Next-Gen Innovations in Laminate Flooring

By David Moore

The way people feel about their living spaces has changed over the past two years. As a result, there has been a surge in demand by consumers to change their homes from a utility area, used without any thought of design and flow, into a sanctuary that is rooted in wellness and mindfulness.

Flooring is a strong contributor to the overall design and function of a space, with the colour setting the tone for a room and the mood of those who enter. With so many flooring options in the market, laminated wood not only offers beautiful, on-trend colour options perfect for any style of design, but it also provides the toughness needed to keep floors looking the same as the day they were installed.

With a shift toward a more spa-like, minimalistic aesthetic that is fresh and calming, consumers are leaning into traditional-looking floors with more natural colour schemes. Calmer, lighter-toned flooring acts as a clean slate, allowing homeowners to add as much or as little personality to their spaces as they please. A perfect example of this is Scandinavian designed homes, which use light flooring and walls as a base for other design elements. The use of neutral coloured flooring and walls also creates an airy feeling. Flooring tends to be light with blond or bleach shades, or warm oak. Combined with light coloured, natural and soft furnishings, these colourations help bring nature inside, giving the space a mood-boosting quality.

Keeping with this trend, laminated wood products are leaning toward more natural, softer and lighter looks, such as walnut, birch and oak. Bringing the patterns and tones of the natural environment inside creates a sense of flow. The colours and textures in these natural species are soothing and familiar, adding the emotional relief and sensory comfort consumers are craving after two years of uncertainty brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In particular, blonder coloured laminate floors with realistic knots and graining patterns are increasingly popular, as they pull in warm tones that provide a sense of nostalgia. Older wood and laminate flooring trends tended to lean toward orange undertones. Blonder coloured laminate products are a perfect choice for those wanting to blend the old and new in their homes, serving as a reminder of where they have been and where they will go.

Combining the look and feel of real wood with the toughness needed for busy families and high-traffic areas has never been more important. Today’s laminated wood products offer beautiful hardwood visuals without having to compromise on performance. They’re scratch-resistant, scuff-resistant and fade-resistant, providing the long-lasting performance that consumers demand. Some manufacturers offer the latest in water-proof technology, with floors featuring water-tight joints that prevent water from leaking through gaps to damage the subfloor, and a waterproof finish that traps moisture on the surface.

Laminated wood is always developing to keep up with consumers’ expectations. Not only durable and built to withstand real life, these products can achieve hardwood elegance in any room of the home that will extend into the next generation of style.

David Moore is senior product director of wood and laminate at Mohawk Industries. Located in Calhoun, Ga., Mohawk is a leading global flooring manufacturer that creates products to enhance residential and commercial spaces around the world. David has worked in product development and management positions in the flooring industry for more than 15 years.

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