I am aware that I write a blog about flooring -so what am I doing talking about high fashion? Believe it or not flooring is something that has a very heavy design influence. Typically this time of the year we see brand new product launches from all of the major flooring manufacturers all over the world. These manufacturers employ designers, color experts and other artsy-fartsy types to study upcoming trends in home decor and then design the next big thing in flooring. You would be surprised to learn that flooring as a whole undergoes rapid and sometimes dramatic changes in style; considering you don’t want to make a major investment in something just to find out it was nearing the end of it days on the trend front, it is important to make sure you are up to date on what’s hot and what’s on the horizon. Since I’m a flooring dealer I think I’m in a good spot to help you with what’s hot, especially here in Florida so in the next paragraph or two I’ll tell you what I’m seeing.
First a few words of caution. Buying what you like is great if you are buying a hat, bu there are other factors at play when you are talking about flooring, like re-sale value for instance. Purple carpet may be awesome in your book but it may not be awesome to a potential buyer. If you want to make your house as appealing as possible if you ever may want to sell, my first suggestion is for you to go easy. You can get a high fashion floor and still have a floor that is appealing to everyone, so don’t get cute. Second is be sure to look at every floor like it is ten years in the future. Are you going to ask yourself ten years from now “what the heck was I thinking”? Lastly, a good rule of thumb when choosing flooring is to let your decor do the talking, not your floors. Flooring should compliment your decor, not the other way around.
Okay now let’s look at some of the trends we are seeing in each category.
Carpet: The big word in carpeting these days is SOFT. A few years back the manufacturers began a shift away from nylon and towards a continuous filament polyester. This gave carpeting whole new strengths in terms of stain resistance. Now what we are seeing is those same manufacturers creating this same durable, stain proof carpeting in a much, Much softer feel. I am not kidding, this carpet is kitten fur soft and as tough as nails. I have seen this carpet have bleach, yellow mustard, iodine, red wine, etc. poured on it and it comes clean with hot water. Cheap? No, it is on the high end of carpet prices – but the good news is that as more and more manufacturers come on line with soft carpet the prices have begun to drop.
Tile: Large format and odd sizes are the name of the game in tile. 12×12 and 18×18? yawn. Now its 24×24, 12×24, 6×40, you name it. The glazes on the tile have improved dramatically too. Be sure to get a tile with digital image glaze technology; they are now using what amounts to a computerized inkjet to apply glaze to floor tile and the results are stunningly realistic and there is hardly any pattern repeat. Another super hot trend is wood look tile. The manufacturers are making tile in a plank form and applying a realistic digital glaze to make the tile look a lot like wood. You get the look of wood without all the maintenance headaches. The wood look tile is so hot right now, we cannot keep them in stock.
Hardwood: A few years back we saw the traditional 3″ oaks and maples give way to exotic species, and then we saw lots of new widths and textures like hand scraping. What we are seeing now is a continuation of the growth in new and unique textures as well as a change in the color trends. What started with hand scraping has grown into textures like wire brush and pillowed edge, and the colors have gone from warm butterscotches to cooler grays and whitewashes. This trend in particular is great news for us Floridians because they are a much better compliment to our tropical decor.
Laminate and LVT: Laminate continues to improve in looks and realism. There are new 12mm registered embossed looks that are so realistic that they are almost indistinguishable from the real thing. The prices on laminate continue to be some of the most reasonable of all the flooring categories and it remains one of the easiest floors for do-it-yourselfers. Having said that I really think the big growth right now is in LVT, or Luxury Vinyl. This stuff comes in both wood looks and tile looks and is known for it’s indestructibility. This stuff is being used for commercial applications like office and retail space because it is so durable. you can’t stain it, you can wet mop it, and if you manage to somehow damage it is easy to repair. We are seeing LVT beginning to become popular for residential applications as well. It is highly resistant to heavy wear, moisture and humidity so it is ideal for very active households, pets, and for seasonal residents. Watch for the looks in LVT to become much more diverse and as more manufacturers come into the market prices should come down.
So that’s what we are seeing so far this year – if you have any questions about specific things or would like us to explore another topic for you please leave us a comment and we would be happy to get right on it.