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Behind the Collection: Coral

Jason Holmes, Head of Design - Textiles, Forbo Flooring
December 2021

Coral Q&A blog

Our market-leading Coral entrance flooring collection has had a refresh. With new designs, colour palettes and constructions, we caught up with Jason Holmes, Head of Design - Textiles, to gain an insight into the updated collection, while learning more about the concept of zoning and why specifying an entrance flooring system is so important.

What’s new about the Coral collection?

The updated Coral collection consists of four existing products: Coral Brush, Coral Classic, Coral Duo and Coral Welcome, as well as two brand-new solutions: Coral Grip (for sports and leisure entrances) and Coral Interior (a completely new concept designed for zone three of a building).

We have also introduced a new adhesive free construction (available in the Classic and Brush designs) and refreshed the colour palettes of our existing ranges. There’s plenty going on!

Jason Holmes
Coral Interior

What trends influenced the new colourways?

As entrance flooring is key in all segments, we look at the trends in those segments that use them most – retail, leisure and hospitality, office and education. We also know that Coral isn’t always installed alongside our own interior products either, so it’s important that we look at what other manufacturers are doing too.

In this collection, we have introduced a new red, green, as well as a revised blue colourway. We found that these were staple colours in terms of corporate branding and a huge percentage of organisations have them as their principal colour or within their logo. Therefore, it was important that we included these three core colours in our ranges.

Why is specifying an entrance flooring system so important in commercial and public buildings?

The entrance flooring should always be one of the most important design decisions in a project. From a safety perspective, a high-quality entrance flooring system can radically reduce the risk of slips and injuries, prolong the life of interior floor coverings and reduce ongoing maintenance costs. It will also have a huge impact on the overall appearance of the establishment. The entrance area is where you can make the ultimate primary statement. It’s a bit like judging a book by its cover; visitors are judging you based on how they’re being welcomed. First impressions really do count.

Coral 2021
Coral 2021

Can you talk us through zoning?

We always recommend taking a three-zone approach to entrance flooring. Zone 1 is the immediate bit outside of the building entrance – this is your first line of defence. Moving into zone 2, this is your next line of defence – the transition from the outside to inside. Here you really do need at least two metres. Then zone 3 is your larger circulation spaces that follow on from the entrance, the areas between the reception desk and lift, for example. By using a three-zone Coral entrance flooring system, you can stop up to 95% of dirt and moisture from entering a building.

Forbo’s new Coral Interior range is designed for use in zone 3 of a building, but what inspired the development of this new solution and the design of it?

In order to remove the maximum amount of soil, water and dirt entering a building, the key is to have a bigger entrance zone. We tried to make the idea of a zone 3 product, or the transition area from zones 2-3, more aesthetically pleasing, as these products are installed in the reception and larger circulation areas. Coral Interior, therefore, was very much a design decision. Much more than just an entrance mat, it’s an attractive floor covering that is highly functional and does the job of removing dirt and moisture – it bridges the gap between the two. The product is also modular as it’s available in a tile or plank format and the colours are more reflective of a general floor covering.

Coral duo, classic and interior
Coral | re-using fishing nets

What are the environmental implications of this collection?

There are two ways we can look at the environmental implications of Coral: how it’s made and how it performs.

Coral entrance flooring systems are made with Econyl yarns, which are derived from abandoned fishing nets. In fact, Coral Welcome is made with Econyl 100% regenerated yarns and there is also a high proportion in Coral Duo and Coral Brush. We use recycled PET bottles in the primary backing of Welcome too. We are always looking to minimise material usage and reuse materials where possible.

Then once Coral is installed, end users can benefit from a massive reduction in cleaning cost. A proper three stage Coral entrance can reduce interior cleaning costs by 65% and those cleaning costs are a huge part of the lifecycle cost of the floor. Most Coral products only need a vacuum or water extraction too and there is no need for detergents. This is a massive environmental benefit.

Coral can be installed alongside other Forbo floor coverings to create an integrated interior design scheme. Can you tell us more?

We design Coral so that it can be used alongside all types of interior floor coverings. However, we regularly see it being used alongside the likes of Forbo’s Marmoleum, Eternal and Allura Flex collections, due to them being resilient floor coverings with smooth surfaces, which means there is much greater risk of dirt and moisture ingress into the building. We also designed the range so that there are colourways that can be coordinated with our best-selling Tessera and Flotex collections to ensure an integrated flooring scheme.


What is your favourite colourway in this collection and why?

If I had to pick an ultimate favourite, I would say Coral Interior in Midnight Shadow. I am very proud of this new solution. When you see it installed, it looks exactly like a nice, high quality carpet tile or plank when in fact, you know it has the ability to accept heavy duty dirt and moisture and that’s the beauty of it. It’s a superhero in disguise!

I also have a soft spot for the new Coral Duo colourways: Imperial Blue and Green Bellagio. The green is so strong and especially in the retail segment, it works really well and it’s so versatile. This colourway was recently installed at Peak Ascent Cycles, a busy bike shop in Buxton, and it looks absolutely brilliant. The green matches the shop’s branding and conveys the idea of nature and the great outdoors – it’s the perfect fit.