Advances in flooring include laminates that are becoming more realistic in look and texture, and digital printing's impact on tiles.
Flooring has seen a lot of innovation in recent years, making it harder to distinguish between materials while creating more affordable options. Here are some of the latest trends.
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Tile design has progressed substantially – becoming sharper and more realistic through advancements in digital printing. Wood tile looks like wood, marble tile looks like marble, etc.
Large floor tiles are popular and now range all the way up to 48 in. x 48 in., which looks great but requires a higher quality setting material. Performance options from brands like Custom Building Products cover the full installation process and offer an industry-leading residential lifetime warranty.
- RedGard can waterproof and prevent cracks in tile and stone installations.
- Natural Stone and Large Tile mortar prevents slippage in floor applications and prevents tile from sagging and slipping in vertical applications.
- Fusion Pro Single Component Grout is stain proof and color perfect, which eliminates the need to re-seal the grout or redo color callback issues.
- When sealing stone or grout, AquaMix Sealer’s Choice Gold offers the highest level of stain protection.
Laminates are making strides by becoming more realistic in look and texture – homeowners can now see, feel and follow the grain. Another selling point is durability, especially against scratches. It is traditionally thicker than other flooring and comes in a wide variety of colors at an affordable price.
Pergo Outlast+ is the industry’s first truly water-resistant laminate flooring that can withstand spills for up to 24 hours. This enables clients to install laminate in areas traditionally reserved for tile and vinyl, like bathrooms and laundry rooms. Floors can be installed quickly with the innovative click-in system and pre-attached pad, allowing clients to walk on the floor immediately after installation.
Unlike laminate, vinyl is inherently waterproof, making it a good choice for kitchens, laundry rooms and bathrooms. However, vinyl is now being looked at as added décor because – unlike the old version that came in sheets – new advancements allow for it to closely resemble ceramic and other contemporary looks like stained concrete and petrified wood.
TrafficMASTER vinyl is a trendy, durable alternative for high-traffic areas that can be installed over most existing surfaces. The patented GripStrip design is installed by peeling off the back and securing planks with a built-in adhesive surface.
Vinyl also continues to thrive because of the click-lock system, allowing for easier installation that requires no glue. This also has the option to include grout for a more traditional look. The low starting price point of vinyl will always make it popular, and the ease of installation means quicker and cheaper labor bills.
Wood continues to thrive because of its quality and style but is being reinvented as other options become better at wood imitation. The availability of engineered click wood and solid click wood makes installation much easier. Prices on value options are surprisingly low, allowing wood to compete with other materials. Also, the trend to go larger continues here, as more customers gravitate toward wider planks.