Välinge announced that the U.K. and Ireland are next in the rollout of the company’s hardened wood products to the European market. The range, launched in France earlier in 2021, includes Välinge’s patented Woodura surface technology and water-resistant fold-down system 5G Dry.
Simon Darbyshire has been appointed general manager of Välinge Innovation U.K. to head the team in promoting the new product offering in the U.K. and Ireland. Darbyshire has 30 years of international management experience in the wood-based panels sector, including 14 years as managing director of the U.K. subsidiary of the multinational manufacturing corporation Pfleiderer, specializing in branded wood-based panels.
“The name Välinge is already well known in the U.K. and Irish markets as many of the flooring products sold in the U.K. today feature innovative installation systems such as 2G Angling and 5G fold-down. We are now able to offer something very new to the market with this range of finished hardened wood flooring products in XL and XXL sizes,” said Darbyshire.
The new range of hardened wood floors is made with oak, ash, and walnut from sustainable sources of timber with the FSC certification.
“We are using the patented Woodura technology, fusing a thin sheet of real wood with a wood fiber core through a powder mix layer. Compared to traditional wood flooring, the wood wear layer durability is massively increased, and our hardened wood floors use timber much more efficiently.”
According to the company, these flooring products also bring a very high water-resistance factor to the engineered wood flooring market due to Välinge’s patented 5G Dry premium fold-down locking technology, which prevents water from penetrating through the joints between the panels.
“As regards to our target customer base, Välinge Innovation U.K. is looking for people who want to bring a new type of engineered wood floor to the market,” said Darbyshire. “We already have a lot of interest from well-established names in the U.K. and Irish markets who want to develop this market sector with us, and our feedback is that the market is ready for positive change.”
Darbyshire now works closely with Hannes Lindblom, director sales & marketing, surface technology, Välinge Innovation.
“The launches in the U.S. and Asia couldn’t have gone better, and we are excited to offer our next-generation real wood floors in Europe,” said Lindblom. “The reception we have had to the floors has been incredible – there’s a huge appetite for beautiful, sustainable real wood floors that can handle whatever life throws at them, and we think customers in the U.K. and Ireland are going to love them too.”