A journey of discovery of Luxury Wood Italy, a young and innovative company that has created a surprising form of flexible parquet whose mechanical characteristics make it perfect for on-board installation
by Luca Sordelli – photo by Andrea Muscatello
Do you want to make them angry? Talk about them and their parquet as if they were part of the normal flooring industry. Massimo Bottoni and Gabriele Guerinoni, respectively Managing Director and Sales Manager of Luxury Wood Italy, are extremely proud of their creation: 100% made in Italy, in an artisanal manner and designed for people who want an innovative and high-quality product.
It is a very recent invention, and sales only started last May. It is bringing happiness to architects and interior designers with its mechanical and physical characteristics and with its incredible ease of use and installation. Bottoni and Guerinoni accompanied us on a long tour of the places were Luxury Wood Italy was created, in Val di Chiana, in Tuscany, between Lucignano and Sinalunga.
But why are we talking of innovation? What is the secret of their parquet? We can’t tell you everything (a patent has been registered) but, in summary, the starting point was to imagine a new type of parquet made up of two elements.
The first consists in a soft part, a mat made of a mix of rubber and micro perforated cork with a formula created specially for LWI by a German producer who also makes surfaces for athletic tracks.
The second is the wooden part, which isn’t made of traditional solid hardwood, but with five crosswise layers of thin veneer. There is nothing like it on the market. LWI doesn’t have, for the time being, any real direct competitors. This is why we talk of an innovation, initially created for the nautical world, but which does not turn its nose up at civil applications.
The end thickness is of 6, 10 or 14 mm. The mat can be 2,6 or 10 mm thick while the wooden layer measures 4 mm, made of 5 sheets of “nominal” 0.9 veneer. As to the dimensions of the boards, the most commonly used one measures 1,200 by 140 mm, but they can also reach 3,000 by 1,000.
One must also emphasise Luxury Wood Italy’s attention for the eco-sustainability of their product. Indeed the glue that is used is formaldehyde free, and the cork in the mats is 70% recycled.
The result is an innovative parquet that perfectly meets the requirements of the nautical world. Its mechanical characteristics lead to a significant reduction in noise, up to 25 dB(A) less for the 14 mm and 19 dB(A) forthe 10 mm. It is also particularly resistant to water and to wear thanks to the very high pressure pairing, the presence of crosswise fibres and double coating.
It also has excellent thermal transmittance which is 70% higher than traditional parquets and is thus perfect for radiant underfloor heating or cooling.
But its most surprising characteristic is its flexibility, its ability to bend in all directions.
This makes it perfect to be used on-board boats, to follow an irregularity, curve or even movement of flooring on board. Installation is also easier with the use of cement glues. The possibility of having steps and drops disappear without having to resort to endless corrections and adjustments makes both the people who have to install the materials happy, and the designers and architects who can give free rein to their imagination.
And, on this subject, LWI’s product provides an infinite choice of essences, colours, effects and possibilities of personalisation.
Another feature, which is difficult to describe but very easy to “experience” is the softness underfoot, the feeling of softness of the wood as you walk on it. A parquet which is a bit like a carpet, a true tactile pleasure.
For such a young company, references are important. Their products can be found on Azimut Yachts (95, 80, 72, 66, 60, Grande 27 Metri and Magellano 66, 53), Baglietto (Monokini 44), Dominator (Ilumen 28), Fairline (with the brand new Targa 63 GTO), Ferretti (960), Mangusta Oceano 42 by Overmarine Group and also uses in the world of sailing for Perini and Southern Wind. It is no accident that the “numbers” for LWI are impressive: its turnover was of 244,000 euros in the six months it was active in 2016, growing to 650,000 for the first half of 2017. The goal: to reach, within the next two seasons, two million euros.
Did all of this require large initial investments? «No, not at all – Massimo Bottoni explains – the operational configuration we have created is very lean, just like a start-up. Our direct resources are very few. Our partners, five in total, are people who are directly involved in production and have a strong interest in the development of the product. LWI is a flexible structure that can adapt and grow as demand rises, but not necessarily by increasing direct resources.
And it is precisely what we are experiencing at the moment, when the market is coming to us. The idea is that of a company that is able to get the best resources, including externally, with whom to create positive partnerships».
(Luxury Wood Italy, so much more than parquet… – Barchemagazine.com – November 2017)