Today's consumers want products that they can feel good about - products that are both environmentally friendly and safe for their homes. The hottest floor trends reflect these consumer desires in a wide variety of ethical floor coverings which include recycled options.
Winner of the Consumers Digest's Best Buy award, Fiberfloor is becoming a popular new trend. Easy to change and install, it is flooring that renters can take it with them. It combines the benefits of vinyl, laminate flooring, and carpet. Fiberfloor is easy to clean, uses a glueless installation, can be made with low or no VOC inks, and is a high performance product.
Used by people for thousands of years, travertine tile is also becoming popular in modern homes. A form of limestone, travertine tile has a fibrous or concentric appearance. Usually white, tan, walnut, or cream in colour, this tile is often used in modern architecture. Highly reactive to acidic solutions such as orange juice and vinegar, it is not recommended for kitchen countertops.
Cork and bamboo continue to be popular flooring choices. Both types of flooring offer a variety of colours and styles, withstand heavy wear, and are made from fast growing crops. Cork is warm to touch, non absorbent, will not trap dirt and fungus, has a cushiony feel, is hypo allergenic, insect resistant, and easy to install. Bamboo on the other hand, is known for its beauty, hardness, and long life.
Carpet also continues to be popular. Retro colors like chocolate and kiwi are coming back in shag styles. As well, prints on low pile are popular. However, designers usually choose flat weaves and cable knits in pastel colours to give rooms a light, airy feel.
Rugs are becoming more popular because they are versatile and offer warmth and softness to hardwood floors and tiles. High end, expensive Persian rugs are sought after by collectors. Hand knotted, Persian carpets will last for many decades. Less expensive Oriental carpets are enjoyed for their rich, soft texture and colourful designs.
Popular natural fiber rugs include wool, sisal, and jute. Sisal is made from agave plant fibers. It is a hard wearing, tough fiber that can be dyed or blended with other materials such as wool or acrylic for softness. It has a smooth pile which makes it look more sophisticated than other natural floor coverings. Jute is the softest natural floor covering but is not as good for heavy wear. While jute rugs are a good choice for people with allergies, they are not suitable for areas with high moisture levels.
Other natural fiber rugs include sea grass, bamboo, and paper. Sea grass rugs have a grassy, hay-like scent that goes away with time. The smooth texture and sheen of sea grass makes them attractive. They are often sold in sage green to olive hues. Bamboo rugs, usually made in China, are vulnerable to scratching and acquire a pleasant sheen over time.
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