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You are here:News»Innovation and sustainability at the heart of customer demand
Friday, 11 December 2020 15:43

Innovation and sustainability at the heart of customer demand

The way we use our homes and private spaces has changed fundamentally with the pandemic. With a majority of people working from home, living spaces have become multi-functional in order to serve both personal and professional purposes simultaneously. Manufacturers of MMF flooring have seen a major trend towards home renovations as people want their homes to be fit for these multi-functional uses.

While a lack of designated rooms in many homes led to an increased blending between work and private life, people are now looking to create clearer separations between personal and office spaces as well as design more professional home offices to equip them for long-term usage. For all these reasons, people are increasingly investing in their homes.

Although Covid-19 impacted market growth, manufacturers expect the flooring market to pick up soon. The boom in the home renovation area will be the key driver for this. Manufacturers will continue to invest in innovations, in particular in the field of sustainability and circular economy in order to maintain a competitive position. Similar to last year, the most dynamic growth is expected to be witnessed within SPC products.

Wood, earthy colours and minimalism: A return to nature

The trend towards organic materials and natural textures such as wood and cork is still on-going and the demand for mineral-based products has increased. Manufacturers focus on real-life wood imitation in their flooring products which embraces the natural, imperfect structures of raw wood.

MMFA members also see a high demand for an “invisible colour” which highlights the natural element of the wood material. This “natural looks” trend can also be seen in further popular colour schemes such as honey shades, warm grey tones or soft pastel colours which all invoke a sense of well-being. The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic can be felt in people’s choices when it comes to home decoration: decluttering and minimalism have become central in interior design. To create a minimalistic space with a Zen atmosphere, stone and wood elements are being combined. Mineral materials such as granite, cement, schist, marble, terrazzo, travertine or limestone are often used.

Herringbone continues to be a trend pattern in the MMF flooring sector. While a one plank design in XL or XXL formats of up to 220 cm is still widely popular amongst consumers, manufacturers also see an increased popularity of combining different tile and plank sizes. By mixing different floor looks and plank sizes, boundaries are being created within a room which can be particularly handy for separating personal and office spaces in people’s homes.

High demand for circular and health-conscious products

Next to aesthetic characteristics and performance requirements, consumers of flooring products increasingly consider sustainable aspects in their purchasing decisions. They demand a high-end product that fulfils environmental aspects and consists of alternative polymers. Not only consumers, but also architects and designers have put an emphasis on sustainability when selecting products and materials. Circular economy considerations such as the reuse and recycling of materials is a current trend that is set to take on an even more substantial role in coming years.

In light of the pandemic, health aspects, and particularly the antibacterial properties of MMF floorings have gained importance. Customers are now increasingly paying attention to how their flooring can be cleaned and disinfected properly. Lastly, durability continues to be key for manufacturers who innovate to offer customers solutions that meet their expectations, for instance when it comes to waterproof products.