These Trends Are Giving Wood Floors a Run for Their Money

Wood floors are still a go-to option for consumers, but vinyl and carpeting are back on the rise.

Similar to the way that the rest of the rehab and design industry is moving, it seems that homeowners on the lookout for new floors have their eyes fixated on eco-friendly options. And while wood remains the standard, there are some alternative options that are becoming more popular.

Non-wood floor options like vinyl still make up a large portion of the industry and have remained a favorite for consumers in the market for new floors. That’s because they’re a little more affordable than their greener competition, and they still give off the look that comes with wood. Vinyl flooring is even picking up steam because of how easy it is to install and maintain—it’s harder to scratch or gouge than regular wood. Tommy Burek, owner and founder of Epic Floors, Inc. in Chicago’s Northwest suburbs, adds that vinyl is breaking into the luxury flooring category as well.

However, vinyl isn’t the only flooring trend that’s expected to take over homes in 2017 and beyond. Carpeting still makes up a large part of home retail sales, and Burek expects that pattern to continue.

“Homeowners have such a wide variety of carpets to choose from that it is an appealing option for them,” Burek said.

That wide variety plays directly into carpeting sales—a quick browse through the carpet offerings that brands supply shows that consumers have their pick from seemingly unlimited colors and patterns. And even though carpeting can be difficult to clean and maintain, it’s once again becoming luxurious and trendy.

Apart from synthetic materials, wood floors remain as popular as ever before. But it’s becoming clear that homeowners are looking to save on their flooring options in order to spend those savings elsewhere on other housing projects. Burek says that those looking to install wood floors in their home are opting for “greener” solutions, such as wood flooring certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. However, because wood flooring comes with a higher price tag, they’re having a tougher time competing with vinyl and carpeting. Wood floors are also having trouble keeping up as the quality in synthetic materials rises. Burek even notes that while carpets harbor more germs and bacteria, today’s materials are often “anti-bacterial” and offer homeowners another reason to reconsider carpeting as a possibility.

It’s evident that wood flooring remains the industry standard, especially for those homeowners looking to cut down on their carbon footprint. But as going green continues to play a significant role in consumers’ decision making processes, carpeting and vinyl flooring have emerged has legitimate competition.