1. Bamboo Floors
Bamboo is a popular flooring choice for the eco-conscious crowd because it is considered a rapidly renewable resource. In other words, bamboo grows so quickly that when it is harvested for flooring, it can be replaced very quickly. Bamboo flooring also has several other benefits including its relatively easy upkeep, the strength of the wood and its overall adaptability making it suitable for a variety of applications in a variety of climates.
2. Cork Floors
Cork flooring is another eco-friendly flooring option to consider in 2011. Cork is harvested by stripping the bark from cork oak trees. The process doesn’t harm the tree and the bark regrows in just a few years. While it isn’t as rapidly renewing as bamboo, it is still a renewable resource. Cork is fire and mold resistant by nature and cork flooring is easy to clean, is very resilient, is noise reducing and it comes in many colors, shapes and patterns.
Photo: BigEd Stitites/Flickr
3. Reclaimed Hardwood
Although reclaimed hardwood isn’t exactly a renewable resource, it is still environmentally friendly. Wood is reclaimed from a variety of resources, from river bottoms to old wine barrels, and refinished into flooring. The results can be as varied as the sources but you’re sure to have a great flooring story to tell when you entertain guests.
4. Shag Carpet
Yes, shag is back. However, this isn’t the shag carpeting that you may remember from the 1970s. Today’s shag is chicer (more chic?). Modern shag carpeting features shorter pile heights, a variety of color choices, and modern carpet technologies that can eliminate wear patterns and improve performance and durability.
Photo: Jeff Sandquist/Flickr
5. Recycled Carpet
Carpet made from post-recycled consumer goods became increasingly popular in 2010 and this trend will continue for 2011. Carpet can be made from several different products including plastic bottles, recycled textiles and discarded carpeting. Even big name manufacturers are jumping on the go green bandwagon by offering recycled carpeting including Mohawk with its EverStrand line and Shaw Floor’s Anso nylon brand.
Photo: Luciano Ghersi/Flickr
Most of today’s houses have concrete installed under the tile or carpeting and believe it or not, this concrete can be transformed into a beautiful new floor. Concrete can be stained with acid, stamped, colored, patterned and more. With a talented concrete flooring expert, you will be able to create a custom one of a kind floor.
This is not the linoleum made popular in the 1980s, instead, Marmoleum is a much trendier product. Marmoleum is made from all natural ingredients, it is perfect for high traffic areas, it maintains a consistent temperature even during the cold winter months and as an added bonus, it is great for individuals with allergies. In fact, Marmoleum click was the first flooring product to receive asthma & allergy friendly certification from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
8. Anti-Bacterial Tile
Although there are some concerns about the proliferation of anti-bacterial products in the marketplace today, it didn’t stop tile manufacturers from developing anti-bacterial floor tiles. The tiles reduce indoor air pollutants and eliminate common strains of bacteria including e-coli and staph. While some tile products are made from start to finish with anti-bacterial properties in mind, there are also coatings that can be applied to existing tile floors that offer the same benefits.
9. Engineered Wood Flooring
Engineered wood has the luxurious look of solid hardwood without the price tag. Engineered wood is not only less expensive than its solid wood counterpart, it also has an eco-friendly side. The primary ingredient in many engineered wood floor products is wood pulp and chips. The pulp and chips can be reclaimed as a byproduct from other wood manufacturing processes and engineered into beautiful flooring for your home.
Photo: Mr. Thomas/Flickr
Flooring Trends: Decorating: Home & Garden Television
Shaggy, Shaggy Chic
National Floor Trends (general research)