The flooring industry is changing faster than ever, with new products promising to repel stains, reduce bacteria, and even purify your air in your home.

Stephanie Atkinson, General Manager of the FloorsPlus retail division, says flooring products are becoming more and more of a fashion statement – and play a huge part of the environment in your home.

They’re excited to be showing home-owners new products like Pure Genius by Lauzon Hardwood – an exclusive and innovative ‘smart floor’ that continuously breaks down toxins, allowing you to breathe cleaner air in your home.

“This flooring can improve the air quality within your home by 85 per cent – in any area of your home, just by installing it,” says Atkinson. “This hardwood is fashionable, and it is the only hardwood product that can help purify the air in your home.”

She says Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) is one of the biggest developments in the flooring industry, because homeowners can get beautiful floors that are water resistant and can duplicate the look of wood grain or tile, for less money.

When choosing ceramic, stone, or porcelain tile, she says more homeowners are opting for the larger tile sizes – such as 12 by 24 inches, and 24 by 24 inches – to get a sleeker, less busy look.

John Wells, Director of Retail Flooring with Taylor Flooring, says their best-selling LVT options include embossed wood grain tiles, and tiles with imaging of porcelain, slate, and marble.

“It’s the way of the future. You have to get down on the floor and look up close to tell whether or not it’s real wood or real slate,” says Wells.

Wells says they’ve just brought in new cork products, and homeowners are falling in love with the way it looks and feels. It comes in a variety of natural tones – or with a pattern or wood grain image – and can also be stained into beautiful rich shades.

“It’s soft and warm, as opposed to ceramic tile. If you drop a dish on it, it kind of bounces, so it’s great for kitchens,” says Wells. “Cork flooring is just all-around comfortable.”

Carpet is coming back into fashion, and many homeowners are choosing white or light cream shades. Thanks to the new stain-resistant technology, there’s no need to choose something darker for camouflaging spills.

“Carpet is becoming so much more serviceable. You can spill a glass of merlot on your white carpet, and wipe it up with water,” says Wells. “People really want the softness of carpet on their feet, especially in bedrooms.”

While builder-grade carpet is about $8/yard, Wells says high-quality carpet – like SmartStrand – will run you closer to $40/yard. But it’s also the most stain-resistant carpet in the world – as well as the softest – and it’s made from a corn derivative so it’s environmentally-friendly.

Wells says spending money on hard-surface flooring – like wood, cork, tile, or laminate – it increases the value of your home and the overall appeal.

“A potential buyer doesn’t see what’s behind your walls, but when they walk into your home and see the flooring, it sets the tone of the home,” says Wells. “They may not even realize what makes the home so beautiful, but the flooring is giving them a perception – it’s upgrading the style and value of the home in their mind.”

Heather Laura Clarke

Heather Laura Clarke

Heather Laura Clarke is a freelance journalist whose work regularly appears in many Atlantic Canadian newspapers and magazines, including The Chronicle Herald, Metro, Hub Now, Business Voice, Dugger's, Progress, East Coast Living, Bedford Magazine, and Southender Magazine. She also has several corporate clients.