When it comes to creating inspirational spaces for the retail industry, flooring is one of the hardest working elements of interior design. From boutiques to big brands, every client wants a visually stunning floor that will not only draw customers in, but will also be an investment that can guarantee years of performance.
Flooring that echoes company values and branding
“Retail is all about focusing customer’s attention on the individual store and its products. The branding, merchandising and interior design used in a shop must all be used to echo the values a company stands for and the products it provides. Flooring not only helps to strengthen the brand, but is an important part of making the entire shopping experience a pleasant, unforgettable one that the customer would want to repeat,” explains Tandy Coleman, CEO of Polyflor SA.
Experts in retail flooring that guide you every step of the way
Although they have been providing vinyl flooring solutions for a wide range of different industries over the past 26 years, Tandy confirms that they have noticed a marked increase in the number of shops and retail environments selecting vinyl and luxury vinyl tiles (LVTs) as their flooring option of choice.
“The greatest risk when talking about flooring for the retail environment lies not necessarily with the product, but rather with the implementation and the understanding of what is required. For this reason, we have developed our team of advisors to become highly specialised experts in retail flooring in order to help our clients manage the total risk of their flooring decisions and end up with the successful outcome they seek,” she explains.
Robust beauty, easy maintenance and many other benefits
Designers and interior decorators agree that one of the biggest trends in modern retail flooring, has undoubtedly become the use of both Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVTs) and vinyl sheeting for specific areas. For retailers, using LVTs is definitely the way to go. Apart from being visually beautiful, vinyl floors are robust in design and they continue to look beautiful over long periods of time despite being subjected daily to high foot and trolley traffic.
Whether looking for striking or subtle, store owners are truly spoilt for choice as are available in a wide range of different colours and finishes – ranging from wood to stone or abstract effect designs for creating the desired ambience in the retail space.
“The look of the product gives any store an upmarket feel as well as generates a soft, quiet shopping experience that can only really be understood if experienced. Using vinyl flooring in a refurbishment has the advantage of having a fairly low impact on site works from the point of view of limiting dust as there is no need to chop out existing tiles,” Tandy adds.
The only limit is your imagination
Good quality vinyl floors will inhibit bacteria growth and are therefore an excellent option to use in areas where hygiene is important. For this reason, vinyl floors are a popular choice in areas where food is prepared, such as butcheries or delis.
“Designers can let their imaginations run wild when it comes to design, as these floors are available in a wide variety of different and contrasting colours and textures that can be laid alongside each other for a unique look. Different shopping zones and walkways to guide customers or highlight displays can easily and effectively be created without having to worry about different flooring heights. Grouting, marquetry and feature strips can also be used for added detail and authenticity,” she explains.
Using LVTs as cladding on walls is another trend that is growing in popularity. Store designers can easily compliment the look they are trying to achieve on the store walls without having to source products from different suppliers or trying to match the colours and designs of the floors. LVTs can also be applied over existing tiles (providing that certain processes are followed).
Easy display or special exhibition areas
Polyflor has recently introduced the SimpLay range – a loose lay floor offers the ideal solution when time is of the essence – which was widely welcomed and used by store owners and retailers. SimpLay has been specifically developed for loose lay installation without the need for adhesive, thereby reducing installation time. Available in a variety of different finishes, such as wood, stone and woven effects, SimpLay has a unique, non-skid honeycomb backing layer and thicker 5mm gauge that ensures that the tiles stay in position to create a robust and hardwearing floorcovering for high traffic commercial environments.
They are quick to install over any flat, even surface (including other types of floorcovering) and therefore enable store owners to create a unique, temporary display installation for areas such as pop up shops and exhibition spaces. Because these tiles can be easily replaced, relocated and reused, they are ideally suited for use in the fast-moving retail industry where downtime for refurbishments must be kept to a minimum.
“With the vast choice of beautiful and functional flooring designs available, there has never been a better time to create something truly inspiring with a little help from Polyflor. From the first seed of an idea to a finished design, if you have a concept for a floor, we can help bring it to life!”, Tandy concludes.