From the ancient forests of Europe to the Australian outback, Karndean Designflooring seeks out the finest natural designs the world has to offer. From stunning timbers to exquisite stones, slate and even concrete, Karndean faithfully reproduces the organic features in their luxury vinyl flooring to inspire and delight.

Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT) is a multi-layer product with unique characteristics and features. Karndean supply this product in a wide range of designs replicating natural creations of wood or stone as a plank, or tile. Each design bears all the individual characteristics of the natural material that inspired it. Colours are defined with variable shades and tones, just as they are in original wood or stone. LVT allows the customer to create and design a floor that is unique to their personal style and space by arranging planks or tiles in various patterns, or by adding detailed features like a border or a natural-looking grouting effect.

Karndean Designflooring can accentuate any space. It is extremely hard-wearing and comes with a lifetime guarantee. Karndean offers their flooring product in three formats. ‘Gluedown’ where individual planks and tiles are adhered using permanent adhesive. ‘Loose lay’ features a friction grip backing which helps hold the product in place. ‘Rigid core’ hybrid contains a click-lock system that allows installation over most existing hard floors.

The Karndean Story

Karndean began when in 1973 Mike Walker, a former flooring installer in Birmingham, United Kingdom, – made the decision to start his own business. To put the value of Karndean’s lifetime of history into context, here in Australia the Sydney Opera House opened. Karndean will celebrate 50 years in 2023 and has been serving Australian customers for 40 years.

After a family trip to Australia, Mike came up with the idea of starting Karndean’s first overseas branch of the company right here in Australia. So, in 1983 Mike took on the licence to distribute Flotex in Australia. In the 1990s. Mike recognised the underlying benefits of the relatively new and original LVT flooring, taking on the product that would change the business and set Karndean on an exciting path of exploration and development.

Karndean Design

Christine Weaver is Head of Product & Marketing for Karndean Designflooring for Australia and New Zealand. Christine said of her job, “We listen, we’re receptive to local and international trends, commentary, customer feedback and changing lifestyles. We don’t just sell flooring, we offer inspiration.”

Karndean is a truly international company in which every person works together to achieve an outcome where everyone benefits. Christine is in weekly contact with Karndean’s design professionals based around the world, working on the development of Karndean’s unique and ever-changing portfolio of design flooring.

Karndean Designflooring products are focused on both the global and local markets Christine calls ‘Glocal’. Some recent outstanding local Karndean installations include the Microsoft offices in Sydney and the Mercedes Benz showroom in Brisbane.

Karndean People

Karndean is a people-first company, everyone is committed to the customer, to their fellow employees, and to their product. Many of Karndean’s people have worked with the company for decades, and it’s experience like this in a growing market that sets Karndean apart. The most visible evidence of the family orientation is Smokey, the Great Dane whose profile dominates the Karndean company logo. Smokey is very much a part of Karndean’s history and even now, there are some employees who fondly recall Mike’s dog.

Having started his career with Karndean 23 years ago in the United Kingdom, Dan Lovell has been Australia and New Zealand Managing Director for 10 years. Dan is passionate about the Karndean range of LVT that he says, “Is the fastest growing flooring product, both here and overseas. Our product looks and feels like the natural material with the added benefits of durability, comfort underfoot and ease of cleaning. What’s different about a Karndean floor is the visual and tactile realism, coupled with the practicality and reliability of a consistent quality product.”

Karndean and the Environment

To protect the environment, Karndean do everything they can to continuously improve manufacturing processes to ensure the lowest possible impact on the environment whilst delivering the best value for the end user. Performance has never been sacrificed to achieve compliance with international environment and quality standards.

Karndean Designflooring products are manufactured and certified to the ISO 14001 Environmental Standard and ISO 9001 International Quality Standards. Karndean Designflooring is a longstanding member of the Green Building Council Australia (GBCA) and Green Building Council New Zealand (NZGBC). They contribute to indoor environmental air quality; reduce energy and greenhouse gasses and come with a transferable lifetime residential warranty.

Karndean in Your World

Christine said, “The last few years have been a great leveller. The World stayed home; it has always been our private retreat, but it became our sanctuary, a place where we found comfort. It also became a place for work, for schooling, for entertainment and a place to explore new interests. Our design professionals see people seeking a life that is more authentic, simpler and closer to nature. For Karndean, this was a key driver in the emerging design trends, and we sought to deliver practical and versatile functionality without compromising comfort or style.”

Dan adds, “Design is a fundamental element of our philosophy. Our product will be part of the family dream home; it should provide a ‘wow’ moment that continues through the life of the floor. We aim to provide that wow moment, to deliver a consistent and reliable product. Our vision is to be the most trusted, people-focused, innovative flooring brand; to remain the leading supplier of LVT flooring and to have a market-leading environmental record of achievement through the development of sustainable products and processes.

At Karndean we speak about inspiring the world’s interiors. We understand how important the home or workplace environment can be. We offer solutions that inspire and delight our commercial and domestic customers. And like our customers, the family culture is so important to the way we operate. Whether our people have been here for decades or only a few weeks, whether they are employed here or overseas, whether they work in our offices, in our distribution centres, or as our retailers, they are all part of the Karndean family, just like Smokey was, all those years ago.”

Article by Philip Ashley