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Specified: Flooring

Exotic and down to earth ideas for your floors

Composite flooring planks


When the chairman of the board said he wanted a new strategy-plank, I was scared stiff as. Still, there was no flooring his logic given the difficult decking we’d got recently. With wood generally going against the grain and PVC hard for him to digest, we were able to come together over choice of a composite material containing fillers in the form of this fibreglass reinforced proposition from Esthec. We are relying on the material found on terraces at hotels, resorts, cruise ships and beach clubs to stop splinter groups forming and prevent any more slip-ups. Carried!

Relik reclaimed timber planking


Proper salvage comes only from a squelchy yard, where the squinty one, the lopsided swain and the jolly white-haired owner dive into their rat’s nest of stock to dig out a miracle. The charge will, of course, never be more than 20 quid. Complimentary dust is generously provided. By contrast, Havwood’s Relik reclaimed boards (solid, reproduction or engineered options) offer replicability and consistency in 18 timbers. These are cleaned, machined and finished for immediate use – while retaining all the character of that long-gone yard (beetle accessory not included).

Parquet tiling

Listone Giordano

Ah, but these are topsy-turvy times we find ourselves in. So it’s almost comforting to discover that Listone Giordano’s ‘Biscuit’ is not, in fact, a biscuit, but a rather lovely parquet flooring tile. Logically, we then find ourselves entirely at home with the conceptual extension: in Patricia Urquiola’s refurbishment of this Bad Ragaz hotel restaurant in Switzerland, she’s bizarrely used this on the walls. Just remember not to try and eat the tiles. And do not attempt to walk on the ceiling. And sit properly on your chair – it’s better for the digestion.

Wood flooring


I was at a select Select Committee selection tea in a Westminster penthouse when I heard of the forthcoming election; she would be going to the country, hoping, presumably, to turn May into Must. Well, I was as surprised as anyone, especially given her heart-felt assurances that this is exactly what wouldn’t happen. I was about to collapse on the floor before someone reminded me that Brexit meant Brexit. In retrospect, I wished I had done so in order to be able to more closely inspect the perfectly primed and levelled flooring courtesy of Mapei, surely topping any poll you’d care to run.

Marmoleum flooring


With Mercury turning retrograde and Gemini ascendant in the House of Calyopi Delta Phi, you might well feel the ground beneath your feet seems less steady than usual. So, you could make the investment in a pair of sturdy galoshes (they’re rather hot though) or you could plump for the Forbo Marmoleum flooring specified for far-sighted stargazers at the International Centre for Life in Newcastle to get your fate back on firmer ground. If you can’t see exactly what the Heavens have in store for you, at least you can try and planet.


Fossil porcelain tiles

Ceramiche Refin

I first encountered the work of the ‘Refin’ Tribes in the caves of the Ardèche. Every surface in this hitherto undiscovered network of flexible workspaces bore a layer of ‘Fossil’ ceramic tiles, applied by an ancient hand. Here, in Eindhoven, a new discovery reveals surface decoration in five patterns, reminiscent of ammonites, in shades of beige, brown and grey. Scientists hope to find further examples at other locations in northern Europe. Centred around shopping malls, stations and airports, the sites are believed to have had some ritual significance.

Sports Flooring


Right, listen up you ‘orrible lot, stand up straight at the back – hunless you hare hengaged in a double pike and twist with an ‘alf twist has part of your floor routine. The British Harmy hexpects its lovely boys hand girls to stay nimble, supple, hand protect their soft cartilage. That is why you will find the Territorials training in the gymnasium at this ‘ere Prince William of Gloucester Training Barracks in Grantham, vaulting, somersaulting and generally hexercising on that there Gerflor reflex rubber granulate cradle floor, putting a spring in their out-of-step step.

Hardwood parquet


Welbeck Tiles may be gone, but at least the estate whose name they carry has a new hardwood floor to keep the side up. The Harley Gallery, home to a rotating exhibition of works from the Portland Collection, has yielded its 890m2 to Junckers’ single stave blocks, as specified by Hugh Broughton. FSC and PEFC certified, they nonetheless rise above such tedious bureaucracy with a durable, low-maintenance light oak parquet which, if one might make an observation, is artful enough to draw the eye somewhat from the works in the vicinity.


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