Our roundup includes safer and smarter resilient flooring options that apply sophisticated production techniques alongside natural materials. The latest in wood flooring includes a bamboo floor company that has made formaldehyde-free adhesive a standard offering. ' Rita Catinella Orrell

A rendering of Kayar flooring in an airport setting (top); a
rendering of Ebony flooring in a retail setting (middle). Zero.4 flooring in bright orange (above left). Zero.4 in red (above middle). Kayar with coconut fibers in brown rubber (above right).

Rubber flooring collection reinvents a classic, integrates coconut fibers, and more
Artigo Spa was first established by the Pirelli Group in 1961 to produce rubber flooring and rubber soles for footwear. Last October, Artigo launched its latest rubber flooring collection in collaboration with the Sottsass Associati design studio. One of the three patterns of the collection, Zero.4, was recently awarded a prestigious IF Product Design Award in the Public Design–Interior Design category.

The project originated when Artigo asked Milan-based Sottsass Associati, founded by Ettore Sottsass and others in 1980, to design a new version of the company’s classic Bolli pattern; a “round-stud” motif first designed in the 1950s. After six to eight months in development, models and samples were created. “To redesign a classic is not easy,” explains Christopher Redfern, director at Sottsass Associati and designer of the collection. “In the time it took us to come up with ideas for the new Bolli, the ideas for Kayar and Ebony were also conceived.”

The result of the Bolli pattern redesign is Zero.4, an animated take on the traditional studded surface. For the pattern, a purposefully erratic distribution of circles in four different diameters was produced by a molding method developed exclusively by Artigo. Zero.4 is available in 3.3'-square tiles in a .12'' thickness in seven colors.

The Kayar pattern, named for the word for plaited coconut-fiber rope in Tamil, is made from an unexpected combination of coconut fiber and rubber. Integrating rubber with such an unusual material wasn’t without its challenges, says Redfern.

“There were many moments when we thought that the products were impossible to produce. The biggest problem was how to keep the coconut fibers uniform for Kayar and maintain an acceptable quality with random processes and natural materials.” Kayar is made in 6.23' x 32.8' sheets in a .12'' thickness in 16 colors, and in 2' x 2' loose-lay tiles in a .2'' thickness in four colors.

The third pattern in the collection, Ebony, is intended to be a translation of “the tactile and perceptive language of wood.” Made using compression, the most traditional rubber molding process, Ebony’s complex molds allow for organic and casual-looking grains. Ebony is made in .12'' thick, 3.3' x 7.9' planks in four color options. Prf USA, Carlstadt, N.J. www.artigo.com

[Reader Service: January 2008 #212]


Born again boards
Carlisle Wide Plank Floors has received FSC-certification for its entire line of 100 percent postconsumer Reclaimed Antique Wood. The handcrafted, reclaimed wood flooring comes from structures that have been slated for demolition, and includes Antique Chestnut and Antique Barnwood (typically a combination of pine and hemlock). The floor shown here is made from Carlisle’s Antique Heart Pine. Carlisle Wide Plank Floors, Stoddard, N.H. www.wideplankflooring.com

[Reader Service: January 2008 #213]


A new flooring dimension
Dimension Rubber Tile from Roppe offers three profiles: Random, a combination of rectangles that interact with each other in various profiles; Stripe, a twist on the original carpet tiles; and Crackle (left), a rendition of cracked ceramic tiles. All of the tiles offer profiles that channel water away from the walking surfaces, decreasing the opportunity for slip/fall accidents. Added performance can be obtained by requesting antifungal, flame-retardant, or oil/grease-resistant compounds. Roppe, Fostoria, Ohio. www.roppe.com

[Reader Service: January 2008 #214]