It’s that time again; the New Year is almost upon us. Here’s a look at what’s trending in 2017 in the flooring industry ……
The flooring industry continues to push boundaries with really innovative product lines, using all kinds of new technology to generate custom “looks” for the flooring consumer. Here’s an overview of the current styles we’re seeing:
Flooring in colors on both ends of the spectrum;
The color of your flooring sets the tone for the atmosphere and décor in your home. Last year, we saw a rise in really dark floors; specifically dark stained hardwood floors. Nothing says modern and contemporary like the bold contrast between a really dark ebony floor, paired with stark-white base molding and light colored walls. Moving into 2017, we’re seeing this trend of contrast continue. As beautiful as a dark hardwood floor is, if you have children or pets, this trend might not be the right fit for you. The darker the floor-color, the more dirt, dust and pet hair you can see; not to mention scratches from pets’ nails. On the other end of the spectrum, we’re seeing more and more natural and light colors, like natural bamboo flooring and Maple hardwood. Light colored floors make the room look larger, open and inviting. Pairing a deep, bold wall color with your pale floors can create a warm look that’s also functional to pet owners. Light and natural floors show much less dirt, pet hair and scratches. The only exception we’re seeing to this trend of contrast is Gray flooring. Gray flooring took the design world by storm last year, and this trend isn’t letting up anytime soon. Gray is neutral, yet bold, goes with everything, and makes a statement.
Getting Rid Of the Glossy Finish;
Low luster, super “matte” finish is a trend that’s coming right out of Europe. Homeowners here in the U.S. are a little reluctant to take the drastic leap from a glossy finish to matte one, so instead of jumping from one extreme to the other, 2016 proved that homeowners are taking smaller steps toward the low luster finish, making “satin” the most popular choice. Satin is a nice in-between choice of sheen level. It isn’t too glossy, and isn’t really matte either. It holds positive characteristics from both ends of the sheen spectrum.
Hardwood floors are timeless; that goes without saying. They’ve been around for centuries, and are one of the most customizable flooring options out there. A wide-plank, figuratively speaking, gives you a bigger canvas to create the “look” you want in your home; less seams and long flowing lines create a beautiful flow to the floor. They give the floor an updated look into the modern world we live in today. Changing the plank width from the old 2 ¼” to 5″ definitely makes your space more modern. It adds depth to a room making it feel larger and contemporary. The use of wide plank-sizes for hardwood flooring is another trend that’s transitioning into 2017 very smoothly. The only difference is that the wide planks aren’t just being used for hardwood floors, we see this trend being incorporated into other types of flooring too. You can find a wide plank in just about any type of flooring on the market. The industry really took this look and ran with it, creating wide- plank options in luxury vinyl, Coretec, laminate, engineered wood flooring, and even wood-look tile flooring! This is definitely a trend growing in popularity throughout the flooring industry.
There’s really no other flooring that has the look of natural bamboo. It’s unique in appearance, as well as incredibly strong and durable. Strand Bamboo flooring is actually three times harder than Red Oak flooring (to give you an example). Bamboo has really come a long way, as far as being an eco-friendly and sustainable material, with LEED accredited specifications. There is Strand Bamboo flooring that is FSC Certified and formaldehyde-free, which makes it a safe choice for any room in your home. The flooring industry is doing so much with Bamboo as far as making it better it’s a material that we’re going to see more and more of as the year progresses.
Made In America,
More and more people are leaning toward eco-friendly and sustainable material for their flooring. Even though Bamboo is one of the more popular flooring options in this category, it’s becoming more apparent that people like the idea of “homegrown” and “manufactured in America.” There’s also a much smaller carbon footprint made when your flooring isn’t being shipped half way around the world, which is also why we’re seeing a rise in domestic hardwoods. Domestic hardwood means that it was manufactured from a tree that naturally grows here in the U.S. The most popular domestic hardwoods are White Oak and Red Oak. After those, there is Hickory, American Cherry, Ash, Black Walnut and Hard Maple (to name a few), each one having its own natural graining and beautiful characteristics.
Today’s flooring consumers are looking for more personality in their flooring. They’re looking for custom, and unique ways to have their floors stand out from the rest. One growing trend that helps give flooring a personality of its own, is adding texture, or distress. There are a few options for creating texture that aren’t necessarily new, but are definitely making a statement and influencing a wide range of flooring materials. To achieve the distressed look, there’s a few ways you can go about it… Installing reclaimed hardwood is one. Reclaimed hardwood flooring is growing in popularity, again, a trend continuing on from 2016. Reusing wood salvaged from something like an old barn is a great way to recycle old material. Salvaged wood can either be used as-is or re-manufactured into flooring planks we use today. It has its own unique characteristics and variations. This material does carry a hefty price tag, but just think about all the trees you’re saving, and how great of a conversation piece it could be if you’re entertaining guests! How many people get to say “My floor was made from a 300 year old barn.” Another way to achieve the distressed look is by using a texturing method. Adding texture to your flooring gives it a whole new look and feel. It is a new way to make your flooring unique in character, other than simply changing the color and finish. It’s also a great idea for pet owners too! The textured surface really hides scratches from pet nails well. “Hand Scrapping” is the most popular way to add texture to hardwood flooring. This technique is applied just like it sounds… the wood is literally scrapped by hand, creating a unique feel and appearance to your hardwood floor. Another way to create a distressed or aged look is by using a “wire brush” texturing method on the hardwood flooring. Using a wire brush to scrape the surface of the hardwood doesn’t create quite as much texture as hand scrapping, but it does expose more of the woods natural grain lines. The wire brush application creates a floor that basically looks like it aged really well. This is also another good option for pet owners.
The “distressed look” has made such a dramatic statement in the flooring industry that we’ve seen all kinds of material replicating it. There are pre-finished wood flooring products, both solid and engineered, that are manufactured with the textured surface. We’ve even seen this textured look span to luxury vinyl, coretec and laminate flooring as well.