The increased amount of construction is likely to have a knock-on effect on demand for ﬂooring products. The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) estimates that the level of new residential completions for 2017 will be in the region of 18,000 units. This compares to 12,666 units in 2015, illustrating an overall increase of 42% from 2015 to 2017. In total 3,860 residential units were commenced in the three-month period January to March 2017. According to CIF, there will need to be an increase of plasterers, ﬂoorers and wall tilers from 5,500 in 2015 to a projected 13,500 to meet demands.
In Q1 2017 alone, 1,4611,000m2 of total ﬂoor area was planned, with 279,000m2 of planned extensions and the remainder dedicated to new construction, reﬂective of the increasing activity in the house-building sector. The number of extensions also reﬂects the rising number of homeowners choosing to renovate their homes thanks to the extension of the Home Renovation Incentive Scheme to the end of 2018 in last year’s Budget.
According to the Houzz and Home report, of those surveyed, 80% of Irish homeowners looking to upgrade their homes are upgrading their kitchen ﬂooring, while 81% are upgrading bathroom ﬂooring. Top ﬂooring trends include strong demand for ceramic or porcelain tiles (in kitchens and in bathrooms) and engineered wood in kitchens.
Whiteriver continues to grow
Whiteriver Group has experienced continued growth in ﬂooring during 2017 according to Iain Wogan of Whiteriver Group. The successful formula of customer service, availability of stock and efﬁcient distribution through a network of stockists has assured stability within the business, he says. “The company’s market leading laminate and engineered brochures along with this year’s attendance at House in the RDS shows our commitment to creating brand awareness as well as supporting our valued customer base.”
Marketing solutions remain a key driver for sales and are fundamental to Whiteriver’s growth strategy. The company is currently developing a new website with a supporting app also in development.
Laminate ﬂooring decors have advanced signiﬁcantly in recent years and current technologies allow factories to simulate the characteristics of natural wood ﬁnishes giving consumers a genuine alternative to real wood. Tastes are becoming more continental and Whiteriver says it is experiencing increased demand for lighter tones within its ranges.
Demand for 10mm and 12mm board formats with higher abrasion classes continues to grow. Autumn will see the launch of a new Whiteriver Haro brochure featuring Gran Via, Plank Engineered and the new Disano Classic Aqua with full moisture protection for use in kitchens and bathrooms. Engineered ﬂooring remains as popular as ever with strong growth in Herringbone and wider planks. Ian adds: “Warm colours continue to endure the test of time, however, grey and white tones are now on trend. Whiteriver are committed to sourcing and specifying quality material for all our engineered ranges and with a choice of more than 90 ﬁnishes across seven collections, we have something to suit all tastes.”
Canadia invests in new showroom and training
Charlie Hamilton, Managing Director of Canadia Flooring, says the wood-ﬂooring world is
going through a very interesting time just now: “We are consistently being inﬂuenced by new colours and ﬁnishes, particularly from the furniture and kitchen industries. Greys and whites are in play at the moment but the natural ‘unﬁnished’ style is gaining momentum.
“We believe the consumer is looking for something very different to years gone by. We have found that the prospective buyer has a complete room look and style in mind. They want to visit a ﬂooring showroom that offers a ﬂoor personal to them, a ﬂoor that will complement their unique room style.”
Charlie notes that, when the customer has selected the colour and ﬁnish, the aspiration is to install real wood but this may not be practical, so they will look for guidance on the different types of ﬂooring options, depending on room use and available budget. “When the sales person has helped the consumer to identify the look/ﬁnish they want, in our experience the sale will then follow. Considering these market trends, we believe product training is absolutely key, so we are putting considerable investment into a new showroom and training facility. We are delighted to announce this will be completed in November of this year.”
DS Supplies repair kits
DS Supplies Ltd has three types of ﬂoor repair kits which are also suitable for furniture repairs: Trojan Soft Wax Repair Kit, Trojan Professional Floor Repair Kit and Trojan Contractor Repair Kit which are under their ﬂoor and furniture maintenance range. According to a spokesperson for the company, the Soft Wax Repair Kit is suitable for all types of repairs to ﬂoors and furniture, i.e. wood, ﬂooring, doors, kitchen cabinets and is suitable for interior use only. “It is quick and simple to use. Firstly remove any high points or burrs by using the edge of applicator provided, then chip a small amount of ﬁller onto the tip of the applicator and press into affected area. Surplus ﬁlling can be removed by using the edge of the applicator.
“The Professional Floor Repair Kit comes with a melting tool and is hard-wearing which is ideal for permanent application. It is suitable for indoor and outdoor use and can be used on all types of ﬂoors and furniture, i.e. wood, doors and kitchen cabinets. The melting tool heats up in 30 seconds, then all you have to do is touch the tip onto the appropriate ﬁlling wax block and the ﬁller will then melt onto the tip of the melting tool. The applicator can then be touched onto the damaged area and the ﬁller will run into the affected area.”
Light-and medium-coloured kits are available in both the Trojan Soft Wax Repair Kit and Trojan Professional Floor Repair Kit with four wax ﬁller shades in each kit.
The Trojan Contractor Repair Kit is intended for tradespeople who need to repair chips, scratches and other types of cosmetic damage to items such as laminate/real wood ﬂooring, furniture and kitchen worktops. A ﬁller applicator, melting tool, lacquer pen for sealing, sanding and polishing cloth come with this kit, along with the batteries for the melting tool.
Ready-to-use floor cleaner from Everbuild
SikaBond Wood and Laminate Floor Cleaner from Everbuild – a Sika company is a
ready-to-use ﬂoor cleaner designed to make light work of keeping wood and laminate ﬂoor looking as good as new, the company says. Spray-applied, this cleaner is suitable for use on laminate, wood, ceramic, polished stone and vinyl ﬂoors and is ready to use with no need for dilution in just three easy steps. The application procedure is simple, a spokesperson for Everbuild said: “Sweep the area, spray SikaBond Wood and Laminate Floor Cleaner directly onto the ﬂoor and wipe with a mop or cloth to leave behind a clean and smear free ﬁnish.
“Available in 1L spray bottles, the fast-acting, acid-free formula of SikaBond Wood and Laminate Floor Cleaner is safe and effective and won’t damage treated wood or glued joints.” For further information on SikaBond Wood and Laminate Floor Cleaner or any other product in the Everbuild and Sika ranges contact your local representative.
W. Howard skirting solutions
The W. Howard Group is a leading-quality MDF proﬁle supplier, providing the Irish market, and beyond, with a full range of skirting solutions from its site in Kildare.
The group says that it produces one of the largest ranges of MDF skirting boards available, to both the public and the builders merchants market. It manufactures and supplies more than 160 proﬁles and sizes, as well as a wide range of fully ﬁnished products to match any ﬂooring criteria, including primed, veneered, wrapped and its exclusive Kota ﬁnish.
Its moisture-resistant MDF core means that its skirtings are dimensionally stable with no knots, warps or defects. Whether it is a traditional or a modern look that is being sourced, the W. Howard Group says that style and elegance can be added to any
room interior from a range of skirting boards which can match the speciﬁed ﬂooring.
In addition to bespoke ﬁnishes which are available upon request, the skirting range comprises:
- primed, twice primed and ready for a simple under coat and gloss ﬁnish;
- veneered, which offers the same look and feel as solid timber with all the beneﬁts of MDF;
- wrapped, providing a fully ﬁnished solution, so no decorating is needed; and,
- the exclusive Kota range – which also doesn’t need painting and gives a tough, white polymer ﬁnish.