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For A Floor That Is A Corker, Simply Use Cork

Craig Pawson on trends for 2014

THIS month I will divulge some positive flooring industry news and look forward to the new trends.
The Office for National Statistics’ family spending report reveals that consumers spent £4.368bn on flooring last year. This is great news for the industry, which was hit hard during the economic recession.
It’s no secret that the flooring industry saw a decline in sales as a result of households limiting their spending due to lack of disposable income. However, as the housing market picks up, we are hopeful that the flooring market will follow suit.
It is fair to say that most flooring contractors have been relying on the refurbishment market for some time now. While the new build market is doing better, it may take a while to filter down for contractors to reap the benefits. For this reason, refurb projects are still what you should be focusing on.
When it comes to changing the design of a room, upgrading various aspects, consumers still look for new and exciting developments. Wood remains a popular flooring choice as it offers a great solution to consumers trying to save money, looks great and is hardwearing.
The up-front cost may be slightly more than carpets, but in the long run wood is vastly more economical.
Cork flooring is set to be a popular trend this year, offering the end user comfort and beauty. Cork is naturally anti-microbial and has excellent insulation properties, ensuring minimal heat loss, good noise insulation and a comfortable, warm walking surface.
Cork is resilient material that ‘springs back’, preventing heavy traffic and furniture imprint. It is also low in volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions. However it is important to check the finish applied.
Cork is not suitable for kitchens and bathrooms, as it absorbs moisture.
Bamboo is another material expected to be popular in 2014. Bamboo flooring is natural, water-resistant and extremely durable. Often available with tongue-and-groove technology, it is also easy to install. Bamboo is an attractive alternative because of its physical similarities to hardwoods. Both cork and bamboo flooring provide a good quality sustainable floor.
Despite the material, the finish is extremely important. Wood protection also provides aesthetically pleasing aspects.
Many believe that wood flooring looks better with age. For this reason, there are finishes available which do not detract from the appearance and enhance the rustic appearance. Meanwhile other finishes offer the option of colour.
Home-owners are also making a conscious effort to match flooring to their furniture, so don’t be surprised if you are asked to apply the same floor finish as used on a table or cupboard.
Craig Pawson is Osmo’s wood and finishes specialist.
T: 01296 481220

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at