The design process is often one driven by budget or with a specific look in mind. However, in recent times one aspect has begun to grow in importance for designers’ consideration. Namely, user-centred design, meaning to design a product or space to the benefit of the end-user as opposed to the company’s bottom line or for a specific aesthetic. By applying an understanding of maintenance requirements, ergonomics and usability, the end result can be a product more attuned to the needs of its users, improving efficiency in the workplace, and general wellbeing in any environment.

The flooring chosen for any residential or commercial space can have long-lasting consequences for its users, making a user-centred design approach all the more important. While hardwood timber floors can often be the dream material for new homeowners, they’re not always the most practical choice in terms of cost or maintenance for the person who’s going to be in charge of upkeep for the foreseeable future, or for the person who has to stand on them all day.   

Vinyl flooring, while known for its use in kitchens and bathrooms due to its water, moisture and dirt-resistant characteristics, has been expanding at a rapid pace into other areas of our homes for the same reasons and more, due to its appeal to end-users. Advances in scanning and printing technology have allowed vinyl flooring to seamlessly take on the aesthetic of a timber floor, while a softer surface means less discomfort when required to stand for long periods of time. A softer surface also means better acoustical qualities when it comes to reducing reverberation in a space, and when paired with a suitable underlay, can also greatly increase impact sound insulation across levels, such as in a multi-residential environment or two-storey dwelling.

Furthermore, the upkeep of vinyl is significantly reduced compared to other kinds of flooring options. Keeping vinyl flooring in top condition requires only sweeping and the occasional mop.  No sanding, oiling or polishing, and less concern around indentation and scratching.

Heartridge is a brand owned by Dunlop Flooring, who has been an industry leader in underlay flooring for 45 years.  The Heartridge Luxury Vinyl Planks comprise multiple layers, which range in material and purpose in order to deliver optimal stability and problem-free maintenance.

Suitable for both residential and light-traffic commercial settings, the Heartridge Luxury Vinyl Flooring range provides the look and feel of natural materials without the extensive upkeep requirements for its users. The extremely soft and flexible construction of the planks mean that in small spaces they can be loose-laid, and in larger spaces simply adhered using pressure sensitive adhesive, which means that if any planks do happen to sustain damage, they can be easily removed and replaced without upsetting the rest of the flooring installation. With a lifetime structural guarantee, and 30-year and 10-year surface guarantees for residential and commercial settings respectively, end-users can be confident with the durability offered by their flooring.