Home Renovation Industry Experts See Surge in Popularity for Natural Looking Materials


naturalAccording to industry experts, many homeowners are now replacing carpet and vinyl with wood and laminate floors. Wood and laminate floors have seen a rise in popularity as home remodeling projects thanks to the value they add to homes, their durability, and their low-key maintenance.

Richard Adams Jr., who co-owns the Greene County business Adams Roofing, says that many people are turning to wood and laminate because of the ease of cleanup, even after a messy spill. “You can just grab your swiffer and wipe it up,” Adams explains, noting that the material is unlikely to stain later, like a carpet might.

Hardwood floors are also popular because they have a reputation as being a more “luxurious” and beautiful floor. Perhaps not surprisingly, hardwood is often a top-selling point for homes or rental apartments. Hardwood’s biggest downside is, perhaps, its cost — it’s more expensive to install, which can make it a difficult choice for those on a fixed budget.

That’s where laminate comes in. Laminate can often provide a realistic-looking alternative without truly being wood. In an interesting twist,many consumers use a mix of the two, choosing laminate for higher-traffic areas. “About 65% of the homes we put flooring in have wood and laminate,” says Adams. According to Fabulous Floors Magazine, laminate “combines the warmth and beauty of hardwood with the durability of resilient flooring.” Laminate is also easier to install, since it only requires being snapped together, rather than being nailed like wood.

“The big thing that’s happening in flooring is the movement toward hard surfaces, whether it’s wood, ceramic tile or laminate,” explains Santiago Montero, the editor-in-chief of Floor Covering Weekly, an industry information resource.

The current trend toward harder, more natural looking surfaces also ties in with the upswing in granite installations. The Herald Standard points out that “Builders and remodelers also find a wide variety of faux marble, granite and stone looks, which reflect a home decorating trend towards designs resembling natural materials.” Similarly to wood and laminate, granite and other stones are highly durable in contrast to other countertop materials.

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