It’s the stuff you walk on, that floor. Whether you keep a strict a “shoes-off” rule or allow them, there are a myriad of choices when it comes to what’s under your feet in your domicile, and 2019 brings an array of choices for your remodel or new construction plans.

TILE

Here in Florida, with its humidity and tropical temperatures, environmental factors play a big role in flooring choices. Many Florida homeowners favor tile, wood flooring or vinyl planking for easier maintenance and longer wear. Vacation rental owners typically prefer flooring options that are easy to clean, durable and fashion-forward. Bradenton-based West Coast Carpet & Tile recommends the cool, neutral colors reminiscent of ocean- and Gulf-front homes, and several varieties of flooring are out there in those color schemes.

Custom and handcrafted tile are by far the flooring of choice. Among the most popular types are ceramic and porcelain. Flooring blog site Flooringinc reports an emphasis on large wood-look planks, eye-catching patterns, shapes and designs, and lots of bright new looks for 2019’s tile offerings. From fun mosaic patterns like geometric and herringbone & chevron, and non-traditional-sized planks, tile is stepping up its game lately. Some of these shapes include ultra-thin, hexagon and super-wide. In bathrooms especially, patterned mosaics are finding their way back into style. “Many are opting for using the same white marble tile throughout the bathroom, but mixing up the shapes on the floors, walls and shower area, notes flooring expert Debbie Gartner. “This keeps the space light and bright while providing visual intrigue by mixing up the shapes and textures.”

Tiles are also getting larger and larger. Although the 12 x 24 tiles are still popular, tiles as large as 24 x 48 are finding their way into homes these days. Even tiles that look like other materials are in demand. The advent of Ink jet technology has made tiles that resemble wood, stone and concrete a viable option. They’ll look classier but maintain the durability and ease of cleaning offered by porcelain tile.

WOOD LOOKALIKES       

For a long time actually, tile has been mastering the art of disguise before it became the cool thing to do. It should be no surprise, then, that all of the current natural wood looks are just about the hottest thing on the flooring market these days. Technology has enabled manufacturers to expertly mimic wood flooring right down to textured looks and everything.

In 2019, the hottest texture trends in both solid hardwood and wood lookalikes include wirebrushed, handscraped and distressed. Although they are all similar and often confused with one another, FlooringInc insists that they’ll all look great and offer a nice option for those desiring a wood floor but concerned about it holding up in the Florida heat and humidity. Just think, though, the durability of porcelain that flawlessly resembles classic wood flooring! It’s here and is trending bigtime for 2019.  Again, bring on the ink jet technology to make porcelain look like marble, limestone or even concrete, among others. Porcelain tiles are as large as 5×10 feet and can vary in thickness from 1/8” to ¾”.  Beware, it’s going to be more of a challenge to install and there aren’t a whole lot of installers solidly familiar with it just yet.

Let’s look at the three biggest options when it comes to tile that looks like wood, from FlooringInc:

  • Wirebrushed wood-look tile shows the appearance of subtle, intentional wire scratches that leave the heart of the “wood” exposed to the surface. These imperfections are smoother and more consistent than handscraped or distressed wood looks.
  • Rustic, handscraped wood-look tile features the appearance of long, ingrained scrapes with high variation between planks, making each individual plank appear handcrafted, unique and rare.
  • Distressed wood-look tile is often mistaken for handscraped looks. Distressed looks, however, appear as though they’ve been through a lot of wear and tear. You can expect to see the appearance of scrapes, burns, knots, wormholes and more, giving it an aged, antique look.

You’ve got a lot of choices in flooring these days, but rest assured the experts at J. Sweet Construction can help you sort out the best choice for your budget and individual preference.