27 Aug Floors in Africa Issue 6, 2018
The flooring industry has developed drastically since 2005 when I started selling Kahrs engineered wooden flooring as a complete novice. At that time Engineered Wood only capitalized on a very small portion of the flooring market, and limited competitors offered the product. Months of meetings and site inspections with architects and interior designers were amazing teachers and I learnt very quickly what amazing designs and concepts could be conceived with wood and wooden flooring. In 2007 I was invited to Sweden to visit the Kahrs factory in Nybro, and that is where I found out how evolved the flooring industry is, and to what extent environmental policies was about to change the playing field. Sustainability became tactile and overnight a passion.
Whilst in Sweden I also visited the Bona factory in Malmö and the environmentally conscious product world widened even further. Bona products was not part of my focus until that time but I immediately realized that the renovation and maintenance of wooden flooring was more important than merely supplying and installing wooden flooring.
In 2009 FloorworX acquired the Kahrs and Bona brands, and it was at this time when paradigms started shifting. I encountered the Quick-step brand of laminated flooring, and truly became aware that Floorworx encompassed the slogan “The flooring solutions company”.
Quick-step is a market leader and innovator of new products, and leads the market and is flattered by all the other manufacturers that try to emulate the innovations from Quickstep. In Quick-Step was the first to succeed at the challenge to create 2aterproofing laminate floors without using additional coatings. Reaping the benefits of innovative flooring technology, Quick-Step’s Impressive and Impressive Ultra laminate floors come with a protective and 100% waterproof HydroSeal finish, thus preventing water from penetrating the floors’ joints. In 2017 wider and longer planks were added to the assortment in the Majestic range, as well as a more cost-effective version in the new relaunched Eligna range.
Besides a water-resistant finish, the Impressive and Impressive Ultra floors have another innovative feature in store. The floors’ joints are pressed into the surface layer during production. That way, they not only keep water out, but also create a unique, authentic look. Colour variations beautifully blend into the joints, while the planks’ wood grains seamlessly merge into the floor surface. What’s more, this cutting-edge technology also makes the floors anti-static from head to toe. The result? Dirt and dust don’t cling to the surface, making the floor even easier to clean.
Quick-step also developed a range of luxury vinyl plank floors called Livyn. Once again at the forefront of innovation, this product has a scratch-resistant coating which is similar to that found in all Quick-step laminated floors. This attribute, coupled with the fact that Livyn is the only click-vinyl that can be installed any size in any direction, is unsurpassed in any other click-luxury vinyl plank on the market in South Africa.
In the years following 2009, the management of FloorworX afforded me a number of opportunities to attend Bona Master Training Seminars in Salzburg, Austria. During this period South Africa pioneered the Bona Certified Craftsman Programme and became only the 3rd country in the world to launch the BCCP-program.
At the Bona International Distributors Conference in Vienna, Austria, the Bona Resilient System was introduced to delegates. South Africa was chosen to pilot this process in Southern Africa, after extensive testing in Germany, Austria and Italy for the 2 years. The Bona Resilient System is a unique system whereby and Resilient, Linoleum, Rubber or LVT/LVP flooring can be renovated, restored or re-coloured. This means that the down-time of a renovation is a fraction of the time that it would have taken to remove the complete floor and reinstall a new floor….especially if one considers the financial implications in a commercial environment where a renovation diminishes opportunity to generate income whilst construction is completed.
In June 2018 Bona launched a trend in floor styling with ”Bona Inspiration”, a unique concept in designing fashionable floor styles. In collaboration with the internationally recognized trend analyst Cay Bond, their sight is now set on the floor as a crucial design detail. Bona has been at the forefront of floor renovations and maintenance for a long time. This solid knowledge is now enhanced with inspiration and guidance in flooring trends to create the right ambience in the home.
After the acquisition of Suntups in 2013, the product compliment of Floorworx became even more complete. Since 2013, the trends, colours and demands for engineered wooden flooring has changed rapidly. Innovation in various patterns created with the same construction has recently seen Herringbone patterns evolve into a multitude of different patterns. Floorworx has a number of strategic partners and these new patterns can be pre-coloured to match any pallet, interior design features or market trend.
At Floorworx we pride ourselves to be a dynamic company, supported by world-class and innovative suppliers. “If you want to sell well, you have to buy well!” Our management team has a phenomenal vision and are excellent mentors, treating all staff with respect, integrity and honesty. This is reflected in our relationships with our suppliers. Floorworx reacts speedily to international trends and we are able to adapt to the requirements of the South African market and consumer. AND THAT’S WHY I AM PROUD TO BE PART OF IT ALL!!!