If you’re buying a new custom home this year (or remodeling your current home), choosing flooring is on your long list of important to-dos. Focus your search by attending to these current trends as they have the potential to be beautiful, functional, and stylish for many years.
Hardwood floors have been a perennial favorite for good reason, and they certainly aren’t going out of style this year. They’re durable and easy to clean. A well-kept hardwood floor can last as long as your house does. Hardwood is on the more expensive end of the flooring spectrum, but the fact that you should never have to replace it makes it more cost-effective than the initial price tag suggests.
Reclaimed wood has soared in popularity because it is both stunning and sustainable. Often over a century old, each beautifully weathered plank tells a story. Opting for reclaimed wood can also make it more financially feasible and environmentally responsible.
With a look similar to wood at a somewhat lower price, bamboo continues to gain popularity in 2016. Natural bamboo tends to be somewhat harder and more moisture resistant than hardwood, but its lifespan is shorter because it cannot be refinished like hardwood can. Bamboo is often thought of as a more environmentally friendly alternative to hardwood; however, unlike hardwood, bamboo flooring is not 100% natural. It uses glues (often containing formaldehyde) to bind the fibers into hard planks. If you’re considering a bamboo floor, look into low- or no-VOC varieties, which will be safer for your home.
Large format and mimicry are the current trends in ceramic tile. Large-format tile (commonly defined as tile over 12” x 12”) has become quite popular, as well as tiles in shapes other than the standard square. Large-format rectangular tiles are available that resemble wood; reclaimed wood-look varieties provide a cost effective and low-maintenance way to get that historic and rustic look into your home. You can also find tile that resembles brick, concrete, or even fabric.
Vinyl flooring is becoming immensely popular. It can be designed to mimic the look and feel of highly sought natural materials, such as wood and natural stone, while typically costing less, requiring less maintenance, and being more comfortable underfoot than the real thing. Luxury vinyl can last for 10-25 years or more, depending on the type you select. Unfortunately, vinyl gets low environmental marks for being composed of PVC. Linoleum is a more eco-friendly alternative that is available in a vast array of colors and styles, but it doesn’t have the same ability to closely imitate nature that vinyl has.
Any of the materials listed above can be laid out in geometric patterns to create a parquet floor. Classic herringbone and chevron designs are resurging in popularity, but intricate patterns are also gaining interest among homeowners.
Light or Dark
Both light and dark colors are popular flooring choices this year. Gray is appearing in more homes and may become a new classic. Blonde woods, such as maple and ash, and natural bamboo are trending as well, as are nearly-black hues on the opposite end of the spectrum. While very dark colors like espresso and walnut can have a luxurious look, keep in mind that they also show dirt and dust more than lighter tones.
Homeowners are increasingly appreciating the beauty of nature’s imperfections. This is reflected in the trend toward reclaimed antique wood as well as planks that contain more knots and other variations in color and texture.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by all of the choices you have to make when building or remodeling your home. Take them one at a time, and research your options so you’ll be happy with your decisions for years to come.