When the Government introduced social distancing measures in March, businesses across the UK were forced to adapt. Pandemic-proofing became essential, and workspaces and offices were renovated to offer greater protection to employees and reduce the spread of the virus.
In the flooring market, practicality reigned supreme, as facilities managers and specifiers searched for solutions that could reinforce all-important regulations. With COVID-19 seemingly around for a while, this trend is likely to follow us into the new year.
In this article, David Rhodes, Managing Director of Paragon Carpet Tiles, shares his predictions for the year ahead, with an exploration into the biggest commercial flooring trends for 2021.
Although a vaccine may be on the horizon, there is much uncertainty over when it will be widely available. With this in mind, it’s still imperative that any commercial or public environment is COVID-secure and protects the people using it; pandemic-proofing really is here to stay.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that practical interior solutions will rule the roost in 2021, as businesses look to abide by rules and regulations. Changing the placement of furniture is one of the easiest ways that people can be kept apart, but this alone is simply not enough.
Studies show that pedestrian flow systems can assist in the fight against coronavirus and reduce personal contact between individuals. Therefore, it’s no surprise that directional walkways and floor signage have risen in popularity this past year; a trend which will continue to grow.
Using flooring design to create borders and dedicated areas has also become favourable. For example, laying carpet tiles in a square pattern or in a line can help distinguish zones and pathways which can assist with wayfinding. It’s predicted that this will remain popular until the end of the pandemic.
The latest innovations, like those in our Guide carpet tile range, provide clear instructions to remind employees and visitors to keep a safe distance from one and other, whilst still seamlessly blending into existing flooring designs.
Every year, there are a whole host of colour predictions in the world of interior design, and, more often than not, neutral colours take centre stage. However, in 2021, we predict that things will be a little different, with both neutral tones and vibrant colours fighting to contrast against each other.
Colour contrasting is by no means a new trend, but it’s certainly something we’re bound to see a lot more of. When it comes to flooring, colour contrast can enable designers to deliver truly unique, stand-out designs. Using bold colours against softer neutral hues can also help emphasise flooring borders, zones and pathways within a building.
When it comes to neutral colours, as the go-between light and dark, grey is said to be the most versatile. It is also the perfect base colour, especially in the flooring world, as grey can contrast bright colours perfectly, such as orange, yellow and pink. Though we can’t claim that grey will always be on-trend, it will always be a chic staple.
Although practicality is still very much king, it doesn’t mean that commercial interior designers can’t have fun with flooring. One trend which we expect to take off in 2021 is pairing bold colours with daring patterns. Those who want to create striking and unusual designs may look to combine both to create truly unique flooring.
Carpet tiles are on the up
In 2020, businesses were made to adapt indoor spaces to adhere to social distancing guidelines. At first, temporary solutions, like hazard tape, were put in place but as the pandemic continued, more permanent solutions were introduced. Materials which were moveable, versatile and durable were preferred.
In flooring, carpet tiles grew increasingly popular; a trend which is expected to stay with us for years to come. Unlike normal carpets, tiles are easier to install and move about, as they can be lifted and interchanged with ease – which is ideal in the current climate. They can also be installed with minimal disruption.
Carpet tiles also provide limitless design possibilities. Interior designers have greater creative freedom, as tiles can be mixed and matched with different colours and patterns, it’s even possible to apply custom designs. These can be arranged and laid in different ways to create flooring which is distinctive and unique.
Some of the latest solutions, like those in Guide, enable businesses to display important messages in a simple, stylish and effective way. When the carpet tiles are no longer required, they can simply be removed and replaced, without the need to replace the entire flooring.