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Top 2021 flooring trends

If you want to give your clients a fresh, trendy, and modern flooring solution, you need to make sure you are on top of what’s popular in interior design. Achieve the perfect contemporary look with these top 2021 flooring trends.   

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 Boscawen
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The 2021 color palette

When it comes to colors, designers and homeowners are opting for the lighter end of the spectrum across all flooring types, with an emphasis on neutral, flexible grays, beiges, whites and blondes, whether in wood grain patterns or multifaceted stone textures. The main attraction to this palette is that it opens up the space, adding a brighter and more expansive feel. It is also incredibly versatile, and can easily be worked into any decor scheme. In addition to this overall trend, there are some popular color preferences that are specific to each of the flooring types, which we will look at in more detail below. 

2021 Flooring trends

Trending looks and styles

Regardless of whether people choose laminate, tile, or vinyl, they tend to ask for one of five dominant looks: stone, marble, wood, concrete, and various decorative designs. Always looking for ways to create visual expansion, designers go beyond the light color palette and focus on innovative flooring sizes, shapes and patterns. When buying wooden flooring, people often opt for the wide-plank variety, while choosing larger format dimensions for tiles. Both of these choices help make a room look bigger. Chevron and herringbone layouts also create that sense of expansion, while bringing a dynamic feel, which energizes a room and can also work as an accent to guide the eye to a room’s chosen focal points.

Materials

In general, hard, durable surfaces are very much in vogue, with engineered hardwood being a particular favorite and laminate, tile and vinyl being almost as popular. Aside from their physical qualities, these flooring materials are in demand because they are available in an astonishing array of colors, patterns, and finishes. Manufacturing technology has advanced to such an extent that imitation wood, stone and concrete looks on these materials are more convincing than ever. This factor has certainly contributed to their rising demand.

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Engineered and solid hardwood

Although homeowners adore hardwood floors, they are turning away from natural hardwood because it can be more costly. Engineered hardwood is an excellent alternative as it brings that natural hardwood appearance in a product that is much more durable, hardy, and easier to care for. Here are four of the biggest trends emerging for this beautiful, high-quality flooring type:

  • Weathering and texturing: Homeowners and designers do not want perfection when it comes to wooden flooring; they want variety, character and texture. This preference has led to a rise in popularity of hand-scraped, wire-brushed and distressed engineered hardwood. These techniques bring out the grain pattern of each board, and create textured, undulating surfaces for a more natural look and feel.
  • Wide planks: The taste for wider planks has been on the rise for some time. As opposed to regular wooden flooring boards, which are about two to four inches in width, wide planks measure anywhere between five and twelve inches. As mentioned above, these boards make a space feel larger and more expansive. They also create a more rustic atmosphere.
  • Dark hardwoods: Although the 2021 color trend is towards the lighter end of the palette, there are some exceptions when it comes to people who choose engineered hardwood. Many homeowners who opt for wooden flooring want the warm and cozy feel that comes with dark wood. However, smart designers make good use of contrast in rooms with dark wood flooring, choosing lighter colors for walls, ceilings and other features. The eye is naturally drawn to the lighter parts of the room, turning attention away from the dark floor which serves to accent the brighter elements.
  • High variation designs: Hardwoods such as Brazilian walnut are much admired for their multi-hued patterns. The eclectic mix of light and dark in the same floor layout creates a more natural impression, is quite an attention grabber, and will ensure that your floor looks unlike any other. Vary the width of the boards adds to this effect. 
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 Oak Natural
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Tiles

Realistic looks are the trend for 2021 – as much for hardwood as for ceramic and porcelain tiles. Homeowners love having the practical benefits of tiles – durability, easy cleaning, relative budget-friendliness, and variety – together with the world of patterns, colors and finishes that can be achieved with this material. Wood-look and stone-look tiles have increased in popularity over the past few years and remain extremely popular. Tile designers have done an excellent job of achieving authentic wire-brushed, hand-scraped and distressed appearances with their wood-look tiles. One rising trend this year is the concrete-look tiles. People love the industrial, modern look that these tiles create. 

Tile buyers are also looking well beyond the traditional square or rectangular tile shapes and seeking out an impressive variety of shapes, including hexagonal, diamond, fan, round, diamond, arabesque, linear and triangle.

Carpet tiles

Carpets remain popular in 2021, although they are used much more selectively than in the past, being used in certain rooms such as living areas and some bedrooms. Carpet tiles, in particular, are making a comeback, remaining the most popular choice for basements and making an appearance in other parts of the home too. Cutting and resizing carpet tiles is a great way to create rugs and runners, while the varied shapes and designs available allow a great deal of creative freedom for making unique floor layouts.

 Salerno Porcelain Tile - Urban Concrete in Dust
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Room-specific trends

While the material trends described above are applicable to all kinds of spaces within your residential or commercial property, there are several developing trends that are specific to particular rooms in the house, such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Kitchens

The trends in kitchen design this year lean towards the classic rather than the contemporary or modern. The primary practical consideration is water resistance. Luckily, this property can be found in a broad range of tiles with numerous colors and finishes. The most popular materials include engineered hardwood, bamboo, large-format tile and several varieties of vinyl. Grays and beiges dominate the color choices, as do the prevailing hand-scraped, distressed, and wire-brushed wood looks – both in engineered hardwood and imitation wood effects in tile and vinyl. 

While many decorators want a stone-look floor in their kitchens, they are not necessarily opting for genuine stone tiles but rather for stone-look ceramic or porcelain, such as our Salerno Coastal Travertine collection. Wide-plank white laminate and gray hand-scraped finishes are the two most popular options for wooden kitchen flooring.

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Bathrooms

The most striking thing about bathroom trends this year is the sheer diversity on display. Kitchen trends are relatively uniform by comparison. Authentic wood isn’t ideal for bathrooms, but people still want the wood-like appearance, so wood-look tiles are on trend. Instead of opting for monochrome tiles, decorators favor stenciled and mosaic designs, as well as a variety of geometric shapes instead of straightforward square tiles in linear arrangements. The popular wood look can be approximated with laminate flooring, which offers many different shades and patterns while ensuring a waterproof floor. Vinyl is still popular for bathrooms, offering high water-resistance and the incredible range of colors and designs we mentioned above.  
Founded in 1999, BuildDirect is North America’s leading marketplace for flooring materials. We connect homeowners and home improvement professionals with international sellers, creating a simple and reliable shopping experience and access to one of the world’s broadest ranges of flooring materials. Through our platform, you can find the flooring you love at prices that suit your budget. We offer a wide selection of top-quality flooring products across categories in solid hardwood, laminate, engineered, bamboo, vinyl, and tile products. Whichever one of the 2021 flooring trends you prefer, you will find the materials you need for your home improvement projects at BuildDirect.

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