BENEATH your feet

TRENDING FLOORING OPTIONS ARE WARMER, WIDER, AND MORE WONDERFUL THAN EVER

BY CHERYL ALEXANDER

What are the current most sought-after flooring options available? New flooring trends reflect the continued dominance of luxury vinyl, porcelain, and laminate wood-look flooring, with stone imitations popping up, too. Flooring colors are warming up as cool grays make their way into browner tones, while natural and imitation wood and stone floors are more rustic. More waterproof products, larger tiles, and wider and longer planks are also trending. Here is a hot list of what materials are best beneath your feet.


GETTING WARMER


One of the most significant shifts is the move to warmer tones of gray that combines the Japanese interior style of warmth and natural elements with the clean, minimalist Scandinavian influence. The warmer tones, too, are following the pandemic when people began desiring cozier, more nostalgic spaces. Grayish brown floors can add comfort and visual warmth, inviting you to slow down.


Airy coastal colors are trending alongside grays, and porcelain tile is still a solid alternative for faux wood flooring.


LUXURY VINYL LEADS


Vinyl planks and tiles are abundant, overshadowing other types of flooring these days. With improved technology, more realistic imitations of wood and stone are available more than ever before. More rigid core floors (higher-quality, more stable luxury vinyl flooring) and thicker wear layers on the surface make these products more durable.


LAMINATE LOOKS GREAT


Your experience with laminate may have left a cheap, shiny, plastic impression on you, but today’s options will surprise you.


Laminate floors have come a long way. While the construction is the same — layered composite of compressed wood fiber atop a durable fiberwood base —better technology makes the image layer look more realistic. Laminate flooring with bevels and an embossed texture that mimics natural wood are now competing toe-to-toe with the best luxury vinyl planks.


REAL WOOD RULES


Natural hardwood is king for those who want it and can afford it. These options, too, are shifting from cool grays toward warmer tones, richer browns, and hand-scraped rustic surfaces. Lighter shades are trending that lean into a light, coastal feeling.


ENGINEERED WOOD IS GOOD


Another popular option is engineered wood, which consists of natural wood on the surface with a composite of wood fibers, particles, strands, and veneers forming the rest of the plank. It is typically less expensive than solid hardwood.


SET IN STONE


Natural stone will remain a durable and elegant floor choice, and for some, nothing can compete with real marble, travertine, limestone, or slate. However, plenty of stone looks are trending. Stone-like porcelain and luxury vinyl are everywhere, from living rooms to laundry rooms. The latest styles are showing up in numerous beige tones, making a comeback after years when just about everything was white and gray.




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