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DOMOTEX & BAU: A Look at Flooring

Trade fairs showed different flooring style accents

DOMOTEX in Hanover is the internationally leading event for high-quality flooring. The Munich-based BAU trade fair is regarded as the world's flagship trade fair for architecture, materials and systems. The Interprint Design Team visited both trade shows in mid-January. They brought back not only trend statements on design, texture and wood types but also a surprising insight: The two large trade fairs showed a very different focus in terms of style.


DOMOTEX showed a focus on country style

Compared to the BAU trade fair, the DOMOTEX exhibitors in Hanover mainly presented wood and design floorings with a country-style look. Trendsetters: A striking Used Look in all facets. Saw-cut surfaces, distinctive cracks, natural signs of wear and tear and a strong mechanical processing of the wood indicate the trend towards materiality. Well-coordinated with dominant wide planks and coloured surface finishing with varnish and oil – predominantly in unobtrusive grey and white.


BAU showed a focus on elegance

The majority of the flooring exhibited at the BAU trade fair in Munich had a more elegant style in comparison. Emphasised fine wood with a soft look: hardly any knots, reduced cracks and colours of beautiful naturalness. Large formats with a maximum width of 35 cm also convey calmness; two-strip flooring and three-strip flooring are especially ideal for laying.


Oak – the public's favourite

DOMOTEX and BAU show agreement when it comes to wood types: Oak remains by far the unchallenged Number One favourite wood for flooring. Scandinavian pine and larch harmonise with the timeless and casual Nordic style. Walnut, ash, maple and elm can be recommended as a homely alternative.

A popular flooring topic at both trade fairs: The herring-bone revival that could be seen in recent years is continuing. Partly in line with historic examples, partly modern or interpreted in freestyle – for example, in very contrasting colour combinations.


Market and Trade Fair Atmosphere

It appeared to be less crowded at this year's DOMOTEX trade fair. But the number of visitors was actually about the same as in 2015 according to the organisers. However, the number of exhibitors was significantly higher. More than 1,400 companies from 60 countries demonstrated "the innovation strength and capability of the flooring sector" according to a DOMOTEX press release. New best figures were claimed by the organisers of BAU 2017. More than 250,000 people, 80,000 thereof from abroad, visited the trade fair in the Bavarian metropolis. The BAU trade fair, which takes place every two years, could also confirm its reputation as an architect event.  


Flooring Innovations and Long-Term Trends

And what else? The creative highlights at DOMOTEX include flooring made of compressed alpine pasture hay, crushed cocoa bean shells in linoleum and carpets made of recycled fishing nets. Experimental was also the young-talent show presented by the Product Designer Stefan Diez: The up-and-coming designers showed new flooring designs with, for example, a material mix and special effects. Not to be overlooked was a long-term trend that was made apparent by all product groups of both trade fairs: Naturalness and authenticity – also central topics of the flooring designs by Interprint.