DesignMENA speaks to Rizwan Sajan, founder and chairman of Danube Group, about the latest trends in flooring and the key requirements for specifiers.
In terms of design and material choice, what are the latest trends in flooring in the Middle East?
Trends are constantly changing and keeping pace with the emerging client requirements. We’ve introduced Signature Flooring, an extensive range of laminate flooring made of composite panels. These floors might look like wood, but they are not vulnerable to the elements. The other trend is colours where we have introduced a wide variety of options to select from. Oak is the most commonly available wood type, and is immensely versatile, hence giving the options of different colours and stains on the oak wood as per the client’s requirement.
The vinyl tiles and rolls are also an upcoming trend for projects of airports and hospitals. The heterogeneous and homogeneous vinyl features anti-bacterial characteristics making it commonly specified for projects with heavy human traffics.
Also the use of sustainable products is an upcoming trend in the Middle East. Sustainable flooring is an important issue, therefore manufacturers are focusing on eco-friendly ranges and consumers are now taking the environment in to consideration with their purchase. Also, engineered wood flooring is a good alternative when choosing wood flooring for a residence or commercial space in the UAE.
The deck or the outdoor flooring is also becoming extremely popular within the region and with a wide variety of colours, sizes, shapes and designs, our clients can make an ideal choice for making their terrace, balcony or the patio as an extension of their living room.
Are there any recent innovations in flooring?
Innovation is the hallmark of today’s flooring industry, with more woods, types of products, and finish choices than ever before. Our team is structured to ensure that our forward-looking efforts have maximum impact on new innovations. Constantly working towards inventing new trends we have introduced WPC flooring planks and tiles for the exteriors.
In terms of installations, the trend is moving from traditional brick designs to modern herringbone patterns or fish bone patterns, diagonal flooring patterns and picture frame wood flooring patterns. Also, a combination of colours and wood species installed together gives a rich look to the room than the standard single colour patterns.
What is your most popular flooring product with the Middle East market, and why?
Our most popular floorings for the UAE falls into two major categories, one being the widest option of the laminated HDF floors as it offers ample design options and is economic. Engineered flooring is also another preferred flooring option for the UAE, as these floors are well manufactured to eliminate the natural expansion and contraction effect on the wood in the given climatic conditions.
Additionally, wall-to-wall carpets are very popular in the UAE. These carpets are tufted or woven and available in traditional or contemporary styles making it a right fit for the UAE market.
What are the key requirements of Middle East designers, when specifying flooring from your company?
Flooring is the most visible element of your home or office. Hence, most of the designers/architects or contractors who come to our shops look for innovative and cost-efficient alternative for flooring. They look beyond designs and colours focusing on the dent, stain, slip and scratch resistance, durability, easy installation and maintenance, semi-porous nature, versatility of the product, etc.
To a large extent it is the quality of the flooring along with the temperature stability which is preferred by these designers to generate aesthetically pleasing flooring options.