Something I get asked on a daily basis…what are the trends these days? For a while things were a bit stagnant in the flooring industry and it was hard for me to give a definite answer for that question. And then within the past few years I have really seen some cool new trends emerging. So here is a list I compiled based on a. what customers are calling in and asking for b. what products are taking over the industry c. what I see are reoccurring trends on many of the most popular interior design sites.

Restored/Rustic/Hand scraped

When I first started in the industry many customers were willing to pay extra just so they could get less knots and variation in their wood flooring…and now it is become more popular for floors to have character to them. I have always found wood that had character, graining and variation was a good thing for my house hold because it certainly helps to camouflage wear and tear. And also being a wood nerd I do like to see the product in its most natural state, imperfections and all.

Wide planks

Growing up and traditionally all of us have seen and are familiar with the 2 ¼ and 3 ¼ inch widths in red or white oak. Starting about 15 years ago is when I first saw planks getting wider (4 to 5 inch widths), then on to 6…7..and now 8 inches wide! It is truly amazing how far they have come with milling on these products. One thing to note is that with very wide plank boards they need to be engineered. For some people that’s a deal breaker because they want solid for the fact you can sand, stain and urethane. Some wood manufacturers I recommend you check out that we carry are Du Chateau and Anderson Floors.

Oil finish wood floors

This is still something that most people are weary of. And of course I can’t blame them. “You mean…I get a floor that has no finish to it…and I am supposed to trust that it won’t damage more than a floor that is protected with a urethane finish??” I think it is going to take a while for people to feel comfortable purchasing a floor with no finish. With that being said a funny thing happened over the past week. As I was having dinner at my parents they mentioned it might be good to have the floors upstairs refinished…because they never have been refinished and they just thought it was time. Besides, the downstairs floor has been refinished 3 times since we lived in that home! Come to find out the floors have NO FINISH. Just the oil finish – that’s it! What is great about low gloss finishes is you don’t see the scratching as much as you would a high gloss. So with the oil finish it hides damage done to the floors even better. With oil the advantage is you NEVER have to refinish your floors. Once a year apply a new oil coating and they look brand new! Du Chateau is a great company that makes some real quality oil finished floors I would recommend to check out.

Who is the softest of them all?

Carpet companies have gotten smart…they realize customers are feeling with their hands to choose carpet…not their feet. So I have seen softer and softer carpet fibers emerge within all manufacturers. Do be warned though…we have seen some that are starting to compromise in performance and mat down that are very plush and very soft. The best recipe for a carpet that will perform for many years to come is short (referring to carpet fiber length), tight (the tighter the carpet yarn the better) and dense (referring to the amount of fibers per square inch). Of course we don’t like to name names as far as lines that don’t perform well but will steer you on the right direction when stopping in any of our store locations for soft fibers that will wear well in your home!

Greige…the new beige!

If you were to pick a color dead center between the colors grey and beige you would find greige (and no I did not make this one up!)…it’s taking over the sea of beige carpets we have seen dominate our stores for so long and I must say it’s a bit refreshing even with me not being a fan of cooler tones. It’s a state of undyed, unbleached cloth. A color with a raw and unfinished look (yup there is that “trend’ again…not just in wood but even carpet). It is most popular in modern homes, rustic and traditional homes so be on the look out!

Striations

It’s in tile, it’s in carpet, and it’s in vinyl…its appearing in everything! If I have a designer come in the store I know exactly where to point them and that’s where the striated products are. I think it has a clean, simple and modern look to it. The patterns are quiet and suitable for formal setting such as dining areas, in bathrooms and I think it looks very interesting in long hallways. I see it most in earth tones, greys, blacks and whites. It’s sophisticated, subtle and not overwhe

Ikat, Chevron, Moroccan, Ogee, Quatrefoil, Latice…oh my!

I don’t think I have ever been so overwhelmed with such a large variety of patterns emerging at the same time! Bold, bright and playful these patterns can dress up any room. I find these most everywhere I go, the latest on the last tissue box I purchased. It’s hard not to take notice even when in the grocery store these days!

Don’t be square!

Traditionally, ceramic and porcelain tile have come in symmetric square sizes. But within the past few years we are getting more and more updates for those products in plank sizes. It changes the whole look and feel of the room and gives it another dimension. Before this was only achieved with those products by laying them on the diagonal. With this it opens up many more patterns and designs such as wood or striated looks that could not be done in a square tile.

While all these are trends PLEASE keep in mind they are just trends. At the end of the day when it comes to flooring this is something that will be in your home for years to come. And what is popular now I am betting will not be 15 years from now. Just make sure it’s the right choice for your home!