The vinyl frontier

Jason Pethard of Forbo Flooring Systems discusses the rise of vinyl specifications and the benefits of partnering with a reputable flooring manufacturer.

It is without a doubt that both housebuilders and developers are feeling the pressures of not only constructing homes to satisfy building stock demands, but also the competition to attract buyers.

Within this is the need for housebuilders to build to a high standard, while taking into account practicality, longevity, safety and design. As such, it is vital that careful consideration is given to all building materials to ensure that they fit the practicalities of every day life. This is especially true of those products that can potentially be subject to heavy use, such as floor coverings.

Having a real wooden, stone or ceramic floor can bring a natural beauty and timeless appeal to family living spaces. However, depending on the desired application and use, installing a natural floor might not always be the best or most cost-effective option. Modern vinyl floor coverings provide a perfect alternative, offering convincing, authentic visuals with excellent practical performance.

State of the art manufacturing processes deliver high-tech wear layers and finishes to floor coverings, to ensure products retain their ‘as-new’ appearance, even after years of intensive use. Other elements such as consistent and dimensionally stable construction, colour fastness and unique embossing can also make a vinyl collection stand out from the crowd.

Housebuilders have a duty of care, and as such, products that incorporate safety features are essential. Factory applied finishes, designed to ensure that the level of grip is not significantly reduced by spills or splashes of water or any other liquid, result in a floor that is more practical and safe to walk on. In addition, the ability to provide protection against scuff and scratch marks, as well as ensuring easy cleaning, results in the best natural surface finish.

Aside from the practical benefits of vinyl floor coverings, their outstanding aesthetics are also a driving factor in their specification, providing impressive visuals with a unique identity and natural feel. Modern printing techniques deliver sophisticated designs to offer future homeowners, from natural wood, stone and tiled effects to contemporary brushed steel and metallic finishes –  all of which have been designed to reflect a home’s individual style. In fact, the designs available are sure to inspire flooring schemes for new build homes, providing homeowners with the aesthetics they really want. What’s more, as sheet vinyl is available in multiple widths, housebuilders can rest assured that a beautiful seam-free finish can be achieved without the need to weld.

In addition to sheet vinyl, luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) are also growing in popularity as the trend for modular design increases. Modular floor coverings are the perfect solution to create unique designs, as they allow housebuilders and homeowners to quickly and easily mix, match, combine or contrast various shapes, sizes, colours and textures of tiles. They also make commercial sense as they reduce installation time and wastage, which in turn helps to save on overall costs. They are also easier to handle and store on site.

In order to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technological advances of vinyl and other floor coverings, it is advised that housebuilders and developers liaise with a respectable manufacturer who can offer dedicated portfolios specifically for the housing sector.

Jason Pethard is key account manager at Forbo Flooring Systems