Hannover, Germany. For the second time, the keynote theme FLOORED BY NATURE focused on the megatrend of sustainability, including various aspects such as recycling, resource conservation and environmental protection.

Natural and sustainable Floor Coverings

In the Flooring segment, the range of products offered by exhibitors was characterised in particular by sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions. With 'LICO DENIM FLOOR', the Swiss company Li & Co presented a unique solution using waste from the fashion industry. In addition to jeans, the product is made from other recyclable materials, including a wood-based core board and an underlay of the rapidly renewable material cork. Amorim, GRANORTE and ZIRO have specialized in flooring made from this environmentally friendly material. Natural cork floors have a number of positive characteristics: they are soft and resilient, yet extremely durable. In addition, they have an insulating effect, reduce sound transmission and temperature fluctuations, and improve the indoor climate at the same time. This makes cork flooring the ideal basis for a comfortable home.

Vinyl and design floor coverings are very popular. However, the PVC (polyvinyl chloride) often used to make them has been criticized for containing harmful plasticizers that have a negative impact on our environment and health. In line with its 'we care / we act' motto, Gerflor showcased sustainable vinyl and linoleum products at DOMOTEX and highlighted its "Second Life" recycling program. CFL Flooring introduced two new attractive alternatives to less sustainable oil-based products: 'NovoCore' and 'Tenacity Eco-Composite Flooring'. 'NovoCore' is an engineered vinyl flooring that is waterproof, extremely durable, resistant to heat and sunlight and recyclable. It is also completely free of phthalates and other harmful plasticizers. 'Tenacity Eco-Composite Flooring' is a PVC-free engineered stone floor with a high proportion of recycled and natural materials. Classen presented another convincing solution, called ‘CERAMIN’: Instead of PVC, the manufacturer uses a unique combination of a natural mineral and polypropylene (PP), which is completely harmless and is mainly used in the food packaging industry.

Inspired by Nature

It is not only in terms of properties that naturalness plays an important role. With wood and stone finishes, many exhibitors also favored a natural look in their collections this year. SWISS KRONO, for example, has expanded its ‘COREPEL EVOLUTION’ line with the new ‘COREPEL EVOLUTION PURE’ collection, which combines a real wood surface with a waterproof core and impresses with its natural look. In terms of appearance, the manufacturer's focuses on stone and wood decors that are almost indistinguishable from the real materials in terms of look and feel. Kronospan also uses real wood veneer as the top layer for its 'Organic Veneer Parquet'. The high-quality brushed oak surface creates a particularly cozy atmosphere. Another highlight presented by the manufacturer was the ‘MO.RE!’ laminate flooring with moisture resistance technology. KAINDL presented a real eye-catcher with the 'Natural Touch' decors from the 'Select' product line. New to the range is the elegant 'Milano Oak' decor with a perfectly coordinated surface and a dynamic look. The slightly rustic 'Alta' collection from Lamett features a rich wood texture and a subtle color scheme. Belgian brand Floorify focuses on the look and feel of natural wood planks and polished concrete tiles for its 'Rigid Vinyl Planks & Tiles'. Meanwhile, Green-Flor's new 'PRIME INSPIRATION' collection is inspired by slate, and mFLOR too favors natural designs for its PVC flooring.

Innovations for Walls

Wall coverings are experiencing a revival and are finding their way into more and more living and working spaces. They are not only a modern design element, but also actively contribute to a feel-good atmosphere by improving room acoustics. With 'Acoustic Sense WOOD', the German company MeisterWerke has added three new real wood surfaces to its range of acoustic panels. The combination of natural wood and high-quality felt is said to absorb up to 100% of sound. Neuhofer's 'FN Acustico HEXAGO' - hexagonal acoustic elements - are also made of (polyester) felt. They can be used to decorate a wall or to create individual accents. LICO Hydro HeatWall' wall panels from Li & Co. offer not only acoustic effectiveness and modern aesthetics, but also warming properties. Equipped with a special conductive heating layer on the back, the panels provide warmth and comfort almost at the touch of a button.

In addition to wall coverings, the new RETAILERS' PARK in Hall 19/20 was the right place to discover products for interior finishing. These included paints and varnishes from Südwest, Meffert and PPG Coating, and wallpapers from AS Creation and Erfurt & Sohn. Subfloors and related products such as skirting and adhesives were also well represented by exhibitors such as THOMSIT, Südbrock, Bostik and Döllken. Carpet manufacturers such as Lano, Edel Carpets, Infloor Girloon and Vorwerk completed the product range in the RETAILERS' PARK. ‘Together with DECOR UNION and MEGA, we have created an area full of value for our visitors’, said Sonia Wedell-Castellano, Global Director of DOMOTEX. The new area was particularly well received by representatives from the retail, trade and architectural sectors. ‘The successful premiere shows that our target groups welcome the opportunity to see all the solutions for a room, from floor to ceiling, at a single trade fair. That's why we will continue to expand the exhibition area for wall and ceiling products in the future.’

FLOORED BY NATURE generates strong Feedback in the Carpet Segment

Sustainability and environmental responsibility are playing an increasingly important role for exhibitors in the Carpets & Rugs segment, which combines handmade and machine-made carpets. Handmade carpets, such as those on display at DOMOTEX, are not only unique works of art but environmentally friendly by their nature. The use of renewable and natural materials, combined with their durability, makes handmade carpets a sustainable component of home and contract furnishings. Made from high quality sheep's wool or blended with fine silk, they provide thermal insulation and temperature equalization, absorb dust and pollen from the air, are pleasantly soft to the touch and create a special atmosphere in a room. In addition to these qualities, manufacturers such as Jaipur Rugs, Paulig and Theo Keller are socially committed to fair trade and the elimination of child labor.

With 'RECYCLE', Merinos presented a collection created from 100% recycled polyester, which was spun into high-quality yarn from 9,500 tons of waste material after it was recycled in the in-house processing facility. Oriental Weavers from Egypt presented 'Elixir', a new innovative cotton carpet collection characterized by the use of natural dyes. For the Elixir collection, the company uses only natural dyes extracted from plants and fruits. The colors are therefore not only environmentally friendly, biodegradable and renewable, but also completely non-toxic for both humans and the environment.

A Splash of Color

In addition to natural shades and textures, DOMOTEX 2024 featured many carpets and rugs in intense colors, including Tisca, Brink & Campman and Jaipur Rugs. Trend experts such as Holly Becker (decor8), Stefan Nilsson (Trendstefan) and Gabriela Kaiser (TRENDagentur Gabriela Kaiser) see this development as a counterpoint to the minimalist interior trends in natural colour palettes that have dominated the furnishing industry in recent years. Other factors contributing to this developing trend are the 'mood-lifting' properties and the 'desire for change' in economically challenging times. 'This is the year of change - we are looking for things that are different, fun and light-hearted. Bold colours are coming back', explained Stefan Nilsson.

An imaginative journey into the world of Persian knotting awaited visitors at the exhibition Night Time in a Palace by carpet artist Lila Valadan. The label reinterprets traditional designs and techniques while at the same time referring to their roots. The skilfully handmade carpets were presented in a series of interlocking rooms. Each of the room installations offered a fascinating interplay of art, design and the cultural richness of traditional carpet making.

New interpretations and innovative developments such as these are already arousing curiosity as to next year's DOMOTEX - Carpets & Rugs, which will take place from 16 to 19 January 2025.

DOMOTEX 2025 will take place from January 16 to 19 at the Hannover Exhibition Grounds.