Multifamily developers and owners want their properties to impress prospective and current residents in order to keep their occupancies and rents up. While figuring out how to create that oh-so-desirable “wow” factor isn’t easy, one design element that can make an immediate impact is flooring. For that reason, flooring manufacturers are doing their best to produce products with pizzazz, according to Melissa Salamoff, president of Salamoff Design Studio, a Burbank, Calif.–based firm that specializes in commercial interior design.
“Developers and owners are getting more adventurous in their flooring materials because the business is so competitive, and they want to attract residents,” Salamoff explains. “They’re looking for elements that will create some visual interest.”
In an effort to appeal to this segment, Salamoff is using more color in multifamily common areas, including lobbies, lounges, gyms, and hallways. “Developers and owners like putting a pop of color in these areas to create a bolder look,” she says.
At one of Salamoff’s recent projects in downtown Los Angeles, she chose FLOR carpet tiles from the maker’s Haute Stuff collection, which mixes and matches highly textured nylon and polyester tiles for a shag-and-flannel look. With the tiles, she created an oversized magenta-and-gray area rug for the lobby that added a “chic vibe and a lot of color,” she notes.
While developers are still shy about using strong colors for in-unit flooring, they are spicing things up with texture. Manufacturers such as Amtico, Armstrong, Mannington, Mohawk, Parterre, and Shaw, for example, are adding depth and interest to vinyl tile, carpet, and porcelain tile with discernible, durable textures.
“We’re starting to see porcelain tile that has the visual texture of wood,” for instance, “along with luxury vinyl tile that looks like stone and carpet tiles that feature metal [striations],” Salamoff says.
The result is an ever-growing variety of flooring choices for the multifamily industry.
Abundant Color: Mannington Commercial’s newest vinyl-composition tile collection, Progressions, is manufactured with post-consumer recycled content. The collection’s 36 rich neutrals, saturated hues, and accents offer a wide variety of color options. For more information, call Mannington Commercial at 800-241-2262 or visit www.manningtoncommercial.com.
Fun and Functional: Amtico International’s Assura luxury vinyl tile collection combines style and functionality with enhanced slip resistance. The line, which features a 10-year warranty, comprises 26 offerings of woodlike, stonelike, and abstract designs that can be used in both traditional and contemporary spaces. For more information, call Amtico at 800-268-4260 or visit www.amtico.com.
True Faux: Armstrong has replaced its Commission Plus flooring line with Abode, a vinyl sheet flooring that marks Armstrong’s entry into the light-commercial sheet market. Abode comes in 12 designs and is the only light-commercial sheet flooring on the market to simulate the look of metals and textiles, according to its maker. Additional designs are made to look like rustic wood, concrete, and marble. For more information, call Armstrong at 877-ARMSTRONG or visit www.armstrong.com.
Urban Setting: Park Bench, a new luxury vinyl flooring product from Parterre Flooring, updates the look of weathered wood with a metallic flare. Inspired by urban environments, Park Bench is part of the FusedToo collection and comes in a plank size of 4 inches by 36 inches and two colors, Central Copper and Battery Blue. For more information, call Parterre at 888-338-1029 or visit www.parterreflooring.com.
Groovy Solution: FLOR, an Interface company, offers rug sets made of carpet tiles and custom designed in-house. Its Haute Stuff rug collection, which combines nylon and polyester tiles that create a shag-and-flannel effect, comes in a variety of color combinations and sizes. The tiles are made with renewable and recycled content and are recyclable. For more information, call FLOR at 866-952-4093 or visit www.flor.com.
Stain Stalkers: Mohawk Industries has launched the SmartStrand Tri-Star and EverStrand Revive carpets specifically for multifamily properties. The Tri-Star line’s synthetic fibers are engineered with built-in rather than surface stain fighters to resist stains including red wine, fruit punch, and bleach. The lower-budget, polyester Revive repels stains as well, via an extra fiber-scouring step implemented during the manufacturing process. The step removes oily residues that are often left behind in other carpet-making processes and that later attract soil. For more information, call Mohawk at 800-241-4494 or visit www.mohawkind.com.
See the Music: Shaw Contract Group Design Studio and industrial designer Todd Bracher have created a new flooring collection by working with custom-written software that used data from various audio sources and converted them into visual images. The collection, called The Music Project, features five designs: Jazz, Classical, Electronica (shown), Ambient, and Silence. For more information, call Shaw at 877-502-7429 or visit www.shawcontractgroup.com.