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Wall and floor convering : innovation at the service of decoration

With a proliferation of products combining texture, motifs and colors to play with light, ranges of PVC materials are gaining ground. And such solutions are increasingly ecological and economical and also appreciated by creators of new hotel concepts.

Will the wall become a new area for expression in hotel design? If we listen to the buzz among wall and floor covering specialists, this may be true. The wall is increasingly becoming a decorative element in and of its own. “It is becoming active,” underlines Aurélie Beaudouin, Marketing & Communications manager at Muraspec-Bu.on. Neutral paint, solid colors for wallpaper, discrete PVC: are these consensual elements moving out of the spotlight? While classic will always remain a sure value, today's new hotel concepts are showcasing innovative décor.This collective implication does not prevent professionals from showcasing their individual efforts and demonstrating lA compatibility of PVC coverings with HQE approaches. Muraspec has implemented a policy for reducing carbon emissions and recycling resulting in ISO 14001certification. This company offers two ecosustainable ranges: Ruben made of PVC using 30% recycled materials and the eco-sustainable covering Ecore in a range of 8 natural fiber patterns that is 100% recyclable. In addition to its ISO certified and Greenguard approach, the floor covering specialist Amtico also presents many 100% recyclable products. And that since 1997, when the Stratica range was launched.In order to stand out among the competition - paint or glass cloth are used in the budget segment and textiles in upscale PVC coverings play on a variety of effects and motifs while varying the pleasure through a multitude of colors. In order to meet the expectations of interior designers, Muraspec has just launched iridescent materials “to play on light”, explains Aurélie Beaudoin. Thus, Reflective, an innovation from Muraspec, is available in 20 different models. One of the company's other bestsellers, the Solaris range, with inks that change depending on the light, offers a new motif called Flare. Even more imaginative, Muraspec is selling two new motifs inspired by Bollywood: Sri Lanka and Tattoo. Vescom, meanwhile, has launched its collection Vinyl 03 which is noteworthy for its metallic luster and its 12 very different motifs. Professionals use it for a variety of applications. Texdecor proposes leatherlike materials in its Aspen range for natural leather ambiances in browns, beiges or silk with the Madras range.For floor coverings, this trend towards modernity is also particularly prolific. Amtico, the British avant-garde specialist, offers design products made with wood fiber that has an iridescent decor. The Linear range is metallic and elegant, and is available in 8 colors, either light or dark, as tiles or strips. Another popular model is the Fiber range made of woven synthetic fibers. “Very trendy,” according to Marion Maraval, sales executive for the Hotel-Lifestyles division. “The dark, particularly grays, are prefered by independent and franchised hotels.” Amtico sells PVC that imitates .fifty or so species of wood, from oak to exotic woods. And, among the most radical ranges, the dark wood product Back to black is not “passing unnoticed,” according to Francis Boetsch, sales director, “but a word of caution about preserving overall harmony. The floor should not be the star,” he warns.Thanks to the proliferation of possibilities in terms of decoration, PVC coverings are regaining all their appeal with hoteliers and interior designers. So much so that it has other sales pitches: easy maintenance and long lasting, an intrinsic quality that can even be reinforced. For critical areas where the covering could be torn by suitcases or carts, Muraspec offers its SSG solution, an ultra-resistant material in its Kern range available in 12 colors. Amtico products have demonstrated their resistance in heavily trafficked areas such as department stores. “Very thin - 2.5 to 3 mm thick including glue - our products have a minimum lifespan of 10 years with a wear layer 0.55 mm thick,” explains Francis Boetsch. It is this main quality that allows it to have an increased presence in hotel rooms today. “Previously, we were only present in bathrooms and lobbies but we are now sensing growing demand for PVC floor covering in rooms.”The market began to sprout in Northern European countries five or six years ago and is gradually expanding. “French hoteliers such as Campanile, Pierre & Vacances and independent affiliates of Inter-Hotel are showing increased interest. The product corresponds to the economic model of 2*, 3*, and even 4*. Because of costs we are not in budget hotels, and we are not in 5* either because it is difficult to rival with the nobility of natural products such as wood, marble or wool carpeting,” demonstrates Francis Boetsch. While it rivals with carpeting because it prevents dust mites and rapid wearing, PVC floor covering also competes with laminated parquet. “The latter is particularly noisy. To use it in rooms is sacrilege I think,” pursues Francis Boetsch.Acoustic comfort is another - non negligible - advantage of PVC coverings. Muraspec's Muracoustic range is a technical response to hoteliers' needs for preserving the quietude of guests. This wall covering made of fabric stretched over batting is available in 6 patterns with two sound absorption coefficients of 0.25 or 0.30. But the need for calm is not just for rooms. Banquet halls, meeting rooms, gyms, restaurants: high sound levels can quickly become unbearable. The “cocktail effect”, this phenomenon that makes it necessary to raise voices and results in an exponential increase in the level of ambient sound, can be responsible for major discomfort for guests and a source of fatigue and stress for personnel.Problem: with the use of very hard and reverberating materials such as tiles and picture windows, the current design trend works against good practices in terms of acoustics. Floor and wall covering professionals are working on this pitfall. Rockfon has made its specialty the manufacture of products that reduce the echo effect and the reverberation time as in the high-absorption monolithic ceiling Monoacoustic or the Ekla db and Sonar db ranges. Innovations include the Selva range with ceilings and wall panels made of stonewool that are available in six wood tones (beechwood, maple, pear, ebony, apple, zebrano).PVC covering, wallpapers and paint: if there is one area where the competitors concur its environmental concern. Paints pioneered with eco-labeled products that guarantee a reduction in VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions. They launched a movement that was rapidly joined by the entire sector. “We needed to prove that we could be just as successful with respect to the environment,” explains Aurélie Beaudouin. The common signature “PVC Pro Walls”, launched in 2007 by sector leaders Muraspec- Buflon, Plastylon, Texdecor and Vescom united by the Syndicat français des enducteurs calandreurs, demonstrates the sector's commitment.This collective implication does not prevent professionals from showcasing their individual efforts and demonstrating lA compatibility of PVC coverings with HQE approaches. Muraspec has implemented a policy for reducing carbon emissions and recycling resulting in ISO 14001certification. This company offers two ecosustainable ranges: Ruben made of PVC using 30% recycled materials and the eco-sustainable covering Ecore in a range of 8 natural fiber patterns that is 100% recyclable. In addition to its ISO certified and Greenguard approach, the floor covering specialist Amtico also presents many 100% recyclable products. And that since 1997, when the Stratica range was launched.

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