Commercial Flooring Trendspotting at NeoCon 2016
NeoCon, the North American show for commercial interior design, drew about 53,000 design professionals from around the world to Chicago’s theMART complex. Attendance was up 6% over last year’s show, in a newly renovated space that included a Grand Stair, a redesigned 7th Floor Exhibit Hall and an expanded riverfront park with alfresco seating.
Once again, new commercial flooring was a highlight at the event. Following are a sampling of products unveiled during the show.
Armstrong Flooring debuted Natural Creations luxury vinyl tile (LVT) flooring with Diamond10 Technology and a new line of homogenous sheet flooring. Natural Creations is offered in ArborArt (featuring more than 50 wood visuals), EarthCuts (featuring natural stone, mineral and metallic ore looks) and Mystix (showcasing a range of textures inspired by textiles and hand-painted art).
ColorArt Medintech and Medintone with Diamond10 coating are two homogenous sheet flooring options from Armstrong Flooring. Medintech is available in 18 colors, while Medintone offers 64 tonal steps in a range of neutrals and colors. Armstrong’s Diamond10 Technology uses the hardness of cultured diamonds to resist scratches and scuffs while also repelling dirt and stains.
Bentley Mills unveiled the (los)t angeles collection of Antron Lumena Type 6,6 Solution-Dyed Nylon modular carpet, in two styles. The collection features seven colorways in urban-inspired neutrals and vibrant, saturated hues. Underground incorporates large, abstract blocks; Trespass evokes an exaggerated scale of pixelated plaid.
Both styles are available in NexStep Cushion Tile and Afirma Hardback Tile in 24” by 24” and 18” by 36” formats. The products are Cradle to Cradle, NSF 140 and CRI Green Label Plus certified.
CBC Flooring rolled out Mature Select premium resilient sheet flooring and Joint Shield seam sealer from Toli International. Mature Select combines woodgrain and natural fleck patterns in a patent-pending, two-tier, no-wax, antibacterial wear layer that resists stains and scuffs, along with a rugged construction that resists tears, gouges and indentations.
Joint Shield seam sealer, designed especially for Mature Select flooring, is a patent-pending chemical seam sealer designed to deliver “a virtually invisible seam in a few short hours without tooling and heat welding,” the company stated.
EarthWerks presented its new wood-plastic composite (WPC) collection, Sherbrooke. The vinyl planks are engineered to be waterproof yet look like typical wood flooring. The company noted, “The result is a product that adds a sophisticated, residential look and imbues a feeling of home to commercial spaces.”
J+J Flooring Group unveiled several new products. The company’s Invision brand rolled out Stellar (a collection of 24” by 24” modular carpet) and Manor House, which is offered in both broadloom and modular carpet styles.
Stellar is available in 13 colorways and four styles, which can be mixed and matched to create wholly distinctive designs. The four styles are: Time Lapse, Terra Firma, Milky Way and Dune. Each product in the Stellar line is solution-dyed with a high-luster yarn. Additionally, the Time Lapse, Milky Way and Terra Firma patterns can be installed using J+J’s TileTabs carpet connectors for quick installation and replacement.
Manor House broadloom carpet is offered in the styles Conservatory, Great Hall, Grand Salon and Garden Gate, in nine colorways. Great Hall is also available in a 24” by 24” modular option. All products are designed to coordinate with each other.
Manor House products are created using Encore BCF nylon with ColorLoc Plus stain resistance and feature ProTex Soil Release, a proprietary technology designed to impede soiling and improve cleanability. The broadloom carpets feature J+J’s Premier BacPlus backing system. Great Hall modular carpet features Nexus modular backing.
J+J also debuted Strata, a Kinetex textile composite plank featuring a nature-inspired look in an 18” by 36” format. The product is designed to evoke the grainy, rock-like appearance of a stone slab, in nine neutral colorways.
Strata features J+J’s Pre-Fix, a pre-applied releasable adhesive fully integrated into the backing. This system can be installed on concrete with relative humidity levels up to 99 percent, the company said. The product is made using solution-dyed polyester fiber from Universal Fibers. Kinetex products are certified to NSF 140 Platinum and CRI Green Label Plus, and come with a third-party Environmental Product Declaration.
Ben Moriarty, Karndean Designflooring public relations and marketing manager, had this to say about NeoCon 2016: “Geometric shapes were a common theme throughout the show. From accent elements and wall décor to larger items such as area rugs and flooring, the patterns offer a refined look with a tremendous amount of visual interest. A perfect example is our Kaleidoscope collection. Our booth featured designs that utilized shapes, colors, and grain patterns to create captivating flooring compositions.”
Highlights from Karndean’s booth included new additions to the company’s 3” wide Da Vinci LVT wood plank designs. Moriarty noted, “The designs provide a modern take on a traditional format, highlighted by reclaimed and distressed visuals. Shown in a herringbone pattern, Blended Oak, Beach Driftwood, and Double Smoked Acacia highlight the ability to create a unique and beautiful look by blending different products and incorporating intricate laying patterns.”
He added, “Serving as yet another example of the capabilities of Karndean Designflooring, Atra, Tergo, and Arrado from our Opus range were displayed in oversized parquet designs that featured wonderful depth of color and eye-catching patterns.”
Mannington Commercial proudly displayed its Best of NeoCon Gold Award in the Healthcare Flooring category for its companion Divergent modular carpet and Divergent LVT collections. “Inspired by the soothing tranquility of nature and designed for a tremendous variety of healthcare, retail, hospitality, and corporate applications, this line of carpet complements and completes the Divergent collection of LVT launched in April,” the company said.
Divergent LVT is available in 18” by 18” and 18” by 36” formats, while the carpet is available in 18” by 36” planks. Additionally, Mannington said its Seam+Advantage can chemically weld the LVT and carpet together, creating seamless transitions without transition strips.
Made with renewable materials and pre-consumer content, Divergent LVT is finished with Quantum Guard HP, a high-performing urethane for greater scratch, stain and slip resistance. Divergent carpet is manufactured with Econyl regenerated nylon 6,6. Both lines can be reclaimed and closed-loop recycled through Mannington’s LOOP program.
Masland Contract celebrated its 150th anniversary with several rollouts. Modular products included the Distressed Solutions collection, with Faded Batik and Diminishing Grid styles “offering progressive options in contract designs,” the company said.
Avant by Masland Contract products included Twisted Lines, Form and Layered Plaid for a fashion-forward mix. Additionally, Watercolor was added to the company’s Elevate collection of 100% New Zealand wool area rugs.
Masland Contract showcased five styles from its Milestone II collection: Pizzazz, Endure, Stamina, Robust and Vigor. Designed for senior living environments, these products are tufted for low-resistance roller traffic and are made using Universal Fibers Type 6,6 solution-dyed nylon.
For the hospitality sector, Masland Contract unveiled the Freehand collection, “which uses computer yarn placement and Infinity technology to create specific looks in both broadloom and area rugs,” the company noted.
Metroflor announced that its Aspecta commercial LVT line has achieved brand-wide NSF/ANSI 332 sustainability assessment certification. Aspecta Five was previously awarded at the Platinum level. The newly launched Aspecta One and Aspecta Ten have achieved Gold level certification.
Under this standard, resilient flooring products are evaluated for environmental performance and sustainability attributes in five areas: product design, manufacturing, long-term value, corporate governance and innovation. Performance is scored on a 100-point scale.
Milliken launched three flooring collections: Lapidus, City Proper and Freelay. Lapidus, which earned the company Best of NeoCon Gold (for modular carpet) and #MetropolisLikes awards, reinterprets natural patterns and textures in a performance-based construction.
City Proper, the newest addition to Milliken’s Constantine Collection, offers a range of scale in three patterns, each available in 24 standard colors. The style is influenced by urban environments.
Freelay LVT is offered in five patterns with distressed textures and architectural details. Freelay also features a non-skid backing and is FloorScore certified.
Mohawk Group’s “Expand Your Boundaries” theme was exemplified through new products and a renovated showroom designed by INNOCAD. The company launched 10 collections spanning broadloom, carpet tile, woven and LVT.
Highlights included Topography, a three-dimensional carpet tile collection featuring the new extra-large modular format of 24” by 48”; and Grown Up, the newest additional to Mohawk’s Hot & Heavy collection of loose-lay, embossed-in-registered LVT. Grown Up offers the distinctive graining of long-plank hardwoods.
Mohawk also earned several prestigious design awards. Geometry LVT earned HiP honors in the educational/government/institutional flooring category. Topography earned the Best of NeoCon Product Innovation Award. Moonscapes broadloom carpet, created by Mohawk Design Studio in conjunction with Austrian firm 13&9, earned a #MetropolisLikes nod. Additionally, Buildings selected Serenity carpet tile as a 2016 Product Innovations Merit Award winner.
Patcraft, part of Shaw Industries, presented four new products. Admix is a homogenous, solid resin tile reminiscent of terrazzo and offered in 36” by 36” and 12” by 12” tiles. Available in a mix of warm and cool neutrals, Admix offers coordinating feature strips to create additional accents and designs.
Employing an innovative watercolor process, Set in Concrete is an LVT collection in two styles: Aggregate and Dissipate. The visuals combine the shifts in patterns found within aged concrete finishes and a salt-wash watercolor technique for a stained effect. Set in Concrete features a 20 mil wear layer and Exoguard quartz-enhanced finish. It is also FloorScore certified.
Mixed Materials Converge is a collection of three carpet tile shapes: a 24” square, a facet and a 12” by 48” Skinny Tile. Designed to coordinate with existing 24” Patcraft products as well as those in the Mixed Materials platform, the collection offers the ability to seamlessly transition between carpet and resilient without the need for transition strips, according to the company. Constructed using Solution Q Extreme nylon, the collection is also Cradle-to-Cradle Certified.
The Cosmopolitan broadloom collection features three products in 12 colors. Each broadloom style features a tip shear construction in a sophisticated range of foundational neutrals paired with modern accents. Constructed with Eco Solution Q nylon, Cosmopolitan is Cradle-to-Cradle and CRI Green Label certified.
Tandus Centiva, a Tarkett brand, introduced Indigenous Earth resilient flooring. The product uses advanced digital printing technology to create longer pattern repeats ranging from 160” to 180”. These longer repeats allow for intentional coloration differences and distinct design elements like large wood knots or rust markings to be incorporated.
Tarkett unveiled Collections Infinies digitally printed LVT, featuring designs from internationally renowned artists Suzanne Tick, Krista Ninivaggi, D.B. Kim, 2x4 and Stefan Sagmeister, whose design will be available in the fall. Tarkett also presented a co-creation and visualization tool so architects and designers can use specially selected color palettes for each layer of the design.