2018 Laminate Flooring Trends: 14 Stylish Laminate Flooring Ideas
March 14, 2018
2018 Laminate Flooring Trends: 14 Stylish Flooring Ideas
Keep your home up-to-date starting with your floor. Use this guide to the hottest 2018 laminate flooring trends and find stylish, durable laminate flooring ideas that will stay trendy for years to come.
With the rise of other wood-look flooring options, like vinyl and ceramic tile, some people are starting to question whether laminate flooring will stay current and trendy. So…does this mean laminate floors are on their way out?
Laminate flooring has maintained its status as the staple go-to wood flooring alternative for residential use. Tremendous advancements are being made in flooring technology, allowing the best laminate flooring to resemble solid hardwood more closely than ever before. The laminate flooring business is booming in a big way.
In fact, real estate experts are calling laminate flooring one of the top options for increasing home value, preceded by solid hardwood, stone and tile. Laminate flooring offers homeowners an affordable way to achieve their dream wood look.
In the 80s, when laminate first gained popularity, it looked and sounded cheap and unrealistic. The planks sounded hollow and echoey. The designs were…uncompelling.
Times have changed.
Laminate floor is going stronger than ever with exceptionally realistic looks mimicking the current flooring trends in solid hardwood. Technologies now allow us to even replicate hand-scraped and reclaimed wood looks in affordable, easy-to-maintain laminate flooring.
And wood looks aren’t all you’ll see in 2018. Manufacturers are taking laminate flooring and thinking outside of the box with never-before-seen laminate looks.
Let’s take a look at what you can expect to see in 2018.
What Other Experts Are Saying
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 2018:
“There are so many amazing options in the laminate flooring world that were not available to us even ten years ago. The hottest styles that we are seeing in our firm are lighter colors, wider planks and styles that look like wood with a rustic texture. Laminate has come a long way since it first came out and most people can’t even tell it isn’t real!
As far as what to expect in 2018, without a doubt lighter wood styles are on the rise, along with planks that look and feel like wood. Texture in laminate flooring is also improving greatly and I find that homeowners love the look and feel of laminates with depth and groove. We also love that as the process of laminate becomes more streamlined and sustainable, many homeowners will opt out of real wood options and choose the more eco friendly option of laminate.” – Amanda Gates, Gates Interior Design
“Elongated planks have made a splash and are here to stay. Your best bet is 6-8” wide and 24’-48” long. This size lends to a comfortable casual presentation. Hand scraped, wire brushed are just a few of the new options in flooring. These textures lend to a more natural look in flooring. Personally I find them far more forgiving when it comes to wear and tear and showing dirt.
The way you lay a flooring pattern can really spice up whether it is trendy or not. You
can pick a very classic floor but lay it in a herringbone pattern to add drama to any
room. Herring bone and Chevon patterns are showing up everywhere, as well as laying
a room on a diagonal.” – Courtney Greger, My Flipping Job
All 2018 Flooring Trends
2018 Trending Laminate Flooring Types
Up until recently, laminate has been kind of a one trick pony, copying simplistic wood looks and offering homeowners a low-maintenance wood flooring alternative.
And that was cool. I mean, it served its purpose. But it didn’t offer homeowners a ton of variety. In this age of technological advancements, people have come to expect options and possibilities.
Laminate manufacturers found themselves in sort of a ‘sink or swim’ scenario, and over the last decade, if you ask me, they have learned to swim.
Get ready to see laminate floors that rival the features of wood plastic composite (WPC vinyl) and the attractions of traditional hardwood.
Solid hardwood can be a lot of things, but waterproof ain’t one of them.
The waterproof flooring trend is taking the world by storm, particularly with the influx of waterproof vinyl (WPC) flooring on the market. I gotta be honest, WPC has been a hard break for laminate flooring.
You see, laminated wood flooring originated as the easy-maintenance, worry-free “wood” flooring option. But then WPC came along and tried to steal its thunder.
And if you’ve ever installed traditional laminate in a water-prone area, you know it’s not the best choice. If you spill water and don’t clean it up right away, your laminate can warp and bubble. Although many homeowners have gone the laminate kitchen flooring route, it’s really less than ideal.
Until now, that is!
Enter: waterproof laminate flooring! This still up-and-comer is rare and can be hard to find, but it is exactly how it sounds: DIY-friendly laminate flooring that is 100% waterproof. This means you can install it in kitchens, bathrooms, basements, you name it.
Even better – waterproof laminate floors mimic all the current look and style trends of solid hardwood and traditional laminate, giving you everything you could ever ask for in one sharp floor.
Related content >> 2017 Laminate Flooring Trends
Will the waterproof laminate trend last in 2019 and beyond?
Yes! Waterproof is super hot right now across all flooring types and demand for waterproof laminated wood flooring will only continue to rise.
Without getting too political here, ‘American-Made’ is a hot and controversial topic right now. The desire for American-manufactured products extends beyond traditional items to flooring and home decor.
In fact, some homeowners will pay top dollar for that title. My brother is one of them. He searched high and low until he found a flooring that was wholly manufactured in the United States.
And he’s not alone.
To stay on top of growing demand, many flooring manufacturers are releasing products made in the USA. You can now find USA-made laminate flooring options in many popular product lines.
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Will the American-made laminate flooring trend last in 2019 and beyond?
Political trends do not disappear the way style trends do, and you can bet that the people who believe strongly in this movement will not be changing their minds anytime soon. We predict demand for American-Made laminate flooring will only increase with time.
2018 Trending Laminate Flooring Looks
The days of smooth and shiny are gone. 2018 laminate flooring trends will focus on rustic, charactered looks reminiscent of current wood flooring trends.
Expect to see scrapes, knots, burns, unfinished looks and lots of color variance as we move towards a more comforting, homey style, veering away from sharp, modern elegance.
Unique, durable and green, with each plank telling a story, it’s no wonder reclaimed wood has taken off so quickly. And, it’s no wonder that laminate flooring manufacturers are trying to get a hand in the game.
Reclaimed wood simply means taking old building materials and re-using them. Essentially, recycling.
Often, reclaimed wood comes from decking, timbers, barns, etc. Although, now that it has become so popular, you will find reclaimed wood from unique sources like wine barrels and more.
Of course, laminate flooring cannot truly replicate the essence of reclaimed wood. They are not reclaiming laminate planks. They are simply manufacturing laminate planks to resemble reclaimed wood since it is so popular right now.
Reclaimed wood (usually) comes naturally distressed. Reclaimed wood-look laminate flooring mimics that with randomized scrapes, burns, knots, etc.
Will the reclaimed wood-look trend last in 2019 and beyond?
It’s doubtful. Unfortunately, the big push for reclaimed wood has a lot to do with it being environmentally responsible.
Laminate manufacturers will have longer life cycles with typical handscraped and distressed looks.
Weathered & Distressed Wood-Look Laminate
If there is one consistency in 2018 flooring trends, it is that character is in.
Weathered and distressed looks are quite similar to reclaimed wood looks. Weathered looks often feature a more subtle wirebrushed look, while distressed looks go all the way with the appearance of knots, burns, scrapes, the works.
You can now get the same weathered and distressed looks available in traditional solid hardwood in easy-to-maintain, affordable laminate.
The downside to distressed wood looks is the distressing is done by machines in a factory. The thing is – natural solid hardwood is often naturally distressed over the lifecycle of the wood, with each unique plank telling a story.
However, laminated wood flooring is a man-made material. And the knots, wire brushes, burns, etc. you see on distressed wood-look laminate flooring? Also man-made.
While these laminate floors do come out looking really nice, you can’t create the same unique character that nature and time provide.
Will the weathered & distressed wood-look laminate trend last in 2019 and beyond?
I believe there will always be a market for this type of flooring. It’s not something that every homeowner will love, but I predict it will stay relevant for the next 20 years.
Distinct. Original. Complex.
That is what people want in their flooring in 2018.
Hand scraping makes each plank appear to be handcrafted and one of a kind. In the past, laminate flooring has merely been embossed to look handscraped, but newer planks are given this realistic touch to be able to fully compete with solid hardwood in both looks and texture.
Long, ingrained scrapes show in the finish, leaving the floor looking finished, classic and rare. This is often very expensive in solid hardwood, but notably less costly in lookalike laminate.
Will the handscraped laminate trend last in 2019 and beyond?
This unique, individual, handcrafted look will absolutely stand the test of time. It looks expensive, and people love expensive.
*Note: Many floors will claim to be hand scraped when, in reality, they have been etched by a machine. Make sure you’re purchasing your flooring from a reputable manufacturer to ensure things are truly as they are labeled.
Remember when I told you laminate wasn’t just mimicking solid hardwood anymore? In order to compete with luxury vinyl and ceramic tile, laminate manufacturers are embracing the art of disguise and expanding their laminate flooring options to include stone and tile looks.
You see, for some time, laminate flooring had a monopoly on wood-look options. Tile and vinyl competed for stone lookalikes. But then vinyl and tile got all up in laminate’s territory and laminate has expanded to stay competitive.
Stone and tile laminate looks are newer and typically more reminiscent of old-school laminate – not incredibly expensive looking or realistic. Personally, I feel that vinyl and ceramic tiles mimic natural stone much more convincingly.
But…it’s new. It’s cool (ish?). And some people are into it.
Will the stone-look laminate trend last in 2019 and beyond?
Not really. I think we will still see new lines of stone-look laminate over the next few years, but, unless the laminate manufacturers do something to really distinguish themselves from other stone-look options and improve the looks/imagery, I believe this is a trend that will die off.
Plus, wood look is where it’s at these days anyway.
2018 Laminate Color Trends
The extreme lights and darks we saw in 2017 are still holding strong with beachy whitewashed looks and almost black espresso looks. But! You’ll see some warmer and more middle-of-the-road looks creeping in as well.
Of course, you’ll see the familiar gray laminated wood floors. Gray is in for the long haul and will continue to top the trends charts for the next decade or some.
But the best laminate flooring color for 2018? Well, you’ll have to wait and see.
But I’ll give you a hint – it’s a newer one!
And we’re back to extremes! The whitewashed look is more of a west coast / California trend that is starting to spread across the country. Well, some parts.
As that relaxed, California vibe is spreading, so are the floors that come with it. And white-washed laminate is at the top of the list.
In addition to the California, beachy look, whitewashed floors are also excellent for the now-trending farmhouse style homes, particularly kitchens.
Now, when I saw “whitewashed”, I don’t mean a smooth, finished white wood. Whitewashed laminate typically shows signs of wear with the darker colors peeking out from underneath. It fits right in with the 2018 aged and worn trends happening across all styles of flooring.
Whitewash will make your home look brighter, bigger and more relaxed. It can give that “beachy” feel or also an upscale contemporary feel, depending on the rest of your decor.
With wood floors, many homeowners opt to whitewash themselves as a DIY project. However, with laminate, we recommend buying pre-whitewashed floors. Manufacturers are selling lots of whitewashed laminate flooring options to meet the demands of this trend.
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Will the white-washed laminate trend last in 2019 and beyond?
Over on the east coast, homeowners are still turning their nose up at the whole west coast look and feel. If this trend lasts, it will be regional, at best. If you’re looking for a light wood, I suggest going for a more versatile blonde wood instead.
For years, lighter floors were viewed as outdated or inexpensive. That is no longer the case. Not by a long shot!
As more homeowners embrace the light, airy feel in their home, you will see a huge resurgence in light laminate wood floors. Blonde wood looks, in particular, can give you that light touch, with a timeless feel.
With blonde laminated wood, your decorating possibilities are endless. You can go for a chic, contemporary feel or a rustic, homey vibe all without changing your floors.
Also, blonde laminate makes any room feel larger and more open, especially if you use large planks (but we’ll get to that later on). Unlike white floors, it is less likely to appear dingy and dirty, so it basically gives 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.
Will the blonde laminate trend last in 2019 and beyond?
If you ask me, the blonde wood look will become a trend-turned-classic before you can even think about switching it up to something new. If you like them, go for it! They’ll be a hit for quite a while.
Just a step darker than trending blonde, warm, rich laminated wood will be taking 2018 by storm. Even just the sound of the word “honey” as it rolls off your tongue sounds wonderful and cozy, don’t you think?
Honey laminates floors are still light enough to give you many of the benefits of blonde looks, making your room look larger and more open. But, you also get that nice, rich warmth that comes from a slightly darker tone.
Will the honey laminate trend last in 2019 and beyond?
I think this warm, cozy tone is definitely going to be around for the long haul. In fact, while other trends may steal the spotlight from time to time, I believe that honey is going to remain classic and relevant for decades to come.
Five years ago, you could have called the gray trend new or up-and-coming. But now? Is it even a trend anymore?
Well, if by “trend” you mean popular and relevant, then heck, yes! But it is definitely not a fad.
Gray wood-look flooring has grown exponentially over the last decade. Manufacturers tiptoed onto the scene, producing a few gray looks here and there to see how homeowners would respond.
Well, they responded alright! Gray quickly became the most popular trend, not just for flooring, but for homes in general. When I remodeled my home, I went for a wood-look floor with a hint of gray and then bold gray doors and baseboards. Everyone comments on both the floor and the baseboards – gray is always a winner.
In addition to looking chic and trendy, gray laminate floors set the tone of a cool, contemporary home. They give you a neutral backdrop for decorating in virtually any color. Aquas, greens, bright bold colors or even black and white – they will all go with your sleek gray flooring.
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Will the gray laminate trend last in 2019 and beyond?
Yes! It’s practically a sure thing. In fact, gray will probably stay in style at least until it’s time for you to purchase new floors anyway.
Talk about making a statement! These dark stained wood floors are (often) contrasting bright whites, particularly with the huge white cabinet trend going on right now.
Chic, modern, sleek espresso laminate floors have always screamed elegance to me (although, elegance would probably politely speak in an inside voice, rather than scream). These rich, deep colors look as gorgeous in laminated wood flooring as solid hardwood.
While these dark floors are beautiful, they can tend to make your room look small and show dirt/dust more easily. While light colors brighten your room and immediately make your space look bigger, dark colors tend to do the opposite.
Additionally, dark floors are notorious for showing every scratch, speckle of dirt or imperfection. We’ve all seen those black cars after a windy day – Dust City.
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Will the dark laminate trend last in 2019 and beyond?
I don’t think so. Espresso wood looks have been trending for quite some time and I feel they’re likely near the end of its lifecycle.
I predict that in the next 5 years or so, espresso and other dark woods will be on their way out as blondes and whitewashes steal the scene.
High Variation Laminate
With soaring flooring technology, it is now easier than ever to make your floors look more natural, truer to their original state. In nature, no two pieces of wood look alike. Now, manufacturers are able to replicate this in their floors.
As homeowners embrace this trend head on, you will begin to see stores with entire sections dedicated to high variation wood-look colors.
Usually, these variations occur in the same color family. As you can see above, these colors/shades all look like they relate to each other. It’s not some awkward family photo with that person in there that looks like they don’t belong.
However, you will see some floors that incorporate bright colors in with their neutrals. It’s less common, but if done correctly, it can instantly elevate the look and feel of your home. Plus, it’s a great conversation starter!
Will the high variation laminate trend last in 2019 and beyond?
The challenge with something bold like high color variation is it’s a very specific aesthetic. Sure, they will probably be trendy for the next decade or so.
However, if you’re looking at resale value, be aware that not everyone will be too keen on this look.
2018 Laminate Flooring Layout & Pattern Trends
In 2018, patterns are still thriving!
Unfortunately, many people still imagine the dated 1970s parquet floors when they think patterns, but over the last decade, flooring patterns have shown tremendous growth in trendy, contemporary homes.
Get ready to see lots of design and patterns in 2018, along with
Herringbone Laminate Floors
**Note: The above photo is not laminate. It’s there as a reference to give you an idea of the herringbone look.
First, let me clear up a little misconception. Chevron and herringbone are very similar, but each has their own distinction.
Chevron floors require the wood planks to be angled and come together to a point, making them more expensive to manufacture and install. Herringbone achieves a similar look by connecting two planks at a 90-degree angle as seen below.
Herringbone is much more accessible than chevron, making it the more popular option. Longer herringbone patterns are going to be super hot over the next year, especially among young homeowners.
This may not be the trend to do your entire home in. However, long entryways, hallways and bathrooms can look absolutely stunning.
Will the herringbone laminate trend last in 2019 and beyond?
This trend isn’t likely to last forever, but it sure looks pretty while it’s here.
Diagonal Laminate Floors
**Note: The above photo is wood, not laminate. It’s there as a reference to give you an idea of the mixed width look.
My personal favorite. Laying your laminate wood flooring diagonally instantly modernizes your home, making it look chic and expensive.
The downside to doing diagonal laminate floors is they do cost a bit more in both materials and labor. However, I think, if you can afford it, it’s worth the splurge and you’ll end up happy you did it.
In fact, the above picture is from a friend’s house who installed these floors almost 5 years ago. He is still thrilled with his decision and gets compliments on it all the time.
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Will the diagonal laminate trend last in 2019 and beyond?
Yes, expect to see these angled laminate floors every once in awhile for decades to come. The rareness, in my opinion, means this trend won’t quickly grow old.
I anticipate a longer shelf life compared to more common trends.
This is one trend you can expect to see every year in every style for the foreseeable future. Longer, wider planks make your room look larger, more open and less busy.
Soon, short, thin planks will be seen as outdated. In fact, I would venture to guess that going with smaller planks could significantly reduce your home’s resale value. And also, they just won’t look as good.
Now, I do think we’ll get to a point where enough is enough already and we will stay at these new traditional sizes so don’t go buying one plank of wood for your entire hallway. That would look weird.
But, I definitely recommend getting on board with the large plank trend!
Will the wide plank laminate trend last in 2019 and beyond?
Manufacturers are only trending towards even wider and longer planks. This trend will soon become a classic staple and will likely last the test of time.
**Note: The above photo is tile, not laminate. It’s there as a reference to give you an idea of the mixed width look.
This is another favorite. I know, I know, I’m not supposed to play favorites, but the mixed-width flooring trend is just so cool! In my opinion. it’s one of the best laminate flooring trends.
Adding different widths to your floor makes your home look modern and unique. It adds that little extra something to your floor, making it pop.
As you may have guessed, mixed width laminated wood is where you lay laminate planks with varying widths. This gives the eye that extra detail, drawing attention when you find something unexpected. Basically, it’s really freaking cool.
Will the mixed width laminate trend last in 2019 and beyond?
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 laminate 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 a rustic looking laminate in large, wide planks.