In part two of our NeoCon 2017 report, we’re focusing on some of the best flooring products and finishes we spotted — from carpet and vinyl tile to high-performance coatings and color-changing film — that commercial architects and interior designers will want to know about for workplace, institutional and retail projects in particular.
Armstrong Flooring: Natural Creations With Diamond 10 Technology
This LVT collection is made with Armstrong Flooring’s patented Diamond 10 Technology, which uses actual cultured diamonds in the top coat to provide superior scratch and scuff resistance. But testing with red food coloring and a permanent marker has proved this product line can also resist the worst of stains. Natural Creations With Diamond 10 offers a wide range of patterns and styles within three categories: ArborArt wood visuals; EarthCuts stone, minerals and metals; and Mystix textures, textiles and art.
Benjamin Moore: Ultra Spec SCUFF-X
Just before NeoCon, the paint and coating giant previewed a revolutionary scuff-resistant paint that gives its rival, Scuffmaster, a run for its money. This easy-to-apply, one-component, interior latex paint is ideal for high-traffic and commercial areas, requires no premixing, minimizes retouching, is highly cleanable/washable (even repeatedly), has a lower price point and boasts low odors and dry time. But what makes this product extra competitive is that it comes in three finishes: matte, eggshell and satin. Ultra Spec SCUFF-X is offered in more than 3,500 Benjamin Moore colors and in gallon or five-gallon pails.
Bentley: Impasto and Night Vision
Two visually striking carpet collections caught our attention, one of which takes inspiration from fine art. Impasto, named for the thick-textured painting technique, sports thick strokes and splashes of contrast that create an almost dimensional appearance. It’s composed of Antron Lumena solution dyed Type 6,6 nylon and comes in either 24-inch-square or 18-by-36-inch tiles as well as broadloom.
Another stunning design, the monochromatic Night Vision presents random-appearing striations with variegated-luster yarns that result in movement and ombré effects. Offered in the same formats as Impasto, it’s constructed with Ultron Nylon 6,6.
Chemetal: Glowing Metals
While this new metallic-HPL and anodized aluminum sheet collection includes gorgeous new finishes such as blue brushed aluminum and aged brass, its new embossed metal designs are what stole the show for us. These dimensional products sport either a triangle pattern or retro-looking domes and are backed with laminate. The sheets come in a 4-by-8-foot format, making them ideal for a number of interior applications.
E Ink: E Ink Prism New Colors
Believe it or not, this dynamic color-changing film is based on an older MIT Media Lab–developed bi-stable ink technology that went on to transform the eReader market. But it’s only more recently that designers and manufacturers have begun integrating it into architecture, as in 3form’s Wovin Wall last year (the collaboration went by the name Viva). And now, E Ink has added a few new colors to this product range to offer a total of seven: Voyage (dark blue), Daydream (cyan), Sprout (green), Zest (yellow), Blush (red), Harvest (brown) and Waltz (black). Ideal for a range of applications — from wall panels to signage — E Ink Prism is fully programmable and boasts low power consumption.
Interface: Global Change
Continuing its mission to craft positive, nature-influenced spaces, Interface launched Global Change, a new carpet collection that brings the outdoors in. Designer Kari Pei drew on environment observations such as shadows cast by the sun through tree canopies, foliage covering patches of the ground and even crack patterning found in dried earth. In total, there are seven face styles offered in six color palettes and square tile or plank format.
Mannington Commercial: Origami and Umbra
Two of this flooring manufacturer’s NeoCon introductions — one carpet, the other LVT — presented a feast for the eyes. The modular carpet collection, Origami, interprets the paper folds of its namesake craft for three distinct patterns: Mountain Fold, Valley Fold and Fan Fold. Designed in collaboration with HOK Product Design, the series is constructed with Antron Lumena yarns in 12 color palettes and is fully recyclable through Mannington’s LOOP program.
The LVT collection Umbra features a continuous, non-repeating monochromatic pattern created using analog photographic techniques. No two tiles are alike, ensuring a truly unique installation of light and shadow play that’s simultaneously both graphic and subtle. Available in three colorways, Umbra comes in eight plank and tile formats with a thickness of 2.5 millimeters (the wear layer is 1 millimeter thick). Best of all, it’s also fully recyclable after use.
Encryption is a modular carpet collection that explores the blurred line between technology and people. Using a high-definition Digital Dye Injection (DDI) technology, the manufacturer developed two coordinating pixel patterns in 20 colorways with varying highlights and lowlights — the result is a striking animated pattern that gives the appearance of texture and depth.
Mohawk Group: Lichen
As with many other interior elements these days, biophilia influenced the design of this modular plank carpet line. Composite organisms that play a regenerative role in certain ecosystems, lichens possess rich hues and textures that lend themselves well to flooring — and Mohawk delivers on these. The collection is constructed with Mohawk’s Duracolor solution-dyed, premium nylon yarn, which boasts excellent stain resistance.
Patcraft: Deconstructed Metal
One of most impressive products we stumbled upon is, one can say, a study in reduction. Deconstructed Metal’s textural pattern comes from a metallic primary backing that peeks through variable pile heights. In other words, yarns are woven to actually expose the shimmery backing. The 12-by-48-inch carpet tiles are composed of Solution Q Extreme with an EcoWorx backing and are Cradle to Cradle–certified.
Skyline Design: Transcend
Renowned textile designer Suzanne Tick explores how we experience space — transitioning from public to private, open to quiet zone and exterior to interior — for this new etched and printed glass collection. The six modern patterns range from fading geometrics inspired by architectural brick, stone and metal to subtle textures such as weathered metal and concrete. Offered in sheet sizes of up to 60 by 120 inches, the patterns can be customized in scale, transparency levels and color and can be used individually or layered.
Tandus Centiva: More Than Wood
We were floored — no pun intended — to discover that these wood planks were really digitally printed LVT. The line consists of eight impressive designs ranging from a shou sugi ban aesthetic to beautifully flawed timber such as spalted maple and heartwood. Depending on the pattern, the plank sizes vary.