The development of laminate flooring in 2021
Coesfeld, September 2021: According to data from the Association of European Producers of Laminate Flooring (EPLF), laminate flooring sales in Germany grew by 6.1 per cent compared to 2019. Matthias Hemsen, Product Manager for Laminate Flooring at Parador, gives an insight in this interview into why laminate flooring continues to be highly relevant for end customers and what will make the flooring stand out in 2021.
Product Manager Laminate Flooring
What are the strongest arguments for premium laminate flooring?
Matthias Hemsen: "From our point of view, various aspects play a role here: laminate flooring is a very good and technically mature product with a high level of acceptance and recognition. With laminate as a floor covering, you won't experience any nasty surprises when buying and subsequently installing it: instead you know what you're getting. Especially for consumers who want to install the floor themselves, this is an important argument.
Laminate flooring impresses with a number of positive product characteristics, because it is PVC-free, has a very authentic look and feel, is available in a large selection of different decors and can now also be used in wet rooms thanks to waterproof versions."
In your opinion, what are the reasons for the renewed increased demand for laminate flooring?
Matthias Hemsen: "Certainly, the renovation boom triggered by the coronavirus pandemic has made a significant contribution to this. Especially end consumers who want to install the flooring themselves are happy to opt for an established and familiar product such as laminate flooring.
But there are other aspects as well, in my estimation: after years of a strong boom in vinyl flooring, consumers are increasingly asking for PVC-free alternatives. In this context, the market remembers the strengths of high-quality laminate flooring, which are in no way inferior to those of modular floor coverings, even surpassing them in some areas such as scratch resistance. Laminate flooring never went away in our view, but is just waking up from hibernation, so to speak."
Laminate flooring has the image of being an inexpensive floor covering. What do you counter this assertion with?
Matthias Hemsen: "High-quality laminate flooring practically only shares the generic name with so-called cheap laminate flooring, but has nothing in common with the latter in terms of technology, quality and design. Nevertheless, even high-quality laminate flooring suffers from the negative image of cheap products, which have completely unjustifiably discredited it. High-quality laminate flooring also scores points for its durability, authentic look and feel, high robustness and ease of care and, last but not least, increasing water resistance.
Our high-quality Parador laminate flooring is made in Germany. In production, we use raw materials from certified and sustainable sources, as evidenced by the PEFC seal, for example. Laminate flooring is PVC-free and durable, making it a sustainable floor covering. Thanks to modern printing and production processes, laminate flooring is now available with a very authentic look and feel and in many different decors. Thanks to new technology, laminate flooring is now also available as a waterproof version for wet rooms."
What trends are you currently seeing in terms of decors, formats and colours?
Matthias Hemsen: "Wood designs are still by far the most popular. Oak in particular continues to be a best-seller, which we see this season especially in light, natural colours borrowed from the popular Scandi style. Consumers place particular value on a very authentic look, so we are noticing a strong demand for matt surfaces with a synchronous texture that look confusingly similar to untreated wood.
In terms of formats, besides the classic wide plank, elegant formats such as the Chateau plank and herringbone have also established themselves, which were previously more the preserve of engineered wood flooring."