5 Hot Flooring Trends to Try
Don’t forget about the floors when designing a room. Consider these different flooring trends that bring style and function to any space.
Bamboo has been around for a long time, but what we are seeing lately is an explosion of colors and styles. While technically a fast-growing grass, bamboo is as hard or harder than most hardwoods when dried. Newer products called strand-woven bamboo, a highly engineered product using the inner fibers, are twice as hard as traditional bamboo flooring. In addition to the common thin-banded styles buyers have become accustomed to, bamboo is offered in wide-plank styles that mimic the look of classic hardwoods. As with all wood flooring, it’s best to keep bamboo out of moisture-prone rooms like kitchens and baths.
Selected primarily for acoustic-insulating qualities, cork flooring also is much more comfortable to walk on than traditional hardwood and most certainly tile. Gone are the days when cork was available in any color so long as it was blonde — today’s options span the color palette. Thanks to new factory finishes, cork is far more durable than it was just a few decades prior. But it is susceptible to moisture damage and will fade when exposed to sunlight.
When you hear the term ‘luxury vinyl,’ don’t think about that peel-and-stick stuff people used to buy. Luxury vinyl is a new category of flooring that combines the high-end look of hardwood with the durability of vinyl. It is so realistic looking that many people literally have to get on their hands and knees to see if it’s real. Because it stands up to moisture, wood-look vinyl is a natural fit in kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms. Today’s vinyl does share one common trait with that old peel-and-stick stuff: It is still a awesome to walk on.
In the world of carpet, we are seeing far fewer shags and friezes and more patterned carpets. By using a technique that combines both loops and cut loops — hence the name cut-and-loop carpet — manufacturers can create a carpet with patterns that range from subtle to bold. New technology also is producing carpet with incredibly soft fibers. Huge improvements have been made in the world of carpet pads, with high-quality dense rubber replacing the more commonplace loose fiber.
For homeowners who truly want a beautiful wood flooring product, good-old engineered hardwoods are the perfect choice. Unlike cork and bamboo, engineered hardwood flooring can have endless styles and looks to choose from, with many added features and finishes for durability and lifestyle fit. Oak, hickory, maple, pine: these classic hardwoods all are making a comeback.
Trendy, sleek and durable as time itself, concrete flooring jumped from bare-bones utilitarian to chic in a New York minute. Thanks to a multitude of available colors, textures and finishes, concrete can adapt to almost any decor. Of course, it helps to already have the concrete in place. Concrete works great in an old building that has very old subfloors, it’s very cost effective to use what’s already there versus installing a new flooring product. Fashion often does come at a cost, and in the case of concrete, it’s comfort.