2017 Flooring Trends Guide

2017 Flooring Trends


This article covers the Top 15 Flooring trends and is meant to help you make more thoughtful flooring choices for your home – both to be on trend and practical.  Both durability and styles are important as well as ease of maintenance.


Like fashion, home decor trends change as new styles and technologies become available.  Thankfully, flooring doesn’t change as quickly; it’s more like an evolution.


Trends in Flooring for 2017If you’re ready to update your decor, most designers recommend that you start with the floor and build your way up.  The floor is the foundation and it sets the style and tone for the home (or room) for years to come.


It’s important to note there is an overarching trends towards hard surfaces over carpet, both because they are easier to clean and maintain, and because they are longer lasting.  This trend has accelerated as the cost for hard surfaces has declined (while carpet prices have increased) and by heightened sensitivity to allergies, asthma and higher priority on indoor air quality.


This article explores the broader flooring trends in the market place covering all flooring surfaces (e.g. hardwood, tile, laminate, vinyl, cork and carpeting).  If you are looking for more specifics, check out these in depth guides (they include color, finish and style trends):


2018 Hardwood Flooring Trends

Hardwood flooring trends 2018

2017 Carpet, runner and Area Rug Trends

2017 carpet runner and area rug trends



This 2017 Flooring Trend guide is organized into 3 sections:


 1.  Flooring Type Trends (Trends across the different surfaces)

 2.  Flooring Styles and Statement Trends

 3.  Flooring Color Trends


This article may contain affiliate links.  You can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.


Flooring Type Trends

1. Hardwood (and everything that looks like hardwood)

2017 Flooring trends - dark hardwood floorsYes, hardwood flooring is the preferred flooring choice by far. It’s beautiful, authentic and timeless.  It’s a natural product, and it will never go out of fashion.  Hardwood gives your home a warm and comforting look.  It’s easy to maintain, and of course it improves your home’s value.


In fact, hardwood is so preferred, that virtually all other flooring surfaces are now mimicking the look of hardwood including porcelain tile planks, luxury vinyl (read about COREtec Plus here) and laminate.


2017 Flooring trends - hardwood and everything that looks like woodOne of the great things about hardwood flooring is that you can easily change the color over time (by sanding and refinishing).  So, as color preferences change and you want to make a shift, you can.  (You can’t do that with any other flooring surface).  Solid hardwood flooring is meant to last a lifetime and longer.  (Yes, we’ve refinished many floors from the 1700 and 1800s.  Hardwood simultaneously gives you beauty and flexibility.


Hardwood floors are a neutral base and allow you flexibility in paint color, furniture and decor pieces/accessories (e.g. pillows, window treatments).  Often, walls and accessories are redone more often than floors.


2.  Engineered Vinyl Plank

2017 Flooring trends - engineered luxury vinyl planksI know…you’re probably thinking, what?  What is that?


The Engineered Luxury Vinyl plank segment is the fastest growing area.  US Floors created this new segment with their break-through product called COREtec Plus.  It’s an amazing product as it really looks like hardwood (unlike laminates that look and feel fake) and it’s waterproof!  Yes, waterproof.



So, COREtec Plus is a great option for when you want the look of hardwood but need something waterproof.  It’s perfect for kitchens, bathrooms and basements which are more prone to moisture.  And, COREtec is a less expensive option than hardwood and is especially practical if you have a concrete sub-floor (e.g. homes built on slabs, basements on slabs or condos/co-ops on top of concrete slabs.  You can read my full review and in depth article on Coretec Plus here.


2017 flooring trends - Engineered vinyl plank - Coretec Plus Waterproof flooring - Luxury vinyl plank reviewsCOREtec Plus has a wide range of colors – they have light (Rocky Mountain Oak, dark (see Deep Smoked Oak), reds (see Gold Coast Acacia), as well as some grays/white washes (see Ivory Coast Oak, Boardwalk Oak, Blackstone Oak, Alabaster Oak, Hudson Valley Georgetown Oak).  The 7″ line has more white wash/grays.


You can order samples of this innovative product on Amazon.


US Floors COREtec Plus 5 Deep Smoked Oak (Sample) Vinyl Flooring

3.  Porcelain Planks that look like hardwood

2017 flooring trends - tile that looks like hardwoodWhen it comes to tile, the most popular and stylish type are porcelain planks that look like hardwood.  These are chic and growing rapidly.  The most popular colors are darks, grays and white washes.


Many customers are choosing wood looking planks for kitchens, entryways, powder rooms and other areas that may get wet. 


In the cooler areas of the country, where most homes have plywood, most home owners prefer solid hardwood for the majority of areas and then will add either matching porcelain planks for the areas that may get wet, or a contrasting color (e.g. dark hardwood and gray tile planks).  In warmer climates where many homes are built on slabs, many owners choose to have porcelain planks on the whole first floor.  


Check out my article on Porcelain planks vs solid hardwood – pros and cons.


Color consultation for Westchester County


4.  Concrete and industrial look

Concrete and industrial look - 2017 trendsThis trend seems to be driven by some of the new and trendier restaurants, and over the last several years, we’ve been seeing it more and more often in residential homes, especially kitchens.  Colors tend to be neutral and muted for a sleek, subtle and sophisticated look.  But, think through the comfort factor for your home as these are hard and often cold on your feet.


5.  Cork

Cork flooring - trends in flooring 2017On the flip side to concrete, you have cork flooring which is on the rise.  Cork lovers embrace the softness on their feet as well as the acoustic and insulating properties.  Cork varieties have blossomed so there is wide range of colors and styles available.


Cork is also environmentally friendly.  You can learn more about how cork flooring is made in this article.


If you’re interested in buying some cork flooring online, check out US Floors Natural Cork line.


6.  Carpet is only growing in runners, area rugs and carpet tile

2017 Carpet area rug and runner trendsThe majority of customers are moving away from carpet and towards hardwood (or hard surface in the common areas (e.g. living room, dining room, family room, kitchen.  For the bedrooms, customers are split – some prefer soft carpet; others prefer hardwood.  The 3 areas where carpet is growing are:  1) carpet runners for the steps (for safety and style), 2) area rugs (especially as hardwood continues to grow) and 3) carpet tiles (as they are practical for cleaning/hide dirt and easy to replace).


You can read more about these growing carpet segments in these articles:



Flooring Styles and Statements

7. Wider plank and large format tile

wide plank hardwood floors - trends in floors for 2017Wider wood planks and larger format tiles make your space look larger.  In addition, there are fewer grout lines, so that’s easier clean up.  Please note that for larger tile formats (especially 16″ x 16″ or wider), it’s imperative that your floors are flat and level (otherwise the tiles won’t line up right and they are likely to crack), so please bear in mind that you may incur additional costs for prepping your floor.


8. Etched and wire brushed

We have been seeing more and more woods and tiles with an etched and wire brushed look.  These woods (or porcelains) emphasize the graining of the wood and give it more texture and color contrast.  This trend is just starting over the last year couple of years.  It started in some of the engineered hardwoods and then branched into porcelains, and now we are even getting requests for refinishing existing hardwood floors on-site.  Very few contractors know how to do this or have the right tools.

9. Farmhouse

farmhouse look for 2017 trends in floorsYes, the Farmhouse look and shabby chic has been on the rise.  Authenticity has been a growing trend over the last 20+ years, and that includes our homes.  Many are embracing old world charm.  This means wider planks, more natural and muted finishes, distressed and handscraped looks as well as woods that celebrate the knots and the natural character of woods.  Over the last 2-3 years, we’ve been seeing these distressed and aged looks in porcelain tile as well as laminates and luxury vinyl.


10. American grown, American made

American grown and made in America - 2017 flooring trendsAs more and more foreign made products have been disappointing in quality (and some may even impact our health (remember the 60 Minutes episode the lawsuit again Lumber Liquidators and formaldehyde in their products?), more homeowners are going for safer, healthier and more durable options that are grown and made in the US.  Native hardwood includes oak, maple, hickory.


Ever since that 60 Minutes episode aired in March 2013, I’ve gotten tons of questions about where the products are grown and where they are manufactured.  Before 2013, it was rare that anyone asked me or anyone cared.  Now, people feel more comfortable with American grown and American made products.


Flooring Color Trends

11. Grays

gray hardwood floors - 2017 Flooring trendsFor a long time, gray has been the most stylish color. It started with painting, then quickly moved to tile, followed by carpet and then to hardwood 3 or 4 years ago.  Gray continues to grow, and more and more people have been trying to refinish their existing hardwood floors to make them gray (this is a more challenging than other colors – you can read more here:  Refinishing hardwood floors gray.


Now that gray hardwood has become more popular, it’s boosted the popularity of gray tile even further, especially among porcelain planks that look like hardwood.  And, gray has been rapidly growing in the wood-look-alike segments such as luxury vinyl and laminate.  It’s actually easier to get a more pure gray look in the synthetic materials vs. wood as they can start with a white substrate (vs. a natural product with yellow or pink undertones). Gray has also been rapidly growing in kitchen cabinetry and of course in area rugs.


I predict that gray is here to stay.  I would contrast that prediction with white wash (more on that below) which I believe is more of a quick fad.  Gray goes really well with dark hardwood floors (dark is currently the most popular color – more about that below) and goes well with white baseboards.  Gray is neutral and it also hides dirt more (as it’s often gray colored).  Dark floors are still more popular than gray, but gray will continue to grow.  Grays are versatile and while many will not choose gray for the hardwood floors, they will continue to incorporate gray into their decor (such as walls, window treatments and pillows) and other flooring elements such as tile, carpet and area rugs.


12. Darks

dark hardwood floors - trends for 2017Dark hardwood flooring is the most popular color segment, and it continues to grow.  In fact, many are now going darker and darker.  To meet this need, Duraseal recently introduced a new color to their line up called True Black


True black is darker than ebony and it’s rather opaque, so it hides most of the graining.  Another option to get your floors darker is to do a water pop (which opens up the grains) so the wood absorbs more of the stain for a darker and more uniform look.  I hope to write more about that soon.


If you’re looking to buy the True Black stain, you can purchase it online at Amazon by following above link or clicking on the picture of the can.  It’s not available in most stores yet.


Dark hardwood floors are more challenging to maintain, and many people ask about this.  Here are 3 articles that should come in handy.



13. Whites

white washes - new trend for 2017White washes and white have been growing, too.  For Tile, whites and lights have always been popular, especially for kitchens.  Now, believe it or not, white wash has been making a comeback in hardwood flooring.


Light is nice for kitchens and it certainly makes your space light and airy, as well as larger.  But white washes on wood are more challenging to get (and more expensive) and they tend to show dirt more.   White for hardwood is rather niche, and gray is the new white.  It’s a bit more stylish and certainly more practical for maintenance.  I expect this trend to be short-lived and for gray to win out.

14. Blondes

2017 trend in floors - blonde flooringLight hardwood floors are the 2nd most popular segment for hardwood floors.  Now, with the growing demand for water borne polyurethane (especially Bona Traffic HD), people are able to go a bit lighter and more natural looking floors.  This high grade polyurethane dries faster, smells less, has lower VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) and importantly is lighter and less yellow.  Yellows/golds are a bit dated and with an oil based poly, the floors amberize over time.


You can read more about the polyurethanes I recommend here:  What are the best brands of polyurethane?  Which do I recommend?


15. Cooler tones

2017 Flooring TrendsCooler toned floors are more in style vs warmer tones.  When it comes to hardwood floors, that means darks, grays, natural (with water borne poly) and avoidance of reds, golds and reddish/goldish undertones.  These colors tend to be more neutral and they complement more paint colors and other accents.


In carpets, this is translated to grays and even taupes.  Beiges are becoming less popular, and people are preferring “griege” which is a mixture of beige and gray.  Even colors such as blues and greens will have more gray undertones and are more muted in their appearance.  (Note: the neutrals are always more popular and versatile vs color colors.


For tile, this is translating to dark porcelain planks, grays, concrete looks, whites and a move away from bieges and warm yellow undertones.

Color consultation for Westchester County 

2017 Flooring Trends Summary

Trends for 2017 FloorsSo those are the top trends when it comes to flooring.  Hardwood, and now hardwood substitutes are the most popular.  I continue to be pleasantly surprised with the growth of COREtec Plus over the last few years.  It’s a great alternative for hardwood for places where hardwood is not an option, and it’s a phenomenal invention that solves a lot of issues.  Cooler tones are strongly preferred over warmer tones, regardless of whether you are talking about dark, mid or light.


Related Flooring Articles:


Complementary products that will prolong the life of your hardwood floors


For more info, check out my Ebook – Discover the 6 Secrets to Refinishing Hardwood floors.

6 Secrets of Refinishing hardwood floors ebook

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2017 Flooring Trends Guide