Vinyl, vinyl, vinyl. People love to hate on you, but I think you are the future of the flooring world.
When I say vinyl flooring, you probably imagine the ugly, outdated 1980s linoleum that isn’t even vinyl. Vinyl and linoleum have often been confused for each other throughout the years, but vinyl has taken off in a big way and linoleum, well, hasn’t.
If you haven’t been following the vinyl flooring trend (and chances are, unless you work for a flooring company, you probably haven’t), get ready to see some crazy innovations! In fact, vinyl flooring is a trend all on its own with its hot new looks.
Although not all homeowners have caught onto the secret, the vinyl flooring industry is booming with the same trends we are seeing consistently across the flooring markets. As I mentioned, vinyl itself is trending up, up, up.
When it comes to trends and style, we want to make sure you’re getting a well-rounded opinion. Here’s a look at what other industry experts are anticipating in 2017:
“There is a reason that LVT (luxury vinyl tile) is the fastest growing flooring segment – sales increased more than 26 percent in 2015 according to our research. Consumers are drawn first to the realistic visuals that are now, through advanced technology, available. LVT can look like stone, wood or really anything. There are even customization options from some suppliers. And, its resistance to water and ease of care gives it a functionality story as well. Not to mention the many installation methods available. Because of the many benefits LVT offers, higher-priced products are being widely embraced.” – Amy Rush-Imber, Floor Covering Weekly, Editor in Chief
“The race to the bottom(Price wise) is over. It’s now time for manufactures to stay focused on making better looking product lines. 2017 is sure to be the year for more realistic visuals. Better technology is constantly being created and used to make vinyl flooring look more like real hardwood. Whatever you see trending in engineered hardwood, wether it be a rustic oil finished Oak or a more contemporary smooth maple the vinyl flooring industry will be quick to create a visual that will be nearly impossible to tell apart from the real deal. ” – Carly Notcha, US Floors
“We will be seeing a return to vinyl popularity in homes starting in 2017. Especially as customers begin to realize the coloration options vinyl offers. It’s becoming increasingly trendy to put a greater focus on the aesthetic appeal of the whole house, including rooms we previously considered more utility-focusedlike a laundry room or basement. The positive traits of vinyl will make it a no-brainer choice in 2017 for these areas of the home.” – Cindy Weinstock, The Flooring Lady
Similar to tile and laminate, vinyl flooring is upping the ante on realistic wood looks. Once upon a time, realistic wood-look vinyl flooring was unheard of, but I bet if I showed you some current options, you’d never guess they were vinyl!
Currently, you will find vinyl flooring available in styles that mimic current wood and tile flooring trends, and even a few vinyl-specific trends as well.
Once upon a time, laminate was the only wood-look flooring in the limelight, the Ferrari of wood-look flooring. Then vinyl, flooring’s Lamborghini, jumped into the realistic wood-look market and gave laminate a run for its money. This has caused both flooring manufacturers to improve at lightening speed, each trying to keep up with the other.
You know what they say about competition – it forces you to bring your A game and, with so many faux wood flooring options on the market, it’s become imperative that everyone bring their A game if they want to stay on top.
The moral of the story is that wood-look vinyl is just as realistic as wood-look laminate, but with even less maintenance and even more versatility. And that means, with its waterproof capabilities and ease of maintenance, vinyl flooring is on the rise. And fast.
Wood-look vinyl has become increasingly popular for commercial use (although, more and more homes are catching on as well), think: business offices, apartments, even the grocery store! Have you noticed that when you go into your local grocery store, some of them have updated themselves with what looks like wood floor?
Except wood flooring would be impossible to maintain in a grocery store where there are constant spills and scratches. It’s that sneaky wood-look vinyl comin’ in hot!
Will this last? Heck yes, it will! And wood-look vinyl flooring will only continue to impress, keeping up with all of the current solid hardwood trends, and maybe even setting some of its own.
I’m a wood-look girl myself, but for those of you that love the look of classic stone, 2017 has not forgotten you.
Just like wood-look vinyl, stone-look vinyl uses the same technologies to create looks mimicking gorgeous, timeless natural stone. You don’t have to pay a fortune for soft, porous marble; stone-look vinyl flooring has changed the game. For the better.
Expect to see vinyl that looks like traditional tile, marble, concrete, brick and more. Even better? You don’t have to purchase vinyl tiles to achieve these looks! Check out crazy affordable, gorgeous vinyl rolls.
You know what we’re going to say next. Stone-look vinyl ain’t going anywhere anytime soon! We encourage you to get on board – you’ll be glad you did.
Yes, you read that right. Metallic vinyl planks and tiles are popping up all over the place, and they actually look pretty darn cool.
Trending in bathrooms and bold spaces, metallic vinyl stands out and follows the theme of using new technologies to create looks that had previously been impossible.
Keep your eye out for these metallic looks–you might be surprised at how many of these are popping up already. However, don’t expect them to still be hot 20 years from now. They are (we think) the fleeting look that happens to be cool right now.
As vinyl rebrands itself, you will see the term “luxury” preceding particular vinyl products. These vinyl options are typically more durable, portray more realistic designs, and sometimes, are even waterproof! They are super hot right now.
You will also see new vinyl installation methods that give you some never-before-seen options that will make your life a whole lot easier.
You know those floors you’ve been mistaking for hardwood or laminate? Those are luxury vinyl planks.
In the past, vinyl was primarily used for commercial applications (like businesses) due to its durability and ease of maintenance. Luxury vinyl planks have changed all that, offering sought after home flooring looks with all the perks vinyl has to offer.
“Luxury” means they’re tougher, more durable, longer lasting, and (usually) more beautiful than older, outdated vinyl planks. These luxury vinyl planks (AKA: LVP), feature a protective wear layer that works like a bodyguard to keep your floor safe from all the elements.
These will certainly maintain popularity (and likely increase demand) for decades to come.
What luxury vinyl planks are to wood, luxury vinyl tiles are to stone. They give you the gorgeous looks you’ve previously only seen in stone and tile, but without the price sticker. Also, vinyl provides more warmth and resilience than cold, hard tile flooring.
You can expect to see luxury vinyl tiles climbing in popularity for a good, long time.
Before we get into the details on WPC vinyl flooring, I want to show you just how legit these floors are. We wanted to put WPC vinyl’s ability to hold up to water damage and stains to the test and soaked that bad boy in red wine for 24 hours. We compared it to laminate and engineered hardwood to see how each floor would hold up.
WPC Vinyl Flooring Trend
Did you think tile was your only waterproof flooring option? Well, ten years ago, you may have been right (if you exclude things like rubber flooring), but that’s no longer the case. Vinyl manufacturers have developed a waterproof core (AKA WPC) that makes your vinyl plank or tile 100% waterproof.
What’s so special about waterproof flooring? Umm, only the fact that you can now have wood-lookflooring in your bathroom, your kitchen, your basement, your laundry room, etc. without fear! Have a pool party and come in sopping wet. It ain’t no thang.
Is the WPC vinyl flooring trend here for the long haul? You bet! I predict WPC vinyl flooring will be hot until they start producing waterproof wood (haha) and laminate*, and probably even beyond.
*Note: There are technically waterproof laminate options available on the market, but they are expensive and less reliable than the tried and true WPC vinyl.
Have you heard of peel and stick vinyl? It sounds like stickers, right? Well, imagine thick, durable stickers that are tough enough to be used as flooring. That’s what they are.
Peel and stick vinyl is gaining popularity in rentals and among young homeowners looking to save money on both materials and installation. Peel and stick vinyl looks are continuously improving, and many people are using them on coffee tables, in crafts and more.
Listen, you are not going to up your real estate value by installing peel and stick vinyl. This option will probably stay trendy amongst young people, but it isn’t a trend we would recommend investing in across your 4,000 square foot house.
Remember how I mentioned vinyl tiles are mimicking traditional tile and stone? Well, we all know the clear giveaway for tile is grout lines. You just can’t get rid of them, no matter how hard you try.
Now, manufacturers are offering that same classic tile look in warmer, resilient vinyl flooring. Basically, this means that all the telltale giveaways that your floor is vinyl, and not tile, are gone, and you can achieve the same gorgeous look on a more forgiving floor.
Groutable vinyl is so new, it’s difficult to say how much it will catch on or how long the trend will last. My guess would be that more beautiful and interesting designs will continue to come out and make groutable vinyl tiles even more popular for at least the next decade.
In luxury vinyl tiles mimicking natural stone looks, expect to see a whole lot of white! The marble look has resurfaced, and vinyl is jumping on board with the trends of tile and natural stone in their lookalikes.
Additionally, the beachy white-washed look is in, and you can expect to see plenty of white-washed wood-look vinyl flooring over the next few years.
The marble look is classic, especially in luxurious master bathrooms. This is one look that will never grow old. White-washed wood on the other hand? Expect it to be soon replaced with blonde wood-look vinyl.
Why blonde? So many reasons! Light, bright blonde wood-look vinyl floors make your space look big and bright. Unlike white floors, they are less likely to appear dingy and dirty, so they basically give you the best of both worlds!
Additionally, blonde is on the newer end of the trend spectrum so you won’t see too many homes that have gotten the memo just yet. That means, if you jump on board soon, you will look like a total trendsetter once it really takes off.
I anticipate we’ll see blonde wood-look vinyl flooring for the next few decades and, possibly, beyond.
People are getting ultra creative when it comes to the layout of their floor. Patterns, angles, you name it. Of course, not all patterns are created equal. Let’s look at what’s hot right now.
Chevron & Herringbone Vinyl Floors
Okay, you’re probably wondering ‘what the heck is herringbone?’ or ‘aren’t those the same thing?’. Well, herringbone is a cool pattern that looks like chevron but isn’t. And chevron is, well, chevron.
In the chevron pattern, the two planks are angled at the end to come together and form a perfect point. In the herringbone pattern (basically, the easier, more affordable chevron for flooring), planks are laid in a zigzag, but stacked on top of each other to create the “point” – this means less cutting, less labor and less wasted materials.
We’re not talking the 1970s short plank parquet flooring. New, trendy chevron and herringbone flooring layouts typically use longer planks and add interest and depth to the eye.
This may not be the trend to do your entire home in. However, long entryways, hallways and bathrooms can look absolutely stunning.
This trend isn’t likely to last forever, but it sure looks pretty while it’s here.
Diagonal Vinyl Floors
*Note: The above image is wood, not vinyl. It is used to share the design idea that can also be achieved with vinyl.
My favorite. Homeowners are changing things up by laying their vinyl flooring at an angle rather than straight on. This gives your floor (and home) a unique, expensive look.
It does cost more in materials (and often installation), but the outcome is dreamy, yet still uncommon enough to maintain its luster.
Can it still be a trend if it’s uncommon? We think so.
Yes, expect to see these angled vinyl floors every once in awhile for decades to come.
Our eyes love detail and the unexpected. That is why it is no surprise that mixed width vinyl floors are in demand.
Mixed width vinyl floors (unsurprisingly) combine multiple width planks to make the flooring pop. This can be done in a pattern or randomly for more variety.
As far as longevity, we predict this trend will be around for a while, but it is unlikely that it will become a flooring staple.
Did we miss anything? Leave it in the comments – we’d love to hear your thoughts!
As you can see, there’s a lot going on in the vinyl flooring industry right now. There are plenty of different, unique options trending that will likely stick around for years to come, which means your possibilities are endless.
If you want something hot that will last for the long haul, we recommend going for large plank, wood-look vinyl plank. Even better if it’s WPC!
If you’re looking to get started with new trendy vinyl flooring, here are a few of my favorites:
Shaw Resort Groutable Vinyl Tiles
Vidara 7″ Vinyl Planks
TritonCORE Pro 7″ Rigidcore Vinyl Planks
About Ari Ziskin
Ari Ziskin is our resident expert in all things fitness, dance and flooring trends. After five years of blogging at Ari’s Menu, where she was featured on sites like The Huffington Post and Buzzfeed, Ari decided to pursue writing full-time. Nothing makes her happier than sharing her knowledge to help people create their gyms and begin their fitness journey.
What are the best manufactures of this contemporary vinyl waterproofing flooring? Don’t know whose products to look at…..thanks