Office Flooring Trends

Workplaces are evolving in many ways, from technology and culture to how they look. As a flooring retailer, it’s essential to be up-to-date with current flooring trends.

Workplaces Are Constantly Evolving

As technology expands, we see how things are becoming smaller and thinner. Monitors are becoming slimmer; laptops are easily transportable, works stations are increasingly sharable.

In terms of flooring, many businesses are looking towards durability combined with aesthetics. For example, vinyl flooring or cement can look like wood flooring, but with benefits like being easier to clean and maintain and less costly to install.

Carpets combine intricate weaves to add an element of luxury. However, many office spaces may decide on throw rugs for color and texture.

While budgets need to be considered, it’s clear that beauty, symmetry, and easy maintenance are high on the priority list.

Durable and Attractive Flooring

Many office and workspaces are turning towards textured, patterned, and luxurious designs due to expanding upcoming products and brands.

Exposed concrete coupled with rugs is a significant trend to watch. Customers can choose from polished or stained for attractive and efficient flooring.

An attractive rug can really liven up an office

Typically, workplace installations include ceramic, vinyl, broadloom, carpet tiles, and stone to create the proper look. A significant consideration for your clients should consist of the installation process, maintenance, and projected lifetime. Identifying client needs and providing these pertinent pieces of information for them to consider makes their shopping experience easy and stress-free.

For example, suggesting stain-repellent carpets for high-traffic areas or lighter carpets can be a life-saver for customers who haven’t considered the impact of spilled coffee over time.

A Trend Towards Hominess

Flooring retailers may notice that clients might veer towards anti-carpet. Instead, they might decide on open office spaces, open ceilings, and many area rugs to mitigate acoustics and add texture and colors to create a homey atmosphere. An example might be painted concrete that utilizes color schemes to indicate special rooms or to increase productivity.

Don’t be surprised if you see a growing trend towards concrete for beautiful floors. Clients may choose the most economical option, like carpeting over existing concrete. However, it can be expensive to refinish existing concrete.

As collaborative culture grows, businesses might gear towards combining beauty with comfort. The current trend seems to be layering textures and area rugs coupled with warm and cozy designs. The role of flooring in these spaces appeals to clients and employees alike.

Shared workspaces or desk sharing allow employees to quickly connect or disconnect, carry their laptops or iPads, and communicate openly. Office spaces should reflect this open and clutter-free work zone. If people spend long hours at work, they should have a few comforts from home and an environment that allows them to feel comfortable.

6 Tips for Flooring Sales Teams

As a flooring retailer, you want to create a memorable experience for your customers. As the economy is reopening, it’s essential for flooring sales teams to provide excellent service without being pushy.

The main key for top salespeople is to love what they do. The best teams are willing to go above and beyond.

As a manager, there are a few characteristics that excellent flooring teams have that can seep into every step of the process.

The Benefits of Extroverts and Introverts

Most people are both extroverts and introverts. Few people are 100 percent one or the other. Studies suggest that ambiverts who fall in the middle of the spectrum make the best salespeople.

Extroverts love being sociable. They enjoy making small talk, meeting new people, and starting conversations easily. Introverts tend to develop deeper relationships by listening to their customers and being able to read them. They tend to ask the right questions and fully listen to provide sound advice.

Ambiverts strike a perfect balance of listening and talking. They utilize a good balance of flexibility, enthusiasm, and agreeability without being pushy or demanding.

A team made up of thoughtful, conscientious, charismatic, and open salespeople are more likely to enjoy high sales and return customers.

Establish Trust

Trust and rapport start as soon as you greet your customer and extends throughout the sale. Building a relationship with a new customer has less to do with what the salesperson wants and more to do with the customer.

Customers enjoy being able to gather unbiased information from a professional without feeling forced into a decision. They will also be more motivated to return and provide referrals.

Your Store Is More Than Your Products

No matter how niche your flooring products may be, they won’t be sufficient to differentiate you from competitors.

Without a team of passionate and experts, customers may walk in and right back out. The key is bringing your products to life and showcasing how they can benefit your customer.

The most unique thing about your store is your flooring sales team.

The internet allows customers to do extensive research before walking into your store. They can explore options, go over your products on your website, read customer reviews, and even have a list of questions. A superior service experience means anticipating these questions, providing in-depth explanations that aren’t available online, and suggesting better alternatives.

Most customers walking into your store have already selected the store for various reasons. Few walk in off the street without any idea or budget regarding their needs. The trick is asking the right questions right at the start.

Quality Service Requires Quality Training

Superb customer experience doesn’t happen by accident: it is created. The best teams have a standard of care that insists on quality, which is why they never expect their sales team to self-train.

Managers set the standard for consistency and high quality during ongoing education and training. Good performances should be rewarded and encouraged.

Excellent Customer Experience Doesn’t Stop at the Sales Floor

Everyone on your flooring team is expected to run through the sale without dropping the baton. From the salesperson to measurement and installation, all roles are equally important to avoid a breakdown in communication and experience.

After all, a smooth sale can be overshadowed by a bad experience during installation. No matter how good your sales team is, it’s vital that they have open and honest communication with all departments.

A sales person helps out a flooring customer

Understand What Makes You Unique

High standards cover your entire business and functions only when everyone understands what they do, their roles, and how to communicate.

Customers are used to being told how excellent a store is or how it will price-match a competitor. Instead, focus on what makes your experience unique to them.

Now more than ever, customers are looking for a human experience. They want to connect with people rather than avoiding them. After all, customers can easily order products online. Many people are interested in finding common ground, sharing stories, and feeling seen.

Customers are paying for their peace of mind. They want a quality product that will serve their needs, and they want an installation team they can trust in their house.

Managers can efficiently run a well-oiled machine by focusing on virtues that represent good qualities in many people. Sincere enthusiasm paired with compassionate professionalism keeps everyone happy, including your flooring sales team.

Back to the Office: What Flooring Retailers Should Focus On

COVID-19 has facilitated sudden and unparalleled changes to both consumers and retailers alike. There has been a global shift in everyone’s daily lives and happiness, starting with safety protocols like wearing masks, social distancing, and not leaving the house if feeling ill. 

As the world starts to reopen, flooring retailers can expect a reengagement with new and loyal customers. Although priorities may have shifted, old safety protocols like curbside service may never drop. Consumer spending habits may have changed, as well.

The Importance of an Attractive and Comfortable Home After COVID

It’s not outrageous to suggest that, for many, priorities have shifted. As we look around and reconnect with friends and family we haven’t seen in over a year, we start getting a sense of shifted priorities. Health, family, and home have skyrocketed to the top of the priority list.

For example, millions of Americans started working remotely in their own homes. Many now realize that much of their job can be done from home. According to a Pew Research Center survey, over half do not want to return to the office after the pandemic.

Before, people would be gone from their homes for eight to 10 hours per day: working and school. Throughout the pandemic, the need for a multipurpose home began to grown. As people shifted from going to bars after work, parties during the weekend, excellent meals at restaurants, and playing at the park, it became apparent that close contact with a few trusted people became more critical. For millions of Americans, a home started meaning much more.

For flooring retailers, this could indicate a sudden growth in interest in beautifying and designing homes.

People are looking to beautify their homes

Online E-Commerce and Curbside Pickup

Retailers may see an increase in contactless BOPIS (buy online, pick-up in-store). According to RetailTouchPoints, 90% of retailers already implement this option by 2021. At the height of COVID, BOPIS orders were over 500 percent, as stated by Kibo Commerce.

Flooring retailers may also expect to continue as much of this trend as possible, especially concerning e-commerce. A survey conducted by Bizrate Insights found that more than 50 percent of customers preferred BOPIS for its convenience and safety.

Flooring retailers may also find that as fulfillment centers and grocery stores rush to execute their customer’s orders, new flooring may be necessary to reduce wear and tear on the joints while reducing the risk of falls under any condition.

Flooring retailers can enhance their customer’s experience with different online options. Tools such as room simulators or visualizer tools, for example, allow consumers to upload a photo of their home and see how it looks with different flooring.

Enhance your customer service: offer online visualization tools

Flooring After the Pandemic

As the world heads into a new chapter, flooring retailers can fulfill a necessity for spaces that require improved ergonomics within brick and mortar to enhance home attractiveness.

Communication is of Utmost Importance in the Flooring Industry

Efficiency is the key in any business, but in the flooring world, we all know that communication can be improved. VendorPriceBook.com allows flooring retails and suppliers instantly connect through chat and enables a seamless way to update pricing and inventory as well as to LOOK these up, too.

2021 Summer Flooring Renovation Trends

In 2021, summer floor renovation trends focus on effortlessness. With home as the new hub for many this year, comfort is king. A wide variety of waterproof and low maintenance options are on the market for an easy home lifestyle including the following.

Beating out hardwood flooring, laminate, and carpet is Luxury Vinyl Plank. LVP is a popular trend for 2021 because it is waterproof, easy to maintain, and does not scratch. Appropriate for families with children and dogs, LVP is easy to clean and comes in a variety of colors. LVP flooring can be installed easily, appealing to the DIY demographic. With glue down or click in place methods of installation, a family could complete their own renovation without a professional installer.

Indoor outdoor carpeting has also won a spot in summer trends this year. Improved over the plastic feeling polypropylene of the past, indoor outdoor carpet now resembles wool. It is durable, resistant to chemicals, and repels stains. It is appropriate for families with children and pets and has become popular with high-end wool manufacturers.

Vinyl that looks like wood or tile is another hot commodity this year. It is waterproof, pet friendly, and soft underfoot making it a good option for home gyms and nurseries. The corked backing deadens sound keeping rooms quieter, and it is resistant to scratches. With no dirty grout lines to clean, this vinyl can fool people. It looks so real you may need to touch it to believe it is vinyl.

Another popular trend for 2021 is tile. With the appearance of natural wood and the durability and water resistance of cement, tile goes well in bathrooms. Lastly, format tiles offer a sense of spaciousness. They cover a lot of area making a room seem larger.

If you are selling flooring for summer home renovations, this year the most popular color trend is blonde. Whitewashed and weathered looks and the grey/beige combination of “greige” are fashionable light shades for this year’s summer floor trends.

What kind of flooring are you seeing that’s in high demand this season? Share with us in the comments!

Have you connected with other vendors and retailers in flooring space in VendorPriceBook.com? Try it out, it’s free! Connect with others in the industry and grow together!

4 Ways you Can Increase Productivity in Your Flooring Business (That you can implement today)

It’s no secret that running your own business is no easy task. Between attracting new clients, completing current jobs, managing employees, and the countless other items on your to-do list, each day can feel totally overwhelming.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to achieve your business goals with less work AND in less time? Believe it or not, this is a possibility: all you have to do is increase productivity. Here are a few tips to help you boost productivity in your flooring business — starting today!

Invest in Your Sales Team

Every flooring business needs an exceptional sales team if they’re going to succeed. Flooring is a product that most customers don’t know much about; the customers expect sales reps to be informative and helpful (while business owners expect them to be persuasive and land those clients).

If you want your flooring business to be more productive, you MUST invest in the men and women selling your services. Give them adequate training and support so they can answer all your customers’ questions. Incentivize them with fair commissions. The more support you give to your sales team, the harder they will work to get you new jobs.

Invest in your sales team

Optimize Your Inventory

In the flooring business, you earn money for every job you complete — and if you’re constantly delaying projects because of a miscommunication at the warehouse, you’re letting money slip through your fingers. The best way to complete jobs quickly and speed up productivity is to be prepared with organized and optimized inventory.

Make sure that you’re taking inventory of your flooring regularly, so you know exactly what you have available and what you need to order right away. You can even digitize your warehouse with a shared spreadsheet or inventory software, giving you a real-time look into the flooring you have ready for use.

Automate Your Marketing Efforts

As a flooring business owner, you probably know everything about your flooring options and the process of laying each one. But do you know what you might not know about? Effectively marketing your business to new clients.

Good marketing is a vital part of running a productive business — but that doesn’t mean you need to spend precious hours figuring out how to do it! Instead, hand off the work to an automated marketing program or platform. These tools can help you target customers and attract eyeballs, even while you’re busy doing other important work.

Streamline Project Management

Finally, the best way to improve productivity is to manage your projects more effectively! There are many project management programs you can use to keep track of timelines, take notes on client requests or project details, and even keep tabs on which clients have paid their bills!

When you use a project management program or app, you are making sure that every member of your team has the information they need to do their job well AND get it done quickly. The result: a more productive business and many more happy clients!

Luckily, with VendorPriceBook.com, all you need to do instantly connect with your flooring suppliers, look up pricing and even make an order all in one place. It’s free to try, so check it out today.

Customer Service: Back to Basics

With limited capacity laws implemented into stores, retailers have had to find different ways to retain people’s satisfaction and interest. Walking into a shopping center or retail department with complete comfortability has become difficult, and the convenience of shopping online contradicts the risk of physically buying products at the storefront. Flooring retailers have seen a huge shift for themselves since the beginning of 2020, as the pandemic hurdled product price increases, decreased revenue for supply and stifled buyer uncertainty within the industry as a whole. However by the end of 2020 home interior design started to become more profitable, and  CEO of Kenneth L. Mink & Song and manager of Macy’s Fine Rug Gallery, David Mink confirms that his rug business is seeing increase in profit, and says that “With more and more people working and spending time at home, the more they are spending on their home. This is a benefit to the rug business.” Since the end of last year, many changes have been made to store’s and online flooring retailers. 

Simple at Storefront

The most obvious trend for revitalizing customer service has put pressure on businesses to make their customer experience more streamline. Jim Mckay, vice president of sales for Great Floors, has limited the amount of manufacturers promoted in his store during lockdown, reevaluating the 40 hard-wood flooring planks displayed in his showroom by saying  “This is just ridiculous. We can’t even tell the difference between all these things. How’s a customer going to do that?” Macay says that “We have big stores, and it’s really easy for a customer to walk in that front door and be overwhelmed. So we’ve tried to simplify it,” aiming to limit manufacturer brands to create a streamlined store experience. Darren Braunstire, VP of Worldwide Wholesale Floor Coverings, explains how he separated wire brushed and smooth wood options into different sectors within the hardwood section, and how specifications are placed behind the tiles to keep from distracting the  main displays; Methodology like this amplifies customer experience through simplifying advertising tactics, while still keeping standard manufacturer promotion. 

Managing Online

In a 2020 analysis, more than 75% of consumers polled online services more engaging than storefront sales for their basic needs, like banking, food/restaurant shopping and video calls for emotional human support. This integration toward digital solutions has helped retailers promote products during social distancing. Director of U.S sales at Mercier’s, Wade Bondrowski, has expressed how social media presence has sustained communication and customer personalization, as data within these apps integrate products with customer interest. Keeping sales face to face, Adam Ward senior project manager at Mohawk, reveals that virtual conferencing has become a daily occurrence between staff members to ensure constant team collaboration, and Hallmark, a manufacturing company, reports that their increase in “real time responses,” online has kept connection between customers and specialty retailers. Omni-channel is a new culmination of all online promotion platforms into one source, which Dan Foskett, CEO at Flooring Superstore, has utilized to great extents. Foskett reports that his sales have grown 142% since 2020, with floor sample requests increasing by 172% and web sessions by 99%. 

COVID has shown the advantage of multi-channel digital sources ledwaying the path toward future customer experience, and the stresses within the flooring industry has produced creative solutions to a seemingly impossible situation. With coordination on both fronts, flooring retailers are reaching the highest global revenue levels since 2013, and have started out the first quarter of 2021 strong. 

It goes without saying that even with great customer service, you also need efficient processes in order to achieve that. With VendorPriceBook, communication between vendors and retailers is streamlined so that there are minimal delays. Quick service equals happier customers. From getting pricing for inventory, to making purchase orders—everything is done quickly on a cloud-based application that VendorPriceBook provides.

And it’s not all about communication—VendorPriceBook members can easily send announcements and promotions to retailers. It’s really a symbiotic tool that helps businesses on both sides make the most out of their relationship!

Learn more about VendorPriceBook today.

How to Offer a Virtual Flooring Consultation

Offering convenience and flexibility is one of the best ways to cater to your clientele, especially when it comes to complex home projects. By providing virtual consultations, customers can meet with you and your dedicated flooring team from the comfort of their own homes. You can help them realize their decor design and style while offering advice regarding which products look best in their homes.

From the first steps of choosing new flooring to having it installed, customers appreciate guidance throughout the process.

Replacing floors can be daunting and overwhelming, but you can keep the process from being stressful. You can help your clients research and settle on a plan so they can get the floor they want.

Encourage your customers to look at every available flooring. This is the time when they can let their imaginations run wild while also taking stock of what they want their budget and design to look like. Once they have a good idea of how they want their flooring to look, you can start helping them figure out how to achieve their dreams.

Your virtual flooring consultation gives your clients the space to figure out their price range that fits perfectly with their needs.

Help Your Customers Upgrade Their Home

Offering virtual flooring consultations keeps home improvements safe and convenient. They can easily choose from your extensive assortment of flooring choices, including tile, hardwood, carpet, and more. If they are considered with sanitary issues with flooring, don’t forget to mention any of your antimicrobial options.

Once they have decided on a floor style they would like to visualize, the next step is to take a picture of the room they would like to improve and simply show it to you over the web meeting. They can even bring you to their room during the video call! The consultant will be able to make some quick recommendations or use the photo and later assist with using a visualization software to help the customer see all the possibilities unfold before their very eyes with a realistic conception of how their new floor might appear.

Would You Prefer to Stay Home? You Can Still Shop for New Floors

Changes in the world have inspired us to rethink how we should approach how we stay connected with clients while showcasing our products. Virtual flooring consultation allows retailers to do a virtual consultation via zoom or phone at any time convenient to customers.

You want to demonstrate that you work hard to keep your customers and their families as safe as possible. We all face the same challenges, but we work every day to adapt and improve, so it’s important to provide this option to consumers.

Plus, it makes it easier for customers to simply book an online or phone appointment so you can offer insights for their projects and offer solutions.

If you want to go one step further in enhancing customer service, you have to think about getting them the most up-to-date pricing and availability for what they want. VendorPriceBook makes this easy by providing flooring suppliers and retailers a cloud-based application for instant communication. No more flipping through pages, searching through emails – VendorPriceBook is here to help stop the chaos and streamline communication.

Early American Flooring: From Dirt to Hardwood

Pioneering days in our country were hard. Everyone had a dirt floor. A house was considered solid if it had walls and a roof to keep the cold and wind out. These were the most important aspects of adequate housing in those early days. Floors were the last thing on the list for a good house. When the economy improved, however, this changed, and wood flooring came into fashion.

At first, Early American floors were made from rudimentary wood pieces which were naturally hard, large, and included sizeable knots and holes. As saws and tools evolved during the industrial revolution, the craft of creating hardwood floors taught a lot about wood grades and gave way to a developed understanding of lumber as a product.

As the industry developed, softwoods became categorized as stress-graded lumber used for load bearing positions such as for joists used in flooring. Hardwood, from slower growing trees, produced lumber with a more intricate design and higher density suited for flooring due to the aesthetics. Based on appearance and the amount of usable cuttings, hardwood Number 2A Common grade, abbreviated as No. 2AC, also known as the Economy Grade, is the grade often selected by the hardwood flooring industry today.

Up until the mid-20th century hardwood floors became a status symbol of laborious installation. Made from white oak, chestnut, maple, or black walnut, their demand increased exponentially along with the population of the country. After the Victorian Era, this boon eventually gave way to manufactured materials requiring less effort. With the look of real hardwood, engineered wood provided the same look and feel for a much cheaper price.

However, when it comes to manufactured products, all engineered hardwood planks are not created equal. When choosing engineered wood, it is important to examine the thickness or depth of the top layer. Some have thinner top layers which can only be sanded a limited number of times as opposed to a top layer with a thicker depth that can be sanded many times.

When considering real hardwood floors, the grading system is useful because it serves quality assurance needs. It is also complex and deserves a few moments of study. Here is the list with explanations for hardwood lumber grading categories. In addition, wood hardness can be determined through the Janka Hardness Test.

Although it is a lot of work to produce real wood flooring and the price is quite a bit higher than engineered wood, it is nice to have choices, and both are available today. From reclaimed lumber used to replicate early floors, to high end authentic hardwood, brands for each are widely available. If you are seeking high level quality, Bruce is one business that can be trusted. Having been in business for 100 years, they have proven themselves. Sourcing their wood from the Appalachian Mountains, this brand is at the top of the list for precision, real hardwood floor installation and customer service.

One point to be aware of is, after concerns of deforestation surfaced in the general public with the “Save the Trees” Movement, it is reassuring to know that contrary to popular belief we are not running out of hardwood trees. There is an abundance of forestland available to responsibly sustain our hardwood floors. You can feel good about choosing either manufactured wood or real wood for your floor project. Both are environmentally friendly and much more appealing than dirt.  

So now that you understand the history of flooring and what kind of quality there is out there, it’s time to see how you can efficiently service your clients. One of the best ways is to get what they need, quickly. The one problem with the flooring industry is there is usually a lag in communication when it comes to looking up pricing and inventory. Often, paper pricebooks are still in use—why not use modern technology? That’s what VendorPriceBook is all about. It’s a web-based application that allows vendors to communicate with retailers in the flooring industry in a snap. No more reaching into your book shelf or searching through PDF and excel files.

Try out VendorPriceBook today to see how it will streamline communication and help you service your clients better.

5 Simple Ways to Grow Your Flooring Business on Social Media

In the late ‘90s and early 2000s, social media was pure entertainment. It was a place for kids to connect with their peers, for fans of TV shows to speculate on future episodes together. These things still take place on social media sites today, but these platforms also have one other major purpose…

Today, social media is an opportunity to promote your business.

If you use social media properly, you can have countless people all over the world checking out your flooring business. But how do you do it? Here are a few easy tips to help you grow your business.

Choose Your Platforms Carefully

First things first: if you’re going to promote your flooring business on social media, you need to choose the right platform. There are a lot of social media sites out there, from Facebook and Twitter to Reddit and Quora. It might be tempting to take a “shotgun approach” and use every single platform to promote your company, but trust us — that’s not the way to go.

Instead, take a little time to review your customer demographics. How old is your average customer? Are they handy DIY-ers? Do they want a specific aesthetic from their home decor? The answers to these questions will help you determine which social media platforms are most likely to catch their eye. Find those platforms, and focus your energy on boosting your business there.

Choose the right social media platform

Turn Instagram into Your Portfolio

Flooring is a visual industry. Your customers work with you because they want beautiful flooring in their space, and they know you can deliver. But how do they know? It’s likely they saw samples of your work — and now, you can show off your projects whenever you want. 

Instagram is a great platform for a flooring business because it gives you the opportunity to present your work to all your followers in real-time. Your feed becomes an ever-updating portfolio, and potential customers can quickly and easily see just what you can do.

Use Stories to Show Off Your Personality

Sometimes, customers will work with a company simply because they like them (and they do good work). You and your team probably have a good time on the job site, so why not show off your professionalism and personality all while creating some online content?

Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok are all social media sites that allow users to create “stories,” or short videos for their followers. With these stories, you can introduce clients to your team, show off flooring jobs in progress, and generally charm viewers with your sparkling personality! This way, they’ll remember you when it’s time to do their flooring.

Keep Your Feed Current

We’ve all seen “dead” sites or profiles before. These are websites or social media pages that have gone dark, where no one has posted in months or even years. When this happens, users tend to think that something’s gone wrong for the person or the company behind the page. They may even imagine that you’ve gone out of business!

We understand that posting online isn’t second nature for everyone (especially not when you have a big flooring project underway). But keeping your social media feed up to date with regular content will help keep your company at the top of your client’s minds — and that’s good for your bottom line!

Engage with Your Followers

Finally, it’s highly important that you remember the reason social media was founded in the first place: to connect with people.

If someone comments on your Instagram post saying that your flooring looks great, comment back and thank them! If you write a Medium guest blog on types of flooring that are best for DIY projects, answer people’s questions in the comments. These small moments where you connect with a follower, reader, or viewer not only make you seem more personable (aka easy to work with should they need some flooring done), but they can also help you close a deal with a potential customer that’s on the fence.

With these tips, your social media profile can become more than just a way to entertain yourself in your down time. Instead, it can be an asset to your business!

Of course, the easiest way to streamline your flooring business so it’s poised for success, is through investing in technology that will create efficient communication between suppliers and retailers. VendorPriceBook.com aims to solve that bottleneck that retailers have when it comes to looking up pricing and inventory for their clients. VendorPriceBook takes the paper out of the conventional pricebooks, as well as unorganized computer files, so everything is seamlessly conducted online and pricing and inventory is available at your fingertips, instantly.

VendorPriceBook is the efficient way to communicate between vendors and retailers in the flooring industry

Antimicrobial and Antibacterial Flooring Trends

Gone are the days of the “five-second rule.” With a pandemic underway, consumers have become increasingly aware that floors have the potential to be the dirtiest surfaces in the home.

According to a 2020 survey from the American Institute of Architects, low maintenance and synthetic materials are on the rise. Americans have been especially impressed with antibacterial and antimicrobial floor trends and the way certain surfaces are easier to keep clean. As a basic rule of thumb, if a surface is harder to break down and decay over time, it will typically have a harder time creating a breeding ground for germs. Here are a few flooring trends, fueled by a desire for cleanliness, for each area of the home.

Common Areas

According to Forbes magazine, luxury vinyl tiling (LVT) is on the rise in the wake of Coronavirus. This type of floor can be made to look like wood, but is lower maintenance and has more antimicrobial properties. It is also a common trend for homeowners to replace their existing laminate flooring with LVT because laminate is more likely to break down and grow bacteria over time. Overall, LVT has been shown to have a longer lifespan.

Antimicrobial flooring is booming in the wake of safety concerns from the pandemic

The Kitchen

According to Better Homes and Gardens, linoleum is a trendy option for kitchen flooring right now that has both hypoallergenic and antimicrobial properties. They are also easy to clean, making them perfect for a family with toddlers dropping crumbs and cups of milk.

The Home Office

Home offices, which have been 68% more popular as a home feature in the past year according to the American Institute of Architects, are great opportunities for homeowners to try out some antimicrobial surfaces. One type of flooring popping up more frequently is cork, which has been studied as an antimicrobial surface. Plus, it’s soft underfoot, so it could even make a great spot for a standing desk–even for people suffering from joint issues.

The Bathroom

Ceramic tile is also surprisingly helpful in the fight against germs. It’s perfect for a bathroom because steam does not contribute to its breakdown over time. Cleaning solutions also do not harm ceramic, so it’s the perfect surface to be able to clean regularly.

Antimicrobial Additives

Even if a homeowner’s flooring preferences aren’t inherently antimicrobial, the antimicrobial coating/additive industry is booming right now. Companies are finding new ways to add these germ-fighting properties to just about anything: grout, fabrics, plastics, carpeting, and more. Microban is one leading additive; other manufacturers are finding ways to incorporate small amounts of copper (which has known microbial elements) into the make-up of tiles, grouts, and coatings. Copper is also a trend in sinks and other fixtures at the moment for the same reason.

Getting These Products in the Hands of Customers

Since the data shows that the demand for these products is skyrocketing, the best thing home improvement retailers and flooring vendors can do is make these products as widely available as possible. VendorPriceBook can help streamline communication between retailers and vendors, ultimately making it easier to reach the ultimate customer: the homeowner.

Even as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, a focus on a clean, germ-free home will be something that is here to stay. By offering a variety of these products and making the home renovation process more streamlined, vendors and retailers can help get germ-free surfaces into more homes than ever.