German flooring specialist Parador has developed an innovative system that neutralises harmful substances and unpleasant odours in the ambient air.
ProAir, applied to Parador's wooden flooring in its factory, uses natural proteins known as Protectin – similar to those found in lamb's wool – to absorb and neutralise harmful or toxic substances and odours from the air, including tobacco smoke and formaldehydes, commonly found in products used at homes and in offices.
Explaining the concept behind the ProAir system, international sales manager of Parador Ernoe Németh says: “Although astounding, it is an undeniable fact that lamb's wool is a cleaning agent for air! The fibres of the wool contain a protein substance with reactive chains of amino acids that are capable of absorbing pollutant molecules and unpleasant odours, for example, formaldehyde and aldehyde in very high concentrations, and converting them into unharmful substances.”
In the process, which is called chemical sorption, the formaldehyde undergoes a condensation reaction, whereupon harmful methylol is transformed into innocuous methylene and irreversibly bound. Among the materials that often contain aldehydes and their accompanying odorous substances are wall paints, lacquers, adhesives, glues, bonding agents, hot grease and disinfectants. The amino acid chains of the lamb’s wool proteins have already been used successfully for several years for the restoration of buildings contaminated with formaldehyde, Németh points out.
Parador is the first company worldwide that has applied the principle to its wooden flooring products and also to its Click-Board panels, according to him.
“Parador has earned a sound reputation for manufacturing attractive and durable flooring,” he says. “But ProAir technology takes customer care to a new level. It is the first system of its kind in the world – one that helps promote the health and safety of family members.”
Elaborating on the relevance of this technology to the Gulf region, Nemeth points out that according to recent studies, airborne pollutant levels in the Middle East are rising at an alarming rate, contributing to asthma, bronchitis, allergies and colds.
Further, due to the excessive heat in this region, people spend most of their day in air-conditioned environments, making them particularly susceptible to toxins and airborne diseases.
Available in laminate, engineered and solid-wood options, ProAir-infused Parador flooring guarantees quality finishes combined with attractive designs, colours and wood types for homes and offices, according to the company. Available woods include Oak Gunstock, Natural Oak, Merbau, Walnut Limed and Smoked Oak Butcher-block in satin finish.
Parador, which manufactures three main types of floorings – laminate, engineered wood, and solid wood floorings, has emerged as a leading supplier, exporting its products to 65 countries. To more effectively penetrate the Gulf region, the company has entered into a long-term sales agreement with Dubai's leading office furniture supplier, Ofis, owned by the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group.
Commenting on the regional trends, Németh says that the right use of colours is gaining importance in the region, in a bid to create a productive workplace.
“Our clients across the Middle East are coming to us with instructions to create 'productive work places’ which means the use of colours, in addition to the very highest quality materials,” he says.
European studies suggest that greens and blues create the most productive work environment while, perhaps surprisingly, reds and blacks have also received positive results, according to him.
Speaking on regional demand, he says that laminate flooring is the region’s top-selling product for both commercial and domestic use and the company is now on a mission to change the misguided perception in the Middle East that laminate flooring is not a high-end option.
“Laminates are robust and allow dirt and soiling to be removed quickly and easily, while having a lasting, beautiful appearance. Laminates in Parador’s Classic Collection, for instance, are perfectly suited for timeless, classic interior design styles. In addition to that, they come equipped with all the great properties that customers have come to appreciate in laminate floorings. Its low build-up height makes the flooring particularly suitable for renovations. Our patented click-mechanism makes the installation process easy, fast and safe,” he says.
Meanwhile, Parador's engineered wood flooring line, according to the company, has been completely overhauled, with a number of new features having been incorporated in them. These include factory-applied impregnation of lamella-strips and complete impregnation along the sides of the top layer to deliver enhanced swelling and moisture protection; an optimised three-layer sandwich design, with a total thickness of 14 mm to give high serviceability; and an innovative lacquer-based finish for more natural-looking wood, enhanced elasticity and improved compressive strength and scratch resistance. Its engineered wood floors also come with a pre-finished oil-impregnated surface, which preserve the open, naturally breathing surface of the wood.
“While laminates and engineered wood floorings are durable and lasting, solid wood flooring offers timeless elegance and value for generations. Besides the vivid naturalness for pure home interior pleasure, solid wood has a healthy, regulating effect on the room’s climate too,” he concludes.