… followed closely by the use of environmentally friendly products
VINYL IN VOGUE
By Shelbie Goulding
Spring is a time of rebirth and rejuvenation. For homeowners, that can take many shapes, from minor acts of spring cleaning to major room renovations. Spring is also when many houses are spruced up before being placed on the market, providing yet another reason home makeovers are top of mind this time of year.
Whatever the occasion might be, when new flooring is part of those remodeling plans, local experts – Matt Wien, director of sales at Marshall Carpet One & Rug Gallery in Mayfield Heights; Pat Antonelli, owner of Bella Stone in South Euclid; and Taylor Lavigna, interior designer at Calvetta Brothers Floor Show, which has locations in Bedford Heights, Northfield Center, Mentor and Westlake – say two clear trends have emerged: the use of vinyl and going green.
“The two most popular types of flooring we’re seeing is the luxury vinyl flooring, which is the most popular in the industry right now, and also hardwood or hard surfaces with area surface rugs,” Wien says.
Luxury vinyl flooring is popular in part because it mimics real materials, such as wood, tile or stone, but it’s also in demand due to its design.
“It’s waterproof, scratch-resistant and easy to install,” Wien says. “It looks beautiful.”
More people are starting to use vinyl throughout the house because of its durability and hard surface, Wien says. However, carpet – especially eco-friendly carpet – remains popular for bedrooms and some living spaces. Though going green has been popular for years, only recently have customers become more aware of chemicals manufactured into carpets, which has prompted a shift toward using more environmentally safe materials.
“We are the first flooring store to partner with Earth Weave in Cleveland,” he says. “The carpet is the most environmentally friendly carpet and safest for homes. It has the least amount of chemicals and is more natural.”
Antonelli agrees that keeping the at-home environment safe means a lot to customers. He says the majority of Bella Stone’s brands – including its luxury vinyl flooring – are GREENGUARD certified, a data-based third-party certification that aims to give assurances that products designed for indoor spaces meet strict chemical emissions limits, according to its website.
As for that luxury vinyl flooring, Antonelli says his store sells more of it than anything else right now.
“My suppliers just came in and took out a lot of ceramics and brought in so much new vinyl,” he says, noting that because of vinyl’s enhanced design, traditional tile and hardwoods aren’t selling as well.
Antonelli says vinyl is versatile enough to function in a variety of rooms, adding another reason it’s a popular choice for residential use is because it snaps together, making the installation process easier and cheaper than installing tile. Also, it’s durable – a quality homeowners look for in order to save money on possible repairs and for easy clean-up.
“If you drop stuff on porcelain or tile, it could chip, but this stuff is chip- and stain-resistant,” he says.
Calvetta Brothers Floor Show’s Lavigna also sees the market for vinyl flooring booming. Specifically, many homeowners are putting wood-like vinyl in nearly every room of the house: the foyer, family room, kitchen, dining room, mudroom, bathrooms and laundry room. The only room where carpet seems to be safe is the bedroom.
“The main trend here is using one product throughout your entire home,” she says. “Less floor is the better. You really don’t want to have four or five different floors that make up your home, ideally.”
Lavigna notes that well-known brands are aware of customers’ desire to go green in their flooring choices but thinks the trend may be waning.
“A lot of companies, such as Shaw and Mohawk, are very aware of that and know that it’s important to people,” she says. “So, there are things that are LEED certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and going toward the green nature of things, but I don’t think it’s as popular as it once was. It is very popular in carpet.”
Mohawk has a line called SmartStrand, which is corn-based, environmentally friendly and recyclable. Shaw has recycled materials and reused items in its carpet. Wool is also a popular carpeting choice – and always has been.
“You see a lot of people use wool for area rugs and even bedroom carpets,” Lavigna says. “They’re really beautiful and obviously ‘green’ due to the nature they are made of.”
Another trend Lavigna has seen is that light-colored floors are in and grays are out.
“Gray was super popular in the past 10 years. We’re starting to see that dissipate, and we’re really leaning toward taupe and beiges now,” she says. “Taupe is like the biggest color and most popular. Everything is starting to warm up a bit. The trends are forecasting to go more toward taupe.” JS