BIELEFELD, GERMANY -- Embossed in Register and other novel methods of surface treatment, including colored, bleached, etched, whitewashed, oiled and waxed are opening up new possibilities for laminate flooring design.

The European Producers of  Laminate Flooring (EPLF) says technologies that can modify decors will play a major role in 2012 laminate flooring trends,not only for wood designs but stone looks as well.

"Stone decors, which have been far less popular than wooden decors, will receive a lot of attention in 2012," the EPLF says. "Slate, marble or granite – they all stand out due to their natural designs and expressive textures, which create novel designs on the floor."

EPLF says textured surfaces will also be key to wood designs. The group sees elm wood with modified colors "in a matte-oiled design" becoming a trendsetter in 2012.

In terms of format trends, EPLF see country-house planks, with or without a V-joint, remaining en vogue; however, they will be found more and more often as long or narrow planks. "The trend is moving toward decors with a consistent pattern direction, which creates a particularly homogeneous, elegant appearance of the floor. Three-strip planks are also re-gaining popularity, but reflect a completely different perspective than before, as part of the new surface designs," the EPLF says.

Metal and textile decors are another topic that will set the 2012 design trends. EFLF adds. They come in large square or rectangular tile formats that are perfectly suited for places such as loft apartments or offices. Full advantage of the versatility of metal designs is taken with zink, chrome and copper tones and partially man-made used effects. Textile decors are shown in many different grey tones, which are particularly striking in combination with white furniture. The popular black and white theme of the interior design world remains current. Other creative decors impress with geometric or floral designs in strong pink, neon green, blue or black and white. All made possible by modern digital printing

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