NeoCon Report: The walk: Long. The pace: Quick. The floors: Fabulous!
It involves lots and lots of walking, talking and persevering (then more walking) for a specifier to zero in on exactly the right products for a given project, but the goodies you see make it all worthwhile. Admittedly most specifers at the show were pre-occupied with furniture, but inevitably they recognize that floor covering is an essential ingredient in the mix. And those who focus on flooring found a great selection of products to choose from this year. Although it would be impossible to see, let along chronicle, all the floor covering highlights seen at NeoCon, let me give you an armchair tour. Here are some of the product highlights that caught my eye.
Interface introduced the Black and White Collection of modular carpet tiles. Black and white is always a fashion statement and this collection is no exception. The fun begins with animal prints and extends to Greek keys (another classic design) and on to hounds tooth checks.
Johnsonite has set its sights on elevating rubber flooring with new textures added to its Rubber Tile Collection: Bamboo, Pebbles and Other Natural Wonders. Aside from adding a distinct look, the new textures offer long life, easy maintenance and superior slip-resistance. They are high-performance solutions for high-performance environments.
Lonseal unfurled a new collection called LonBead that actually looks like pearls (hence I'm sure the name selection.) Lonseal also introduced a product in keeping with its history of eco-friendly, low VOC vinyl flooring products made with a high percentage of recycled contents: Its innovation LonEco Greenair is crafted with more than 50 percent recycled vinyl and wood powder. Theses are wonderful green products.
Mannington Commercial once again demonstrated why it is widely seen as a leader in design. The company brought to Chicago a variety of product in a range of categories. The one that really stood out was Nature's Paths. This splendid collection of luxury vinyl tiles and planks has great mix and match possibilities within the line itself, or with other Mannington products, such as ArtWorks. The custom design possibilities are vast.
Some fun stuff could be seen at Milliken Carpet's exhibit. The new product Walk This Way is just a playful collection of carpet tiles with 3-D visual design. The companies' Venue and Theory designs were also attention getters. These designs, offering lots of color and movement, are a great way to add to an interior.
Monterey Carpets, introducing its first collection by design director Suzanne Tick, also made a splash with its Colouresce Collection. The broadloom group was engineered with a wide range of construction methods and is offered with a great palette of colors (which was a real drawing card for designers.) Of particular interest was the wide array of complex neutrals that were accomplished with space-dyed yarns. The Grande Illusions Collection was classic styling with spectacular new companion patterns, including geometrics, large circles, stripes and small textures.
Nature was the inspiration for the designers from Nora who sired a new line of rubber flooring called Fossil. The striking color granules that characterize this product resemble fossil inclusions found in nature. There are 16 base colors, each with a blend of 3 harmoniously matched colors that coordinate with existing Noraplan products. Like all of the other Nora products, Fossil is PVC-free.
Shaw Contract Group introduced a new line of broadloom called No Rules. Despite a catchy name that really spoke to me, the name signifies just what the carpet is all about. It's the industry's first broadloom product to offer the benefits of a random pattern. We've seen random patterning in vinyl sheet goods, now it has come to broadloom. L7, another new Shaw product, captured a Silver Award. This product juxtapositions a wide range of hues within a palette, achieving a color depth that is unusual in a contract carpet
So there you have it: A short and sweet tour of some of the wonderful new flooring products at NeoCon. While my feet will surely get back to normal, I'll personally have a hard time getting over the dilemma of how to use all of the wonderful new products that I found. Hope you have the same problem.