We gladly introduce you to our partners: 2tec2 & Limited Edition
2tec2 is a specialist in high-tech, acoustic, woven vinyl flooring. What began as a small Belgian atelier of stylish floor coverings has quickly grown into the amazing brand we may now call our partner.
2tec2 will provide the Belgian Pavilion of all flooring in our business centre, our exhibition areas, and all corridors. Additionally, they will also provide woven vinyl wall finishing. The effect thereof is magnificent because depending on the light and the direction you look at it, the aspect of woven vinyl changes. Our architects were delighted to use this in the public staircase of the pavilion and on the third-floor corridor.
Last but not least, on the rooftop, Limited Edition – the sister company of 2tec2 – will provide stylish outdoor haute-couture rugs.
We had the pleasure of company owners and managing directors Katia De Witte and Philippe Hanet taking the time to answer our many questions about their corporation.
How was your company created? How did your journey start?
Katia: Drawing on the rich tradition of Belgian textile manufacturers, I started the company in 1991 to produce high quality, custom-made rugs for private customers. Soon after, my brother James and my husband Philippe joined me and together we began to develop a new company and established ourselves in the flooring market by focusing on quality, innovation and expertise. In 2000, the purchase of our first looms allowed us to expand into industrial production. Founded in 2005 by my brother James for the professional market, 2tec2 has gradually become, under the management of my husband Philippe, an independent manufacturer with complete control over its production and has become one of the world leaders in woven vinyl flooring.
What motivated you?
Katia: I have a background in economics but also a love for textiles and colours. The will to create something kept triggering me. Especially the will to develop and perpetuate the various techniques that are being lost slowly in Europe. All this has led me to create unique, innovative and original products.
How many people do you employ?
Philippe: +/- 225 people
What does flooring, in general, mean to you?
Katia: We enhance and enrich an interior, by giving it that special something through flooring that isn't dull or boring... Your exclusive 2tec2 floor or Limited Edition rug will look very special, shiny, exclusive… a pleasure that will meet the eye alongside a great underfoot comfort.
Philippe: We always focus on quality, as we want to deliver the best and most durable flooring to our customers. That’s why we are committed to the continuous development of our production processes in order to offer that high quality and be environmentally responsible. 2tec2 woven "seamless tiles" combine the elegance of carpet with the advantages of modular tiles, which have great acoustic specs and are easy to install and easy to replace if necessary.
What impact does your metier have?
Katia: Your floor has to be the eye-catcher, it’s the finishing touch in one's interior.
Philippe: When you are decorating or furnishing a room, there are several decoration aspects. Choosing the right floor is always the biggest technical challenge: it must be castor-resistant, furniture leg-resistant, easy to maintain and suitable for all types of footwear.
We ensure that our floors meet the most demanding project requirements.
Our 2tec2 tiles are developed for intensive and long term use, thanks to the innovative materials we use: fibreglass and vinyl. Its unique composition gives it a superior quality. Resistant, waterproof and stain-resistant, it all meets the highest European quality standards and is suitable for heavy traffic applications: durability, hygiene & easy maintenance, all combined with the refinement of a woven product with a 3D top layer.
In addition to all the above, our acoustic Comfort Backing – which comes standard on all 2tec2 products - absorbs the sound of footsteps and reduces noise up to 70%.
You are providing flooring for the Belgian pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. What did you take away so far from the cooperative effort between a governmental agency and your company?
Katia: The collaboration so far has been very pleasant, positive, courteous and dynamic. The combination of all our ideas and designs led to an astonishing result. We are very proud of the result and are excited to see it during the Expo.
What do you think in general about the design of the Belgian Pavilion and Expo 2020 Dubai?
Katia: The general design is very beautiful and impressive. We are thrilled to be partners in this realization and believe the design of our floors and walls will perfectly fit with the amazing concept.
What is the vision you want to bring to the Belgian Pavilion and Expo 2020 Dubai?
Philippe: We want to bring the vision of a modern, 100% vertical integrated Belgian company that is capable to deliver outstanding sustainable flooring solutions with the best service for the contract market worldwide.
What projects do you have in store for the future?
Philippe: Eco responsibility! Our goal is to have truly integrated eco-engineered solutions throughout our entire product range... in line with the cradle to cradle philosophy. Sustainability is a very important matter to us.
What are the biggest challenges you face regarding your work?
Philippe & Katia: At the end of the day, our staff, our people are the most important assets of our company, and we have to take care of them. We put in a lot of effort to motivate them on a daily basis. Self-development is very important to us, and let that just be one of the particular strengths of our family business!
What are the values and objectives that you bring to your work?
Philippe & Katia:
- Sustainability (zero-waste management)
- Optimal life-work balance
- Team spirit
- Leadership in design
- The best quality performance
How has the current pandemic affected your work?
Katia: We had an unexpected excellent growth in the residential market, but a bit of delay in the contract business. On a positive note: we don’t think the future leads are lost, only delayed.
It has been a challenging time for our logistics & goods-flow departments, but we have amazing employees that go beyond their limits to get the job done. We can’t thank them enough for their unceasing efforts.
Philippe: Never waste a good crisis, the pandemic has given us the opportunity to optimize our customer services and train our sales and customers more – unfortunately, digitally.
Do you have any advice for others who want to start off on the same adventure as you?
Provide yourself with a good portion of perseverance, it is hard work, but with the necessary sprinkling and a dose of "luck", everything is possible. Being able to make the right decisions at the right time is a must. Surround yourself with the right people and always listen to the market.
Not including the Belgian Pavilion, which is your personal favourite project you have worked on and why?
One of our latest projects is at the Headquarters of the prestigious Moët Hennessy in Paris, France, in cooperation with the Barbarito Bancel architects. For this project, we created 11 unique rugs in 10 different made-to-measure designs and we fitted the offices with 8000 m2 of customized 2tec2 acoustic, woven vinyl flooring.
The objective of this project was to convey emotion, which was made possible by the study of water. This vivid material inspired the architects with its fluidity and very delicate changes of colours. Watercolours were used to paint different aquatic patterns, from which the Limited Edition studio took its inspiration to finalize the “BB Eau” rug design. Our 2tec2 woven vinyl flooring for the project was redesigned as well. The architects reproduced a traditional Renaissance pattern for the floor covering, which they renamed “BB_Kaleido”. Kaleido refers to the changing colour aspect of the 2tec2 floor, the colour changes according to the angle and position from which you look at the floor. For the Moët Hennessy project, everything has been made to measure, including the designs, the colours schemes and shapes.
This amazing project is the crowning achievement of our 30 years of existence! At Limited Edition and 2tec2, we have proven once again, that we are masters of excellence in creating a made-to-measure floor covering.