Q: What trends do you see in flooring?

A: As a kid in the 60’s and 70’s it was all about shag carpet and vinyl flooring. I don’t see those days coming back anytime soon. Now it’s about wood, laminates, tile and carpet.

About 8 years ago I noticed a major shift from ¾” sand/finish in place hardwoods to engineered hardwoods. I had wondered if the engineered woods would be a short term shift. I no longer think so. Many choices of hardwoods from hand-scraped hickory to the exotics are available. People love the choices. They also love the durability. A factory finish wears much better than sand/finish in place. It is also easy to install and repair.

Laminates are hardwood look a likes. Great in the durability department and budget. Digital technology can make these look like the real stuff. We tend to see these products used with young families and pet lovers. Vinyl products that are wood look a likes are making a play. They key benefit is their ability to deal with moisture.

Tile is prevalent in the wet areas (bathrooms and utility/mudrooms) of both new homes and established homes. The tile industry is doing a terrific job in the design department. Some even look like hardwood. You can’t beat its versatility and durability. Add heated flooring to the mix and you got a winner!

Carpet I believe is losing ground in the mid to upper level homes. All of our clients are trying to eliminate carpet as much as possible. The dust factor and trying to keep them clean are the key hurdles. Our clients tend to place carpet in the bedrooms and upstairs or downstairs living areas.

The flooring industry as a whole are on fire in developing new products. It is really hard to keep up. I would suggest you visit Cascade Flooring America (off hwy 99 in Vancouver). Great people and Great choices.

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Please submit questions to jon@quailhomes.com. Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800. Tune into Green Building with Jon Girod on 1550 a.m. on Saturdays at 9 am and 860 am Saturdays at 1 pm.