Innovative flooring products

If there is one aspect of home design which has benefited more than most from ongoing improvements in technology it is flooring, says Cheryl Neave, PR Manager for the Cape Town Building Centre.

“Year after year,” said Neave, “we find ourselves setting up exhibitions for new flooring products which are almost invariably innovative and exciting and can add great distinction to any home or office. Sadly, however, the public often take a long time to become familiar with what is on offer.”

Neave’s remarks were prompted by the arrival at the Building Centre of two new flooring ranges both of which can also be used as decorative wall coverings.

The first, supplied by Albert Carpets in Cape Town and Kevin Bates in Gauteng, is a product known as Grandeco. This has a completely realistic wood look, far surpassing many previous products of this type in this field, says Neave, but is in fact made of an exceptionally tough slip-proof layered vinyl. The product, says Neave, is harder wearing than and will outlast most wood planks.

In addition, she says, its other advantages are that it is waterproof, can be laid on top of almost any other material including real wood and tiles. It is also heat and fire resistant and, importantly, does not give off the ‘clunk’ sound that wood panels so often emit when walked on. The vinyl ‘planks’ are also unaffected by structural movement in the building.

The product comes in eight different colours all with a recognisable wood grain: charcoal, mocha, smoked oak, teak, Oregon, beech, maple and white pine. The range, therefore, goes from very light to almost black and is suitable for virtually any type of interior or exterior use.

Also now making a big impression on visitors at the Building Centre, says Neave, is a new range of cork flooring developed by the Portuguese company Amorin Revestimentos whose parent company has 130 years experience in cork products.

The ‘Cork Comfort’ flooring range comes in over 50 different styles and patterns, many of which, although exceptionally attractive, are hardly recognisable as cork. Like the Grandeco products, the colours can vary widely, in this case from a pale green or off-white to a deep chocolate brown.

“Cork,” says Neave, “is warm and comfortable to the touch. It is exceptionally sound absorbent and long lasting. It is widely regarded not only as chic and aesthetically attractive but also healthy because it is warm to the touch, comfortable to bare feet and is supplied with a water-based binder which gives off no harmful emissions. Also, of course, it is slip resistant.”

Neave said we have at least 14 flooring products at the Building Centre and these are increasingly popular not only with new home builders but those undertaking upgrades and improvements.

“It is often said that an outlay of R2 in home improvements will add R5 to R6 to the value of a home – and this is true,” said Neave. “It should be borne in mind by all those who see their home as an investment, who are seeking simply to improve its look or to upgrade its value prior to a sale.”

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