Flooring-range growth prompts expansion

8th April 2016 By: Nadine James - Features Deputy Editor

Flooring-range growth prompts expansion

ECONOMIC WELLNESS Luxury vinyl tiles are in vogue, and KBAC Flooring plans to capitalise by expanding its range

Following the success of its Vanguard Collection luxury vinyl tile (LVT) range, launched in South Africa at the end of last year, interior flooring supplier KBAC Flooring plans to expand the LVT range in the near future.

This comes after leading health insurance provider Discovery commissioned KBAC Flooring to fit its floors and walls at its executive wellness centre in Sandton, Gauteng, with products from its LVT range.

KBAC Flooring business development manager Dave Keefer says the company previously completed work for Discovery’s facilities department, placing it in good stead for the Wellness Centre project, which was completed in November last year.

Four fitters installed 300 m2 of the Fever Tree wood colour from the Vanguard Collection’s Plantation range for the walls and 150 m2 of Aged Teak wood colour for the floors, he says. The installation took seven working days, partially owing to the nature of the work, but essentially because of other construction operations on site.

Keefer explains that products in the Vanguard range are made from heterogeneous polyvinyl chloride (PVC) – a lightweight thermoplastic with excellent mechanical strength and virtually no expansion and contraction, as opposed to resin or wood fibre boards used in conventional laminate flooring.

He notes that, while the company had installed LVTs on walls in the past, “covering the walls of an entire premises was an unusual and innovative design concept specified by Discovery group facilities space planner Stacey-Lee Strydom”.

Consequently, LVT’s flexibility and ability to shape around walls were integral in this installation, as there are several curved walls in the wellness centre, Keefer points out.

Moreover, to comply with Discovery’s stringent health and hygiene requirements, KBAC Flooring imported a special contact adhesive with low-volatile organic compounds, odour and solvent content.

“The adhesive has exceptionally strong bonding characteristics and spreads like butter. This is a welcome feature for the application of LVTs on the walls, which were primed with an additional adhesive to maxi- mise bonding,” notes Keefer.

He says the most challenging aspect of the project was that the contact adhesive allowed no room for error during the laying process: “Our team had one chance to install each plank because, once it was applied, it produced a bonding as solid as concrete.”

KBAC Vanguard LVTs are manufactured in Shanghai, China, according to KBAC specifications, which are based on the requirements of the South African market. Moreover, they are made from virgin, or pure, PVC, instead of recycled PVC, ensuring that reliability and performance are not compromised.

Keefer notes that, from a consumer standpoint, LVTs are in demand, with thousands of square metres fitted in South Africa daily. They are relatively inexpensive and durable, with a heavy commercial wear layer ensuring that they are easy to clean. Further, they require little to no maintenance, as the PVC used is also fire and water resistant, and electrically insulated.

Additionally, KBAC Flooring recently concluded an agreement with Scandinavian flooring producer Bolon to distribute Bolon’s sustainable flooring products in South Africa.

Keefer points out that, despite the construction industry being under pressure since 2011, he expects KBAC Flooring to continue its economic growth, as it has managed to remain a market leader in flooring and continues to generate new business.

He also notes that KBAC Flooring was one of two South African flooring compa- nies to initiate a formal Construction Education and Training Authority- (Ceta-) accredited training programme in 2014, which led to Ceta funding and, subsequently, establishing the Flooring Industry Training Association.

The company is a leader in industry training and is also active in major recycling and charity projects to minimise the amount of carpets ending up in landfills, Keefer concludes.