By Megan Salzano
It would be an understatement to say the industry—and most of the world—is glad to see 2020 go. It was a year of upheaval, hardship and uncertainty. But from the challenges came innovations as well. Those innovations will be on display in the coming year, and some suppliers are ready to tease new looks and technologies for 2021.
Dealers across the country can expect the new year’s product introductions to run the gamut from innovative waterproof flooring to next steps in stain-resistant carpet to anti-microbial resilient planks and everything in between. These new flooring products are following style, technology and performance trends that are poised to dominate the coming year.
Across product categories, one thing is for sure: The pandemic will have a huge influence. “The pandemic is in the driver’s seat, so to speak, and has changed almost everything both in our personal lives and in business,” said David Sheehan, vice president, strategic development, Mannington Mills.
When it comes to style and design, suppliers agree color palettes and printed visuals will mean more than ever as consumers look to the home as a safe haven and even truer expression of self.
For Mohawk, this year will bring in a variety designs in the resilient category, from updated vintage looks to more realistic visuals that remind buyers of the outdoors, according to Randi Yemin, resilient designer.
Terry Marchetta, senior director, residential styling, Mannington Mills, said she sees hard surface flooring trends that are consistent with what’s popular in other home furnishings: light, bright and clean looks with a minimalist spin. “In resilient products, wood looks are refined with fewer knotholes and less dramatic graining; popular tile looks feature designs that mimic high-end materials. In hardwood, European white oak is the star of the show, with clean and uncluttered visuals that underscore the homeowner’s desire for a simpler palette on which to showcase their personal style.”
A potential shift to premium goods is likely to impact soft surfaces, which will affect its design evolution, according to Herb Upton, VP of residential product and channel, Shaw. “With carpet taking up less surface area in the home, consumers are more likely to upgrade their selections and experiment with things like color, texture or patterns,” he explained.
When it comes to soft surface, Brittany Stanley, senior design manager of soft surface at Mohawk, added, “You will also see a healthy mix of neutrals and accents in 2021. So, expect to see inky blues, serene greens and burnt orange.”
When it comes to performance/technology, one trend is already clear following the impact the pandemic has had: consumer interest in cleanability. A product’s ability to contribute to a healthy home will become a key feature in several introductions in 2021. “The pandemic has made cleanliness a topic that is at the forefront of every consumer’s mind,” Mannington’s Sheehan noted. As such, Mannington will offer Microban technology on a wide range of its Adura offerings in 2021.
Mohawk’s Stanley agreed that health will be at the forefront in 2021. “You will definitely see more innovation on healthier homes,” she said. “You will see more people using products that are inherently antimicrobial. I think as an industry you will see everyone start to expand their portfolios to meet the needs of a healthier home.”
Mohawk will be introducing its UltraWood in 2021, which features EasyClean technology, designed to resist stains and soil buildup for easy cleanability for a healthier home.
Shaw’s Upton echoed those sentiments and explained that, not just in hard surface but in all categories, consumers are looking for beautiful products that promote well-being and easy cleaning. “Ultimately, people are looking to their homes as a respite from the chaos of the outside world and are making improvements to their spaces instead of taking traditional vacations,” he said. “It’s an exciting time to be in the flooring industry.”
Among many introductions for Shaw and its brands, following the easy cleanability trend Anderson Tuftex will introduce Purrfect Harmony, a tip-sheared, loop design, Stainmaster PetProtect carpet in 12 colors.
Following is a preview of new introductions for the coming year from the industry’s top flooring suppliers.
AT’s Purrfect Harmony is a finely crafted, tip-sheared loop design. It is designed to recall the careful curvature and sculptural flourishes of hand-carved Rococo scrollwork, the epitome of custom style and finely crafted details. This Stainmaster PetProtect carpet is designed to be elegant from any angle and inviting in each of the 12 available colors.
Cali’s Legends is a high-performance, waterproof WPC. In just eight curated SKUs, Legends features everything from deep, rustic wood tones to light, clear naturals. At 60 x 9 x ½, boards are thicker than most average vinyl planks yet lightweight, making them especially sturdy, commercial-friendly and easy to install.
Advanced+ (7-inch or 9-inch)
COREtec has designed Advanced+ for end users to enjoy expanded design possibilities with fewer pattern repeats and a sophisticated color palette. Innovative engineering is said to combine with natural artistry to provide next-level protection against pets, kids, high heels and everyday life, while the mineral core technology is said to result in a 100% waterproof, kid-proof and pet-proof floor. No water, scratches or dents can upset the original, according to the company.
Next year, Engineered Floors will launch its Vanguard loose lay product boasting 10 different colors and 5mm-thick planks. The product is designed to transition seamlessly to 5mm carpet tiles, providing multiple unique installation options. The new Vanguard also features exceptional sound insulation, and the fiberglass core provides dimensional stability. Vanguard loose lay is waterproof, stain and scratch resistant, making it suitable for active households who are looking for a tough, low-maintenance LVT without giving up beautiful aesthetics.
FloorFolio’s Coastline is an avant-garde collection designed to combine the beauty of whitewashed wood and genuine aged stone. Each luxury vinyl plank is 7.25 x 48 with a smooth texture and blends high-definition patterns to create the wood and stone design. The multi-tone palette of visuals is designed to provide a balance of sophistication and contemporary style.
Karndean Designflooring will add to its dual format Van Gogh 20-mil selection by expanding the range’s rigid core options in spring 2021. With its textured emboss and incredible replication of natural woods, Van Gogh continues to be a ‘’go-to” range within the LVT sector. The expansion of Van Gogh rigid core gives homeowners the flexibility to find the color that suits their style in the format that suits their needs, and continues Karndean’s dominance as one of the best vinyl plank flooring brands on the market.
Mannington Mills will feature Microban technology on a majority of its Adura LVT products in 2021. Microban antimicrobial surface protection is said to help protect the surface of the floor 24/7 against the growth of bacteria and remains 99% cleaner than untreated surfaces. The technology is built right into the wear layer of the floor. Adura Flex products with Microban will be available in February, and Adura Max and Adura Rigid will be available in May. During the first quarter of 2021, the company said it will also offer Microban on select sheet vinyl products.
Fauna Luxury Vinyl Tile from the Everlife rigid core collection offers light-brown tones complemented by dark brown knots and graining for an authentic wood appearance. The XL Cyrus 9 x 60 wood-look LVP flooring is said to be 100% waterproof and protected with CrystaLux, a wear layer that guards against everyday scratches, spills, pet accidents, indentations and sun damage.
In 2021, Republic Floor will introduce its new cutting-edge patent of Triple Scratch Protection. The product is designed to be three-times stronger and more scratch resistant than previous iterations. It’s a development the company has been working on heavily for the past year. Republic said it tested many finishes and applied different technologies until it reached the outcome it was looking for. The Triple Scratch Protection will be applied to most of Republic Floor products as a standard in the coming year.
HDPC waterproof vinyl tile
Commercially rated HDPC waterproof vinyl tile features high-definition visuals, grout-look edges with embossed texture, which are said to rival the look of ceramic tile and natural stone. It is available in 12 x 24 tiles with attached IXPE pad for easy click installation. It is Green Guard Gold certified for indoor air quality.
Slated as the ultimate-performance hardwood, Mohawk’s new UltraWood features the company’s latest in technological innovations: Everlast, WetProtect and EasyClean. Everlast promises five-times greater scratch-protection, four-times stronger wear protection and two-times greater dent protection. WetProtect technology provides a lifetime surface and subfloor waterproof warranty, while EasyClean technology resists stains and soil buildup. Additionally, UltraWood is easy to install with Mohawk’s Uniclic glueless locking system. UltraWood features four styles with 20 decors of clean, elevated visuals.
Mirage’s TruBalance technology combines the best features—it’s ¾-inch-thick like the Classic; an increased stability over traditional engineered wood; and the floating installation capability of the locking system. It has a unique core technology: real wood lamella over a quarter sawn SPF finger core, locally sourced for a high stability and a responsible approach. This technology can be nailed, stapled, glued or floated over a wood or concrete subfloor. It can be used on, above and below grade, including over a radiant heat system.
Atmosphere Collection – Hickory and Hard Maple Hush
The Hush color from the Atmosphere Collection, originally offered on white oak, will be available on hickory and hard maple in the new year. On engineered and solid platforms and on widths ranging from 3 ¼ inch to 6 ½ inch for hickory and up to 8 1/8 inch for hard maple, this gives homeowners and designers an even wider variety of types of wood flooring from which to choose. Mercier’s Generations and Generations Intact 2500 finishes top off all floors from this collection.
Repel hardwood collection
Designed for the traditional hardwood consumer who needs extra household protection from topical moisture, Repel splash-proof technology repels water and can relieve consumer worries with a splash-proof warranty for extra peace of mind. A splash-proof sealant on the top and sides of each plank is said to repel moisture the instant it strikes the surface, shielding floors from damage. All Repel hardwood styles are also treated with ScufResist Platinum finish, which is said to offer up to six-times more scuff resistance than competitive products. Repel hardwood is a made-in-America product.
For much of 2021, Välinge Flooring will be focusing on its newly launched hardened wood floor with Woodura surface technology. The unique Woodura surface technology is said to make the floor three to five times harder than the original species.
A mix of three hardwood species—white European oak, ash and walnut—combined with the color palette offers 11 unique SKUs. The line is available in large formats up to 10 ¾ inches wide X 94 inches long. Välinge Flooring also added patented technologies developed by its sister company, Välinge Innovation, to the flooring, including the 5G Dry click system and the 5G Climb.
The new Egger Pro Flooring collection for 2021 offers three specialized product categories, designed to meet the requirements of any setting. Available in January to dealers and end consumers, the collection includes the highly durable Design Flooring GreenTec category for settings that demand impact, scratch and water resistance. The Comfort category offers a warm, soft feel ideal for living and relaxation areas.
In the first quarter of 2021 Inhaus will be launching the conclusion of its three-part laminate offering. It’s new collections, Inspirations and Landmark, will be its debut on a variety of new technical innovations. All of the company’s new offerings are focused on both new technology and new designs. Technical features, such as water resistance and anti-scratch, will be coupled with even further innovation for what aims to be a truly fresh approach on laminate and a value package.
Daltile’s new Perpetuo collection, set to launch in the spring, delivers the beauty of luxurious marble visuals in durable porcelain tile that is designed to stand up to everyday life. Perpetuo features elegant designs in five colors. Included in the collection are 8-inch hexagon decorative accents that are designed to impress with a stunning black and white duo.
Hues glazed ceramic tile can replicate many sophisticated shapes, textures and patterns, with inspiration taken from nature, architecture, materials and fashion. Available in a wide range of mud-essence colorways, the Hues collection is designed to be calming and inspiring. While straight edging gives the tile a contemporary feel, the organic surface texture offers a nod to more artisanal roots. Available colors include White, Linen, Kale, Ebony, Cement and Brick. All colors are available in a 3 x 10 size.
Leggett & Platt
Since the largest percentage of carpet tiles are hard-backed, Leggett & Platt is offering a solution for sound and comfort with Tred-Mor carpet tile cushion. Tred-Mor carpet tile cushion features a “passive vibration isolation” barrier with anti-microbial properties for use under all types of modular tile. Tred-Mor carpet tile cushion is also designed to provide support and comfort underfoot while extending the life of the carpet tile.
Perfect Vents is constantly trying to grow and innovate to better serve its customers. In 2021, it is continuing that initiative by offering a new assortment of sizes. From a brand new visual of its 2 x 10 vent to custom sizes up to 8-inches-wide and as long as a football field.