Linoleum, engineered hardwood, decorative concrete and marble are driving demand
From Boring to Trending
Pre-finished, factory-made, and quick to install linoleum and engineered hardwood floorings have been driving consumer interest and demand, but the hardy decorative concrete and the classic marble have ready takers too, finds Seema Gupta
Engineered hardwood flooringFor those who find solid hardwood flooring too expensive, there is the engineered wood flooring, which has a lower initial cost, but looks like the real thing. Though the flooring comprises of several layers of cheaper wood plies or layers, the topmost layer is of high-quality solid wood. The layers are amalgamated using heat and pressure and glued together. Akash Saini, Director Sales at Notion Luxury Flooring Concepts, informs, "Notion engineered wood flooring has a natural wood base, is tough, durable, and more hygienic. Most importantly, the bonding of the top layer with the base is very strong, so customers get a superior quality wood flooring. Engineered wood flooring is also the most dimensionally stabled as compared to other wooden floorings in India."
He informs that there are two other kinds of engineered wood flooring which are being marketed in India. The one that has an MDF/HDF base, is one of the most economical engineered flooring because the top layer of the flooring is very thin (0.2-0.6mm), but it compromises on quality parameters. The one with plywood base, comes under the mid segment category of products, hence, the base of the flooring should be of good plywood to make it moisture resistant. So, only BWP or Marine plywood should be used for the plies. But many manufacturers compromise on quality to offer a more economical pricing to beat competition, for which they use very inferior quality of wood layers that may have a high content of the harmful formaldehyde.
Why would one choose engineered wood flooring? Since engineered hardwood is factory finished, there are better finishes, greater durability, and they are scratch and dent-resistant. The fact that they are available in wider widths of upto 8 inches, makes them popular with builders who prefer working with wider formats. "Engineered hardwood flooring is installed over concrete slabs and does not have to be nailed, which makes installation easy. What's more, these floorings are available with a click installation system. Their thinner profile (only 3/8" or 1/2") makes them a good choice for people who want to replace carpets with a hard surface. So, for price-conscious consumers, the flooring at Rs.400/sq.ft. appeals to their sense of aesthetics and to their perception of value for money," says Saini.
Akash Saini, Notion Luxury Flooring
For the price-conscious consumers, Notion Engineered Wood Flooring priced at Rs.400/sq.ft. appeals to their sense of aesthetics and to their perception of value for money
Engineered wood flooring has no major maintenance, can be mopped daily with a well wrung-out cloth, and the life of the product is 30+ years. Notion has been selling engineered flooring for a decade and there have been no problems, according to Saini. For Notion, the hospitality sector is the biggest buyer. The flooring can be applied in all kinds of weather conditions in India, but is not recommended for bathrooms and kitchens because of the moisture prevalent in these areas.
However, Notion's newly introduced Customised Engineered Hardwood Floorings also work well in kitchens, basements, and bathrooms, where light moisture might be present. Made up with 3 layers of hardwood with the topmost layer of lamella (also known as Real Wood/Parquet floors), these floors come in dimensions of 1,830/2,190 mm with thickness of 14/3.5 mm. They can be periodically sanded to revive the wood grain and erase scratches, and are available in vibrant red, blue, grey, etc, in six different patterns, with each pattern available in 200 different colours, totaling to over 1,200 colours and designs; customized colour options are also provided by the company.
Saini informs that they are the first company to offer such a huge variety of colours with no MOQ. "We have done special designs and colors as per interior designers and architects choice. We also provide the fastest delivery pan India, and 20 years warranty against any manufacturing defect, with on-site repair."
Linoleum FlooringLinoleum flooring, which is a blend of natural and synthetic materials, is an eco-friendly choice for commercial, industrial, and residential applications. It can imitate textures such as natural stone and wood and comes in numerous colour combinations. Forbo Flooring India ranks amongst the established global manufacturers of high quality residential and commercial resilient flooring options.
Hardeep Singh, Forbo Flooring
Since Forbo offers a complete basket of options to choose from, architects and interior designers get complete freedom to achieve perfection in designing an area
Hardeep Singh, MD, Forbo Flooring India Pvt. Ltd., informs, "The flooring of an area is ascertained by considering factors like functionality of the place, footfalls, ambience, and of course, the budget. From resilient flooring to carpets to entrance mattings and even ESD flooring (Electro-Static Dissipative Flooring or clean room flooring), Forbo manufactures them all. We have authorised and trained installation teams that provide complete support and assistance."
Forbo Marmoleum flooring has found a ready market in hospitals as the flooring can withstand heavy footfalls and castor wheel movements of medical equipment, is bacterio-static, stain-resistant, and easy to maintain. "Whenever we enter a medical facility, we hardly notice the kind of flooring beneath our feet, but flooring has a pivotal role to play in the overall well-being of the people. Forbo Marmoleum meets all these requirements so the hospital administration saves energy, electricity and manpower, resulting in lower cost of ownership. And when the life of the flooring is over, it can be recycled, or even if it is disposed off, it doesn't cause any harm to the environment because of its all-natural raw materials," he adds.
Forbo's Flotex is a sanitized flocked carpet, that is, it is free from arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury or other toxic heavy metals, phenols or formaldehydes, and does not have any harmful VOC. Its smooth upright nylon 6.6 fibres do not allow dirt to be trapped, and it can be cleaned using a plain anti-dandruff shampoo. Since Flotex is a waterproof textile, the floor can be restored quickly even after heavy soiling.
Singh informs that Forbo floorings are heavy-duty and can survive extreme climatic conditions. They come with a warranty of 10 years against manufacturing defects. "After a lot of R&D and passing through a series of tests, Forbo products are launched in the market. In fact, there are global installations that are as old as 35-40 years and are still performing. Also, in India, Forbo floorings in various categories, have remained as good as new even in high traffic areas," he shares.
Decorative Concrete FlooringThe perception of concrete as an aesthetic flooring material is undergoing a change as innovative use of stains, stamps, dyes, colored pigments, textured patterns, etc, are making concrete flooring increasingly attractive. The new, improved techniques being deployed to create decorative concrete finishes have created interest in the market for these floor types, and also because they are considered hardy, long lasting, eco-friendly, and a good alternative to moisture-sensitive flooring materials.
Jayesh Rairakhia, Shubhaam Concrete Floors
The new focus on Decorative Concrete Flooring is due to the transformation of concrete into an aesthetically appealing and sustainable flooring
Mumbai- based Shubhaam Concrete Floors Pvt. Ltd., a leading provider of complete concrete flooring solutions with in-house facilities for design, etc., can customize every flooring requirement to meet customer requirements. The company specializes in Tremix Flooring (VDF) for industries, warehouses, residential basements, podiums, car parking areas, roads and airports, etc. Considered a pioneer in Stamped Concrete Flooring, it also offers various decorative and designer floors in concrete.
Jayesh Rairakhia, Marketing Manager at Shubhaam, says, "Concrete owes its aesthetic transformation to systems and processes such as acid staining, decorative overlays, polishing, etc., which are further improving and enhancing concrete's aesthetic appeal and performance as a flooring material. Since the last 3 to 4 years, we are seeing a gradual increase in demand as awareness has also increased. In the initial days, there were very few contractors for Stamped Concrete, but with demand increasing, the service providers have also increased, which has resulted in more marketing of this flooring product. The cost of Stamped Concrete floor will not be a deterrent to potential buyers as people are now looking for quality and aesthetic products, and without recurring cost for maintenance or replacement. Approx cost of stamped concrete flooring is Rs.65.00 / sq.ft. As mentioned above, Stamped Concrete floors will give service for one generation with zero maintenance cost, so much so that even architects and consultants have started pitching this product to their clients."
The company has done many government flooring projects in Lucknow, Kanpur, and Allahabad, where Stamped Concrete floors have started substituting Paver Blocks, Tiles, and Checker Tiles, and they have a vast scope for application in ramps, parking lots, pedestrian walkways, bungalow pathways, garden settings, patios, dry ways, pool surrounds, etc.
"There was an article in Hindustan Times of 5th May, 2015, stating that, BMC is planning to replace Paver Blocks with Stamped Concrete. The Uttar Pradesh Government has already started implementing Stamped Concrete Flooring for Pedestrian Walkways. As we are into Tremix Flooring work, especially in the real estate sector, and therefore closely allied with builders, it has been very easy for us to promote Stamped Concrete Flooring. In fact, we introduced Stamped Concrete flooring in Mumbai in 2005, and today it is slowly and gradually finding acceptance by architects and designers. We are confident that demand will further increase in the market," adds Jayesh.
Marble Flooring"Demand for a luxury flooring like marble is a very personal decision. It stems from an uncompromising attitude, the quest for the finest in luxury, and a high standard of living. Fortunately, there will always be a demand for the very best. Marble has been the world's preferred choice when displaying strength, luxury, and good taste. We believe that every slab that we sell is created by the greatest artist of all - Mother Earth. It is then curated from around the world and perfected by the best Italian craftsmen. All 100% Earth, 100% Natural," says Rupesh Shinde, Founder & Chief Curator, Quarry.
Rupesh Shinde, Quarry
The Quarry, as curator of luxury marble and rare onyx, seeks to fulfil the need to create signature homes, suites, and professional spaces.
"Today, with our innovative technologies, we can offer marble and luxury stones in a variety of exclusive finishes like leather finish and bacteria-resistant BactoFinish. This new natural stone treatment that creates bacteria-free zones is amazing for kitchen granites, in fact, you can eat straight off the granite! We also offer Q-Vac technology that adds further strength and durability to even the softer onyx stone. What's more, with advances in installation techniques, marble and stones can look as good as new for years and even last a lifetime - making it worth every rupee spent."
The Bacto-static treatment prevents growth of bacteria and moulds without use of harsh chemicals while retaining the natural beauty of the stones. Q-Vac is a process where-in the entire block goes into a vacuum chamber. All the air inside the block is sucked out so the epoxy resin seeps into each and every crack and crevice of the marble / onyx block thus making it multiple times sturdier; and thus restoring the structural strength of a slab.
"After-sales service that includes polishing and maintenance of the marble flooring is done by our team for years, post the purchase. The team has been specially trained by our Italian associates and installation is provided by one of India's top installation specialists. In India, most of the marble that is sold is of 16mm, but we provide the world standard 20mm best quality marble with increased lifespan and durability and each slab is handpicked by me," adds Shinde.