When you walk into a hotel, your eyes are quickly drawn to the different design elements; a contemporary piece of art, ornate chandeliers, or even an impressive staircase. But it’s what is under your feet that plays an important role in hospitality interiors.
Flooring has a multitude of roles to fulfil in a hotel, from guiding guests to the reception and creating the base element for the interior design, to providing a relaxing and comfortable environment in the bedrooms. As hospitality venues re-open and we begin to travel again, hotels will want to make their guests feel as relaxed and content as possible when they stay. We’re already seeing interior design evolve from simply creating extravagant aesthetics, to also actively contributing to positive wellbeing and an improved experience.
While the flooring design enhances the overall aesthetics and mood, resilience is the fundamental quality to ensure the surface can stand up to heavy footfall. It also needs to simultaneously resist scratches, stains or scuffs from heels and suitcases. For these reasons, one of the most popular types of commercial flooring is Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT). Indeed, this is one of the most versatile, durable and hardwearing products available and it offers complete design freedom – presenting a commercially attractive alternative to other flooring materials, especially natural wood, stone, sheet vinyl and laminates.
LVT is also acoustically superior and offers sound reduction benefits, which helps create a peaceful and quiet atmosphere so that guests can relax. Indeed, the acoustics of an environment can have just as much an impact on a guest’s stay than the hardness of a mattress. At Amtico, we understand the need to reduce noise without compromising design aesthetics; we developed Amtico Acoustic, an enhanced 1mm PVC foam backing layer that works across standard planks and tiles in our Signature, Form and Spacia collections; it enhances the LVT to reduce sound transmission by up to 19dB. This layer also helps to provide enhanced comfort for guests by reducing sound transmission to rooms below, while minimising noise from passing footsteps in a hotel corridor.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also affected how we view the cleanliness of the environments around us. Even when restrictions are lifted and hotels re-open to the public, concerns about infection will remain indefinitely and there will be an even greater need to reassure guests of their safety. Certainly, the concept of promoting positive wellbeing has extended beyond peaceful and calming aesthetics, and LVT safety flooring complements this on a practical level.
The control of bacteria is increasingly important, as is reducing the risk of slips and falls. Our safety flooring LVT products – from the Signature 36+ and Spacia 36+ collections – encompass antimicrobial technology, in addition to near invisible particles that increase friction levels between feet and the surface. As a result, it can offer exceptional levels of slip resistance and prevent the growth of potentially harmful bacteria and fungus while adhering to specific design scheme requirements.
Of course, safety flooring and interior design are not always considered together, with many product specifications focused solely on one element or the other. Part of the design limitations in recent years have been linked to the proliferation of sheet vinyl safety flooring, which is often one-dimensional and lacks natural details. In hotel bars and restaurants, there is growing demand for safety floors with more design variety and a higher quality finish. To offer specifiers greater design scope, our Signature 36+ and Spacia 36+ collections are available in 37 Woods, 12 Stones and three Abstract designs across 11 plank and tile sizes, plus the classic Parquet laying pattern.
The design of a space makes it possible to evoke an emotional response in an individual, which can range from a sense of excitement seeing the room for the first time, through to making them feel relaxed and comfortable in the restaurant. While comfortable upholstered furniture and ambient lighting are naturally considered the first factors to evoke such a response, flooring is also integral to this, as it can convey to occupants how an area should be used. However, the right choice of floor product – provided with a generous commercial warranty – goes a long way in terms of meeting the practical needs of the hotel and its guests, while ensuring durability, long-lasting performance and, importantly, comfort.
"For hotel interiors, the COVID-19 pandemic will leave a lasting impression on design, as specifiers look to surfaces and floors to create a comfortable, safe space for guests."
National Hospitality Manager