A new flooring trend that’s back for 2016 is Luxury Vinyl. This segment has grown more in the past two years than anything else in the flooring industry. With highly improved photo technology vinyl can be made to look so much like hardwoods that often people will have to get right down to the floor to see that it is in fact vinyl. Another huge bonus of luxury vinyl is it’s comfortable to walk on and cost effective.
The “luxury” angle may be a bit of a stretch, but technology unquestionably has given some vinyls a whole new look. At its most basic, the process of producing it amounts to taking a photo of wood and printing it into the significantly less expensive vinyl flooring, usually in the form of squares or planks. Literally anything that you can take a picture of can be made into a vinyl tile, so expect to see some crazy vinyl floors coming to a home near you.
Carpet is getting more environmentally friendly and manufacturers are creating fiber combinations that take softness to a whole new level. Flooring companies are now focuses on making products that are “green”.
In terms of carpet styles, the current favourite probably is a broad genre called cut-and-loop, in which the pile is partly cut and partly looped to create a sculpted look or pattern. The heather or multi-tonal elements are what’s flying off the shelves this year. It allows buyers to get a little more personality in their floors with a patterned carpet that allows for a clean and green finish.
With the advent of the “great room” concept that unites kitchen and family rooms into one expansive space, it’s become common to see hardwoods on kitchen floors. A popular route to take with wood floors are the laminate versions. Laminate is a thin piece of wood on a core that’s made of something else which can really lower the cost without sacrificing style.
Preferences of hardwood tones in the past few years are leaning toward darker stains, with a growing interest in grey tones. The trends are also toward larger planks or toward using multiple-sized planks and toward more exotic species — hickory, cherry, walnut.
People are also having their wood floors hand-scraped and texturized. It’ on trend now for clients to be willing to pay for a new floor but wanting to have it look old or reclaimed. Another new segment in the wood flooring market is truly reclaimed wood being salvaged from old builds and repurposed in new homes.