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elferFloor – Charismatic floors with Porsche-inspired DNA!

24.04.2024 By Richard Lindhorst
elferFloor – Charismatic floors with Porsche-inspired DNA!

Tobias Hannig has been an enthusiastic car fan since childhood. Born in 1973, the father of a family took an early interest in sports cars, particularly those from BMW and Porsche. The Rhinelander was particularly fond of interiors with contrasting patterns. The classic interior designs with Tartan, Pasha and Pepita have stayed with him to this day. Hannig has specialised in floor coverings since completing his business studies. For many years, he was responsible for sales and marketing in the management of a large manufacturer of laminate and vinyl flooring. He now combines his passion for sports cars and design with his expertise in the flooring segment. During a tour of his production facility, he showed us how he brings the spirit of Porsche interiors into your home with his new “elferFloor” idea.

The desire for individualisation was the idea’s origin – floors inspired by Porsche’s fabric patterns of the 70s and 80s

Less than half an hour’s drive south of Cologne, Tobias Hannig welcomed us to the elferFloor company headquarters in Hürth. This is where he and his five-strong team develop and produce customised design floors to meet customers’ wishes. The idea came to him while he was working as a marketing manager. “Back then, I was repeatedly confronted with customers’ own design ideas. These were usually special wood or tile designs”, recalls the experienced business graduate from the building materials industry. In the meantime, the desire for customized design options was becoming more and more prevalent.

elferfloor-founder Tobias Hannig produces Pepita flooring in his shop in Hürth

Tobias Hannig is a passionate car enthusiast himself and a fan of classic interior designs. The ever-increasing desire for customization in sports cars gave him the idea of offering his customers the same freedom when choosing flooring.

Hannig has also observed this trend in the automotive sector. His long-cherished dream of owning a Porsche is also adorned with classic seat inserts in Pepita design. “It was obvious for me to make the connection between my passion and fascination for cars and flooring production”, he explains. This gave rise to the idea of producing a highly individual floor covering in small series according to customer requirements.

Porsche’s interior designs of the 70s/80s, especially their fabric patterns, such as Pepita or Tartan in varying colors, provide the ideal template for developing a floor covering that does justice to Porsche’s iconic designs.

Tobias Hannig, elferFloor

With his team led by Julia Sowada, Sebastian Schütz and Marc Heinen, Tobias Hannig creates designer flooring based on real seat upholstery fabrics at his company Ele Bau in Hürth.

Without further ado, elferFloor procured various iconic upholstery fabrics – patterns in Pepita, Tartan, Jubilee and more. With his design team led by graphic designer Julia Sowada and media designer Sebastian Schütz, Hannig produced high-resolution scans of the fabrics. This was followed by painstaking detail work on the PC. After all, the template for the floorboards had to be designed in such a way that they could be laid together without the pattern “coming apart”. At the same time, it was particularly important not to use just any synthetic design. “Of course, you could produce Pepita or Tartan patterns by yourself on a PC and get a uniform product. But then you would lose the charm and uniqueness of the fabric” – that’s elferFloor’s credo. It is no easy task to reconcile these requirements.

The print on the vinyl planks is so high-resolution that even wool threads from the fabric pattern can be recognized – elferFloor’s Pepita flooring looks deceptively real at first glance!

Using the Pepita design floor as an example, Sebastian Schütz explains: “The checks of two adjacent floorboards are not all the same. That’s why they have to be laid together according to a precise pattern. Otherwise, the pattern will not match one hundred percent. This is the ideal compromise to bring the natural structure of the fabric into a format that is easy to lay”, explains the media design graduate. “If you look closely, you can even see the small fabric threads on the individual planks.”

And the effect is indeed impressive. It looks as if a real woven fabric can be seen on the individual planks. With all its small irregularities, it really does give the feeling of walking around on Porsche seats. The effect is particularly evident on the Jubilee and Tartan designs. But the more irregular the fabric, the greater the challenge in creating the print template. Which naturally led us to wonder whether a Pascha design floor is also in the pipeline. “We’re working on it”, Sebastian Schütz reveals meaningfully. In general, there are few limits to creativity. Even company logos with complex colors pose no problems for the flooring professionals.

elferFloor’s abrasion resistance can be individually varied depending on the intended use

The exclusive vinyl floors inspired by Porsche seat patterns are manufactured in the elferFloor factory in Hürth. It is divided into at least three production steps. The plastic planks consist of a mineral, fully recyclable carrier material. They are positioned with the utmost precision on a printer several meters long. This applies the color layer in the desired design, naturally in the highest quality. It goes without saying that all decors are registered as design samples for the processing of flooring.

Elferfloor employee Marc Heinen explains the production of the tartan design flooring

Marc Heinen prepares the Tartan floorboards in Gulf design for the floor surface coat application. This makes the Porsche-inspired planks abrasion-resistant enough to withstand even heavy use.

Industrial electronics engineer Marc Heinen then shows us how the panels are prepared for surface coating. Depending on the planned purpose and location, more or fewer layers of surface hardener are applied. The top coat is then applied to achieve a closed, homogeneous floor surface. Here too, the more layers, the more resistant the floor is. In this special, patented manufacturing process, a light surface structure is applied at the same time. This gives the planks the necessary slip and abrasion resistance. The elferFloor design floors can even achieve the highest abrasion resistance class (up to AC6) if required. A Pepita floor from the elferFloor manufactory is therefore even suitable for trade fairs, car dealer showrooms or museums, for example.

We want to produce a floor that fully meets our customers’ design expectations. As a Porsche enthusiast, I know that Porsche drivers have the highest design and quality standards. We want to meet these with a product made by enthusiasts for enthusiasts.

Tobias Hannig, elferFloor

The elferFloor is the perfect eye-catcher for collections, museums, trade fairs or sales areas

If a floor has the same design as the interior of a sports car, it is naturally appealing to bring the two together. “I really wanted to see how the floor in Tartan and Pepita harmonized with the corresponding cars”, reports Hannig, looking at a specially prepared showroom. In this way, elferFloor creates a fusion between interiors of exclusive sports cars and floorings that are individually adapted to them.

In showrooms, at trade fairs or on a carpad, it naturally looks great when the floor covering is perfectly matched to the car.

Tobias Hannig, elferFloor

“In showrooms, at trade fairs or on a carpad, it naturally looks great when the floor covering is perfectly matched to the car”, explains Hannig. The unique elferFloor designs therefore offer the ideal opportunity to showcase special vehicles in a high-quality way. To illustrate this effect, he exhibits two cars with corresponding interiors in his studio. One half shines to match the Pepita interior of the Porsche 911 S. The other half is adorned with the same Madras Tartan as the interior of the Brewster Green 992 GT3 Touring. Particularly interesting for exhibitions and museums: Any water or oil stains are not absorbed into the elferFloor. They can be wiped off without leaving any residue.

Husky Luke also likes the floor in the design of classic Porsche fabric.

In addition to individual design floors, elferFloor also provides the right sound – individual motifs as acoustic panels

elferFloor’s design flooring can either be glued down on uneven subfloors or laid floating on suitable footfall sound insulation. To further reduce the noise level, elferFloor offers another new product with a twist: Sound-absorbing acoustic panels in individual designs are also part of the company’s product portfolio. In large hallways and garages, they reduce disruptive reverberation noises and create a pleasant atmosphere.

Like the floors, the acoustic panels can also be customized according to customer requirements. Any conceivable design can be printed and manufactured on any wall width. “In addition to your beloved sports car, this can also be a family or team photo”, says family man Hannig. In addition to private use, they can also be used in workshops or showrooms. The use of decorative acoustic panels offers a considerable reduction in loud noises such as impact drills or angle grinders in addition to the visual enhancement of the room.

elferFloor creates real eyecatchers in their manufactory. A Pepita floor in combination with the matching wall motif in the showroom is a great idea and, above all, perfectly implemented!

© David Fierlinger for Elferspot

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