Breaking New Ground: Wow Clients with these Five Flooring Trends - Pro Construction Guide

Breaking New Ground: Wow Clients with these Five Flooring Trends

By Will Hudson, Laminate and Vinyl Plank Flooring Merchant, The Home Depot

Sleek, stylish flooring can set any property’s tone, and allow owners to inject their personality. Fortunately, recent innovations in flooring materials have increased the possibilities for a luxurious yet affordable implementation. In turn, it’s essential to stay on top of the latest trends and techniques to offer new ideas and bring your clients’ visions to life.

The following five trends are a great place to start when mapping out any flooring project, and ultimately can reduce the work and time required to add value to any permanent, rental or resale property.

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SAME LOOK, LOWER PRICE

Thanks to new digital printing advancements, flooring looks that previously required premium materials or significant installation costs now are achievable with less effort and investment. These design technologies eliminate boundaries between flooring materials and produce customizable tiles and planks in whatever style, color or finish your clients desire. For instance, owners who covet but cannot afford a true natural wood or marble floor instead can enjoy the same ambience and appearance through nearly identical alternate materials.

As flooring technologies evolve, The Home Depot remains committed to driving innovative new ideas. Our merchants work with leading manufacturers to develop durable and advanced laminate, vinyl and porcelain tile. This includes amplifying realism – if your clients desire a true-to-life appearance, look no further than rich designs ranging from knots and ripples in wood to wavy colors in marble.

Additionally, digital printing delivers variety that your clients are sure to appreciate. Today’s floor printing machines reduce the number of repeat designs on tiles and planks, ensuring that the same pattern does not appear in multiple spots within a given room. This produces a more natural feel, and adds realism that will make it harder for owners, renters or visitors to detect a difference in material sourcing.

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GO BIG WHEN GOING HOME

With replica wood and stone becoming more popular, more property owners are gravitating towards large-format tiling and planks. As you likely are well aware, flooring materials have reached unprecedented sizes in recent years – planks now run as long as four feet in length, squares can go as wide as 16 inches, and rectangles now hit sizes of up to 18×36. For clients, the true benefit is a space that appears more open and inviting.

While larger flooring materials are bulkier and require more careful planning to install, they do require less time. To ensure a seamless, gap-free design, use a mortar specifically engineered for heavier tiles or planks. Custom Building Products’ Natural Stone and Large Tile mortar, for example, reduces lippage and produces a more level installation.

REINFORCED LAMINATES

Much like its wood and tile counterparts, laminate flooring has evolved to a tougher and more eye-catching form in recent years. Laminate planks now feature a thick, sturdy design and durable finish that deters scratching, offering a stability advantage for owners looking to resell their property multiple times.

We worked closely with Pergo to develop Outlast Plus, a next-level laminate capable of withstanding water for up to 24 hours. This creates new opportunities to bring wood-look flooring into bathrooms, kitchens and other water-centric rooms previously considered off limits. Available exclusively at our stores, this product also includes an attached underlayment that reduces sound and makes installation faster, simpler and more affordable.

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A VINYL RENAISSANCE

An unlikely product of the flooring design evolution is the resurgence of vinyl, elevating a material previously considered outdated (think sheet tiles from the 1980s) into one that is trendy and coveted. Like laminates, vinyl is 100 percent waterproof and versatile. Your clients can select from a deep portfolio of colors and designs and suit any coveted aesthetic.

You also can benefit from modern vinyl flooring’s easy to apply and maintain composition, with tiles and strips able to go directly over existing vinyl, tile or laminate surfaces without the need to remove the subfloor. The Home Depot’s exclusive Lifeproof vinyl planks use drop and lock end joints that fall perfectly into place and reduce installation cost and time. Featuring an innovative rigid PVC core that delivers strength while remaining lightweight, Lifeproof planks are an excellent choice to offer your clients a durable and attractive floor.

IMPORTING A LOCAL FLAIR

Flooring design trends are not universal and vary greatly by location. Diverse sources ranging from direct conversations with clients and fellow pros to social media channels can keep you and your team abreast of emerging local preferences.

At The Home Depot, we’ve seen preferences for different styles of flooring across the country. Texas and the Southwestern region tend to prefer darker grey and brown flooring with a more distressed tone. Properties in more oceanic regions, such as the East and West coasts, not surprisingly go more for lighter grey, white and cream colors that feel cool and casual. Likewise, areas more susceptible to colder winters, such as the Northeast, feature subtle accents ranging from beiges to tans.

Depending on property dimensions and your clients’ tastes and plans for the property, the exact parameters of any flooring renovation will greatly vary. However, an awareness of the latest trends and a mind for creativity can result in a floor that is brilliant, easy to install and a value driver for any home.

By Will Hudson, Laminate and Vinyl Plank Flooring Merchant, The Home Depot 

As the flooring Merchant, Will Hudson is responsible for merchandising the Laminate Flooring and Laminate Installation businesses for all U.S. stores and homedepot.com. He has been with The Home Depot for 13 years, serving in various merchandising roles.


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