Top 10 luxury vinyl trends 2016

by Tania Wannenburg

We’ve identified the top 10 luxury vinyl trends for 2016. Some exciting new trends make their appearance.

Once again, 2016 sees luxury vinyl tiles and planks being a prominent flooring trend, especially as the advancements in technology as well as its sustainability features continue to excel at an overwhelming rate. Every year there is an astonishing amount of new colours and shades that enter the market, not to mention a range of new textures, high definition and 3D effects.

This year there are some exciting new trends to take note of, some of which have evolved since the variations we saw in 2015, and some very unique, must-see products that are both refreshing and surprising!

1. Extreme Vintage still in the spotlight while Retro Chic gains momentum
Vintage looks are still an ongoing trend and a firm favourite among interior designers and decorators, however, there is a shift in 2016 which will see the introduction of more Retro Chic styles that revive themes from the 60s. Colourful retro-pop interiors are taking on a fresh new look, casting aside the traditionally flashy hues in favour of warmer, more elegant tones. In 2015, the more customary silvery hues were making way for copper shades of rose-tinted golds. More daring than their silvery hues, coppery hues create interiors that are cosier. 2016 is therefore the year of the metallics with the spotlight being on copper!

Falling within this category is an emerging trend to create patterns and textures on the floor. Printing on vinyl patterns enables edgier designs including printed “Spanish” style patterns on vinyl in traditional tones to bright reds, blues and turquoise. There is a revival in 70s style parquet flooring but in smaller strips and not limited to rectangular either – hexagon, triangle and square pieces create interesting patterns.

2. Fluidity is key
Fluidity is still a key design inspiration, with more random and non-specific designs than ever before. This also means that designs are not repeated and non-geometrical. As a result, after an installation, the flooring will appear more natural and non-interrupted. Combined with larger planks and tiles, which are mixed and matched, this trend is easy to achieve with vinyl tile flooring products.

3. White on white . . . a firm favourite – but don’t forget the grey
According to Sherwin-Williams, one of the largest producers of paints and coatings in the United States, the colour of the year is white. Technically called Alabastar, it is a hue symbolic of new beginnings. Alabastar is also the third white to be chosen as a colour of the year. This would illustrate why neutral on neutral colours are also a trend in 2016, and you are likely to see several designs where both the floor and the wall will be the same neutral colour. Another colour palate to take note of is the ever popular grey. Even though grey was very prominent in 2015, anything with a hint of grey is still an ongoing trend this year, along with all the oak colours. Experimenting with bold and different colours is also a growing trend that is gaining momentum in the industry.

4. Concrete with a touch of colour
The latest trends have seen concrete gradually gaining a foothold in warmer settings. Today, the tides of trend have turned once again, gravitating towards brighter, more daring combinations, most notably involving terracotta. Terracotta gives the concrete a warm flavour while also giving it an updated, more contemporary spin.

5. Flaunting raw, natural looks
Concrete and stone are being given an extreme makeover and adopting more natural textures, even appearing side-by-side in the same flooring installation. Concrete is taking on a more matte-like appearance with a textured, worn look. Think rough, unstructured lines with a new range of hues that move away from the traditional palette of greys. Natural stone is treading the same path, inspired by the very essence of nature; combined with earth, almost coal-like, incrusted with tiny shells or fossils. Stone is making a big comeback and is becoming the source of new inspiration for interiors.

6. The classical look of marble remains in demand
More refined and less crude than stone, marble has always enjoyed enormous success in the interior design industry. Marble is set to make a big comeback over the course of the next few seasons. The time has also come to experiment with more colourful shades of marble, expressed through rich and vivacious LVT designs.

7. Wood-looks are here to stay
Wood-look LVTs are adopting darker hues, donning more traditional, elegant shades. Interiors are gravitating towards a 100% natural look, free of varnish and all frills: wood infused rooms with a hint of luxury, set against aluminium and chrome. It should be noted here that South Africa follows the European design styles i.e. lighter colours, whereas the American market favours darker wood.

8. It’s all about mixing and matching
This trend focuses on combining different motifs, formats and colours. It’s all about playing around with your décor and letting your imagination run wild, using your floor as the blank canvas. Colour as part of LVT design is also a new trend, e.g. mixing and matching an oak and black coloured LVT plank.

9. Textiles & Textures
A number of companies are creating LVTs with a woven structure that looks and feels like a natural weave sisal. If natural isn’t your client’s, there is always the option of finding vinyl weaves in bright colours, stripes, zig zags and metallic palettes. The visual aesthetics of woven vinyl is simply stunning, and combined with the variety of texture, it creates a unique look, clearly demonstrating why this has become such a popular trend.

10. Oversized Planks and Tiles
The recent DOMOTEX Hannover in Germany showcased exactly what is being achieved in terms of oversized tiles, and we can tell you that the sizes are almost unbelievable. This trend is growing at a rapid rate. Just like wide planks, they make your space appear bigger, give you less grout lines and provide a beautiful, clean, modern look.

Lastly, in terms of technical trends, the need for improved dimensional stability and resistance to temperature fluctuations has seen rigid-back LVT’s that provide a more stable, solid base gain popularity.

Leather Look
This is a rather daring trend in the industry at the moment. Leather-look vinyl is just beginning to make its way into the market and it is quickly gaining steam as the flooring choice for man caves, game rooms etc. We expect to see an increasing number of leather-look accents in 2016.

Acknowledgement to the following for the information contained in this article: Belgotex Floors; FloorworX, Van Dyck; luxury vinyl Trends 2015 (Gerflor); Domotex Hannover 2016; www.huffingtonpost.com; http://flooringinc.com; www.apartmenttherapy.com

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