2018 has seen a continuation of the “natural” trend. Materials that replicate the look and feel of natural materials, like those patterned after wood and stone, are popular across many types of flooring. Wood alternatives, such as cork, bamboo, and vinyl planking continue to be popular for a number of reasons. Cork and bamboo are seen as more eco-friendly than hardwood by some homeowners. Vinyl planking looks like hardwood but is quieter, easier to fix, and comes in a variety of textures. Surprisingly, wood alternatives are often more affordable than real wood, making it a smart choice for both the environment and your wallet. A common concern with bamboo is that it’s weak, since it’s technically a grass and not a tree. But the truth is that bamboo can be either very soft or very hard, depending on how it’s processed. A newer form known as “strand-woven bamboo” is much harder than normal bamboo and is a great choice for flooring. In fact, it can be harder than some forms of hardwood. Still, it shouldn’t be used for bathrooms because of its low tolerance for moisture, but it’s a good choice for living rooms and other common areas. Floors are changing shape and color as well as texture. Lighter colors and greater contrast have been trending for a few years now, but they’re getting bigger every year. High variation wood flooring is popular, and this trend is expected to include wood alternatives, especially vinyl planking. The “modular” look is also returning, pointing to an overall trend towards alternating patterns. Carpet is seeing a resurgence in popularity, but it’s gotten a new look. Some carpet is now waterproof, solving one of the most frustrating and enduring problems for homeowners. Textures and patterns are getting wild, creative, and colorful. Geometric patterns and carpet tiles with alternating patterns are showing up in some homes. Unlike other types of flooring, carpet isn’t trying to imitate nature. Light colors, though, are trending in carpet just like they are in other types of flooring. If you want to keep up with this year’s flooring trends, you have a lot of options and you shouldn’t be afraid to get creative, particularly with carpet.