The hospitality industry has certainly been shaken and stirred by Covid and while everyone is thankfully open for business the pandemic is a driver of new trends; from keyless doors and innovative self-serve technologies to how communal spaces are being used and what materials can be easily cleaned. With this – as well as interior design looks for 2022 – in mind, we’ve identified 4 flooring trends that hotels should be considering if they have upcoming refurbishment or upgrade plans.
We may as well start with the obvious concern – keeping things clean. Carpets can be luxurious, found in on-brand colours and are practical from an acoustic point of view, but hotels that are updating flooring in rooms or corridors are now looking at alternatives, because they can be easily and effectively cleaned. We’re all more acutely aware of lurking germs and bacteria love lurking in carpets. Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) is the answer here as it’s low maintenance – whether swept or vacuumed, then mopped – and anti-bacterial detergents won’t damage the textured wear layer.
While you won’t get the same feeling as wiggling your toes in a soft pile, it is very comfortable underfoot, not cold on bare feet and has good grip when wearing socks. While tiles are also an excellent choice for hygiene reasons, unless underfloor heating is installed, they can feel very cold, are not a first choice for bedrooms and don’t offer the same acoustic properties as LVT.
Home is where the wooden heart is
Interior design in larger hotels is becoming more influenced by the dramatic rise in popularity of Airbnb and boutique hotels, where the space feels more private, cosy and residential… but with the luxurious extras that tell guests it’s a hotel experience. Wooden floors therefore provide that homely feel in any sized establishment, made more sophisticated when dressed with rugs. And – light to dark, classic oak to smoky grey – they work with a multitude of schemes.
Solid or engineered wood flooring comes with a higher price tag than Luxury Vinyl Tile and it is more resource hungry to maintain, so once again an LVT products is the favoured choice to really replicate wooden planks. Plus, when you consider it isn’t affected by moisture and there are hundreds of shades, tones, grains and plank size available, it becomes an even smarter selection. Nevertheless, vinyl flooring cut from a roll isn’t to be discounted. It’s hardy, often waterproof, simple to install and isn’t at all expensive when budget is a priority as well as style. Designs and products are better than ever so even the most eagle-eyed guests could be fooled.
Parquet LVT flooring – laid in the herringbone style – continues to be on trend, particularly in bars, restaurants, and hotel lounges. We expect this revived Edwardian classic to stick around as a desirable look for many years to come and will be seen in more hotel bedrooms. Wooden flooring is timeless and no hotel wants to feel dated just a few short years after a big refit.
Ready for reconfiguration
Many hotels are looking at renovating lobbies and other common areas to make them as flexible and multifunctional as possible. Whether this be for a wedding or conference, to facilitate shared working spaces or to create more socially distanced areas for guests who require extra reassurance, furniture layouts are being reconfigured to meet guests’ needs. With chairs and tables being moved – even in a fixed layout lobby – the flooring could get scratched or damaged, and quickly look tatty.
In these circumstances, we would recommend using tiles, but as we’ve all seen cracked or chipped tiles in hotel lobbies and bathrooms, LVT is also a sturdy choice. It is made up of an insulated backing, with an overlaid digital print and to finish, a textured wear layer, so choosing a product with a thick wear layer will ensure it stands the test of time. When investing in flooring for a hotel, durability and saving long-term pennies is crucial, especially now, and high traffic areas or spaces where furniture could be dragged across the floor will benefit from a robust LVT.
To zone or not to zone?
Zoning spaces using different coloured or patterned carpet or tiles isn’t new – just think of all the lobbies that direct guests with a ‘pathway’ and have adjacent zones with seating. However, this design statement is being replicated more and more with a modern, wooden flooring application, particularly in restaurants and bars. For example, bordered herringbone in a mid-shade running around the bar creates an upbeat contrast to a darker straight plank laid in the cosier seating zones.
Zoning open plan homes with different flooring is part of the design visual in creating that 2020s ‘broken plan’ update, along with tactics such as minimally dress bookshelves used as see-through dividers.
Larger bedrooms, family accommodation and suites will be able to take advantage of this aesthetic, and with in-room fitness becoming one of the next big things, we can see floor zoning being taken to a new level.
In contrast, it’s also ok not to zone! Not all LVT or vinyl products are completely impermeable to water, but some such as Aqua Plank are 100% waterproof, so this has meant hotel rooms can create the stylish continuous flooring look, from the bedroom into the bathroom. Again, it’s another interior design trend that is very now in residential, but with the luxury-home-from-home feel dominating the trend – not to mention the cost-efficiencies – it’s a major consideration for hotel room design in 2022.
Paul Hambidge, founder of flooring retailer and manufacturer Factory Direct Flooring.
For more information about Factory Flooring Direct, visit the website or call 0330 100 00 15.