When designing or redesigning your space in 2014, don't let your floors play second fiddle. Experts share different flooring trends that bring style and function to any space.
Bamboo "Bamboo has been around for a long time, but what we are seeing lately is an explosion of colors and styles," says Dean Howell, president of Atlanta-based MODA Floors & Interiors. While technically a fast-growing grass, bamboo is as hard or harder than most hardwoods when dried. Newer products called strand-woven bamboo, a highly engineered product using the inner fibers, are twice as hard as traditional bamboo flooring. Dean says that in addition to the common thin-banded styles shoppers have become accustomed to, bamboo is offered in wide-plank styles that mimic the look of classic hardwoods. As with all wood flooring, it's best to keep bamboo out of moisture-prone rooms like kitchens and baths.

Reclaimed Wood "What I'm seeing more and more of in flooring is classic looks using new technology," says Gabriel Shaw, owner of That Finishing Touch Design in Thousand Oaks, Calif. A perfect example of that, he notes, is reclaimed hardwood. New factory-finished hardwood flooring offers all the charm of reclaimed timber — right down to that timeless hand-hewn look — but without the high costs associated with true salvaged lumber. "Factory-finished wood will stand up to moisture fluctuations better than any wood flooring that is finished onsite."
Large-Format Tile "In the world of tile we are seeing an explosion of sizes, shapes, materials and patterns," notes Dean. Particularly popular these days, he adds, are large-format tiles — tiles that come 12" x 24" and even 36" x 36" — as opposed to the tried-and-true 12" x 12" tiles. In addition to looking great, larger sizes mean more tile surface and less grout lines to clean. Dean cautions that large-format tiles are heavy, requiring a perfectly level substrate and a professional installer for the job to come out right.
Cork

"I recently installed a cork product at the KROQ radio station in Los Angeles," notes Gabriel. Selected primarily for its amazing acoustic-insulating qualities, cork flooring also is much more comfortable to walk on than traditional hardwood and most certainly tile. Long gone are the days when cork was available in any color so long as it was blonde — today's options span the color palette. Thanks to new factory finishes, cork is far more durable than it was just a few decades prior. But it is susceptible to moisture damage and will fade when exposed to sunlight.

Be sure to check out part 2 of

2014 Flooring Trends!