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Ask the Expert: Making a smart choice with flocked flooring

You might be surprised at how flocked flooring can open up a world of creative opportunities for modern workspaces.

Paid feature by

Forbo Flooring Systems


3 min read

Forbo Flooring Systems

Scotland, Lancashire, Telford, London

The method of ‘flocking’ was first seen in China around 1000 BC., using chopped fibres on animal skin. By the 1200s, Germany was using flocked fabrics and 400 years later, France saw the birth of flocked wallpapers, which was depicted as a symbol of elegance, grandeur and wealth in the 17th Century. Fast forward three centuries, and electrostatically flocked floor coverings were discovered in the 1960s in Chateau Renault and continue to be produced today.

While flocked flooring design has continued to evolve over the last 50 years, there is however still a misconception of it being tired, bland and dated, and for some, it even conjures up images of their gran’s kitchen from back in the 1960s! But the truth is, advances in digital technology over the years have extended the range of patterns, colours and styles that flocked flooring can be manufactured in. And as a result, you might be surprised at how it can open up a world of creative opportunities for modern workspaces.

Neither a true textile, nor a resilient flooring, the unique dense fibre construction of flocked flooring combines the comfort and sound absorbing properties of a textile with outstanding durability and cleanability. These unrivalled performance benefits undoubtedly make it an ideal choice for various areas within an office. But as the trend for modular flooring continues to rise due to ease and speed of installation, manufacturers are working hard to continue to innovate and are always looking to take flocked flooring to new heights in terms of design.

The plank format of flocked flooring for example, provides a more contemporary aesthetic in comparison to traditional square tiles, ensuring that there is no limit to its design versatility. Designers can mix and match colours and designs, and create patterns easily, such as chevron or herringbone. Or even when a single colourway is used, it is still possible to create interesting and beautiful floors, as plank designs show little repeat in their patterning.

Refreshed for 2021, Forbo Flooring Systems Flotex Planks range now comprises 96 colourways in a comprehensive collection of 11 sophisticated designs. Inspired by two distinct themes: Surfaces and Textures, the designs allow the creation of stunning office flooring schemes, ranging from colourful and complex layouts to minimal, understated elegance.

Surfaces is inspired by natural materials, and includes designs such as Wood, Concrete and Seagrass, as well as Marble, Ombré and Montage, which are new. Visually familiar yet texturally different, Marble challenges perceptions and pushes boundaries; Ombré is a strongly textile, subtly textured design shading from dark to light for a calming ambience; and the textural layers create a complex pattern with an elegant and contemporary feel for Montage.

Contrastingly, the Textures collection is influenced by graphic, geometric and textile patterns and comprises the all-new Converge, Frameweave and Refract, as well as established favourites, Triad and Box-Cross. Converge features areas of pattern which join at different angles creating unusual facets to form abstract shapes; and the subtle Frameweave design is inspired by rich woven fabric, combined with a graphical layout. Finally, Refract is a contrasting pattern made of textures which has depth, movement and energy.

Although the designs in the Surfaces and Textures collections are different, the colours are tonally similar. This allows colours to be used on their own, mixed and matched with colours from within the same range or to be combined with different designs to create unique floors.

As workspaces are often separated into a variety of ‘activity settings’ or purpose-built areas, such as impromptu meeting zones, formal meeting spaces, kitchens and break out areas all within one open plan environment, the combination of designs from new flocked flooring collections can work perfectly in conjunction to define and integrate spaces.

Design flexibility aside, with over 70 million fibres per square metre, it means that the upright fibres and impermeable PVC backing of fibres of flocked flooring can be cleaned right down to the base. Tougher stains and dirt can be removed with standard carpet wet cleaning machinery too. What’s more, Forbo’s Flotex also has zero phthalates and is the only textile floor covering to hold the prestigious Allergy UK Seal of Approval™, which will contribute to helping to create better indoor environments for all.

Smart, innovative and modular, it’s easy to see why flocked flooring is a great solution for today’s office environments. For more information about Forbo’s new Flotex Planks range please visit www.forbo-flooring.co.uk/flotexplanks

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