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Under Your Feet: Flooring Trends to Consider When Upgrading Your Space

Mar 26, 2015 08:00AM ● By Cate Reynolds
By Carol Sorgen

When it comes to what you walk on at home, options abound no matter what your design style or budget. Whether you’re building a new home or replacing the floors in your current home, here’s a look at some of the popular flooring trends for 2015.

Tile

Tile, perhaps the oldest known flooring category in the world, can be both practical and glamorous, according to the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), which reports that today’s materials have evolved from the traditional ceramic and stone to such choices as “post-apocalyptic, gutted-out” aluminum tiles and porcelain planks that look like weather-worn hardwood.

Eco-friendly

The green market continues to grow in demand, with many flooring manufacturers adding lines that feature high recycled content and raw materials from sustainable sources, such as wood flooring certified by the Forest Stewardship Council; nontoxic cork, which is used to make cork flooring and eco-friendly linoleum; and bamboo with its quick regenerative properties.

Going Gray

Gray continues to be a leading design trend in home decor, including flooring, according to the National Hardware Show, an annual exhibit by manufacturers and retailers of home and garden products.

Matte Finish

Low-gloss hardwood floors have been in increasingly high demand, according to DuPont Flooring Products, because of their resistance to scuffs, scratches, and stains.

Exotic Species

Hardwoods are known for their traditional beauty, but more exotic species, such as Brazilian walnut and Ipe offer a more distinct look, report exhibitors from the National Hardware Show.

Texture and Size

In the hardwood category, texture has become just as important as color, according to the WFCA. Distressed, weathered, wire-brushed, soft-scrape, even “demolition-style” are just a few of the popular wood categories in demand now. Hardwood plank sizes are also changing in width and length. Natural wood floors in traditional widths of 2.25–3.25 inches are still popular, but wider widths of up to 9 and 10 inches across are also being sought because of their more contemporary appearance and the illusion they offer of a larger space. Planks as long as 9 feet are also new on the market and provide a less cluttered, more streamlined look.

Area Rugs

Today’s area rugs are all about color, pattern, texture—and affordability, according to the WFCA. Interchangeable solid and multi-colored square rug panels, for example, can be interconnected through a Velcro backing.

Carpet

Beige is still one of the top color choices in carpeting, notes the WFCA, but shades of gray are becoming increasingly popular. In addition, bits of color sprinkled against a neutral background add interest and dimension. Patterned carpets are also in demand, with vine patterns and geometric squares two of the more popular looks.

Luxury Vinyl

Luxury vinyl—no, that’s not a contradiction in terms—is both resilient and attractive, and can mimic the look of stone, wood plank, and ceramic tile. And at $4 to $5 per square foot, luxury vinyl products are affordable, in the mid-range of flooring options.