Jay Johnson - Our friends at the WFCA have provided us with this great forecast of floor coverings for curious homeowners and in-the-know designers. We encourage you to check out their consumer blog, Floor Talk!, for more great under-your-feet decorating suggestions and industry resources. Read their article below, but also check out our YouTube Design2Share video channel and our Floor Stories video, showing designer Irwin Weiner's new flooring selections for a recent home renovation.
Anaheim, CA - This year's ready-to-wear lines and home fashion are in step and taking inspiration from the same sources. Models on the runways swirl in metalics, geometrics, and dueling textures. Others donned minimalistic get-ups with color flowing out in gradients everywhere! According to trend scouts at the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), this year's Surfaces -- one of the home market's premier international trade shows -- will reveal that the fashions underfoot are showing many of the same characteristics.
Surfaces opened on January 20th, and the WFCA co-sponsored the show "New Product Preview and Trend Guide" to showcase some of the latest design statements for the home. Early signs show that the biggest floor covering trends include the following.
- bronze and metal tiles intermixed with porcelain, ceramic and stone
transparent glass tiles
lots of bold colors inspired by a tropical palette
To no one's surprise, products from and easy on Mother Nature are a huge focus for the industry again this year. There are surfaces for every room in eco-friendly designs available in subtle and bold style, depending on taste.
Hardwood is being shown in a wide variety of colors and textures. This year it is also presented in new formats, such as planks affixed with neoprene rubber cushion on the backside, allowing for a more comfortable, insulated, and quiet sounding wood floor.
In line with 2007, engineered planks that offer a soft and worn appearance are widely available in hand-scraped designs and alternating sizes.
One new eco-friendly presentation is thicker solid planks with enhanced wearability and longer life, as well as hardwood with edges and ends that are pillowed and enhanced with a bleed stain effect that gives an age-old look.
Some companies are debuting more distressed, fumed, hand-scraped, hand-sewn, wire worn, stained, lacquered and oiled wood varieties.
Almost every manufacturer stresses products that come from carefully managed forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and a commitment to replanting and replenishing harvested trees.
Natural materials are also a big focus in the tile category. Ceramic tiles designed to mimic real leather and suede in look and texture offer warmth and depth to any room.
Stone and ceramic tiles are also being cut and designed to resemble the character and texture of hand-scarped and exotic wood planks.
Ceramic and stone tiles are reappearing as customized mosaics of family portraits, famous paintings or ornate designs.
Some manufacturers are showcasing ceramic tiles in differing heights applied to bathroom walls and kitchen backsplashes for interesting dimension.
For the first time in the United States, black stainless steel tiles are glossing up surfaces in wet rooms -- and a popular look is the subway tile pattern.
Highly durable leather tiles are warming up the scene in new and recycled looks.
Intricately carved, deep-relief metal tiles and contemporary solid bronze and white bronze tiles are used to complement spaces and add new dimension.
Handmade glass tiles with glittering metal flakes incorporated within are showing up on bathroom surfaces, as are stacked pebble tiles reminiscent of a Zen retreat.
Environmentally-friendly carpets and rugs are donning the floors in every color shade, texture, and material imaginable, including bamboo and leather. Like the runways, the color palette ranges from vibrant glittery metallics to warm golds and rich reds. Textures are across the spectrum, from lush felted shags made from the softest materials on the planet to natural and eco-friendly jute fibers.
Geometrics are big this year, not just in carpet patterns but also in area rug shapes.
The World Floor Covering Association offers a website to learn more about these flooring categories. In addition, the site provides answers to the most common floor covering questions. You can also find detailed information and practical tips on every flooring category available, including carpet, hardwood, laminate, ceramic, porcelain, resilient, vinyl, cork, stone, and area rugs. An overview of each category provides the pros and cons, a product catalog, manufacturing details, varieties and styles available, things to consider before you buy, and how to prepare for installation.
In addition, for help navigating all of the new designs and styles on the market, WFCA's website offers questionnaires that help identify the home decor and looks that are most appealing to you. Once you have identified your tastes, you can use the site's Virtual Room Designer feature to view hundreds of different types of floors in rooms that resemble your own. When you find looks that you like, you can save them in your own personal portfolio that can be accessed from any location, including flooring retailers.
When it's time for you to buy floors, WFCA's site offers a searchable database of reputable WFCA retail members across the country. All you need to do is enter your zip code and you will receive a list of suppliers in your area.
"Consumers are looking for fashionable, high-quality products that suit their tastes and budgets. It's clear from the 2008 product lineup that the manufacturers are listening," said Chris David, Chief Executive Officer of the WFCA. "With all the new and existing products on the market, our goal is to facilitate the research and buying process for the consumer. The WFCA website provides all the information necessary to make informed purchasing decisions." The WFCA, official sponsor of Surfaces, is the floor covering industry's largest advocacy organization, representing floor covering retailers, contractors, and allied service providers throughout North America.