If you plan on visiting the Real Home Show 2011 in search of new flooring ideas, you ought to bring a large notebook or voice recorder – the options are endless. Carpet, tile, ceramic or wood. Whatever your design needs, there’s a variety of colours, textures and sizes to choose from.
For homeowners who want the look of hardwood flooring without the financial investment, laminate flooring is now
available to mimic the look and feel of real wood. Each four-sided beveled tile has deep grain embossment that adds actual texture to each tile. The flooring remains easy to clean as the protective coating withstands standard cleaning products and constant foot traffic.
Another nature-inspired upgrade is the bamboo imitation tile popular in condos and contemporary homes. To contrast the natural look of real or imitation hardwood, a modern twist on kitchen or bathroom flooring is 12” X 24” offset rectangular tiles similar to a New York subway platform or a brick wall.
“Recently, oversized ceramic tiles and extra wide 4 ¼” hardwood planks have become quite trendy,” says John Wells, flooring expert at Taylor Flooring. “Home-owners are just looking to get back to the basics using simple organic materials for a sophisticated and modern look.”
Homeowners are also beginning to consider the environmental implications of the manufacturing process as well as how hygienic the product is in the home – not just physical appearance and cost.
Companies like Mohawk are revolutionizing the flooring industry by bringing carpet back in style and producing the world’s most eco-friendly carpet made of renewably sourced polymers.
“With four children at home, I need a carpet that can withstand any stain,” says Wells. “Not only is it an extremely soft carpet, but it has the highest resistance to stains bar none. Perfect for families or high traffic areas.”
SmartStrand carpets by Mohawk use seven gallons of gasoline less per yard produced compared to other leading manufacturers. Samples will be on display at the Taylor Flooring exhibit with flooring experts present to explain full environmental breakdown of the product.
“On top of choosing environmentally conscious products, people love bringing elements of nature indoors,” says Wells. “Earthy tones of natural maple and birch hardwood are replacing the red-toned woods popular in the past.”
Cork flooring is another environmental product gaining popularity. With two popular looks – the large tile format and plank design, the product provides warmth and a comfortable underfoot.
“Cork is great because you can choose from different wear layers on the surface. So depending on your lifestyle, you can get it as durable as you need it to be,” says Lauren Fry, flooring expert at Floors Plus. “That, along with the diverse style selection and the easy click-together installation process, it makes for an excellent flooring choice.”
Make no mistake about it, the quality and innovation in flooring we see today is impressive. Options are available for any look at any budget.