Designer floors are resistant to water and mold, look amazingly like stone or wood, and can be easily laid without any great effort either as a floating floor and/or using a click system. And they’re attractive in terms of price, too. Nevertheless, of late these types of flooring have come in for some criticism as they contain plasticizers and phthalates that are problematic in both environmental and health terms.
Manufacturers have responded, which is why most floorings of this type now no longer possess these chemical additives. In fact, some of them now meet the stringent standards set by the European chemicals agency ECHA as regards being harmless to children’s health. Prime examples being the "Fonteyn Collection" offered by Holland’s Mflor International . There is also an increasing number of alternatives to the conventional plastic designer floorings, such as new variants made of cork boasting a digital print and available, among others, from Amorim Revestimentos under the "Wicanders Artcomfort Reclaimed" brand.
Flooring makers have paid special attention to developing harder designer coverings. At the Innovations@DOMOTEX there are noticeably many products with a stiff base material or with extra layers added that enable you to lay them even on difficult substrates or old floors. For instance, Aspecta has developed a product called "Aspecta Ten with Iscore Technology" that is especially rigid thanks to an extruded PVC core and a PE foam backing. Beaulieu and Classen have both embarked in a similar direction with their "BerryAlloc Pure", "Neo by Classen 2.0" and "Sono" products.
Moreover, manufacturers have been busy refining the formats and are increasingly making products available in XXL sizes, a good example being the "Grand" board size Mflor International offers, with elements measuring 20 by 200 centimeters. Indeed, such formats spawn entire floor looks. "Moduleo Moods", a covering sold by the International Vinyl Company, for example, boasts nine different tile formats, meaning you can choose from a whole raft of individual appearances for the floor as laid – herringbone, basket-weave, hexagonal or diamond patterns. And Mflor International’s "Parva Parquet" features tile sizes of 7.62 by 22.86 centimeters as an alternative to strip parquet and can therefore be laid with a herringbone or checkerboard pattern.