DESIGNED to replicate the characteristics and beauty of natural wood and stone but without any of the drawbacks that come with installing and maintaining the real thing, LVT offers the ultimate flexibility to create bespoke designs that stand out for all the right reasons.
As the UK’s market leader in luxury vinyl tiles (LVT), Karndean Designflooring uses cutting edge technology to create contemporary designs that inspire originality and connect people to the health benefits of the natural world.
Biophilic design is a concept that has been around for a while but our experience of a pandemic has highlighted the importance of nature on our wellbeing and its benefits to the wider economy.
By linking indoor spaces to the outside world and introducing materials and colours that reflect the local landscape, biophilic design can enhance emotional connections with the environment and community, relieving stress and health issues such as cardiovascular diseases and mental health.
Design is an endless journey
With a huge range of realistic wood and stone designs available, it’s easy to recreate the natural look of a wood or stone floor. Using a single design in a combination of laying patterns, a complementary or contrasting a mix of wood and stone designs, an interesting geometric pattern or a bespoke design in hand-cut tiles, LVT can be used to create unique experiences, highlight activity zones and facilitate wayfinding.
Karndean offers a range of interactive tools to support the design process. Floorstyle is a ‘view in room’ digital tool that allows designers to upload a photo of the project space and then explore different designs and laying patterns.
An interactive CGI tool places specifiers at the centre of real-world settings such as co-living, build-to-rent, co-working, a gym and a bar restaurant, where they can experience design options in a 360-degree virtual reality environment.
Sector in focus: hospitality
Whether travelling for business or leisure, customers are looking for venues that provide an authentic localised experience and a comfortable home from home feel. The hospitality industry is increasingly looking to intriguing designs and bespoke experiences to meet changing expectations and so entice these customers back.
The trend for homely hospitality can offer a sanctuary from the stresses and challenges of life with quiet contemplative spaces in calming natural materials inspired by the surrounding landscape. In other public spaces, innovative bespoke designs can immerse guests into the local culture and challenge perceptions, inviting visitors to expand their horizons and explore new realities.
Sector in focus: residential
New build housing, particularly co-living, is a key growth area and demand continues to outstrip supply. The way we live and work at home has changed enormously over recent years and so the latest build projects reflect an evolving desire for flexible spaces that can adapt to changing needs over the years.
The new Karndean Living Collection has been collated to serve the housebuild sector, with customised presentations available for different end users including private ownership, build-to-rent, aged living and student accommodation. Including a hand-selected range of beautiful neutral wood and subtle stone designs in a convenient choice of formats, with options in a smaller herringbone size and a chevron pattern, the collection aims to inspire imaginative and nurturing interiors that evoke the healing power of nature.
LVT is a multi-layer product that builds to create a highly durable flooring surface. The combination of the five layers, as shown in the diagram below, creates a product that has many benefits and offers highly versatile design possibilities.
The base layer is designed to bond with an adhesive and adhere to the sub-floor while the stability layer gives structure and resilience. The authenticity of each design comes from the photographic film layer which is based on the original wood or stone materials to create a contemporary interpretation. This ensures every product has an individual story to tell, from its origins to its considered blend of colours and distinctive knots, grains and textures.
The wear layer is a hard-wearing, transparent layer with a textured emboss for grip and effect. Finally, the top layer offers K-Guard surface protection with a PU coating which adds durability and facilitates lifetime maintenance, eradicating the need to seal the product post-installation.
There are two common emboss types used in LVT products. A random texture provides an emboss that varies in texture from a light emboss for a smooth engineered finish to a stronger texture that gives a more rustic appearance or even mimics a hand finished texture such as hand scraped wood.
A registered emboss delivers a texture that corresponds to the image used in the print layer. For instance, a knot in a plank can be seen but the inherent roughness or texture can also be felt, and they match.
Durable wear layer
The thicker the wear layer, the more durable the product. The international standards ISO 10582 and ISO 10874 help specifiers relate wear layer thickness of a product to its end use suitability. For example, most commercial applications state that a 0.55mm wear layer is required. This will provide good wear characteristics for heavy commercial applications. For very heavy commercial traffic areas a 0.7mm layer is preferable as this will provide a more durable surface and therefore a longer lasting floorcovering.
With hygiene and infection control a key topic, it’s important to specify a flooring that offers no hiding place for dirt, allergens or microbes. Floors benefiting from a surface protection system using PU technology will provide a hygienic and durable finish. Karndean’s K-Guard technology provides a hygienic and easy to clean floor suitable for both residential and commercial settings.
The Pendulum Method (BS EN16165) is used to assess the slip resistance of LVT in the UK and it is the preferred method of the Health and Safety Executive. Testing both the wet and dry rating, the Pendulum method was first introduced by the UK Slip Resistance Group.
Slip resistance of an installed floor can be affected by surface contamination such as water and grease from spillages, inappropriate maintenance techniques and wear. Therefore, consideration should be given to whether the floor will be always dry or if contamination is likely and whether it will be subjected to heavy traffic, as these factors can influence slip resistance and safety.
Recognising the importance of slip resistance in environments such as health, care and education, Karndean has worked with its supply chain to develop its Opus Enhance range of wood and stone designs which boasts a result of 39 plus in the Pendulum Wet Test.
LVT is available in three formats: gluedown, loose lay and rigid core. Karndean’s latest multiformat collections offer the opportunity to take a single design over different sub-floor conditions and endless potential to create sophisticated bespoke floors with a combination of designs and laying patterns.
Ideal for installations where acoustics, uneven subfloors or preservation of existing hard floors need to be considered, Karndean’s rigid core designs have a pre-attached backing and click-locking mechanism that allows for quick installation.
Karndean LooseLay features a K-Wave friction grip backing which helps hold the product to the subfloor without adhesive and is ideal for situations where access to underfloor panels is required.
Gluedown designs offer the ultimate flexibility and can be laid in a wide range of laying patterns or bespoke designs.
With sustainability high on everyone’s agenda, it’s important to note that all Karndean products are manufactured to ISO9001 standard for quality and hold ISO14001 environmental certification. Each product is ortho-phthalate free, low in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and contains production and post-production off-cuts which have been granulated and recycled back into the product to reduce waste.
Our commitment is, and always will be, to produce authentic, practical and long lasting flooring that will look as beautiful as the day it was installed for many years to come.