New flooring products make hotels look like home

ForeverLawn supplied the artificial lawn for the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale, making sure the Arizona sun would not bleach the blades. Photo credit: ForeverLawn

As guests increasingly expect the comforts of home when on the road, technology is helping hotels evoke a residential feel with a decidedly commercial practicality, using “wooden” floors made of vinyl and grassy exteriors made of nylon. The new flooring products can look and feel like natural products one would find inside (or outside) of a private home, but offer the durability of commercial application.

Resimercial Floors

“Warm residential neutrals are here to stay,” said Cindy Kaufman, director of marketing for  Interface Hospitality. “Designers are using large-scale, bold tropical prints on wall coverings and bedding rather than the flooring.”

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The combination of residential and commercial is popularly known as “resimercial,” and the trend is gaining ground in the hospitality sector, according to Parterre Flooring marketing manager Elizabeth Sullivan. “It brings a sense of home into everyday spaces,” she said.

Parterre recently launched its new Storri collection of luxury vinyl tile. Within the collection, the Strava design is particularly suited for hospitality, said Sullivan. Inspired by brushstrokes in painting married or the lines of a stream, Strava has a “fiber-like” softness. “It's a striated product that was hand-painted,” said Sullivan. “The intention there was to take different inspirations from what we're seeing in string art and different textiles and to create a nice tactile feel, almost like a carpet feel, especially with hospitality in mind.”  

The collection’s Kennett line, meanwhile, was named for Kennett Square, the “mushroom capital of the world” in Lancaster, Pa. The tile looks like aged, reclaimed wood, and was inspired by the historic houses in the town that are used to store mushrooms.

Artificial Nature

Maintaining an attractive lawn at hotels can be challenging, especially given the differences in the weather from season to season. Louisville, Ohio-based ForeverLawn sells artificial turf that is gaining (literal) ground with hotels, letting guests walk on synthetic grass without getting their shoes dirty.

One of ForeverLawn’s biggest releases in recent years is the company’s Fusion line, which is made out of nylon. “Most popular natural-looking artificial turfs are made out of polyethylene,” said ForeverLawn landscape brand leader Jim Karmie. “Polyethylene tends to be a softer product and looks more natural. Nylon has a tendency to have a little bit of a shine to it.” The Fusion line, then, has undergone an extrusion process that reduces the shine and makes it look natural, like a polyethylene product.

Perhaps most importantly, artificial turf that is made out of nylon has a higher heat resistance than polyethylene—an important factor to consider, Karmie said, as more buildings adopt “low-E” glass windows with a thin coating that reflects heat.  Polyethylene lawns could start to shrink or distort from the reflected heat from these windows under 200 degrees, he explained, but the nylon product did not show any deformation until about 400 degrees.