Wood Flooring in Mumbai
Have you ever wondered what the wood flooring market is like on the Indian sub-continent? We recently interviewed Mehul Muni, owner of Urban Decor, a flooring retailer in the fourth largest city on the planet to get his take on wood flooring trends in Mumbai.
WFT: Mehul tell us, which species of wood are currently popular in Mumbai?
Mehul: Interiors walls and drapes in Mumbai are traditionally light in color and furnishings are generally medium tones so we see a lot of hard wood flooring specified as dark or medium tones in browns and reds. Ebony, wenge, rosewood and merbau are all popular.
WFT: Are there any domestic hardwoods that are utilized in the wood flooring industry locally?
Mehul: 80-90% of the wood flooring species used are imported. There is a small market that utilizes some domestic timber but it is rather insignificant.
WFT: Are most of the hardwood floors being installed solid or engineered wood flooring?
Mehul: For middle class and commercial level projects we see a lot of laminate product being used currently, true hardwood flooring is reserved mainly for CEO cabins, 5 Star Restaurants and homes of upper or high network individuals. We see a lot of apartments that may have wood flooring installed in only certain rooms like bedrooms or living rooms. We utilize some of both solid and engineered wood flooring products.
WFT: In the US, we are seeing a trend in wood flooring toward wider widths. -What widths are currently popular in India?
Mehul: I’m sure that has to do with the different mindset here in Mumbai. In all my years of business I’ve never had a client choose a product based solely on width. Generally color and specie are the main concerns and consumers accept whatever width that may available in. Width is an irrelevant part of the wood flooring specification.
WFT: What is the most utilized form of installation for hardwood floors – glue-down, nail-down or float?
Mehul: Early on in my career we glued most everything but we’ve moved a lot towards floating applications for wood flooring. We do still nail down engineered wood floor products on occasion.
WFT: You mentioned hardwood floors are medium to dark browns and reds are a lot of those stain colors or are you utilizing naturally dark species with natural finishes?
Mehul: With oak flooring there is a fair amount of staining of the product to make it look like ebony, wenge or rosewood. We also utilize those actual species as well depending on the hardwood flooring budget.
WFT: Is there a sand and finish market in Mumbai where unfinished wood floors are installed then sanded and finished on site?
Mehul: Yes but it is very small and reserved for the ultra high-end projects.
WFT: Mehul thank you for your time and insight. It’s been interesting to learn about our industry in the largest city in India.
Mehul: Thank you and best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2012.