In 2023, Karndean celebrates 50 years as a global leader in luxury vinyl flooring. While we have continued to evolve over half a century, our passion for simply beautiful flooring remains our driving force. Inspired by nature and the latest trends in design and architecture, we design innovative products with you in mind. We call it designing for life and this ethos sits at the heart of everything we do.

Pioneers in luxury vinyl flooring

Every Karndean floor has a story to tell… and these stories begin with our own. In 1973, our founder Mike Walker, a UK flooring contractor, was frustrated by the long lead times on commercial flooring stock. Deciding to challenge the status quo, Mike registered the Karndean name and established a business called Carpet & Flooring Supplies, carrying stock of multiple floor coverings available for same day collection. Within a few short years Mike’s business had grown to cover the Midlands, the North West and South West of England. In 1984, Karndean also opened its doors in Australia.

Karndean family

With so many years of experience supplying and installing all types of floor coverings, Mike recognised the potential of luxury vinyl flooring. While the relatively new gluedown vinyl planks were gaining popularity in commercial applications, he saw the opportunity for the residential market and for the business. In 1991, Mike took the plunge to focus solely on luxury vinyl, selling his stores and embarking on a mission to introduce the British public to these versatile, beautiful and practical flooring solutions.

Inspired by the natural world

Working from home with a small and committed team, Mike soon set about creating his own flooring designs. He travelled the world seeking inspiration for what today are the market’s most realistic stone and wood inspired luxury vinyl products. More than just a floor, Karndean created a flooring concept with inspirational designs replicating wood and stone in almost endless combinations of planks, tiles, border and design strips. Launched in 1996, Knight Tile was the first dedicated residential range of flooring.

Over just a few short years, Karndean Designflooring became a global brand with operations expanding in the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand. We are proud that many of our early employees, including some who had worked in our original home office and warehouse, continue to be part of our global success. Today, the ‘Karndean family’ numbers around 500 employees and we value the ethos and passion on which we’ve built our business and our brand together.

Peter Wood, our global Chairman joined the company in 1988 and has held senior positions as managing director in Australia and New Zealand and CEO in the USA. Reflecting on his tenure with Karndean, Peter said, “To see how the business has grown around the world has exceeded all our dreams of the early days. It could not have been done without Mike’s passion and commitment, as well as family support and, of course, our dedicated, passionate and professional staff who have helped drive this success.”

A business built on innovation and quality

While interior and architectural design trends constantly evolve, authentic design and product quality are always a winning combination. Over the years we have worked closely with our customers, retailers, contractors and specifiers to expand our ranges with products that not only meet but exceed aesthetic, technical and performance specifications. All our designs are created in-house and this extends to the composition and materials used in each layer of our durable floors. Our designers still travel the world to source samples of natural timber and stone with a story to tell, finding inspiration in the ancient and the new and to understand the evolving trends in both design and manufacturing technology.

Better floors for a better planet

The beauty of nature not only inspires our collections, it drives our commitment to improving sustainability in our products and in the way we do business. We’ve already begun the global rollout of a comprehensive environmental, social and governance (ESG) programme, built around five key themes that influence how we operate. These include climate change, sustainable product, supply chain transparency, social inclusion and education.

We’ve built our business on close relationships and we are proud to be working with partners throughout our supply chain to see where we can make changes for the better. Together we look at advances in technology, new materials and better processes that can help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions, curb waste and improve environmental credentials without compromising on product quality and performance. We’ve also signed up to science-based targets and we encourage our suppliers to do the same. It’s not a quick fix, but it is a fundamental part of our future business strategy. We’re confident it will help us stay true to our core values that will propel our people, our products, our customers and communities through the next 50 years and beyond.

Dan Lovell, Managing Director of Karndean in Australia and New Zealand is another team member who started his career in the family home of our founder. “I had no idea of the journey that I was embarking on,” Dan said, whose roles with the company have also included UK and global marketing director. “In that time, I’ve known Karndean as a place of constant development and growth, and I’ve been fortunate to have worked with the most amazing products and people every day.”

We’ve created hundreds of flooring designs to suit every home and every style. Our floors not only replicate the beauty of the natural materials that have inspired them but also feature all the many practical benefits of luxury vinyl that you have come to expect from Karndean.

From LooseLay Longboard and LooseLay OriginalsKorlokVan GoghKnight TileOpus and Art Select, explore our many flooring ranges and discover your perfect flooring solution.