Hard Surfaces and Fresh Looks
As hard surface flooring continues to grow its market share in the flooring industry, particularly in the case of resilient (LVT and MLF) vinyl flooring, we are starting to see manufacturers becoming more and more creative with their new products. This year at the The International Surface Event (TISE) held in Las Vegas, Nevada, we saw many of these adventurous new products. Manufacturers are trying to evolve engineered wood flooring to keep up with the growth of the more versatile vinyl market, and how are they doing that? By making the real wood surfaces of their products look even better than ever. Vinyl products are printed to imitate real wood and stone looks, but engineered wood is the same concept of a multi-layered plank with a more versatile core but still has real stained wood on top of all that. So we are seeing a push for products with more texture, better staining, and boards that are both wider and longer. The engineered flooring world is looking even bigger and better than ever in the face of products that are cheaper and more resilient, and hard surfaces are in turn looking better than ever as they are offering even more options now than ever before. Another trend that we are seeing in both the hardwood and vinyl categories is the return of patterned wood styles. The most popular of these looks are the classic Chevron and Herringbone looks. These products being made with these patterned styles are a modern remix of an old but classic look, one that is looking better now than ever.
Another trend we have been seeing and are starting to see more of in hard surfaces, both hardwood and the many variants of vinyl, is ombre style color patterns. Whether it is plank floors that shift from light to dark hues or styles that mix and match different wood looks for a rustic aesthetic, you will know these looks when you see them because of the unique glow and feeling to your floors. One thing that the resilient market is doing that hardwood cannot, is bringing us the gorgeous look of stone and tile in a more affordable format. Though most consumers know of LVT for imitating wood looks, manufactures are beginning to diversify their LVT and MLF product lines with more stone and tile looks. These products give consumers a more affordable alternative to porcelain, ceramic, and stone tiles that is also easier to install, much warmer underfoot, and more resilient overall. Definitely keep an eye out for stone and tile look LVT products going into this year.
The diversification of the Multi-Layered Flooring (MLF) industry which contains Wood Polymer Core (WPC) products and the new Solid Polymer Core (SPC) products. Most of the new products this year will be the latter, which is referred to as “Rigid Core” and is heavier and more sturdy than WPC. These new Rigid Core products are going to give luxury vinyl customers another level of quality to choose from when buying resilient flooring as these floors will be even more resistant to dents and wear damage than anything the market has seen before. The world of hard surface products has come a great way in the last decade, both on the industrial side and on that of the consumer. It is promising to see that it shows no sign of slowing down in its seemingly endless journey to offer consumers beautiful products that are diverse not only in construction and style, but in price as well.