Floors are the foundation of your decorations. While carpeting remains the largest flooring segment, its use is actually declining over the years. Here in the Portland area, people are moving towards hard flooring surfaces with an increase in sustainable products.

Engineered Wood

Engineered Wood is becoming increasingly popular. It can use reclaimed wood or new wood That’s placed on top of this product. You can read more about that in our article on how engineered wood is great for the environment.

Portland is known for rain leading to a damp environment.  Putting thin layers of hardwood on composite in multiple directions increases its stability and durability. And engineered wood won’t expand and contract as much as plain wood.

There are many options available for colors and textures. New breakthroughs increasing water resistance allow you to put it in bathrooms.

Terracotta Tiles

Terracotta tiles aren’t just adobe-colored. In fact, they’ve become quite a thing and now are offered in many lovely glazes. You can still get unglazed terracotta to provide a European flair.

It’s pretty and can have many different designs, or be smooth. Many people use the designs with bright glazes on their backsplashes for a fun accent.

Tile floors are very easy to maintain and are waterproof. So you can use tile in your kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms.

Terracotta is strong and durable which is why it’s been used for so many centuries. They do need regular maintenance since they’re naturally porous, so be sure to regularly seal your floors.

Artistic Layouts

Want to make your hallway look like a picture frame? One big trend right now is creating pictures on the floor using wood or tile.

One major trend right now is going retro with black and white tiles to create a geometric pattern. You can also use different colors of laid-in tile for fun patterns on your floor.

Another trend is painting a picture with different types of wood using chevrons or herringbone patterns. It provides a sense of elegance. And you can find alternatives to hardwood to achieve the look of a parquet wood floor. This is also referred to as “floor framing.”

Finally, people are mixing ceramic tile with engineered wood or wood laminate flooring. It allows you to have tile around areas where there’s often water like a washer and dryer or a sink. And you can have wood flooring everywhere else. It adds a pop of color and some fun as well.

Concrete Flooring

It’s not just for garages. Concrete flooring is an alternative to traditional wood flooring. The current trend is distressed concrete. It goes through an artificial process to minimize the polished look producing a worn-out patina.

In your home, you will want a low-sheen to a matte finish. And you can add finishes with dyes and etching to produce a look that is unique.

There are a few downsides to concrete including how heavy it is and how hard of a material it is. Concrete can crack. And despite it being a biodegradable material, it requires a lot of energy to produce.

Mid-Tone Coloring

Neutrals in mid-tone colors are the current trends for flooring. It’s not too light and not too dark providing a comfortable atmosphere.

It can work with a large variety of housing styles. If you have farmhouse or country style, you may wish to look for bleached and blanched colors that have a white-washed look.

Industrial homes will still look better with black and white or distressed concrete.

For most homes, when you choose a natural color, it will be a trend that lasts for a long time. And you can accent it with another big trend – area and accent rugs.

You can change the whole feel of a room without changing up the flooring by updating your accent colors.

Going Green

People are looking for flooring that adheres to green standards like LEED. They’re concerned about reversing all the damage we’ve done to the environment. With the increase in demand, prices for green residential flooring has decreased over the years. This also means that there are more products available allowing you more flexibility and choice.

Look for flooring trends with increased recycled content, and raw materials obtained from sustainable and renewable sources. Some carpeting leaders are now creating carpeting featuring fibers made with corn sugar instead of nylon. Other carpeting is created with 100% post-consumer food and drink containers.

Which Should You Choose?

Whether you want to be on the cutting edge or not, you can implement some of these trends in your home.

Are you looking into remodeling one room or the whole house?

If it’s just a small area, you will want to ensure that it matches your desired flow for the whole house. You may want one room to be completely different. The key is knowing what your plan is.

And you will want to figure out what you want to be “neutral” and how you can add in accents to liven up the room.

Finally, you need to decide what materials you want to use. If you’re looking for more green options, there are many fun choices out there that can match your design plans. Also, if you’re interested in checking out the latest trends in tile, read: “Considerations for Choosing Tile for your Home.”