages.com: “There are many questions about the sustainability of teak production, as most of the teak used in yacht production is from natural forest growth principally from Burma. The problem is that the yachting community has a decade-old expectation of teak quality, and many superyacht owners in particular will only accept teak in long lengths with perfectly straight grain. “Such timber can only be produced by felling very old, naturally grown rainforest trees which are sometimes hundreds of years old and are becoming more and more scarce as the last natural stands of forest are depleted.”
EACH TREE NEEDS DECADES OF GROWTH
It’s also worth noting that none of this is renewable in the short term, since each tree needs decades of growth. There are many companies using synthetic products to improve the cruise experience, such as the Dutch company Bolidt who supply cruise lines with sound-proofing solutions, important when balancing the amount of noisy activity on modern ships with the need for passenger peace. Joggers, late night diners, nightclubs and theatres, and not to mention sports activities such as tennis and basketball, all require a high level of soundproofing. Bolidt insists it has been working to enhance the sound-proofing qualities of its decking for almost 25 years. For example, Bolideck Future Teak is widely used among cruise operators because it meets tough sound-inhibiting tests as well as current environmental protection requirements. “We are responding to these requirements and are constantly pushing the
boundaries of what is possible,” Jacco van Overbeek, the director of Bolidt’s Maritime Division, said in an interview with Cruise and Ferry magazine. “By continuing to innovate, we have managed to succeed time and again in fulfilling the wishes of both passengers and cruise companies alike.” Not that teak is entirely without its problems. Shipwright Robin Benjamin insists that, as durable as they are, teak decks nonetheless need looking after. “If you take care of your decks they may last 20 years or more, if you don’t you’ll be appalled at how awful they look after only five,” he is on record as saying recently. “Because solid teak decks have been the norm for hundreds of years they have understandably earned a serious reputation for longevity. Today’s teak decks are not the same thing at all.” He goes as far as to suggest that, in many cases, modern teak decks are “little more than a quick way for the manufacturer to up the ‘class’ of their product”. On top of that, many are poorly fitted, the wood is too thin and the caulking gap too narrow. Because of the minimal amount of wood that is involved, the best plug on the deck might only be 3mm in depth. Likewise, the caulking, unless of adequate depth and width, will not remain glued as the
Robert Eldridge | Ocean Refit
timber moves. All of which is further exacerbated when owners fail to take adequate care of their decks. And one of the first things they should do is wash it “every week”. Matt Elder, owner of the boat services company, Sea Marine, Port Townsend, Washington, warns against overdoing it. “Properly maintained teak decks can last for up to 40 plus years,” he believes. “Like with anything, it really depends on how well you maintain your decks. I have also seen teak decks that were 10 to 12 years old that needed to be replaced mainly because of extensive scrubbing and the excessive use of harsh cleaning agents.” He has bags of advice on this but he begins with the basic tip: to accept the natural light wood grey patina that raw teak will attain as opposed to the freshcut teak look heavy scrubbing and teak brighteners will attain. The “primary tool” for the wash-down of all wood and fibreglass surfaces is “the best cotton mop you can find” and recommends buying two or three at a time when you find them, as the best are hard to come by. “Use only single part teak cleaners/ soaps on your teak,” he adds. “The best alternatives to these are Barkeeper’s Friend or dishwasher detergents such as Calgon and Bon Ami [a powdered
Shorea: Teak’s closest cousin comes from the rainforests of Southeast Asia. It has a similar heft and hardness, as well as comparable density. It has a tight grain and is suitable for detailed carving. Thanks to its high oil content, it is largely resistant to rot and insect infestation. When freshly cut, it displays a light golden hue, but that fades, so it needs to be varnished quickly to maintain the look. Iroko: Generally known as “African teak,” or kambala, it is an extremely tough hardwood with many similar properties. But it’s also far less flexible and, being mineral-heavy, it’s abrasive to normal cutting tools. It has a different look, thanks to its medium brown heartwood, paler sapwood, and wavy grain but it can be finished to a high shine that emphasises its warm, golden brown hue. Ipe: More commonly known as Brazilian walnut, it’s sold as “ironwood,” so-named for its incredible toughness. It resists surface scratches and its natural oils render it resistant to insects, rot, and decay, making it suitable for use in wet environments. But there’s a downside when it comes to considering maritime use. It’s three times harder than cedar and so dense that it sinks in water. Mahogany: It is very easy to machine and bond but, when exposed to the elements, it requires a lot of effort to maintain. Whereas teak can be left to weather naturally, mahogany will need some degree of protection: varnish, polyurethane, for example - as it’s not particularly attractive when naturally weathered. It also lacks the colour variation and tends to be dark and needs bleach to soften its hue.
DOMOTEX YACHTS 40
QUO TE Robin Benjamin | Shipwright
soap available in US stores]. Bartender’s Keep and Bon Ami have fewer and far finer abrasives than other powdered soaps. Regarding more localised stains, he recommends using neat dishwasher liquid on a piece of terry cloth, rubbing it in with your fingertips, and then rinsing thoroughly. As for the mildew that can enter the grain of the teak. “The best approach to preserving the teak would be to use a 50-50 solution of white vinegar and water,” he says, adding this warning: “If you feel you must use bleach - I urge you not to - at most, use a cup in a half bucket of water and rinse very thoroughly before the decks dry.” For some time, boatbuilders have had issues with weight, particularly if speed was an important factor, which is why companies such as Flexiteek introduced products such as the new 2G range which they advertised as 30 per cent lighter. And a British product called Dek-king markets itself as not only being 32 per cent lighter but 30 per cent cooler underfoot - and 100 per cent recyclable.
REAL THING - BIT IT’S NOT ALL PLAIN SAILING
Others have commented on additional shortcomings of the real thing – aside from the extraordinary cost - such as difficulties in applying glue and improvements in tool edge technology. And materials such as epoxy resins have meant that woods such as cedar, Douglas Fir and other softwoods are being used more and more as structural materials. Even as an interior finish, many insist it has to be teak or nothing, although for some time, lighter woods such as cherry, oak and ash
The Aston Martin AM37 was two years in the making, thanks to the partnership with Quintessence Yachts. The first one sold was customised with a Charcoal Lacquer wood to match the owner’s new Vantage AMR. It was also out-fitted with a convertible sofa, champagne cooler, and Lacewood table. It was first shown to the world in September 2016, marking the luxury car maker’s debut in the boating world. It found its owner the following year and, if any further mark of exclusivity were needed, it announced that it envisaged only eight to 12 of them will be sold annually – with prices starting at around $1.64 million. Chief creative officer Marek Reichman said at the time of its delivery to the Monaco Boat Show: “It was important to us when considering this project to make sure that the boat design was as beautiful and timeless as our cars. AM37 is a pure translation of the Aston Martin DNA into an entirely new maritime concept.” Designed by the brand’s in-house team and the Dutch naval design studio, Mulder Design, the boat features a wrap-around windscreen created from a single piece of sculpted glass. It has a unique sliding deck and a collection of on-board computer technologies that allow for the cockpit to be covered after a day out on the water, protecting it from the elements and intruders. Its three carbon panels can be operated by key fob and fold under the aft deck to uncover the cockpit. Once the cockpit is open, the aft deck slides back to facilitate access to the deck and allow those on board to easily dive into the water and open the swimming ladder. The deck can also be raised to give access to the engine room, storage compartments and bimini top. DETAILS |
seem to have been gaining ground. The stylish light-wood deck provided the perfect canvas for the first-ever cruise ship which had been custom-built for the Galápagos Islands. Architects at New York’s BG Studio International included a host of Green features which had been inspired by the protected islands for the Celebrity Cruises, Celebrity Flora project. Since it appeared there was nothing obvious that could be directly sourced from there, the BG Studio team then decided to reference textures and silhouettes of diverse fauna the unique volcanic geology and even the interior stairs, which were designed after the team studied the spines of reptiles. For those who are unfamiliar, here’s a quick guide to decking. Depending on the style of boat, there are many, but to avoid confusion, here are the main ones common to all: The Bow, otherwise known as the main deck is usually the largest one at the front. The Flybridge, otherwise called the upper deck, is the outdoor captain’s area from which the boat is operated. The Promenade deck usually comprises the narrower ones at the side that lead from the front to the back - and, finally, the Stern, or lower, deck is usually the one from which the cabin can be accessed.
DOMOTEX ADVERTORIAL 42
Swiss Krono are always pushing the boundaries in terms of product innovation, customer satisfaction and, importantly, sustainability, as their targeted investment strategy demonstrates Laminate flooring is extremely versatile and can be continuously reinvented in terms of decors, formats and surface structures. Even in a somewhat challenging market situation, Swiss Krono is still committed to laminate. Max von Tippelskirch, CSCO Swiss Krono Group, explains: “In order to continue securing or even expanding our strong world market position, we must continue investing in innovations. Laminate is not just the flooring with the best price-performance ratio, it’s also one of the most sustainable products in the flooring segment. As a result, laminate will remain an integral part of our product range in the future.” As the world’s largest manufacturer of laminate flooring, the Swiss Krono Group is always at the cutting edge and continuously develops products that meet a wide variety of customer requirements. The company produces enough laminate every day to cover 55 soccer fields. The variety of decors demonstrates the versatility of laminate floors – from wood-look finishes with a rustic board appearance to elegant designs and more experimental mosaic or highly modern herringbone patterns. Using different dimensions, various synchronous structures and water-resistant panels, virtually any interior style can be achieved with laminate. The success of this high product
quality is supported by the close co-operation between Swiss Krono and its customers and partners in over 120 countries, with whom local trends are discussed and subsequently offered. To safeguard these collaborations, the Group consistently invests in the maintenance and expansion of existing facilities. As well as investing in an HDF plant at the Barnwell, South Carolina, site in the USA, one focus of investment activity is on the Group’s European flooring facilities. Over the next five years, over EUR 120 million will be allocated to the flooring sector for new plants to improve and expand the product range. One key aspect stands above all such processes – sustainability. Due to its leading role in the wood-based material industry, the Swiss Krono Group is particularly committed to environmental protection. The company keeps the raw material, water and energy consumption as low as possible and uses recycled wood. The Group uses non-recyclable biomass for thermal energy to minimize the use of fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas. The Group’s long-term strategy also includes investments that promote environmental protection and minimize the consumption of natural resources. Swiss Krono undertakes constant reviews and investments to practice sustainability fully.
The Swiss Krono Group was founded in Menznau, Switzerland in 1966 by the entrepreneur, Ernst Kaindl. Today, it stands as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of wood-based materials. Since the 1987 opening in Sullysur-Loire, France, plants have been opening in Vásárosnamény, Hungary, Heiligengrabe, Germany, Żary, Poland, and Barnwell, South Carolina. At the turn of the millennium, three production sites opened in Ukraine and one in Russia. Today, the Group comprises eight national companies, employing around 5,100 staff whose products are distributed to 120 countries. The values of Ernst Kaindl are still prevalent today. His daughter, Ines Kaindl-Benes, heads the group of companies in the second generation as Chairwoman of the Board of Directors. DETAILS |
Visit us in hall 12 at stand B48 swisskrono.com
DOMOTEX FITNESS FLOORS 44
FACT Health club membership in the USA is set to top 70 million, with 160 million more using fitness centres globally
RAIN ARD IS THE NEW RUBBER
Health club membership is soaring worldwide so the demand for safe and high-quality surfaces has never been higher. Luckily, options are available in a range of materials Words | World Show Media staff Photography | Shutterstock
The foam flooring market is in good shape, thanks to the growing numbers of people who dance, stretch and lift weights on it every day all over the world. Fitness has been driving demand for foam products in gyms, health clubs, home workout areas and even, to some extent, childrenâ€™s playrooms where high levels of activity mirror the need for the same sort of safe, comfortable surfaces as those needed for the likes of yoga and pilates. New and innovative foam products have even been arm-wrestling their way into areas generally dominated by rubber, known for its high durability and ability to withstand heavy weights. Foamâ€™s affordability has given it the edge over the high cost of virgin rubber, not to mention question marks over thermal instability. Gym owners have been impressed by the shock absorbent properties of the new foam products as well as its lightweight nature and the ease with which it can be cleaned and maintained. And they have made the switch in huge numbers, thanks in particular to the popularity of interlocking tiles and yoga mats. The market is huge. In the US alone, one survey revealed that health club membership was set to top 70 million, adding to the 160 million using 200,000 fitness centres globally. Leading manufacturers have been investing heavily in research and development to stay ahead of the curve, taking advantage of unique raw materials
DOMOTEX FITNESS FLOORS 46
QUO TE Bob Field | Bodybuilder
with a high degree of slip resistance to gain a National Floor Safety Institute certification. This was key, considering that an NFSI report recently disclosed that more than a million Americans are taken to hospital as a result of accidental falls every year - with around 33,000 of them proving fatal. Most are now boosting their eco-credentials by building environment-friendly practices into their manufacturing processes to qualify for the LEED certification developed by the US Green Building Council. The Asia-Pacific market is also predicted to expand on the back of rapidlygrowing urbanisation which has seen an increase in building construction and the number of planned new developments. The US survey suggests the sector has grown by more than 30 per cent in the past ten years, thanks to growing interest among the millennial demographic in the ever-increasing market for personalised training and unique fitness experiences. In the search for materials that enhance the user experience, leading manufacturers are turning to Ethylene Vinyl Acetate foam to produce softer, durable products. EVA foam has the additional benefit of being BPA-free and non-toxic, which makes it attractive for children’s playrooms. EVA foam can absorb noise, giving it unique properties which ultimately means foam flooring products made in this way can find numerous unique applications across various industrial sectors.
RUBBER - A MATERIAL WITH TRADITION ON ITS SIDE
Many gym owners cite hygiene as a major factor when choosing flooring and favour interlocking, or dovetail, tiles, especially those that seal on contact, preventing sweat and moisture getting in between and leaving a whiff of “gym odour”. Many of the latest brands are non-toxic, latex-free and can be cleaned with a simple brush and a surface wipe. Suppliers offer them in a variety of depths to suit the use; typically, from around half an inch for children’s use, rising incrementally to a full inch for martial arts and weight rooms. EVA is considered a safe alternative to PVC because it doesn’t require the use of plasticisers as phthalates, which have been the cause of health concerns. However, a few years ago it was found that EVA foam contained formamide, a compound used to make the foam soft, but considered to be carcinogenic and a developmental toxin. So, with gym membership increasing, what are the prospects for foam producers and where are the best markets? Globally, health club membership topped 183 million in 2018, making it its best-ever year. Breaking that down region-by-region, FACT Recent figures suggest almost 64.3 million Europeans belonged to a health club or studio with the UK and Germany taking the largest share
the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association found that an amazing 68.6 million were attracted to more than 46,000 clubs Northern US states and Canada. In fact, around 6.1m Canadians belonged to one of approximately 6,500 fitness facilities. Further south, according to an IHRSA Latin American Report, Brazil’s 34,000 health clubs rank the country second only to the US as more than nine million Brazilians were members. With over 12,000 of their own, Mexico ranked second in Latin America and third worldwide in terms of the number of clubs. Similarly, figures gathered by The FACTS Academy suggested that approximately 3.8 million members used 5,800 health clubs across the Middle East and North Africa, thanks to expansion by international brands such as Fitness First, Gold’s Gym, and World’s Gym. Interestingly, Egypt led the way with 1,680 facilities. In stark contrast to that, almost 64.3 million Europeans belonged to a health club or studio in 2018, with the UK and Germany taking the largest of the market share. In the UK, according to the Leisure Database Company, 9.9 million members belonged to 7,038 clubs and studios, only slightly behind Germany which attracted more than 11 million at 9,343 locations. So the good news within the supply industry is that there remains strong prospects for growth Europe-wide. And according to The European Health and Fitness Market Report, there is particular potential within the Eastern European markets. Turkey and the Ukraine, for example, had the lowest penetration rates at 2.6 per cent and 2.9 per cent respectively. The Chinese market remained among the largest in the world. On Mainland China, the number of club members ranked ninth at over 4.5 million with
penetration rates of fitness estimated at around 2.98 per cent. The Indian market was seen as highly fragmented with all the top 10 players comprising only 15-20 per cent of the market in terms of clubs. Even with considerable growth over the past decade, the fitness club market in India is still relatively immature compared to other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Only 0.15 per cent of the Indian population aged 15-64 belong to a health club, although efforts are being made to grow the industry with the formation of the United Health and Fitness Forum action group. Some gyms and fitness centres have begun experimenting with so-called kinetic floors in which the movement of those working out on them has been used to harvest all that effort and, in
effect, doubling it as a renewable energy source. They use modular tiles that contain their own generators that collect and store energy; something that has been used to light up entire nightclub floors, drive sound systems or even operate the LED lights in the tiles themselves. Rubber has tradition on its side. A long-time bodybuilder called Bob Field told me back in the eighties that there were few surfaces more reassuring when it comes to dropping a 12kg dumbbell. The glamour model and bodybuilder, Jodie Marsh, had 1m-square, 18mm thick mats installed in her UK home and declared on Twitter that it was “the best floor ever”. Her GymGuard tiles were made from 100 per cent high-quality NBR with an amoebic surface for improved grip. A leading authority on the subject is Indelval, a company based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and one widely-regarded as the main manufacturer and distributor of rubber floorings in Latin America. The company has been exclusively dedicated to manufacturing high-quality rubber surfaces for more than 40 years, in its own words, “accompanying and challenging the trends of modern architecture” and earning itself a market share in all five continents. Its products embrace the worlds of transport, manufacturing, and special environments such as clinics, hospitals, old people’s homes, banks, pharmaceutical laboratories, schools, universities and, of course, gyms. The ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified company cites durability, resistance to wear and chemicals and an extremely long lifecycle. Because it naturally has a little bit of give, rubber is a perfect flooring choice for a space where you’ll be standing for long periods of time, like a kitchen. It’s durable and lasts a long time. Rubber is pretty much impossible to dent or scratch, and can last for 20 years or more. Interestingly, the team at Indelval also point out that, in the event of a fire, they do not generate dangerous hydrogen chloride, dioxins, furans and cyanide derivatives and the dense surface prevents the growth of mites and bacteria. The fitness magazine, Men’s Health, recently gave rubber top marks for versatility when it came to flooring, describing it as “strong, sturdy, and resilient, making it ideal for any type of exercise or equipment”. Foam came top for portability and was the “most comfortable option for floor-based workouts like yoga and pilates”. But while its “excellent shock resistance makes foam great for HIIT workouts, it
DOMOTEX FITNESS FLOORS 48
9.9m members belong to one of the UK’s 7,038 health clubs and studios Global health club membership topped 183m users US & Canada, attracted 68.6m members to more than 46,000 clubs US club count rose from 38,477 to 39,570 More than nine million Brazilians belong to a health club Global industry revenue totalled an estimated US$94bn 3.8m members use 5,800 clubs in 10 markets in Middle East & N. Africa Egypt leads all MENA markets with 1,680 facilities Saudi Arabia revenue, US$940m generated in 1,250 clubs, which attract more than 1.2m members
lacks the support for heavy weights or equipment and can leave dents over time”. However, the accolade for practicality went to vinyl “because it can stand up to the abuse of a home gym yet still be comfortable and chic for a living space”. One negative: “It can puncture and tear easily, so save the samurai sword workouts for the dojo.” Surprisingly, carpet was the most popular option for home gyms, being soft on the joints, easy to maintain, and easy to lay as interlocking tiles, even if it did require regular cleaning to prevent odours. And the most Eco-friendly? Cork, obviously, given it’s made of renewable, fully biodegradable material, and is “resistant to shock, fire, mold, mites, and mildew”. They recommend glue-down tiles over a floating floor for supporting weight and warn that “dragging equipment on either type can tear the surface”. EVA is considered a safe alternative to PVC because it doesn’t require the use of plasicisers as phthaliates. Rubber isn’t just for indoors. There are many reasons rubber surfaces work as an external option. Firstly, they’re tough. The ones that work best outdoors are made from recycled tyre parts that are designed to travel tens of thousands of miles through dirt, snow, and rain. So they’re very unlikely
Demands on the flooring industry to serve healthcare premises are many-faceted. Flooring should not only meet the needs of the medical and nursing staff, but also those of the patients and visitors. While surfaces have to be hard-wearing, functional and safe, they also have to provide the sort of pleasant and comfortable atmosphere that contributes to the healing process and, ideally, promote calm among older people. The Gerfloor Group from France has spent the past few years developing and producing sustainable vinyl and linoleum for this sector, providing, for example, surface finishes impervious to soiling and, thanks to easy cleaning and care, ensuring optimum hygiene. Some additional challenges arise in more sensitive areas such as operating theatres, intensive care and imaging units where they must, not only comply with stringent regulations to help prevent hospital-acquired infections, but demonstrate that they can prevent such things as electrostatic discharges which can cause equipment to malfunction.
to wear easily and, buying them in tiles, they can be easily replaced. Rubber flooring is common within ice skating rinks because it offers both durability and protection. Mats made with this resilient rubber material are considered an effective way to protect rink floors from sharp iceskates and equipment. Artificial grass has also become popular of late and is widely used in the domestic and education sectors. Synthetic pitches are credited with increasing the amount of competitive sports played in schools and colleges. The most advanced designs using synthetic surfacing have been developed with UV stability which means they maintain their colour for longer through sunlight. Artificial lawn surfaces can create an attractive look for any outdoor area such as a nursery play surface while still maintaining the natural feel and comfort of real grass. Man-made turf doesn’t get dirty or become unusable in wet conditions. The artificial turf will be SuDS certified, which means that the surfacing isn’t going to become swamped or waterlogged. Wetpour is a popular option as a rubber crumb safety surface used in playgrounds, parks and recreational areas. It comes as a two layered system including a base shock pad and a coloured top, often referred to as rubber tarmac or soft tarmac.
S R E Y D K N A H N I A P S FROM CH U M D N A WOOL IBERS MORE F d No. C14/3 Stan
11_ HALL 0
Adobe Stock © gpointstudio
Windmöller GmbH | D-32832 Augustdorf
and e m o C s at u t i s i v 57, C d n sta 2 hall 1
DOMOTEX INTRO 52
DOMOTEX WORLD SECTIONS FLOORING CARPETS AND RUGS TILING
Blink and you miss it. The craft of carpets is changing all the time, thanks to a growing wealth of innovative new design talent. But the traditions that lie at the heart of it will never change Words | World Show Media staff Photography | Domotex
Carpets are being reinvented constantly before our eyes, thanks in part to the emerging armies of young designers who are constantly bringing new ideas to the hand-made craft, infusing contemporary characteristics and keeping it alive. And a growing number of manufacturers are reworking antique carpets using a multiplicity of modern processes to revive their appearance. But for everyone, hand-made carpets remain one of the most visual and tactile attractions at every Domotex. Machine-made woven carpets, too, are in great demand and offer numerous advantages: Firstly, they are manufactured much faster than hand-woven products, making them cheaper to produce. But this also means that the latest trends can be implemented quickly, an advantage that is inspiring manufacturers more than ever, meaning they are, quite literally, being re-fashioned over and over again in a classic or modern designs. And what’s more, thanks to modern methods, they even look handmade. What distinguishes hand-knotted, hand-woven or hand-tufted carpets are their individual characters. Material, colour and shape variations combined with different production processes never fail to achieve a unique look. Hand-made carpets are more than merely functional. They serve as design elements that accentuate any room, giving it structure and creating a special atmosphere. From antique to the modern and contemporary, from classic oriental rugs to leather, fur, jeweled and decorative carpets – the hand-made carpet is an ancient cultural asset, yet always staying up-to-date. Then there’s the functional additions such as mats and clean-off systems which also feature prominently. On display will be both textile clean-off products – available off the roll or as mats – and the sort of entrance mat systems suitable for buildings with heavy use. All are complemented by floor protection mats, rubber mats with a high cleaning effect for outdoor use, bath mats and natural coconut fibre mats. The
products we are showcasing here are even more resilient, stable and durable than ever before. In addition to the extremely highquality systems that are on display, others of medium-quality and are generally more cost efficient, will also be represented at the fair. All of these products are not only highly functional and practical, but also increasingly employed for more decorative purposes, thanks to their use of the latest materials and colour trends. TALKING OF TRENDS... Rugs are getting bigger as consumers go bespoke rather than adopt standard sizes in the knowledge that rooms are not all created equal and they want to ensure something so key to the look of a room properly fits into their space. Some experts insist that custom rugs are becoming more popular, particularly at the luxury end of the market, where people regard them as long-term investments. Two other trends can be summarised in two words: character and sustainability. Otherwise, there’s been quite a buzz of late about low-pile heights which promote durability and the ease with which they can be cleaned and maintained.
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DOMOTEX INTERVIEW 56
REFLECTIONS ON TEAMWORK, ROOM CONCEPTS AND ARCHITECTURE FOR THE MODERN AGE
Twelve years ago, three friends graduated with the dream of starting their own architecure studio. Now, the women behind Illiz Architektur have a wealth of clients and a dedicated team in two countries Photography | Illiz Architektur Words | Richard Burton
Stefanie Wögrath was one of the three founders of Illiz Architektur in 2008. The others were Sabrina Mehlan and Petra Meng. Their company has since grown and now operates out of offices in Vienna and Zurich where they employ a team of 15 architects. As a firm, they were initially drawn to the challenges of working on projects with a strong technical focus. These days, they work on architecture projects of various sizes for public and commercial clients in the field of education and health, in infrastructure construction and in housing construction.
an idea of the extent of a very different architectural discourse and got to know many people with strong convictions. I also became aware of how much one’s own thinking is shaped by the respective school. This realisation was crucial for me to overcome dogmas to a certain extent and to find my own approach.
DOMOTEX : Three of you founded your company nearly 12 years ago. What role does teamwork play in the way you work? DOMOTEX : Your education is interesting. You studied in Aachen, Berlin and SW : Teamwork has played an important Berkeley. How did this variety influence your thinking? role for us from the very beginning. The STEFANIE WÖGRATH : On the one hand, of course, through the various focal three of us, as founders, have been close points of teaching – which at the beginning were rather technical, then artistic, friends since the beginning of our studies and at the end theoretical with a strong sociological focus. As a result, I got and have always developed a lot together. This has been in spite of the physical distance between different universities and, since Darwingasse the company’sWien founding, also Regenbogenvolksschule at different office locations. I appreciate Sanierung und Umstrukturierung this closeness between the three of us and it is also the basis for the atmosphere of partnership Direktauftrag Stadt Wien in our team. But teamwork is not only essential within our own office
Auftraggeber: Magistratsabteilung 19 Leistungsphasen: Planungsleistung 1-4,6 (HOA) Nettonutzfläche: 3.700 m² Fertigstellung: 03/2015 Baukosten: 5.18 Mio. CHF Fotos: Hertha Hurnaus
Stefanie Wolgrath | Illiz Architektur
Kindergarten Spittel in Affoltern am Albis Aufstockung und Sanierung öffentliche Ausschreibung, 1. Rang
Auftraggeber: Primarschule Affoltern am Albis Projektdokumentation Leistungsphasen: 3-5 (SIA 112), Leistungsanteil: 57.5% Nettonutzfläche: 685 m² Fertigstellung: 07/2014
DOMOTEX INTERVIEW 58
element that must be designed and also planned as part of the overall concept. DOMOTEX : At Domotex, there is among other aspects, a very strong emphasis on carpets and rugs. Is this topic something you address with clients? SW : Rather rarely, which is certainly down to the nature of many of our projects.
Stefanie Wolgrath | Illiz Architektur
structure, especially for more complex project tasks, but there are many specialist planners and consultants on board with whom we work towards a common goal. In particular, the ability to pull together across disciplines is one of the essential factors for a successful project. DOMOTEX : And expanding on that, are there specific strengths either you, Sabrina or Petra possess that complements the others? SW : Of course. Each of us has special skills and also preferences that she brings to the team. However, none of us has the role of a lone fighter. We support each other and always decide important things together. We design at least in twos but, when time allows, we prefer to do it in threes. DOMOTEX : You describe your architecture as always being contextual and authentic, yet self-confident’. Can you elaborate on that philosophy? SW : We always develop our architecture in context, i.e: with reference to the place, to local traditions and especially with reference to its future use. The finished building is the result of a long process involving many different people. It starts with a strong architectural concept that serves as a framework and guide during the planning and implementation phases. On this basis, the decisions can be communicated and moderated in an understandable way. On the other hand, a strong idea can also withstand a certain dynamic without the architecture becoming illegible. The more input we receive, the better it is. In this way, all those involved can be found in the completed building, creating a broad consensus that is important for people’s identification with the building. Authenticity emerges when this process succeeds. DOMOTEX : ln terms of flooring, just how important a consideration is it in respect of the way it shapes an overall project? SW : The floor covering is quite clearly the inner surface, which on average receives the most attention. Ceilings and walls can also do without special measures - the floor covering often has to meet high functional and technical requirements, especially in public areas. For us, it is an important design
DOMOTEX : I see that you have studios in Zurich and Vienna. Where do you spend most of your time? SW : I live near Vienna with my family and am based there, so to speak. If necessary, I will commute to Zurich on a daily basis. DOMOTEX : Sustainability is a word that has been at the forefront on new thinking in this industry recently. How important is such an issue in terms of the way you approach a particular project? SW : Sustainability is a very broad topic and is also omnipresent in our work. For us, the first step is often to find out what a building should achieve in the medium term. To achieve this, we have to look 20 years into the future. The better and easier room concepts can be adapted to future needs, the less resources are required for conversions. Beyond aspects of flexibility, from the very beginning we deal with energy concepts and a geometry that makes sense in terms of building physics. In this way, the basis for a sustainable building is laid at an early stage, on which further aspects can then be built - such as recyclability and the use of ecological building materials, although this is rather limited for the sort of buildings that have high usage standards. The robustness and longevity of surfaces tend to be more important here. Stefanie Wograth will be among a varied panel of guest speakers participating in forums at this year’s Domotex.
The trio have completed many projects since they combined their efforts. Notable among them are a school swimming pool in Allmendli, Erlenbach; a two-year project which was completed in March 2016. It involved transforming a subterranean area into a light-flooded indoor pool. As a result, in the future, children and teenagers will be given swimming lessons with a view of Lake Zurich. Another was a fire Station in the Speising district on behalf of the City of Vienna and a residential housing complex in the Holliger area of Bern, in Germany. In partnership with MAGK architecture, they also renovated Rainbow folk school at Darwingasse in Vienna’s second district. An eye-catching feature was created by taking the rainbow topic and incorporating it with four varying coloured stripes. They are pictured here, left to right: Petra Meng, Sabrina Mehlan and Stefanie Wögrath. DETAILS |
Petra Meng Dipl.-Ing. Architektin SIA
Best Wool Kanaaldijk 3 5683 CR Best The Netherlands T: +31 499 399100 Info@bestwoolcarpets.com www.bestwoolcarpets.com
| CARPET INDUSTRIES
Printing extremely soft carpets
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DOMOTEX 2020 HALL 11 - B04
Delmaco bvba Ingooigemstraat 41, 8570 Ingooigem, Belgium +32 475 74 54 86 ― email@example.com
Greco Carpets company was founded in 1975, with exclusive object the production of handmade 100% cotton carpets. They are durable and antiallergic with indelible thread paint. One advantage of them is that they have two sides and are used by both parties. The collection is inspired by the beautiful Greek place. www.grecocarpets.eu
DOMOTEX COMFORT 62
Never mind the way a carpet looks, the way it feels and even smells is playing an ever-more important role in consumers’ buying decisions which is why sensory branding has become such a hot trend Photography | Shutterstock, Dezeen.com Words | Richard Burton
The first person to take a step on one particular style of Tisca Tiara carpet filled the room with a scent simply by walking on it. The pressure broke tiny microencapsulated pods which then released lavender, magnolia and sage. It was part of a project designed to expand on the themes of luxury and comfort by addressing the invisible, often neglected, areas such as sounds, textures and scents. The carpet had a hand-tufted wave effect, intended to replicate the way a retreating tide
leaves the sand rippled on a beach. Thanks to a collaboration with the New York based “brandscent” pioneers, International Flavours and Fragrances, it was then infused with the pods of scent devised with help from master perfumer Christophe Laudamiel and olfactory consultant Christoph Hornetz of Les Christophes. The pods were bonded to the individual carpet threads in such a way and with such a high density that the smell properties remained for up to a year. The concept was first introduced to the world at hotel exhibitions in Switzerland and Austria as part of the Five Sensotel project which was the FACT brainchild of the award-winning The IFF has partnered with companies international designer-architect within Europe and the US to increase their Yasmine Mahmoudieh. brand identification through scent It was later demonstrated at the Sleep 05 fair and then even later, at the Workplace Art gallery in London and, eventually, became reality at the five-star Flyotel in Dubai. Mahmoudieh, a former speaker at Domotex Shanghai, recalled: “It was quite revolutionary at the time. Visitors were amazed by the idea and the subtle sensation as all the scent was totally natural.” She added: “I think it is becoming more and more important as it offers a holistic experience and enters our subconscious and the memory part of our brains. It’s about memorable experiences in a world
DOMOTEX COMFORT 64
QUO TE Yasmine Mahmoudieh | Architect
over-charged with distraction, gadgets and white noise.” In 2006, the Australian bespoke flooring specialist, Modieus, also produced a scented carpet featuring a backing containing vanilla and rose fibres. The carpet was 100 per cent wool and the backing was a natural composite material which included wood chips mixed with the required fragrances, ground to fineness and mixed with a natural binder before being covered with a vacuum film and hermetically sealed. Sensory branding — the science of connecting consumers to a brand through the senses — is being explored more and more and the IFF has been working in partnership with companies in the US and Europe to help increase their brand identification through the effective use of scent. The organisation has been researching this area for many years, developing proprietary methods to help them to fully understand the connection between fragrance and emotion and apply that knowledge to branding. Explaining the concept, Alex Moskvin, Vice President of IFF’s internal brand development agency, BrandEmotions is on record as saying: “Brand owners are becoming more aware of the importance of scent in sensory branding. Of all the senses, the sense of smell is ‘hard-wired’ to the emotional centres of the brain. Scent is the new — and last — frontier of emotional branding.” Such a powerful brandscent can enhance significantly a potential purchaser’s perceptions and experiences of a product. Research has also found that people spend more time in stores and browse more products because of the way something smells. You only have to visit a perfume counter to see that.
ATMYSPHERE AND THE FEEL-GOOD FACTOR
It’s all very much in keeping with the Atmysphere theme of this year’s fair and the sort of properties designed to increase the feel-good factor. These will extend to include enhanced acoustic elements that deliver a quieter, more relaxing room experience. It raises the question: Can the spaces in which we live and work improve our quality of life by adding to our sense of inner peace and wellbeing? Our interior spaces can be designed for greater tranquility, quite literally from the ground up, after all. Reduced background noise enhances our sense of wellbeing and increases our concentration levels – a key factor in high-use public spaces such as open-plan offices, restaurants and hotel lobbies. Used in combination with soft furnishings and special acoustic panels, rugs, fitted carpets, resilient cork-core floor coverings, special parquet and laminate FACT DOMOTEX exhibitors have contributed greatly to the advancement of sensory branding in all its forms
underlays can all significantly reduce noise transmission. That is something Domotex exhibitors know all too well. TAP Air, Portugal’s new premium passenger lounge located at Humberto Delgado Airport in Lisbon has been described as a 800 square-metre oasis of exclusive luxury and service that can accommodate up to 260 passengers at a time. The rest areas utilise natural cork within their furniture, flooring and wall cladding. And to also enhance the acoustics, architect Miguel Arruda has used dark-brown cork composites with the wall cladding, which was supplied by exhibitor Amorim. The same logic was also behind the choice of Wicanders Hydrocork for the floor. Hydrocork is a vinyl product with a resilient cork core and a decorative layer of high-resolution oak. It is a highly durable material, 100 per cent waterproof. The cork core makes the product very comfortable underfoot and, according to the manufacturer, reduces impact sound by up to 53 per cent, all of which fits in with Arruda’s plan for “greater passenger comfort”. The Aldwych Theatre is a heritage building within the heart of London’s trendy West End which dates back to 1905. In recent times is has undergone a major refurbishment in which 3,000 square metres of public areas were all re-carpeted by another show exhibitor, Oriental Weavers Hospitality. They selected a design characteristic of the theatre’s period styling and rich ornamentation. The Axminster carpets were custom-woven and were made of an 80/20 wool/nylon blend, which makes them highly durable. Created with the assistance of the Nederlander group, the building’s owners, they are now established as a key component of its unique atmosphere. They also reduce airborne and impact sound within the auditorium and nearby
corridors, which ensures the minimum distraction for theatre-goers. Exhibitor Selit Dämmtechnik has developed SelitPRo Aquastop TwinFoam 2.2 mm, an innovative underlay that significantly reduces airborne and impact sound in parquet and laminate floors. Marketing director, Lydia Bober, said the sound performance was achieved by “combining a flexible foam layer and a rigid foam layer in a single underlay”. Before its launch, users were faced with a binary choice between highly rigid and highly resilient underlays. Selit’s underlay helps to protect floors from damage caused by prolonged high traffic and falling objects - and, they say, can also reduce impact noise by as much as 21 decibels. Architect and interior designer Peter Ippolito, third-time chairman of the Domotex Flooring Spaces expert selection panel, has created a diverse
range of workrooms complete with communication zones and timeout areas for an international business consulting firm based in Frankfurt’s Taunusturm office complex. The project spanned two levels of the tower block and encompassed 4,000 square metres of floor space; a broad expanse of solid parquet made up of polygonal shapes – a motif reflected in the wall styling. This solid surface is covered with rugs that have a deep-pile bouclé structure, ensuring excellent sound insulation. The rugs also help to visually delineate the meeting areas and, in combination with acoustic fitted carpets and curtains, help to reduce overall noise levels. There are also dedicated meeting nooks finished with fitted carpets and acoustic panels, creating a quiet atmosphere for meetings. Africa inspired the abstract patterns and natural hues that featured in the German brand Walter Knoll’s carpet silk carpets and Badawi collection, which formed its Legends of Carpets series designed in collaboration with fabric designer Helmut Scheufele. The 31 pieces inspired by natural settings, included savannas and sunsets described as “images of naturalness and elegance”.
THE CENTRAL ROLE OF THE MODERN CARPET
Yvar Monasch, the man behind the luxury woolen rugs collection, Monasch by Best Wool, has a simple philosophy when it comes to interior living and fashion: It’s all about natural materials and durability. “But comfort and luxury are no less important. And that is why wool is back, even though it never really left,” he says. His company insists that woollen rugs are the ultimate in comfort; exquisitely soft and warm to the touch with a rich character. They also contribute to a healthier living and sleeping environment. The natural scale structure of wool is able to catch air-suspended fine particles, such as dust and pollen. They can then be easily vacuumed and can neutralise the invisible pollution caused by VOCs. Significantly, designers are increasingly appreciating the central role a carpet plays in room planning. Hossein Rezvani told me recently: “The carpet actually is one of the most important objects in the room. It’s normally the centre of the space and, in saying that, everything else is based around it! And thank God we also see that same understanding coming from our interior designers. “Back in the day, the carpet was the last piece which was chosen, despite its important role but we are very happy to see that this has changed and the role of the carpet is again much appreciated, which of course, makes our job easier when working with designers and creating spaces together.”
DOMOTEX SUSTAINABILITY 66
The keywords these days are eco-credentials as more and more firms embrace green production methods and seek the most natural products, even if means scraping the ocean floors for them Photography | Shutterstock and interface.com Words | World Show Media staff
There are few natural resources that do as much to protect our ocean floors, not to mention the wider environment, than seagrass. Growing in abundance in vast meadows that, it’s said, can be seen from space, It’s environmental credentials are enormous; from protecting corals to countering the effects of pollution. It provides vital breeding grounds and its roots protect the seabed from damage from currents. But it’s also among the most stain-resistant of all natural fibres. It has a beautiful, yet rugged, texture, does not need to be treated with dyes or other toxins and comes in a variety of attractive natural shades that range from sage to green to brown. All of which is why it has become a popular choice as a core material in the production of the sort natural and affordable rugs that bring to the home the same environmental benefits as they do on the floors of their natural home at the bottom of the oceans. While the most common types used in carpet production come from the paddy fields of Southeast Asia, they are among many naturally-produced materials that are becoming commonplace as sustainable alternatives to the man-made fibres used in modern carpet production. These days ecocredentials come in all varieties, from rugs to tiles and wall-to-wall fittings
embracing the most natural, renewable materials the planet has to offer. And a growing number of companies are taking steps to embrace the concept of the socalled circular economy that aims to both minimise waste and ensure resources and materials are recycled.
CONFORMITY IS KEY
The US giant Tarkett, a global manufacturer with annual revenues of around $3.2bn, has been working on product and material conformity based on policies that date back over ten years. Its early sustainability strategy embraced such green issues as greenhouse gas emissions and reducing water use. The company wanted to take a step further and examine, for example, the
The dramatically changing physical effects of nature have influenced the patterns of these rugs by the Brooklyn artist Fernando Mastrangelo’s latest collection for Edward Fields. They depict evaporating lakes, melting or breaking icebergs and sand blowing in the wind, all the very phenomena that relates directly to Earth’s changing climate. These Reverence Rugs feature abstracted natural imagery taken from the sort of landscapes under threat and the resulting colourful compositions and textures look similar to watercolour paintings. “From the beginning, I wanted Reverence to articulate the visual language of nature and to convey a sense of wonder and respect for our physical world — all while celebrating the endurance of form and colour,” the artist and designer told Dezeen magazine. DETAILS |
FACT Naturally-produced materials are being seen as commonplace alternatives to man-made fibres
DOMOTEX SUSTAINABILITY 68
Dhruv Raina | Product Stewardship Director
toxicological and eco-toxicological profiles of all the chemicals and materials it buys. It also made it a KPI to understand the human and environmental impact of everything it uses. By 2020, for example, it wanted to know the profiles of all the raw materials it buys. Product stewardship director Dhruv Raina earlier explained why it wanted to go further than the usual measures industry was taking. “We thought these were intangible because the end customer or consumer does not really benefit directly from it,” he said. “We may say that 80 per cent of our facilities are closed-loop water systems, but what does that mean to the customer or consumer?” Flooring, he pointed out, is the second largest surface area of any indoor environment after paint; people spend more than 90 per cent of their time indoors.
WASTE PREFERRED TO ‘RAW’ MATERIALS
The company decided to “make products that wouldn’t impact humans that take up indoor spaces and the environment in terms of how we manufacture the products and their end of life”. He added: “Through this exercise we can assess and gain an understanding of what is and isn’t harmful, which allows us to change to greener, more benign chemistries.” The end target was that the company decreased its use of raw materials and transitioned to using waste materials. Tarkett has the financial means to take this approach. But how can the broader industry, including those who consider themselves smaller market players, take on similar strategies? The Swedish acoustic products brand Baux has worked with the biomimicry specialists from the Royal Institute of Technology in order to create a line of biodegradable acoustic panels. The resulting Baux Acoustic Pulp range is made from a new paper-like, plantbased material that is entirely chemicalfree and formed of organically modified cellulosic fibres taken from sustainably harvested pine and fir trees. The process works by breaking down the wood into a liquid cellulose, drying it out in the same way that is done to make paper and then modifying the wood fibres to mimic the natural protective properties found in various plants. Even the look of it has been thought through. Instead of paint, the acoustic pulp is coloured with non-genetically modified wheat bran. Last year’s Domotex saw industry leaders and emerging designers using everything from wind energy to hand-weaving to deliver a plethora of products that are pleasing to the eye as well as the environment. The designer brand Purline led the way with organic flooring products in which renewable and natural materials such as rapeseed oil and chalk ensured that products were free from chlorine, as well as plasticisers and solvents. Its Wineo range has recently been described as among the most ecological permanently elastic coverings on the market, the 120 designs proving to be
enormously hard-wearing. And then there’s Designflooring, a company with key markets in France, Germany and the Netherlands, which exhibited Korlok, a new product which merges modern materials with natural wood, integrating an acoustic foam layer to create a multifunctional surface. Two UK firms, Altro and Amtico, have both openly stated their credentials, with Altro insisting on the use of only environmentally friendly raw materials that “enable us to produce orthophthalate-free vinyl floors containing bio-plasticisers”. And they also insist: “Since 2014, we’ve achieved zero per cent waste-to-landfill.” And Interface designed a range of carpet and vinyl tiles to help customers minimise their carbon footprint. The Atlanta-based brand is aiming to help tackle climate change by achieving carbon neutrality across its product line while, naturally, keeping its design quality as high as possible. Freudenberg Performance Materials presented new textile floor covering products. They included tuft backings from Freudenberg designed to help carpet manufacturers create products that combine high performance with the sort of sustainability elements that are
designed to reduce their environmental footprint. Not only are they made from recycled polyester, but the tuft backings are 100 per cent recyclable and free from binding agents. More generally, synthetic products have come in for criticism for their composition which relies on petroleum products like nylon, vinyl and PVC. Each of the key layers - the base, backing and the surface fibres - contain toxic agents in not only adhesives, but various colourings and stainings.
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ARKA CARPET Visit us: Hall 5, Stand A43 10-13 January 2020 Hannover - Germany Arka Carpet aspires to be market leader in the production of affordable, high-quality PP BCF Carpet. Therefore Arka Carpet is specialized in the production of BCF polypropylene carpet. Based in Turkey and exporting to more than 40 countries, Arka Carpet is one of the most important players in the PP BCF carpet market. Organized as a fully vertically integrated production facility, Arka Carpet produces BCF PP yarn for own use. Arka Carpet is able to produce any size or design with electronic looms. This makes it possible for us to produce newest colors, designs and new trends in all markets.
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DOMOTEX INTRO 72
DOMOTEX WORLD SECTIONS FLOORING CARPETS AND RUGS TILING
Tiles represent one of our oldest materials and have been coveted for their decorative qualities for hundreds of years. These days they come in many forms and embrace the latest technology Words | World Show Media staff Photography | Domotex
The Flooring Spaces section of the Framing Trends showcase is where providers of flooring solutions are to stage their interpretations of the ATMYSPHERE keynote theme. AGROB BUCHTAL GmbH, for example, will be demonstrating how quick and easy it is to create individualised, ambiencerich indoor spaces using its new DryTile system. This ingenious system requires no adhesives, so it is clean and simple to install, enabling users to create new floorscapes with minimum time and fuss. Tiles have always made a visual impact. The ornate and decorative qualities they bring to floors have been coveted ever since ancient times. And in the past few years, styles have been changing at a rapid rate as manufacturers release new designs, colours, shapes, cuts, and finishes. All of which is why Hall 13 should prove to be a major attraction this year as manufacturers take up the challenge of presenting their products in a dedicated showcase. The floors of homes and public buildings have been routinely decorated with tiles from the most simplistic to the most elaborate. These days they lend themselves to uses far beyond the mere utilitarian; embracing hallways, bathrooms and kitchens. And their uses are expanding. They are not just being used on floors, but also on walls – both indoors and out – as we are becoming much more adventurous in our use of tiles as they emerge as a real contender for all surfaces, climbing their way on to feature walls chimney breasts in formats that rival paint and wallpaper – not to mention the obvious advantages they have in being kept clean. Technology has played its part, enabling the production of, not only, much larger formats but those that are thinner, lighter and easier to install. The standard hexagons have, to an extent, given way to those with more organic shapes inspired by nature, be they leaf shapes, stars or teardrops. Texture came of age in 2019; sculpted, raised and embossed surfaces working alongside the sort of geometric and angular shapes that add impact. Wood-
effect versions have been in demand for years but they’re tipped in some quarters to overtake real wood and laminates, in no small measure thanks to their longevity and design options. Remember those long plank styles popular a few years ago? Floor and wall tiles do more than protect and cover surfaces. They can be focal points for the home, adding valuable contrast and offering opportunity to express your sense of style. Unless you happen to love the tranquility of pristine white, and enjoy the freedom of thinking outside the box. While it’s true that many people have been surfacing floors and walls with tiles for hundreds of years, it’s also true that the industry keeps reinventing the product now that digital printing and fabricating advances are realistically replicating wood, metal, textile, leather, brick and paper in a sustainably made, durable tile form. Such blending makes for more interesting floor layouts, particularly when it involves a single tile. Today’s wood-look iterations are almost indistinguishable from the real ones, since realistic hues and textures can now be printed on to slab, plank or square tiles.
DOMOTEX INTERVIEW 74
THE FLOORS THAT BEAR THE IMPRESSION OF ONE OF INSTAGRAM’S LEADING FOOT-SELFIE INFLUENCERS
A Sicilian architect whose love of ornate Italian tiles and shoes has resulted in more than 100,000 people watching her every step Photography | Gabriella Insana Words | Richard Burton
If you’re interested in the latest trends in floor tiles you need only look down at an Instagrammer’s feet. Beneath the soles of the shoes worn by the likes of architect Gabriella Insana and her followers you’ll find a world built on the most elaborate uses of stone, clay and porcelain. It’s a natural blend. She’s a girl who loves her shoes and she lives in Sicily, a small island off the “boot” of Italy, a place well known for some of the finest ceramics in the world. Tiles have become the go-to backdrop for so-called foot-selfie photographers who have been standing and snapping the world over for ten years. And what’s more it’s fitting. The first Instagram picture ever posted featured a foot in flip-flops. The app’s creator, Kevin Systrom, caught it as he turned his camera downwards to photograph his dog from above way back in 2010. Since then, hundreds of thousands of Instagrammers have shared photos of eye-catching floors using the I Have This Thing With Floors hashtag and posting everything that is colourful, geometric or just quirky in everywhere from homes, offices and airports, to museums and public squares. Workmates Edith Beurskens, Josha Jansen and Pien van Wijmen created the account and started the craze during
an after-work drink in an Amsterdam bar when they realised they had something in common. They told their followers: “When feet meet nice floors, take a selfeet.” And they have - more than 2,100 times. More recently, the Messina-born Gabriella, 43, a woman who is happy to admit having a “boundless passion for shoes” launched her own account: I Have This Thing With Tiles. Since then, she has posted more than 2,000 times and prompted House Beautiful magazine to declare it one of their favourite hashtags to follow. So I decided to put my best foot forward and ask her why, exactly, does she have this thing with tiles? “I come from Santo Stefano di Camastra, famous for its pottery and tiles,” she said. “I’ve always lived with all the amazing colours of hand-made ceramics. Both my parents are also teachers of art and artists too and they have always created art with ceramics. Some years ago, before social networks existed, I started to take pictures of the floors that I loved, just to link my
Gabriella Insana | architect
DOMOTEX INTERVIEW 76
QUO TE Gabriella Insana | architect
passion for shoes - I am a girl after all - and tiles. It was a natural choice for me living where I do. I am surrounded by an array of art and ceramics and I grew up surrounded by beautiful things. My idea was a simple one: to take pictures of tiles in a little country which produces a lot of them. “I began following others because of the prompts from Instagram: a few friends, the city of Palermo, that sort of thing, but then I stopped. For me, it was more about enjoying myself; matching my shoes with the tiles. I didn’t think in terms of a following but, when the numbers began to rise, I was quite surprised. Suddenly, there was a community growing behind me. “At first, a few people began to send me pictures and I posted them, then they started to come in - in great numbers. They would tag me, message me and even mail them. I don’t post anything like all of them, only the ones I like. And, yes, people do sometimes get disappointed.”
WHAT INFLUENCES THE INFLUENCER?
And does that add to the pressure, I asked. After all, she does have a full time job – and a life. She insists she doesn’t travel specifically to seek out new subjects. She gets enough of them sent to her. But, arriving as they do in such numbers, she could spent all day, every day, editing and posting. “I agree, it’s time away from my normal life,” she said. “But I don’t feel any pressure to include something. If you need this to be a commercial success you’ll find yourself looking at every like and every message. “For me, it’s a lot more simple. If I like the light, the colours, the way the shoes match the tiles, I’ll post the picture and, if it helps anyone see things in a different way, that’s good but otherwise, it’s a coincidence.” But there must be commercial pressure. Major brands are always seeking out and identifying so-called influencers in the hope of getting eyes on their projects, especially those with as many as she has. “They do get in touch and sometimes, I’m offered interesting projects that I like,” she said. “If there’s something a company wants to do that we can develop together, I may say yes but I don’t agree just to posting pictures for companies. And I always like to do something the goes beyond a simple repost. It’s not an advertising portal. I do try to respect the people who
follow my account. I don’t see myself as an influencer. I’m an architect. I don’t need this to make money. “Usually, I try to establish a relationship with brands and maybe create a project together that is not a simple repost. “I can’t quantify how much time I spend checking all of my messages, hashtags and accounts that share photos with me, or looking for amazing floors to photograph and editing photos. Every day, I try to work on the account, but I have to reconcile my real jobs as an architect, designer and teacher with my passions. It’s not easy but I love all the things I do. “I just like to help people to see things in a different way. To be inspirational. I do it not because I want to impress or push for more followers, I do it for myself and to send out something beautiful. I’d like to think it could inspire interior designers.” Even so, I ventured, it must be difficult to manage a following of that size. She agreed: “Some people think I’m a buyer or seller, but mostly I receive messages telling me they love my account, and it is an obsession for them too. It is not easy to realise that there are 111,000 [at the time of writing] from all over the world that love what you do. It is a big responsibility. In fact, sometimes I try to sensibilise on some causes. For example, in June I posted a floor with a rainbow for Pride month.” She loves to incorporate them into her work; choosing tiles for an apartment, for example, as a way of adding character and personalising a space, something she can’t currently do at her own rented home. And for her personal preferences? “I love handmade tiles, I also love Ponti’s tiles too. They are a real milestone in tile design. As for my shoes, I got the answer I was expecting. “My boyfriend always says that I have too many - I just reply that it’s not enough. I bought pair just yesterday. Women always need new shoes!”
Tiles – and many other types of flooring – feature widely on Instagram and draw large numbers of followers from all over the world. Some are commercial accounts but there are many who, like Gabriella, post for the joy of seeing that’s what’s under their feet. For example, #Ihavethisthingwithfloors has posted more than 2,100 times and has over 810,000 followers. Expect to see the occasional dog staring up at you on this one. Dogs and cats also feature a lot on #tonsoftiles which has 18,000 followers for its 480 posts. #cletile, the 123,000-follower account that pledges to be redefining surfaces has posted more than 1,000 times on floor and wall surfaces, and if it’s men’s shoes you’re after, especially stylish brogues on ceramics - there’s always the German-born interior photographer Sebastian Erras’ #parisianfloors which has amassed 166,000 followers for 749 posts. He gives lots of advice too, should you want to follow in his footsteps. DETAILS |
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DOMOTEX FEATURE 80
We’ve been harvesting the value of cork since the 12th century but we only started putting it on our floors in the last one. These days, we’re making the fullest use of its unique properties Photography | Shutterstock, Megan Taylor and Gui Rebelo. Words | World Show Media staff
The ancient Greeks were the first to discover the advantages of stripping and harvesting the bark from the cork oak but it was only around 100 years ago that it began to find its way on to our floors. For a long time cork was considered an exotic – and therefore expensive – indulgence, particularly in north America where it was imported at great cost from Europe’s oak forests. Such projects were lengthy and laborious as large rolls or sheets were glued into place, custom-stained and finished with wax or varnish, a process that could take many weeks as fitters were forced to wait for the varnish to cure. By the 1920s it was a regular, if trendy, part of domestic flooring and popular in public areas, such as the Toronto Stock Exchange building in Canada where it was found to be quieter underfoot than tiles and thought to ease the joints of traders who were on their feet all day. In the 1950s, it became a frequent feature, either as a cover material in the form of tiles, or just as an underlay anywhere where people had to spend a lot of time standing, such as gymnasiums. But recently it’s been picking itself off the floor and finding far greater uses such as the one pictured here in which architects added an entire room extension clad in cork to a Victorian terrace house in South London. Allie Mackinnon from Nintim Architects said the walls, which were designed to complement all
of the existing brickwork, were a “playful response” to the original pitched roof, openings and levels of the original house. She told Dezeen magazine: “The pitched elevation needed a consistent material and the use of cork provided an unbroken, textured surface - cork offers so much as a building material. It ticks all the boxes when it comes to thermal and acoustic performance but is also breathable, free from all chemicals, synthetic resins and carcinogenic materials which creates a healthy environment inside the house.” Sustainably harvested, cork is a chemicalfree material that can be fully composted and even recycled. It is also naturally water resistant, sound absorbing and thermally efficient, meaning that the building did not need extra foam insulation. It’s been popular with many architects for some time as a form of cladding. British architect Lisa Shell, for example, used it to wrap the timber frame of a cabin she built on stilts as an artist’s studio above a salt marsh on the east coast two years ago. More recently, the German Rundzwei Architekten used it across the facade of a house in Berlin, named Cork Screw House after being constructed of waste materials gathered from a wine bottling company.
Allie Mackinnon | Architect
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gnippirts fo segatnavda eht revocsid ot tsrfi eht erew skeerG tneicna ehT sraey 001 dnuora ylno saw ti tub kao kroc eht morf krab eht gnitsevrah dna saw kroc emit gnol a roF .sroofl ruo ot no yaw sti dnfi ot nageb ti taht oga ni ylralucitrap ,ecnegludni – evisnepxe erofereht dna – citoxe na deredisnoc .stserof kao s’eporuE morf tsoc taerg ta detropmi saw ti erehw aciremA htron erew steehs ro sllor egral sa suoirobal dna yhtgnel erew stcejorp hcuS ssecorp a ,hsinrav ro xaw htiw dehsinfi dna deniats-motsuc ,ecalp otni deulg hsinrav eht rof tiaw ot decrof erew srettfi sa skeew ynam ekat dluoc taht gniroofl citsemod fo trap ,ydnert fi ,raluger a saw ti s0291 eht yB .eruc ot ni gnidliub egnahcxE kcotS otnoroT eht sa hcus ,saera cilbup ni ralupop dna ot thguoht dna selit naht toofrednu reteiuq eb ot dnuof saw ti erehw adanaC .yad lla teef rieht no erew ohw sredart fo stnioj eht esae lairetam revoc a sa rehtie ,erutaef yltneuqerf a emaceb ti ,s0591 eht nI ot dah elpoep erehw erehwyna yalrednu na sa ro ,selit fo mrof eht ni neeb s’ti yltnecer tuB .smuisanmyg sa hcus ,gnidnats emit fo tol a dneps eno eht sa hcus sesu retaerg raf gnidnfi dna roofl eht ffo flesti gnikcip ni dalc noisnetxe moor eritne na dedda stcetihcra hcihw ni ereh derutcip morf nonnikcaM eillA .nodnoL htuoS ni esuoh ecarret nairotciV a ot kroc lla tnemelpmoc ot dengised erew hcihw ,sllaw eht dias stcetihcrA mitniN dehctip lanigiro eht ot ”esnopser lufyalp“ a erew ,krowkcirb gnitsixe eht fo
H C U M O S S R E F F O K R OC . LAIRETAM G NI D LIU B A S A S E XO B E H T L L A S K C I T T I OT S E M O C T I N E H W C I TS U OCA D N A L A M R E H T S I T U B E C N A M R OF R E P EL B A HTAER B OS L A
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They were made through a sustainable process of heating and pressurising the cork granules. The heating caused it to release a natural resin that binds the granules together, forming lightweight, durable slabs that can be cut to size. The company cited acoustics and its “high insulation values” which “contribute significantly to the energy efficiency and sustainability of the building”. And the UK-based Studio Bark developed an entire building prototype using similar methods to demonstrate how the material could be used to envelope an entire building. Architects Matthew Barnett Howland, Dido Milne and Oliver Wilton used 1,268 cork blocks to build Cork House next to the Thames in Berkshire, in response to what they described as their industry’s impact on biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on single-use materials. “The Cork House is an innovative and thought-provoking response to pressing questions about the materials that we build with,” they explained. “Rather than the typical complex, layered building envelope incorporating an array of building materials, products and specialist sub-systems, the Cork House is an attempt to make solid walls and roof from a single bio-renewable material.”
TECHNOLOGY HAS REDUCED MANY OF THE COSTS
Since 2014, the team has been developing a sustainable construction system that depends almost entirely on cork. To complement it, the floorboards were made from cross-sawn solid oak; handmade stools were constructed from English pippy oak and the remaining bespoke furniture used cross-laminated spruce. Today’s technology has removed most of the expense associated with cork flooring, partly thanks to innovations such as floating floor planks and clicklocking systems, which allow cork to be installed in new areas such as basements or those where high water-tables are a concern. Glue-down cork tiled floors are expensive but still represent the highest level of flooring available in the cork market. Why so expensive? The labour costs needed to produce a medium-to-high-end floor will often triple or quadruple the cost of
materials. In many markets today, the glue-down format is seen as similar to installing both ceramic and porcelain tiled floors. As a result, the floating floor is now making cork flooring an excellent alternative to laminate or engineered hardwood alternatives. At last year’s show, the Portuguese firm, Amorim, demonstrated its Wicanders Corkcomfort product range to follow a flooring philosophy aimed at turning the traditional concept of cork floors on its head. For those in the industry, just getting established can be a slow process. It takes around 25 years from the planting of a cork oak tree, known as Quercus suber in Portuguese and alcornoque in Spanish, until it’s ready for its first harvest. At that stage it produces virgin cork, something those who produce wine bottle stoppers don’t consider good enough for use. Neither is the second, which comes nine years later. In fact, the wine industry estimates it can take up to 43 years from planting, before the tree produces what they call amadia cork, something that is of high enough quality for general use. The good news is that a tree can live for up to 300 years, promising owners more than twenty or more harvests. Harvesting usually takes place in the summer when the weather is warmer and the cork expands which makes the process easier. It is all done by hand; cork strippers, known in Portugal as tiradors, work in pairs using only axes. With one person on the ground and the other in the tree, they then make
Studio Bark | UK Architects
cuts at the top and bottom of the trunk and then simply peel the cork off. It’s skilled work. The red cork cambium, or phellogen, contained inside must not be harmed if the tree is to remain healthy and the bark will grow back. As a result, Tiradors are highly valued and well paid, earning typically, between €80 and €120 per day, high for the agricultural industry, and fixed, rather than dependent on results. Given that the bark grows back, cork has excellent sustainability credentials. The environmentally aware are also drawn to the fact that the trees help the planet by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But it’s not without issues. There are more than 300 species of fungi and oomycota reported on cork oak, of which at least 100 are pathogenic, according to scientific studies carried out between 1993 and 2000. Those studies also concluded that very few of them are primary pathogens able to attack healthy tree tissues. Most were seen as opportunistic varieties that colonise oak tissues previously weakened by a range of factors, both biological and purely physical. It counts famous architects such as William Massie and Frank Lloyd Wright among its fans. Wright favoured the bark for both its natural properties and look, incorporating it into his organic architectural projects, such as the bathrooms in Fallingwater, which he completed in 1937. Much more recently, Massie, the Architect-in-Residence at Cranbrook Academy of Art, used it to
The biggest cork-producer is Portugal, a country responsible for more than half of the world’s supply. The best quality material comes from the south of the country, in particular the Algarve and the Alentejo regions. While most of it is destined to become wine bottle stoppers, it’s increasingly being sold to the construction industry and making its way into homes. The Forbes-quoted Amorim family, the country’s richest, are said to have made large chunks of their multi-billion dollar fortune from cork. One of their subsidiaries is credited with having been the industry’s world leader for more than 130 years, with operations in countries all over the globe. Cork forests cover about 2,200,000 hectares worldwide; with 34 per cent of them in Portugal and 27 per cent in Spain. Annual production is about 200,000 tons, with Portugal responsible for 49.6 per cent of it, and 30.5 per cent from Spain. Cork oak forests, otherwise known as montados, are considered so critical to the environment, the economy and Mediterranean life that they are protected by law. In Portugal, the Cork Oak is the national tree and has been protected since the 13th century. A growing awareness of the value of the ecosystem of the cork oak forest has led to important initiatives in reforestation and the of good practices. It is a way of ensuring the future, without forgetting the old saying: “Whoever cares for their grandchildren, plants a cork oak.” It can also be found in many local monuments and points of interest. The monks knew well cork’s qualities, which is why it was used to line the walls of such buildings as the Convento dos Capuchos in Sintra and the Convento da Serra da Arrábida. Figures depict scenes in cork, such as the 18th century nativity sets, made by the sculptor Machado de Castro, with terracotta; a reference to the history of Portuguese decorative arts, one of which can be seen in Basílica da Estrela in Lisbon. Cork appears as one of the most striking decorative elements on all the doorframes of the Chalet da Condessa d’Edla In Sintra, built and decorated in line with the romantic spirit of the 19th century.
The pop star Lady Gaga wore a dress made entirely from a cork fabric from Pelcor and designed by Teresa Martins. Inspired by her music and Klimt’s masterpiece, whose 15th anniversary Vienna recently celebrated, Martins created a dress veneered in gold and silver and hand-embroidered with beads and metallic threads to recreate the textures and compositions seen in the artist’s paintings. The dress was meant to symbolise the fusion between fashion, music and art took two years to be made and Lady Gaga wore it to an ArtRave after a concert she gave in Lisbon in 2014. And she’s not alone. APCOR, Portuguese Cork’s research and promotional body insists: “If it’s used to dress the trunk of a cork oak, why can’t it be used to dress men and women? It came into fashion and has never gone out of fashion.”
DOMOTEX FEATURE 84
QUO TE Humberto Campana | Designer
striking effect within the floors of his striking pre-fabricated America House in 2008. These days, designers and architects alike are thinking about how building materials can be utilised aesthetically, but also how they can create healthy living environments. This bodes well for a completely non-toxic, waterproof, and highly insulating substance that is also a rapidly renewable resource. For those reasons alone, cork is being tipped to become ever-pervasive within architecture and design for years to come. The designer Jasper Morrison staged his first solo show in North America last May, bringing furniture to the Kasmin in New York’s Chelsea district, made entirely from cork. Items included a chaise longue, bookshelves, a dining table, chairs, stools that double as low tables, a bench and a cork fireplace surround. The pieces were all cut from block material left over from wine bottle cork stopper production, with many of them still visible in their original shape.
WORKS OF ART FROM STOPPERS
It’s not his first time working with cork. Morrison, who has worked with the likes of Cappellini, Mattiazzi, Emeco and Maruni, produced a hut for Muji at Tokyo Design Week in 2015 and, before that, he made a trio of lightweight stools for Vitra from the material. In August, the Brazilian design duo Humberto and Fernando Campana showcased their own cork furniture collection in an attempt to demonstrate the material’s potential of cork as a design material. Known for their use of natural and raw materials, this is the first time the pair have worked with cork, having in the past used leather, palm fronds and even fish skin to create unusual effects. Humberto Campana said: “The texture, variety of applications and insulation properties enrich the possibilities of using this material, in order to express new concepts and gestures. It’s like marble that can be sculpted.” The collection was revealed at the Portuguese Consulate in São Paulo, Brazil, during the annual Experimenta Portugal arts and culture festival. Many works of art have been made from cork stoppers. Scott Gundersen is an artist from Chicago regularly uses them in his works. He used 3,842 of them to create his first face image in 2009 and a year later he created the face of a friend. This work took him 50 hours and involved 9,217 – someone must have counted - of them and helped to draw attention to the importance of recycling and FACT It takes 25 years from the time a cork oak, better known as Quercus suber in Portuguese is planted until it’s ready for its first harvest
sustainable art. But that was only the beginning. The country’s tourism chiefs later invited him along to present the reproduction of a portrait of King Philip VI and Queen Leticia, at the international tourism fair, FITUR, in Madrid. This picture comprised more than 30,000 stoppers. The completed work measured 2,36m by 3.3m and weighed around 140kg. Cork can be used in many parts of the constriction process. It has also been used to make bricks for the outer walls of houses, something demonstrated by Portugal’s pavilion at Expo 2000. But on a more diverse level, Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara, well-known for taking on the biggest waves in the world, had a surfboard made entirely from Portuguese cork. Several dozen designers, material developers and aerodynamics experts were involved in producing it in time for him to take on the giant and daunting waves of the Nazaré Canyon, Portugal. Even more diverse; a cork skate was developed by the Australian producer, Lavender Archer Cork Skateboards, with the support of Corticeira Amorim. They used laminated cork, which has proven performance benefits, such as reducing the common vibration of traditional boards. It’s also long been used as the core material for both baseballs and cricket balls and you’ll occasionally find it in shoes, especially those which have involved Goodyear welt construction. It’s also appeared in everything from the heat shields of spacecraft to even the paper pick-up mechanisms within inkjet and laser printers, and modern pith helmets. And if none of that reminds you of how you are used to seeing cork being used - just think of it being hung from hats to keep insects away.
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NK SALES HALL 6 - STAND F30 DOMOTEX 2020
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DOMOTEX World presents the event’s visitors and flooring business community with a summary of the latest trends and innovations in the Inter...
Published on Dec 20, 2019
DOMOTEX World presents the event’s visitors and flooring business community with a summary of the latest trends and innovations in the Inter...