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Vinyl flooring and LVTs are holding onto their major market share:

Altro floors and walls were installed in the Co-operative Group’s new £100m beehive-inspired headquarters in Manchester. Designed by architect 3D Reid and built by BAM Construction, the structure uses a range of energy-efficient features, from giant earth tubes to a ventilated double-skin glass façade. These have helped the new Co-op building achieve the highest BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ score of any UK office.
The internal layout of the 16-storey, 325,000sq ft building allows flexible use of the space and state-of-the-art technology. An integrated energy system promotes renewable energy. CHP units can run on pure plant oil harvested and refined from Co-operative farms. A sustainable drainage system stores and recycles water as needed.
Altro flooring and walling products can contribute towards a BREEAM assessment via the materials category, with many achieving the top A+ rating. All Altro safety flooring is 100% recyclable pre-installation, with some being 100% recyclable post-use. Altro safety flooring contains post-consumer waste as an integral raw material.
John Abbott Flooring, a member of the CFA, installed the Altro Stronghold 30 in general stores, kitchens and tea areas across all floors, laying down 537sq m overall. The 3mm-thick flooring is designed for safety in wet and greasy conditions where frequent spillage is likely.
It is also said to help with noise reduction and provide comfort and strength underfoot, while containing a bacteriostat to inhibit the growth of bacteria, contributing to hygiene standards and reducing the risk of cross-infection.
Steve Evans, quantity surveyor at John Abbott, said: ‘This is one of the most prestigious buildings in Manchester, so it was a very exiting project for us. In our 20 years of working with Altro we have done many projects of this size, so we are used to working on this scale.
‘We had a team of 11 installers working over five months. It was pretty straightforward because the product is very easy to use and Altro’s support on the job helped it run smoothly.’
Also used, Altro Whiterock wall cladding is described as a cost-effective sheet extruded from a high quality, food safe PVCu polymer for operating temperatures up to 60degC.
It is said to be easy to clean, impact resistant and grout-free, while meeting all current EU Directives on health and hygiene.
Altro’s commitment to sustainable manufacturing was recognised with the Arup Award for Sustainable Manufacturing at the 2012 Manufacturing Excellence Awards.
Altro is one of two founder members of Recofloor – the vinyl flooring industry’s take back scheme for post-use vinyl – which launched in September 2009. As the first manufacturer capable of recycling safety flooring in-house, Altro collects and recycles all the safety flooring on behalf of Recofloor, irrespective of manufacturer. www.altro.com
Atkinson & Kirby has added three new planks and one new tile to its LivLoc luxury click vinyl range. The four new colours are in response to customer feedback and emerging trends for distressed, weathered and marbled effects.
The new mid-brown Antique Cinnamon plank offers a warm, rustic look. The texture of the board imitates hand scraped wood. Desert Sand plank has a more traditional white oak effect with a subtle silver finish. The third plank, Driftwood, is a response to the growing trend for grey floors. The finish of this plank is a mix of different shades of grey.
Its colour combined with a knot and grain detail creates a weathered driftwood effect. The new marbled effect tile – Marbled Stone features an embossed effect.
Resistant to water, LivLoc vinyl can be installed in bathrooms, kitchens and any other environments where wood is not advisable.
With a 0.5mm wearlayer, fibreglass reinforcement and sound insulation; it is also recommended for busy areas such as hallways, shops and restaurants.
The range comes with a 25 years residential and 10 years commercial guarantee. www.livloc.co.uk www.akirby.co.uk
Distinctive Flooring luxury vinyl Harbour plank was recently installed in the Ibis Hotel, London Docklands.
Specified for its restaurant, Harbour plank is a recycled wood design plank with micro-bevel edge.
It also has an anti-scuff urethane finish with reportedly very low VOC emissions (for improved internal climate). The flooring is also said to be suitable for use with underfloor heating to 28degC, while being quiet, hardwearing and easy to clean.
The design team were inspired by waterfront living. Harbour plank was created to reflect peace and tranquillity, and the combination of sun bleached planking and traditional packaging.
Distinctive Flooring currently holds stocks in the UK of 38 designs of luxury vinyl tile and planks in the direct stick format and a further 17 designs with the locking system.
The company also plans to add a further 25 decors to these ranges in the autumn. www.distinctiveflooring.co.uk
Floorink, a digitally printed vinyl floor produced in 4m wide rolls features an upgraded construction for 2013 to increase durability for use in heavy commercial application areas.
Fully customisable and with its R10 slip rating, Floorink is said to be suitable for designers of museums, schools and visitor attractions to create impactful and interactive flooring.
The pinnacle of The Shard, opened earlier this year, unveiled Floorink’s highest installation to date: Level 33, over 120m up from street level.
When visitors arrive at Level 33 from the ground floor of The View from The Shard, they transfer lifts through an all-enveloping graffiti map of London designed by Event Communications.
Guests can follow an image of the River Thames curving along the floor and see the capital mapped geographically around them in 200 sentences scrawled on the walls and floor, each describing a different area of the city. www.floorink.com
itec Contract Floors presents isafe Apex, a new brand of safety flooring in a range of decors and providing 36+ (wet and dry) performance.
Featuring a variety of wood-look designs and stone-inspired surfaces, the collection is claimed to inject style into the safety flooring arena and provide specifiers and contractors with on-trend floors that also deliver impeccable performance.
Achieving suitability for class 34 and class 43 uses, the product is recommended for demanding environments, including those prone to moisture and heavy footfall.
Featuring HyperGuard+ PUR for extra protection against heavy traffic, isafe Apex floors are described as simple to keep clean and maintain for lasting good looks.
‘Along with isafe One, isafe Apex is quickly gaining a reputation for its decors and performance,’ says Jason Barrett, national sales manager, Itec Contract Floors.
‘Suitable for commercial buildings from offices, schools, shops and public buildings through to leisure and catering facilities, isafe Apex is proving to designers and specifiers that something so practical and safety-conscious can also be stylish enough to fit in with carefully planned design schemes.’
Compatible with the Invisiweld cold weld technology for an almost imperceptible join with faster and easier installation, the product is available in 2m and 4m widths to reduce wastage and unsightly seams in compact areas. www.itecfloors.co.uk
Polyflor has unveiled Expona Control, a new flooring concept combining the design benefits of an LVT with the performance of a HSE compliant safety floor, offering sustainable wet slip resistance.
Expona Control is claimed to be the first product of its type and the culmination of Polyflor’s expertise and creativity in the manufacturing of LVT and safety flooring.
The design focussed 14 colour collection features authentic wood and stone designs and achieves the required slip resistance through the inclusion of aggregate throughout the wearlayer.
The product is developed for use in public areas where there is a risk of spillage or temporary surface water that could make the floor unsafe.
Designed for use in heavy commercial locations, its typical applications include bar and restaurant areas, supermarkets, department stores, schools and universities.
Generally any area with direct access to the outside is susceptible to becoming wet on a rainy day.
With high footfall rainwater is quickly trafficked inside on footwear, umbrellas, clothing and push chairs.
The product is fully HSE compliant offering the same slip resistance specification as Polyflor’s Polysafe ranges.
Achieving 36+ in the pendulum wet test and 20 microns of surface roughness, the slip resistance is claimed to be sustainable for the life of the product.
The enhanced wearlayer creates a rougher, harder friction surface to ‘bite’ into the sole of footwear for the necessary durability and underfoot safety.
Polyflor claims that once Expona Control is installed and maintained correctly the slip resistance will tend to improve with time.
A clean floor is a safer floor and the incorporation of Polyflor’s PUR technology is said to provide an easier regime for maintenance staff and a reduced need for energy, power, water and chemical consumption.
Unlike traditional safety floors, Expona Control is complimented with a range of inlay strips allowing for countless design possibilities.
Tiles and planks from the wood and stone collections can also be installed side by side to delineate rooms and create zonal areas.
The possible combinations and floor design options promote the product as a more creative concept allowing truly bespoke floors to be created, whilst retaining the safety aspect at all times. www.polyflor.com
Tarkett has launched a new range of LVTs for the home – iD Inspiration 70, sitting alongside its iD Selection 40 collection.
The ranges retain commercial specifications, meaning that they’re extremely hardwearing. But Tarkett has designed these new collections for the smaller room sizes and interior aesthetics of consumer homes. Both ranges are 100% recyclable and include a minimum 48% recycled content.
Tarkett’s LVT range is also claimed to be the only product on the UK market that is manufactured and designed in Europe.
This means both products have a carbon footprint lower than those manufactured in the Far East. VOC emissions are also below quantifiable levels, contributing to an optimal indoor air quality.
The main difference between iD Selection 40 and iD Inspiration 70 is in the transparent PVC wearlayer applied to the surface. iD Selection 40 has a 0.40mm wearlayer whereas iD Inspiration 70 has a thicker 0.70mm wearlayer. These differences help users identify the product most suited to their project needs.
John Devine, Tarkett UK sales director, said: ‘Hard-wearing durability has been matched with stylish, on-trend designs to offer a product that not only looks fantastic but will last, while offering users a sustainable choice.
‘The range is also incredibly easy to lay and maintain, delivering a saving to both project managers charged with installing the flooring and long-term users.
‘It’s a product we’re excited about releasing to the market and we expect demand for it to be high.’
Both ranges are available in over 30 colours and effects, allowing the user to create attractive, personalised interiors. The designs are inspired by natural materials and authentic textures.
iD Inspiration 70 comes in 21 wood effect planks and nine mineral and stone effect tiles, while iD Selection 40 has a choice of 12 wood effect planks and seven stone and metal tiles;
iD Inspiration 70 uses a four-layer manufacturing process to develop a product that offers life-long performance.
It’s also reportedly easy to install with a supporting range of accessories available to make the process even easier.
www.tarkett-commercial.com

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website, you can find them at