‘Lot of wood, ceramic coming into cladding’

Square Foot is the leading retail brand of Classic Floorings & Interiors (P) Ltd offering premium quality floor coverings across a wide array of product categories. Gaurav Saraf
Joint Managing Director – Classic Floorings & Interiors told Sandeep Menezes that most people buy claddings with European fire classification – so it is quite good.

Excerpts from the interview:

Gaurav Saraf

Gaurav Saraf

With new township projects coming up across India, tell us about the evolving customer requirements for integrated flooring solutions?
Today customers are looking not only for a house that they live in but also for amenities that come with a house. So in townships for middle income group you would find laminate flooring as a standard specification in all rooms. For higher income groups villa townships you would find engineered or solid wood in rooms and decking in balconies. All these would have a standard club house depending on the TG. All our sports solutions for indoor and outdoor would be used in specialised gaming zones.

Do you feel that pricing is the most important factor for Indian customers when opting for flooring solutions?
For a developer yes pricing plays a major role. The end consumer is looking for quality, design, durability etc. Today developers also are considering higher end and quality solutions as their end users have become much more discerning.

How aware are Indian customers about eco-friendly options for flooring solutions?
The higher income groups are quite aware of it. It still has not caught on as a requisite for flooring though. People talk about it but in the end price becomes an issue (eco friendly products are approximately 10 per cent higher priced) Architects and clients need to look and buy it conscientiously for it to happen.

How different is residential flooring requirement vis-à-vis commercial or industrial?
It is very different. The usage and functionality is different so the materials used to finish etc are different. Commercial floors come with a much higher quality lacquer as compared to residential floors.

Emerging economies of Asia, including India and China, are expected to record the fastest growth in demand for claddings. Comment.
Yes its true as contraction is at its peak but worldwide cladding has seen a huge jump in demand and materials available. Cladding as such other then metal and glass is quite nascent in emerging markets. Today we see a lot of ceramic, wood etc used in cladding.

How fire resistant are claddings across Indian cities?
Most people buy products with European fire classification so it is quite good.

Tell us about the recent trends in cladding systems being implemented across India?
I see a lot of wood, ceramic etc coming into cladding with a lot more easier fixing systems.

What is Square Foot’s future business strategy? Going forward, does Square Foot intend to introduce any new products into the market?
Square Foot continues to add more products and newer solutions in its existing product strategy. Look for a lot of innovation in our current product categories as well as lots of eco friendly options.

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