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Modular floor coverings are a smart choice for commercial office environments. In fact, due to ease and speed of installation, the flexibility to redesign layouts and their ability to be installed over raised access floors, it is no surprise that modularity is a major consideration in office design. While carpet tiles and luxury vinyl tiles are often the ‘go-to’ for designers, flocked floor coverings provide a viable alternative – especially as they can offer the best of both worlds – and have seen a huge rise in popularity over recent years.
The unique construction of flocked flooring, which combines the durability of a resilient with the comfort, warmth and sound absorbing properties of a carpet, continues to challenge traditional perspectives. As well as being completely washable and quick drying, flocked flooring offers exceptional design opportunities, thanks to the latest digital printing technologies, colourways and formats, making it the ideal solution for both contemporary and classic office interiors.
For example, the versatile plank format provides a more contemporary aesthetic compared to traditional square tiles. Ranging from colourful and complex layouts to minimal, understated elegance, planks can be used to create stimulating and inspiring environments for clients and their employees. Designers can mix and match colours and designs, and create patterns easily, such as chevron or herringbone.
Forbo Flooring Systems has recently refreshed its Flotex Planks range. Comprising 96 colourways across 11 designs and split into two distinct design families: Surfaces and Textures, designers can create interesting flooring schemes within modern workspaces. The Surface designs are inspired by natural materials and include Wood, Concrete, Seagrass, Marble, Ombre and Montage; the latter three of which are new for 2021. Textures is influenced by graphic, geometric and textile patterns, and consist of the all-new Converge, Frameweave and Refract designs, as well as established favourites Triad and Box-Cross.
Although the designs from across the collections are different, the colours are tonally similar, allowing them to be combined easily to either create unique flooring designs, help with zoning spaces or aid wayfinding around a building. As the workplace is often separated into impromptu meeting zones, formal meeting spaces, project rooms and break out areas all within one open plan environment, these new designs can be used in conjunction to define and integrate spaces. Alternatively, as Flotex Planks show little repeat in their patterning, they can be used to create interesting and beautiful floors even when only one single colour is used.
From an end-user perspective, workplace interiors can contribute to improving the health and wellbeing of staff. With research suggesting that there are 5.7 million people who could be allergic to their place of work, products that can improve indoor air quality for employees is vital. Flotex is the first textile floor covering to receive the prestigious Allergy UK ‘Seal of Approval™’ and has zero phthalates and ultra-low VOC emissions. Furthermore, the tactile nature of flocked flooring delivers superior acoustic performance compared to resilient flooring types, with Flotex capable of reducing impact sound reduction by up to 22 dB.
Finally, in the current climate, careful thought needs to be placed on the cleanability of all fixtures and finishes. With flocked flooring, a highly dense surface pile as a result of 70 million fibres per square metre means that the upright fibres and impermeable PVC backing of fibres can be cleaned right down to the base and dry soiling is easily removed using an upright vacuum cleaner. Tougher stains and dirt can be removed with standard carpet wet cleaning machinery too.
Offering warmth, comfort and acoustic properties of a textile floor covering combined with outstanding durability and cleanability, the latest designs in the Flotex Planks range can help designers to create stand-out office spaces that are fit for the future.
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