Very few things in a home can make such a difference to both form and function as new floors. Flooring reflects not only your style and personality, but also your lifestyle. The right floor can make it easier to keep your home cleaner, hide imperfections, and set the mood for a cozy living space. And although flooring has generally been an “anything goes” environment for a while in home design, there are certain trends that have been a lot more popular than others. Here’s a brief round-up that should make your flooring search a little easier.
Hard Flooring Options Hard flooring is any kind of flooring with a solid, and generally non-porous, surface. It’s a pretty big group of materials, really. Hard flooring offers many benefits. The materials are more resilient to regular use, so wear life is longer. And cleaning is easier because there’s no fibers to capture things like pet hair, loose skin cells, dirt, and microbes. Some of this year’s most popular hard flooring options include:
Vinyl Plank. Vinyl plank is designed much like laminate flooring, with a tongue and groove locking system that creates a watertight seal when properly installed. The difference between vinyl plank and laminate flooring, however, is that vinyl plank is made from solid vinyl, rather than being several layers of different materials sandwiched together. It’s a great choice for wet areas like kitchens and bathrooms, and for households with pets and children. As a bonus, vinyl plank is available in a huge range of patterns, from synthetic marble to the super hot high variation wood-like floor patterns. There’s a vinyl plank product for basically any situation.
Wood-Look Porcelain Tile. If you want something that will last longer than vinyl plank, but still look like wood, wood-look porcelain tiles are a great option. They look like wood planks, but are made from extremely durable porcelain. It’s an option that’s very permanent and will last for many, many years to come. They can also be purchased in the high variation wood patterns, though the effect is less obvious than with vinyl plank since there is grout between the tiles.
Terrazzo. This might be the coolest flooring you’ve never heard of. Although it’s popular, many people don’t know the term for it. Terrazzo is that tile flooring that’s made from concrete with lots of inclusions like glass, shells, or other interesting bits mixed in. It looks great in mid-century modern homes, or those decorated in the style. And since concrete is extremely durable, it will last and last.
Reclaimed Wood. There are lots of places you can go to buy reclaimed wood, sometimes referred to as “architectural salvage.” When a building is being torn down, firms can sometimes acquire the materials, especially if the building is historic. You can also talk to individuals you know who are looking to commit crimes like removing all the original hardwoods from a home they’re remodeling, and pick up the flooring for cheap. It can be labor intensive to install reclaimed wood floors, but you’ll end up with a totally unique look and keep building materials out of the landfill, so it’s kind of a double win.
What About Carpet? Homeowners have run hot and cold about carpet across the generations. Sometimes they’re in, sometimes they’re out, and usually there are some people who are still really into them even when their popularity is waning. Right now the trend in carpets is to opt for carpeting in limited spots, like using carpet runners for stairs. Carpet tiles are seeing some popularity, especially since they come in a ton of fun colors and tend to have a very low nap, making them easy to keep clean. If you want more carpet, look for large area rugs or keep your carpet in low-use rooms like bedrooms. “Maximalism” is making a big comeback, encouraging big patterns and colors with big personalities. Clashing is the new matching, it would seem.
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How About a Flooring Installer? Once you know what kind of flooring you’d prefer, you’ll need to find someone to install it. Some flooring shops have an in-house flooring installer, but you can’t always rely on these experts to be as expert as you’d like. That’s where we come in where you’ll have a list of flooring experts who can help you. Not every flooring installer installs every kind of flooring, so be sure to ask them about their areas of expertise before you make your final decision.