It’s a new year, and that means it’s time for the design industry to start making predictions for coming trends. This outlook is generally based on data collected over the past several months to years, and includes consumer buying trends, industry expert opinions, and new materials being introduced by manufacturers in the coming months.
2017 is no different, and the months ahead point toward several different new, innovative, and long lasting trends in the flooring industry. Some of these trends are merely extensions of things we’ve seen for the last few years, while others are entirely new to this year. Both commercial and residential flooring trends have made great strides this year, offering products that are low-maintenance, beautiful, and eco-friendly as well.
Woven Strand Bamboo
Bamboo flooring has been fairly popular for the last several years. While bamboo is technically a grass, it has a hardness factor high enough to be considered a hardwood, while at the same time remaining a sustainable product. This year, look for woven-strand bamboo, rather than the traditional bamboo veneer, which shows the knuckles of the plant.
Woven strand bamboo is much more durable than traditional bamboo, and has the added advantage of mimicking the look of other, more traditional hardwoods.
Large Format Tile
Another trend that’s continuing from previous years, particularly for commercial spaces, is large format tiles. Large format refers to any tile more than 12-inches in size, although most tiles aren’t considered to be large format until they surpass 16- to 18-inches.
The benefit for large format tile is the fact that it has relatively fewer grout lines. This in turn both makes the tile easier to maintain, and give it a cleaner, less broken appearance, which can be beneficial in small spaces, making them appear larger. Look for large format tiles in a range of materials, including porcelain, stone, and even glass.
It seems that the popularity of cork starts and stops as people look for a resilient, eco-friendly flooring material. Cork seems to be truly poised to fill this gap in 2017, as it now comes in a range of different patterns and colors that don’t recall a message board any longer.
Cork is made from the bark of a tree, and can be harvested again and again, ensuring a sustainable product. It’s available in both tiles and planks and is naturally water resistant as well as springy and comfortable underfoot.
For both residential and commercial spaces where carpeting is required or desired, cut-and-loop carpeting is beginning to make strides. Just like the name implies, this carpet is made up of a variety of cut and looped strands. Depending on how the different fibers are put together, you can get rich and innovative patterns from the carpet, providing you with a lot more interest and depth than a traditional, plain carpet can bring.
This makes a nice compromise for those who want the feel of carpeting and the warmth it can bring, but want something a little more decorative at the same time.
Hardwood flooring never goes out of style. What changes is the type of hardwood that may be trendy at any given moment. In addition to decisions such as solid hardwood vs. engineered, most homeowners also have to contend with the many different wood species available.
American or domestic hardwoods have been gaining in popularity of late after a several year’s trend toward exotics. American hardwoods are often more sustainable than exotics, because they cost less money and fuel to transport. It’s also easier to source American hardwoods so you can be sure they are being responsibly harvested. Oak, hickory, maple, and heart pine are all making a big comeback in popularity and in use in both residential and commercial spaces.
Concrete is another material that comes and goes in popularity. For 2017, expect to see it in more industrial and commercial settings. When properly cared for, stained, and polished, concrete has a luster and depth that is unrivaled by other materials.
It’s also easy to care for and fairly inexpensive, especially if you’re working with something that’s already there. For that reason, you may see more homeowners and businesses ripping out old carpets and vinyl in favor of refinishing what’s already installed and giving it new life.
In the quest for an eco-friendly and sustainable floor, reclaimed products have also begun to grow in popularity. Reclaimed stone, hardwoods, and clay tiles can be given new life when re-installed in a different setting. These materials often have the marks and patina of their past life, which also gives them a lot of interest and character at the same time.
Many of these flooring trends for 2017 are here to stay with sustainable materials and designs meant to appeal to many. Look ahead to these newer materials and designs to get the right product for your home or office.