Best home flooring options and trends guide

Best home flooring options and trends advice, House hardwood floor installation guide, Property style tips

The Best Home Flooring Options and Trends

2 January 2024

Best home flooring options and trends

Gorgeous floors make or break the look and feel of a home. Whether you’re building new or renovating, choosing those foundations for your rooms requires careful thought. That’s why we’ll explore today’s most popular flooring materials, the hottest trends you’ll fall in love with, plus expert tips to select the perfect floors for your lifestyle and budget.

Today’s Trendiest Flooring Options

When considering floors, you want options that check all the boxes: beauty, durability, comfort, and value. These leading choices available offer all that and more for residential needs in any room.

Hardwoods

For natural beauty and timeless style, wood reigns supreme. Of all options, discerning homeowners most desire rich, eco-friendly hardwood flooring.

Hardwoods Pros

  • Unparalleled elegance and visual warmth
  • Adds value for resale
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Durable for generations if properly cared for
  • Variety of species/grains to match any decor

Hardwoods Cons

  • Expensive upfront cost
  • Susceptible to moisture damage
  • Not too toddler/pet-friendly
  • Requires special tools for repair scratches and dents
  • Needs regular refinishing to retain luster

Types of Wood for Flooring

Oak – Gorgeous classic grain, light to mid-tone colors

Maple – Very hard, ideal for high-traffic areas

Hickory – Rustic appeal, wide grain variation

Mesquite – Durability, natural insect resistance

Bamboo – Actually a fast-growing grass, eco-friendly

Modern Takes on Hardwood Flooring

  • Durable engineered wood with plywood backing
  • Distressed wood with an antique, timeworn look
  • Acacia, Tigerwood, and Teak bring unique grains/textures
  • Reclaimed wood from old barns or buildings

Laminates

Today’s laminates mimic wood incredibly well at a fraction of the price. Available in planks with click or glue installation, they offer the allure of hardwood aesthetics without the hefty price tag.

Laminates Pros

  • Very affordable option
  • Easy floating installation
  • Good DIY flooring choice
  • Wide range of colors and styles
  • Highly scratch and fade-resistant

Laminates Cons

  • Not real wood but photographic layer
  • Can seem “hollow” when walking on
  • Still susceptible to major dents
  • Moisture causes swelling and damage
  • Resale value less than actual wood

If you adore the look of exotic woods or distressed flooring but have a tight budget, today’s laminates finally bridge that gap.

Tile & Stone

Tile yields exceptional style. Layouts range from basic white squares to whimsical mosaics or masterful marble, spanning from rustic to refined.

Tile Pros

  • Huge array of sizes, textures, patterns
  • Lasts incredibly long when installed properly
  • Easy to mop/wipe clean daily
  • Grout color transforms the look
  • Works well in wet areas like baths/kitchens

Tile Cons

  • Hard, unforgiving to stand on over time
  • Grout needs resealing regularly
  • Dropped objects more likely to break/chip
  • Challenging DIY, best done professionally

Natural Stone Pros

  • One-of-a-kind veining patterns
  • Paired with tile or stand alone
  • Inherent antiseptic properties
  • Excellent cooling effect during summer

Natural Stone Cons

  • Very heavy, may need subfloor reinforcement
  • Porous so sealing vital
  • Stains can be difficult or impossible to remove

Hottest Flooring Trends Right Now

Best home flooring options and trends

Progress and innovation wait for no one as flooring manufacturers perpetually push boundaries. Here are the trendsetters leading the pack when it comes to what’s hot now and gaining traction for tomorrow.

Wide Plank Hardwoods

As the farmhouse craze exploded, so did demand for wider 5” to 9” oak planks. Wider widths create a pleasing, expansive feel. The growth rings and grain patterns mesmerize in the larger slats, too. These work well in casual, cozy, or modern spaces yearning for a relaxed vibe.

Bold Gray Stained Floors

Once banished to dreary, weathered looks, gray floors turned chic. These moody yet versatile stained woods or stylish laminates bridge traditional and contemporary. The gray undertone foundations provide a neutral base for accent colors to dazzle. Diverse hues from light driftwood to dark charcoal adapt well as cool or warm grays in any surrounding.

Budget-Friendly Vinyl Wood Planks

Wood remains coveted, but not everyone can swing the cost. Enter vinyl planks with resin layers mimicking woodgrain minus the price. DIY-friendly click lock installation satisfies novice homeowners. Best of all, waterproof protection finally offers wood looks even in basements or bathrooms. Now, the luxe appearance graces any room while withstanding abuse.

Porcelain Slate-Size Tiles

Huge slabs replace 12” tiles rapidly. These generous sizes, like 18”x36” rectified porcelain tiles, assemble neatly with barely visible grout lines for a sleek monolithic effect. Popular in subdued whites/grays, they create modern flair or industrial warehouse ambiance on a large scale. Durable and seamless, porcelain slate sizes started a craze for XXL substantial tiles.

Stylish Geometric and Moroccan-Inspired Tiles

While some tiles go XXL, others slim down in size yet gain major visual impact. Hello geometric shapes, zigzags, intricate mosaics, 3D dimensional tiles, plus hypnotic patterns reminiscent of Moorish designs. These specialty tiles adorn backsplashes, walls, and floors alike with artistic dazzle. Express personal style through mixing cohesive designs or singular tiles for showstopping oohs and ahhs.

Sustainable Flooring

Eco-warriors rejoice over increased sustainable options with recycled rubber, glass, porcelain, and wood flooring containing pre-consumer waste content. Beyond utilizing recycled materials, many manufacturers adopt responsible harvesting initiatives supporting healthy forests, too. Certifications like FSC, Greenguard, and FloorScore verify minimized VOC emissions as well. Cleaning solutions have also moved to plant-based formulas. Now, style and stewardship for the planet beautifully align.

Radiant Floor Heating

Hydronic radiant systems embed piping right into flooring to gently heat spaces. This energy-efficient warming option works well with tile and wood by using water instead of forced air. Customization gives room-by-room control for ultimate comfort and lower utility bills. The health advantages appeal greatly as well, given the absence of dusty air ducts or irritants circulating. Hello future comfort!

Clearly, innovation remains alive and well in the world of flooring. Keep watching for emergent styles as creative visions continue to unfold. For now, those choices lead the trendsetting pack with captivating looks crossing material boundaries.

Tips for Choosing Flooring

Best home flooring options and trends

Installing new floors requires sizable forethought. Beyond superficial aesthetic considerations, several structural and architectural factors affect choices, too. Here are some top universal tips when evaluating flooring:

Mind the Traffic Flow

Consider your family’s size and lifestyle patterns when estimating traffic volume. Do you host frequent big parties or have a bustling household? Opt for extra durable surfaces rated for high abrasion/abuse. Is it a peaceful sanctuary without kids and pets underfoot? Maybe those delicate distressed wood planks work there. Gauge wear and tear accurately.

Match Rooms and Lifestyles

Fit the function of each space smartly. Target moisture-resistant tile for baths, easy-clean vinyl for basements, or soft cork in bedrooms for hospitable comfort. Create vinyl or linoleum safety zones for elderly members struggling with mobility, too. Always adapt flooring durability and texture based on room usage.

Unify Open Floor Plans

Great rooms, open-concept spaces, and missing walls need cohesion. Establish visual flow with uniform flooring despite the multi-purpose activities occurring. Facing living, kitchen, and dining areas allows flexible unified foundations. Just switch carpeting to tile only where essential, like kitchen spill zones. Otherwise, keep materials consistent.

Calculate Square Footage
Avoid ordering surprises by measuring every inch of floor space carefully yourself. Include weird alcoves, bay windows, foyer angles, and the fireplace hearth too. Having 8-12% extra allows for imperfections and complex cutting. For diagonal layouts, recalculate based on dimension maximums. Know your precise flooring volume, as there are no returns or exchanges.

Decide on Decor Goals Early
Browse options only after defining your style vision completely. What feeling do you hope to evoke – modern loft, urban retreat, Scandinavian minimalism? Collect inspiration images to articulate that look. Note colors, textures, and little details setting the mood. List must-have species like walnut or hickory if going for organic modern richness. Clarify objectives first, or options overwhelm.

Establish a Realistic Budget
Prices fluctuate greatly for flooring. Determine square footage and do some math for materials, labor, removal, and extras, too. Create different budget scenarios like good/better/best. Include 10-20% overage for incidentals popping up during renovations. Set expectations early regarding affordability. Without a number in mind, you’ll likely overspend by thousands quickly.

Account for All Expenses
Flooring itself becomes only one line item. Evaluate additional costs like installation tools/supplies, subfloor repairs, cabinet alterations, transition trim, new baseboards, disposal fees, plus handyman assistance if undertaking a DIY adventure. Revise quotes if you want special amenities like custom inlays or intricate borders. Identify every possible expense for accurate budgeting.

Seek Quality and Durability Confirmations
Do brands stand behind warranties backing decades of use? What specific finish protects against moisture or UV damage? Request test results proving low VOC emissions, too. Ask about anti-microbial properties for healthier indoor air quality. Dig into material density ratings indicating longevity and inspect thickness guidelines. Favor reputable companies with transparent durability data.

Consider Eco-Friendly Aspects
More manufacturers adopt responsible harvesting and production practices now, along with renewable/recycled materials. But don’t take their word for it – ask for certifications. Bona, GreenGuard, and FloorScore prove adherence to indoor air quality emissions standards. FSC wood comes from forests with replanting protocols, too. It’s smart to choose eco-stewardship when you can.

Accommodate 4-Legged Friends
Pet owners know scratched flooring haunts us. Opt for extra durable surfaces when sharing space with cats and dogs. Score resistant wood species work along with scratch guard vinyl planks. Try tiles or faux wood laminate in heavy paw traffic zones also. And leave a budget margin for periodic sand and refinishing. It’s just wise preparing for inevitable garish gashes appearing sooner rather than later.

Best Floors for Each Room

Flooring contributes immense character through varying needs and purposes per space. For example, water resistance matters greatly in laundry rooms but not living rooms. Let’s match exceptional materials perfect for room function and family habits.

Durable Entryways
Front and back entryways endure salty snowy boots, muddy paws, and all manner of spills and debris on the daily. Protect them with super resilient finishes.

Best Bets: Textured ceramic tile, natural stone slates, woven vinyl planks, outdoor-rated composite lumber, commercial-grade nylon carpet.

Living Rooms for Lounging
Since living spaces host endless hours of hanging out plus entertaining, cushion comfortable yet durable floors work wonders.

Best Bets: Plush frieze or twist wool carpeting, smooth hardwood like maple or strand woven bamboo, wood-look waterproof vinyl planks.

Kid and Pet Play Zones
Rambunctious youngsters and frisky four-legged furballs need ultra-tough floors that are able to withstand high-impact playtime.

Best Bets: Scratch-resistant hickory or oak, textured vinyl tiles, indoor/outdoor synthetic turf carpet.

Chef’s Kitchen Floors
Food prep spaces must endure all sorts of spills, splatters, and accidents, from the mildly messy to the truly catastrophic. Choose materials that handle serious demands.

Best Bets: Easy-clean porcelain or ceramic tile, natural stone like granite or slate, waterproof rigid core vinyl planking.

Zen Bathroom Bliss
We seek serenity, cleanliness, and spa atmosphere in bathing spaces. Select soothing floors promoting peacefulness through flexibility and sanitation.

Best Bets: Porcelain mosaic tile with radiant heating, pebble effect glass and marble tiles, sheet vinyl able to be welded into seamless expanses.

Harmonious Bedrooms
Bedrooms nurture rest, romance, and retreat. Establish tranquility underfoot along with that dreamy sanctuary experience through textures pleading to be touched.

Best Bets: Plush wool or velvety soft carpeting, wide plank oak floors, linoleum mimicking natural fibers like cork and jute.

Durable and Dry Below Grade
Basements and spaces even partially underground demand waterproofing and vapor barriers to defend against flooding or moisture issues. Safeguard investments through smart materials impervious to mildew threats.

Best Bets: PVC-free rigid core vinyl planking, rubber rolls, and tiles, poured resin-coated concrete floors with epoxy paint.

Laundry and Utility Rooms
Our hardest-working utilitarian rooms withstand gallons of bleach, stain removers, and heavy appliance vibrations on the regular. Choose the toughest floors around specifically for messy maintenance and storage duties.

Best Bets: Stain-resistant ceramic or porcelain tile, sheet vinyl flooring welded into seam-free expanses, polished concrete sealed for easy cleaning.

5 essential advantages of laminate flooring guide

Best home flooring options and trends Wrap-Up

The gorgeous new floors you choose deserve years of admiration ahead. Follow our tips to make the absolute perfect flooring decisions with confident clarity. May your flooring foundations set the backdrop for many blissful memories made at home with your loved ones.

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