Super Stars at the International Surfaces Event

By Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID; CMG

Flooring manufacturers brought their “A” game to the Surfaces Trade Show in Las Vegas this past January. Covering the show adequately equated to walking a marathon, but it was certainly well worth it. I am happy to share some highlights with you:

Lauzon Flooring – A smart floor called Pure Genius that purifies the air? Can this be true? Yes it is, and it was highlighted at the show by Lauzon. Here’s what they said about their new introduction: Pure Genius floors work constantly without any loss of performance over time. It is activated by light, and the active nanoparticles in Pure Genius decompose VOC’s in the air and convert them to harmless molecules. That’s pretty impressive, especially since Lauzon says it makes the air in your home up to 85% purer over time. Products that perform double-duty are much in demand in the world of flooring design. Expect this one to be at the top of the list.

Karndean Design Floors – Karndean’s booth at Surfaces was a strong draw. They chose TISE to preview their newly re-designed DaVinci collection. The launch is scheduled for this spring and highlighted by 12 planks and 10 stones. Moving away from a tailored, traditional look, the new DaVinci captures the best of vintage, reclaimed wood looks. This is a design direction that is gaining momentum and (added bonus) works as well with contemporary interiors as well as traditional. High character LVP woods with aged-looks bring the best of the past to the here and now. 48” x 7” planks capture the look of woods gently aged by nature over time.

Nourison – As always, Nourison and Nourtex broadloom did not disappoint. The US made Hagaman line in particular featured 80% new styles made mostly from natural fibers. Nourison plays artfully with a neutral palette and creates softly dramatic geometrics for their carpets. Line, shape, form are the building blocks of their broadloom styles. The bar is set high every year by Nourison, and what I experienced was carpet focused on artistic styling.

Mannington – This is a BIG year for Mannington—celebrating their 100 year anniversary in business, they were a major presence at TISE. This company can do it all: carpet, LVT/LVP, hardwood, rubber floors, VCT, laminate, sheet vinyl. This certainly positions them as a leader in the industry. This year, I saw a focus on new LVT/LVP styles with 92 new SKU’s being introduced. Their marketing strategy is to offer customers a comprehensive package of floor coverings, and they do that very well. Befitting of their 100 year celebration, they introduced “Centennial” a retro-inspired vinyl floor that gives a modern interpretation to mid-century designs. Patterns are well-named and inspire the customer to take a closer look at Penny Lane, Filigree, Empire and Chaumont.

Of course this article is just a teaser for anyone searching for the latest, greatest new introductions in floor coverings. There was so much more debuted that deserves attention. But to see any of these amazing floors mentioned in this article, I encourage you to go online to the manufacturers’ websites. They are so new, it may be a few months before you can see them in person at your local retailer’s showroom, but take heart, they are definitely on the way!

2009 Trends – Surfaces Recap

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In case you missed the posts on each category of trends from Surfaces – here’s a recap!

Overall

This year there was a significant presence of design and high style with the new introductions. I was concerned with the state of the economy that the product offerings would be safer and more subtle choices. This was definitely not the case!

The color theme seemed to be along the warmer, darker and richer shades. This applies to every category of flooring, more than likely because more and more homes are using mixed types of flooring and they all need to coordinate!

Hardwood

In the up and coming months there are going to be hardwood  styles that are going to change the direction of hardwood floors.  Floors at the show showed higher sheen levels with some that you could almost see your reflection in. These finishes will give rooms and design schemes a totally new look and feel.

The majority of the hardwood colors shown were darker and richer shades. Color shades seen resembled coffee  colors, rich furniture colors and warm spices.

Wider boards are still popular although many narrower boards are still being shown.

There were styles of hardwood shown that were clean, crisp and elegant as well raw, rustic and anything but refined. There seemed to be more options for different design styles than ever before.

Tile

It seemed like almost everyone had tiles that were linear in shape. Shapes ranged from 1×6 to 18×24 and every size in between. Installation examples were shown of these linear tiles used as a stand alone product as well as accents to standard shaped tiles. Some installation patterns used these linear tiles to create stripe effects.

There were introductions of tiles with higher sheen levels than the past couple of years. Mirrored finishes, crystal tiles and polished metals were prevalent. These higher sheens were shown in mosaics and even large format floor tiles. Some of the mosaics were mixed with high polished tiles and unpolished tiles. Finishes like rust and bronze verde took the stage for the patinas.

There will always be beige/neutral tiles out there because there is a place for them, but this year there were many offerings of gorgeous tiles with high ranges of color. The color shades were rich and warm. The shades were mixed between the field tiles and the listellos and decorative tiles so neutral tiles could be used with bolder accents and vice-versa.

Tile sizes ranged from micro mosaics 5/8″×5/8″ to 24″x24″. The interesting thing was to see the mixes of the different sizes. Larger format tiles were mixed with micro and mini sized tiles where in the past we have seen more standard size tiles mixed with smaller sizes that were closer in size to the standard size tiles.

Like hardwood styles, there was something offered for everyone. From rustic natural stone to high polished crystal tiles no design group was left out this year. Look for tiles that are irregularly shaped and formed, bright colors to bold colors to dull, rich and muted colors – something for every style. With the variation in sizes, shapes and colors more design options are possible. Emser tile also reported that the chiseled edge tiles are regaining popularity and are offered at excellent price points and mosaic tiles ares still popular.

Carpet

The carpet shown at Surfaces 2009 this year was a different showing than last year. This year there were not just an abundance of carpet styles and colors, but choices seemed to be quality choices rather than just quantity.

The primary colors that were used for displays were neutrals, but the colors that were shown were wonderful. Oranges, greens, blues, grays and earthy shades of brown took center stage. The oranges and blues were muted and rich. The greens were light and lively. The browns were earthy, coffee insprired and looked like great candidates for hiding traffic! Along those same lines, there were some beautiful heathered products that have more range of color than I think we are all used to seeing in once piece of carpet.

Like other products shown there were patterns that were outstanding. Look for linear patterns, grid patterns and texture on texture patterns. Look for patterns that are not just floral, but floral with a textured background. I think you will be excited about the upcoming releases!

Area Rugs

Talk about texture! Area rugs this year are all about texture. Not just texture, like thick yarns, but texture like felt discs and sculpted carpets. From conservative to comtemporary to outrageous, Surfaces had it all.

The area rug selections compliment the trends in hardwood and other hard surfaces so well it will make you want to remodel just to get a piece of these trends. Your feet are sure in for a treat when walking on all of the textures and soft yarns.