The floor is a major design element that sets the tone and defines the feel of each residence. Sleek, stylish flooring can make a solid first impression on potential residents and improve a community’s ambience and appeal.
New innovations in materials have led to an increasing amount of diversity in the look and pricing options for flooring. Looks that used to require premium materials and significant installation costs can now be achieved with a smaller investment.
When evaluating new strategies to enliven a property, keep these five trends top of mind.
Any Look, Any Time. Digital printing advancements create a wide variety of possibilities to achieve the desired look. These modern technologies blur the divides between flooring materials and produce tiles and planks in a variety of styles, colors and finishes. In turn, apartments can now feature the same look and feel of more expensive wood and stone implementations at less maintenance and cost.
Home Depot merchants work with the top manufactures to develop the most advanced and varied selection of flooring across laminate, vinyl and porcelain tile. Wood-look and stone-look styles remain popular, and recent developments give these designs richer textures and more varied features ranging from replica knots to ripple implementation.
Additionally, printing technology reduces the number of repeat designs on tiles and planks so the same pattern won’t be seen in different parts of the room. This increases the natural feel, and designs are beginning to look so realistic that residents will have a hard time telling the difference between natural wood and other, more affordable materials.
The Bigger, The Better. The trend of realistic wood and stone looks has also led to an increase in the popularity of large-format tiling and planks. Planks are now reaching lengths of 48 inches, squares are growing to 16 inches and rectangles are hitting 18 x 36 inches. Larger sizes enhance the realistic feel and give a space a high-end look for a great value.
Other advantage to larger pieces is quicker installation. However, they tend to be harder to align and secure in place, so make sure skilled installers are using a mortar designed specifically for heavier tiles. The Custom Building Products Natural Stone and Large Tile mortar, for example, reduces lippage and produces a more level installation.
Drable and Reliable. Modern laminates have seen great innovation. Laminate planks now offer a thick design and durable finish that resists scratching. This durability means that floors are more likely to hold up even after turning apartments multiple times.
Our team worked with Pergo shoulder to shoulder to develop Outlast Plus, a truly innovative laminate flooring. Outlast can withstand water for up to 24 hours, allowing you to install wood-look flooring in rooms like the bathroom and kitchen, which would have before been off limits. Pergo Outlast Plus is exclusively sold at The Home Depot.
Vinyl’s Unlikely Comeback. Vinyl flooring has moved past the basic sheet tiles of the 1980s. Most commonly available in tile and plank formats, today’s vinyl flooring is easy to install and maintain. For added convenience and cost savings, new vinyl plank can be applied directly over existing tile, vinyl or laminate surfaces without the need to remove subfloor.
Vinyl also is versatile, with deep portfolio of colors and designs guaranteed to suit any property’s desired aesthetic. The Home Depot’s exclusive LifeProof luxury vinyl planks, for instance, offer customizable options in 42 potential colors, far exceeding the average of six available with most industry alternatives. These planks feature a rigid PVC core that makes them light yet strong, and the drop and lock end joints cut down on installation time. Like all vinyl, it’s also 100 percent waterproof.
The Local Vibe. Flooring trends are not universal, and vary by location. For instance, Texas and the Southwestern region tend to prefer darker grey and brown flooring with a more distressed tone. Properties along the East and West coasts often gravitate toward lighter grey, white and cream colors that match the cooler and potentially oceanic climates of the area. In the Northeast, residents are more likely to find more subtle accents, such as beige or tan.
By Will Hudson, The Home Depot