Totally Floored

Totally Floored …From the pages of House & Home…

Trending colors and materials that will make you fall in love with your floors again.

When it comes to designing the look of your home, much of the focus is often put on paint colors, furniture and accessories.

But there is one surface that can change the tone of a room completely: the floor.

Choosing the right material—carpet, hardwood, vinyl—and color for your floor is often influenced by what happens in that room.

Different living arrangements contribute to choosing a floor. “What’s right for one person might not be right for another,” says Eric Schienholtz, president of Burlington Carpet One. “If you’re a family with young kids and pets you might need stain-proof options, or if you’re older and getting ready to retire you might not need something made for high traffic.”

Whatever your lifestyle, there’s no doubt you’ll be able to find the perfect floor for your home. According to the experts we spoke to, homeowners are still loving hardwood and carpet, but colors and styles are evolving, breathing new life into these old standbys.

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Growing in popularity since the 1980s, hardwood flooring remains a top request of home buyers, according to research by the National Association of Realtors. Fifty-four percent of home buyers say they are willing to pay more for a home with hardwood flooring.

David Turner of Liqwoodation Floors says homeowners are drawn to the natural feel of wood.

“Wood is natural and people are always drawn back to a natural product,” Turner says. “For years people have wanted hardwood floors and there is nothing more natural than a polished piece of wood.”

Priscilla Bergeron, director of communications for Lauzon Distinctive Hardwood Flooring, also believes in the connection to nature hardwood provides. “At first people are overwhelmed by how varied our hardwood floorings are, in terms of style, color, texture,” she says. “You then see that a whole world of design possibility opens up to them for a beautiful, healthy and eco-friendly living environment.”

For families with allergies, hardwood may be a better choice.

Bergeron says that hardwoods do not hold onto dust or other harmful contaminants. “There is a big trend going toward healthy flooring. Our Pure Genius technology contains titanium dioxide particles in the finish, which, when activated by light, transforms them into an air-purifying agent,” she says.

For those who do choose hardwood in any room, the desired styles have been trending toward wider planks with an aged look.

“Planks used to average about 3 and 4 inches wide, but now people want 5 or 8 inch planks,” says Turner. This contemporary style can also make a room appear larger. Softer colors are becoming more and more popular. Bergeron says a soft palette of grays, taupes, whites and creams are subtle, but still high-end.

Turner says, “Grays are very much in style. In new homes, designers are putting in gray floors, but it has to be an aged gray to make it look authentic, almost as if it turned gray over time.”

Schienholtz says homeowners are opting for hand-scraped wood floors as opposed to perfectly polished styles. “This flooring has the look of years of natural wear,” he says. “It can be a good choice to help hide scratches or imperfections that would otherwise show on polished hardwood.”

Traditionally the top choice for bedrooms, carpet is being transformed into a viable option for the whole home thanks to technology.

“Today’s technology is producing super soft carpet that’s more durable than anything that’s been on the market for 20 years,” says Jennifer Learish of Airbase Carpet Mart.

This luxurious texture, she says, is really what homeowners want for a “warm and homey feel.”

Schienholtz agrees, saying soft yarns are the biggest craze in the industry right now. He says carpet is the best choice for comfort and warmth. “Carpet is still the choice for over 80 percent of bedrooms,” he says. “When you think about getting out of bed and putting your bare feet on the floor, you want something soft under them.”

For durability, casual textures are best. “Short shags with twisted or straight fibers, such as frieze, are great for high-traffic areas, or for families with kids and pets,” says Learish.

Neutrals remain king for colors, she adds, but accents and pops of color can be added with area rugs. “For those with hardwood floors, areas rugs can allow them to keep on trend with popular designs,” Learish says. “People aren’t necessarily buying a $5,000 Persian rug anymore. They are buying something that costs less and can be replaced every few years to update the look, while still keeping their hardwoods underneath.”

Popular area rug patterns include geometric shapes, repeating medallions and scrolls.

Luxury vinyl
It might come as a surprise to hear the words vinyl and luxury together. However, technology has evolved to help this product mimic the look of wood or stone so closely that it might be hard for the untrained eye to tell the difference.

In 2014, sales of luxury vinyl topped $500 million, according to industry website

Luxury vinyl flooring can simulate stones such as marble, slate or travertine, and woods like maple, oak, walnut or pine. Schienholtz says it is available in planks or tiles.

“In the tiles, you can put real grout in, but the end result won’t feel as cold when you walk on it, and the tiles won’t crack, which is a benefit for maintenance,” he says.

“The wood-look planks are really hot right now. They simulate real wood and are waterproof. For busy people, this is a great option and some people don’t even notice the difference.”

The realistic look of luxury vinyl opens it up for a variety of uses, including kitchens and bathrooms where ceramic tile may have previously been the go-to choice. ­


Airbase Carpet & Tile Mart
New Castle, Del.
(302) 328-1597

Burlington Carpet One
Barrington, N.J.
(856) 310-9292

Lauzon Flooring
Quebec, Canada
(800) 665-6765

Liqwoodation Floors
Union, N.J.
(908) 316-9340

Published (and copyrighted) in House & Home, Volume 15, Issue 10 (April, 2015).
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Author: Liz Hunter


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