Make floor choice based on personal taste, not trends

by Patty Reiman

Flooring choices in new and remodeled homes have moved away from carpet toward more hardwoods and tile, but this region of the country has yet to catch up.

“We are still putting in more carpet than hard-surface flooring, such as ceramic, vinyl or hardwood. The Midwest is slow to adapt,” said Larry Callahan of Callahan Carpet.

He said it’s not the trends that should influence customers’ decorating decisions, but what makes them happy at a price point that fits their budget and home environment.

Tracy Moten with Floor Coverings International echoes that sentiment. “As long as they buy the right type of flooring for their space, homeowners need to choose the style that makes them comfortable and happy,” she said. “Just because something is a trend doesn’t mean they have to go with it.”

She also points out that certain materials work better in certain rooms. She recommends water-resistant luxury vinyl for bath and laundry rooms. Homeowners might prefer carpet for bedrooms and great rooms where they want softness, warmth and sound absorption.

“Homes are highly subjective,” Moten said. “Each person has his or her own point of view when it comes to function and appearance.”

When considering materials, consider the finish that surrounds the floor, Callahan said. For example, the owner of a stately manor full of hardwood trim should steer clear of less expensive laminate flooring because the final result would look disjointed.

In older homes, Moten sometimes recommends restoring, rather than replacing, hardwood floors.

“Sometimes it just takes a buff and coat, while other times we replace some boards and completely sand and refinish them,” he said.

As far as carpet, Callahan said current trends include multi-tone designs that range from obvious textural patterns to subtle shade varieties, with or without peppery flecks.

For non-carpet choices, wider planks (5” to 9”) or planks of varying widths in darker tones are trending and enjoying strong sales, whether that be in hardwood, engineered hardwood or luxury vinyl planks or tiles.

Rustic, farmhouse décor continues to dominate much of home interior design, including flooring choices.

“We love that rustic, hand-scraped and chattered look of wood. It is so forgiving. When anything is dropped or dragged across it, it blends right in,” said Moten.

While color trends change frequently, Callahan says confidently, “Red is dead; gray is here to stay,” adding that gray also encompass beige tones.

Both Callahan and Moten emphasize consumer education when it comes to flooring choices so homeowners make an informed decision that suits their home and lifestyle.

“Homeowners need to be educated on the pros and cons of different products,” said Moten. “Life happens on floors, and they need to withstand how the family lives. What makes sense for an empty nest couple may not be the right choice for a family with pets and young children.”