Robert Barnsley, the general manager at First Class Flooring, answered our questions about what’s happening in flooring technology and what clients are looking for right now.
Living Luxe: What is trending right now in tiles? First Class Flooring recently launched your first mobile app. What does it do?
Robert Barnsley, general manager: This app al- lows professional trades to purchase supplies online using their phones for same day pickup orders or delivery requests. It really stream- lines the process for them, saving them time.
LL: This app is directed at flooring professionals. How will it help them?
RB: Yes, the app is for flooring professionals only. Using it will eliminate the need to call in an order by phone or stand in long lines while our staff assists other clients. Notifications are sent to the professionals to inform them when the order is ready for pick up or when it has been shipped. They can do everything right from their phone instead of spending time and energy phoning orders in, etc.
LL: What other types of new technology is being used to help flooring professionals? What’s new in flooring technology?
RB: Floor finishes have really come a long way these days. The technology used to create floor products has become much stronger in terms of wear and tear, plus technology has made them easier to apply to a floor. We are seeing a lot of new and interesting materials and processes in flooring, thanks to advances in technology.
LL: We hear vinyl flooring is getting closer to looking like natural wood or stone, thanks to these new advances. Does this ring true to you?
RB: Vinyl flooring has definitely come a long way from old roll-out vinyl flooring seen in the past. These new vinyl floor offerings are very authentic and completely durable — they’re long-lasting and they look great. They’re also 100 percent waterproof, which is, of course, very important to clients.
LL: What else is trending when it comes to floors these days? What are clients asking for most?
RB: Right now, the current trend we’re seeing with our clients is for engineered wood floors in wide widths in natural and earthy tones. Grey was trending previously, but customers are looking for more natural colours right now. Wide planks, herringbone and chevron are still popular when it comes to larger sizes and unique patterns. When it comes to texture, authenticity is also in, which means some customers are looking for hand-scraped or wire-brushed looks.