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Wood and laminate market trends

Gail Alcock looks at market trends in the wood and laminate world…

Laminate flooring continues to be a popular flooring choice in 2022. It’s a material that is stylish, affordable, and easy to maintain, making it a fantastic option for domestic and commercial projects alike.

In 2021 sales of our laminate flooring products from leading brands including Quick-Step, FAUS, Xtra-Step, Swiss Krono, and Krono Original grew by 14% alone, equating to sales of over 40 million m² of flooring, and I only expect this trend to continue with technological advances, improvements in installation methods, and design development.

The material offers a cost-effective way of achieving the premium look of real timber or the stunning appearance of tiled floors, while offering the advantages of being affordable, highly durable, scratch resistant, and easier to clean and maintain compared to real wood and stone. With a myriad of colours and design styles now available offering higher levels of authenticity than ever before, it’s no wonder that laminate flooring represents a healthy income stream for retailers.

Wooden parquet effects
One of the continuing design trends in laminate flooring is wooden parquet effects. Herringbone and chevron flooring has long been associated with luxury and grandeur in stately homes and a marker for style and affluence, and the pattern’s expansion into laminate flooring over the last decade or so has opened up the design scope of this sought-after look to a much wider demographic.

Herringbone offers a more classic parquet look with tightly alternating boards laid at 90 deg angles which create a stunning focal point in any room while chevron takes the classic style and gives it a modern update. Here the planks are cut at 45 deg to create a more modern geometric zig-zag effect, which is particularly popular among younger homeowners.

One of the main advantages of laminate flooring is its hardwearing surface layer. It does not crack like a ceramic so is increasingly viewed by consumers and retailers alike as a real alternative to a traditionally laid ceramic tiled floor, and of course the fact that it can be laid with ease in a fraction of the time to tiles is a major selling point for installers.

Patterned tile effects
Another trend in the laminate flooring market that is showing no sign of waning is patterned tile effects. With laminate you can instantly achieve the look of retro Victorian tile effect flooring with all the convenience, value, and performance benefits of a man-made material. These designs are currently enjoying a revival among younger consumers and at the same time, they conjure up feelings of nostalgia among the older demographic, so are a good option with the increasing trend for multi-generational households.

Concrete and slate effects
Similarly, large format tile designs such as concrete and slate effects are continuing to have a moment in the laminate market. The flooring offers a great way to create a bold statement while injecting a sense of space into a room and offers the benefits of easy maintenance and compatibility with underfloor heating systems, unlike natural stone.

Design-wise, laminate offers an array of choice that can satisfy a broad church of consumer tastes and demographics. At IDS we stock over 300 designs in laminate flooring alone and this offer is regularly updated with new designs from our brand partners, making sure we are always on point.

Moisture resistant core
We’ve noticed a swing in demand for laminate flooring with a moisture resistant core, which opens up the scope for the flooring in kitchens, bathrooms and any other room in the home. Each of the laminate brands we stock, including BerryAlloc Ocean+, Quick-Step, FAUS, and Xtra-Step, offers options with water resistant cores, ensuring their suitability for installation in any environment.

High-pressure floors
The next development phase for the laminate market is in high-pressure floors. These floors can withstand serious impact and remain mark-free and undamaged, making them ideal for high traffic areas such as retail environments, hotel receptions, and even car showrooms. They are also perfect for busy households and can be installed with confidence under heavy furniture thanks to their higher weight bearing tolerances compared to standard laminate.

BerryAlloc has recently launched the High Pressure Floor (HPF) ranges, Grand Majestic and Grand Avenue, which introduce AluLoc, a revolutionary 5G glue-free locking system made from durable aluminium which can tolerate loads of up to 1,200 kg per linear metre. These ranges are available as wide planks up to 300mm wide and 2.4 metres in length and include the underlay pad attached to each plank – all at a fraction of the cost of real wood flooring in an equivalent size format. IDS is proud to be the exclusive UK stockist for these fantastic products which pave the way for a new growth era for the laminate market.

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