Laminate suppliers deliver unique visuals

[Las Vegas] Not to be outdone by the industry darling multilayer flooring, laminate suppliers brought water-resistant features as well as beautiful visuals to the show floor at The International Surface Event here in 2018. 

There was a distinct focus on domestic species such as oak and hickory when it came to visuals, in light greys and brown tones. And, suppliers offered more details in patter and varied formats and textures.

In the U.S., design is often the biggest focus for consumers, according to Swiss Krono USA president and CEO Erik Christensen. Design, he said, is a core value for Swiss Krono. The company’s new laminate introductions have on-trend wider and longer formats, mostly in greys and browns, while oak is the most in-demand species, he added. 

The 12 new additions to Swiss Krono’s American Concepts brand collection include eight moisture-resistant products and rustic decors, with a charred look and four different species in the Salvaged collection laminate, with a satin-matte finish. “There’s a lot of chatter in the wood and in the design,” Christensen said. “Monolithic is out.” 

The launch of Quick-Step’s new NatureTek “wood-laminate” waterproof flooring has four collections with 24 decors, and again, oak reigns supreme; Colossia is the biggest feature with eight decors in oak visuals, and many of the new products feature planks that are 9.5” x 80.5”, according to Emily Earp, marketing brand manager, distribution for Mohawk Industries.

“It’s an open color palette this year,” Earp said. “We wanted to have different options, from rustic to clean, which is why the launch is so big.” Lavish is the only collection with hickory visuals. Planks are skip sawn and have warm grey tones with brownish undertones, she added. 

Uniboard has eight new laminate floors in its Vintage collection, featuring wide planks mainly in brown and grey tones that are all low-gloss, encompassing a “refined rustic” look. All Uniboard’s laminate was designed and produced in-house, including its resins and core, and the new designs were introduced to fill a void in the market, according to Uniboard marketing coordinator Marilie Pageau-LeBel.

Angela Duke, senior brand manager for Mohawk, said the company has received a lot of positive response on the launch of its new waterproof RevWood Plus flooring. The flooring also comes in a high-end longer/wider format collection, with planks up to 9.5” wide and 80.5 inches long that fit open floor plans well. Consumers also liken the laminate more to wood than to other waterproof products like vinyl, which is evident in both the surface texture and in the realistic visuals in the flooring, Duke said.

In the Details
New additions to Mannington Mills’ Restoration Collection laminate include eight new lighter colors, along with new patterns like chevron, or the ability to combine traditional planks with chevron in the same space to add visual interest like in Mannington’s new Palace Plank laminate, according to Dan Natkin, vice president of laminate and hardwood.

“Shape is hot right now,” Natkin said of the new designs.

Atroguard’s new laminate, including additions to its Architect’s Retreat collection, have high-end details aside from being water-resistant. New products are all embossed in register and feature long, wide planks, popular across hard surface flooring categories, along with different bevel treatments to add realism and enhance the performance of the laminate, according to Atroguard president Thomas Baert.

All Armstrong Flooring’s products are design-driven, and Audacity by Armstrong Flooring’s new laminate can cover up to 4,000 square feet without needing a T-molding, widening the commercial applications by reducing trip hazards as well as adding visual continuity to the space, according to TK. Most of the visuals in the new products are natural, clean, quiet and crisp, trending more toward greys, like in the new additions to the Classic Naturals line. There are more rustic textures in the Hearthside line, with details like knots, and new Vintage floors have a lot of variation for more visual movement across the floor. They all feature a low-gloss finish and are embossed in register.