Flooring is an area which has seen some significant innovations over the last ten years. Trends can be fleeting, but with flooring, you want to be sure the ‘trend’ is going to be something you will enjoy for years to come. With that in mind, here are some of the top innovative flooring trends to look out for if you’re in the market for new flooring.
Luxury vinyl tiles
Vinyl would not be classed as a new flooring trend, but what’s being done with the material is innovative! With the advancements in luxury vinyl tiles, there is now a range of styles which can be created for your home or workspace. Depending on the look of the tile you choose, and there is a significant choice with a variety of colours along with wood and stone styles, you can create stunning flooring effects. Traditional wooden floor styles such as woven, parquets, weaves and pleats are all achievable with vinyl tiles.
Image Credit – Amtico – Aspen Oak Block Parquet DC410
These wooden styles make an excellent option for living rooms or hallways, both at home or in your workplace. In contrast, stone flooring styles work really well in kitchens and bathrooms. In both of these rooms, vinyl is one of, if not the best flooring option due to its water resistance, comfort underfoot and the ability to install the next innovative flooring trend.
One significant technological innovation with vinyl flooring has come in the way it can be installed with flooring underlay. Flooring manufacturer Amtico, have produced what they call ‘Click Smart’ where the vinyl flooring is integrated with the underlay. This means there is never any separation between the two, and also the flooring can be installed quickly. Because of the click locking mechanism, the flooring does not require any adhesive during installation. Their Click Smart flooring also incorporates fiberglass reinforcement for dimensional stability and a rigid core layer containing up to 20% recycled content.
As with vinyl flooring, underfloor heating is a trend which has developed in popularity after its initial release. As mentioned above, it works really well with vinyl flooring to create a warm and comforting feel underfoot. This can be really lovely first thing in the morning on a cold winters day when you go into your bathroom or kitchen. Underfloor heating works by cleverly distributing warm water through a network of pipes under the floor.
There is also an electric option which heats wires rather than pipes. You are also able to control the temperature of the water or wires for your home in general, to either increase or decrease the temperature, or for a specific zone, e.g. the kitchen. One of the significant advantages of underfloor heating is its energy efficiency. Underfloor heating can be run at a lower temperature than traditional radiators while still producing warmth. By running at a lower temperature, less energy is used and this in turn also reduces your energy bills.
Lower energy usage is becoming a more prominent issue for companies producing flooring as well. It is now a priority to produce flooring which will be long-lasting, while reducing the environmental impact of the production techniques. It is far better for the environment to produce high quality flooring which can last for 20 years, rather than a low-quality product which may need to be reproduced two or three times in that same 20 year period. As mentioned earlier, companies are also starting to use recycled material in their flooring along with using the latest technology to improve energy efficiency.
Being able to produce flooring through a computer-aided design (CAD) model for a variety of projects has been a great technological innovation for flooring companies. There are companies who use 3D printing to produce custom flooring which is installed directly into the space using huge machines. Once all the material is installed, it simply needs to be polished. 3D printing is an area which is continually expanding but CAD can be used for other flooring styles. Stunning vinyl flooring designs have been produced using CAD, particularly for commercial businesses. These designs can be worked on with clients prior to installation to ensure the pattern is exactly what they want. Depending on the requirements of the business and the space available, CAD experts can produce geometric designs which reflect the colours or logo of the business or style of a room.
Overall, flooring has experienced a significant amount of innovation since the only options were wood or stone. The innovative trends listed above show that flooring companies and designers are continuing to develop better methods of production and installation which will ensure they deliver up-to-date products for consumers. Furthermore, it’s clearer than ever how important it is to deliver flooring solutions which are environmentally friendly, not only from a product point of view, but with building designs such as underfloor heating.