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The Most Popular Flooring in New Homes From 50 Years Ago to Today

Flooring trends have certainly changed over the last 50 years.

The most popular flooring in new homes today is very different than what was popular in your grandparents’ generation.

Flooring has come a long way in the 50 years since The Carpet Shoppe first opened its doors. In 1970, your choice of flooring for your home (or even your office, church, school or any other application) would be one of about 3 options. For the soft or warm side of your project, you could choose a broadloom or roll style of carpet. There were 3 fiber options to choose from: wool, nylon or polypropylene. Nylon was the most commonly used. For the hard flooring, you had ceramic or stone tile and either a resilient tile or sheet product with a relatively small color pallet.

Now, jump into your time machine and shoot ahead 50 years to 2020 with flooring trends that would make your grandparents’ head spin.

Blog:  Flooring Trends


Hard-Surface Flooring Options

Hard surface flooring options are taking the front and center stage with products ranging from 1/8 inch thick to1/4 inch that can be installed by either gluing it down, floating or loose laying installation. These installation methods allow these products to be installed over a range of subfloor conditions.


Glue-down application is the method that would be the most old-school version that would be more recognized 50 years ago. This method requires a smooth and flat sub-floor to adhere to the vinyl flooring.

Floating installation is a method that has been around a while, first starting with the laminate type flooring. This installation is more forgiving on the condition of your sub-floor because normally a secondary pad or an attached pad is used that helps cover some of the imperfection of the sub-floor or it also allows you to go over some existing flooring.

The newest installation method for vinyl flooring is loose-lay, also know as gravity-held installation. This method opens up all kinds of possibilities for the end-user because the flooring is not a permanent set installation. The biggest advantage of this product is that it can be installed in areas with high moisture levels. Some of these loose laid methods do require some assistance of adhesive in certain applications keeping the product from moving or shifting.

Blog:  Flooring Trends Floor Tile


Carpet Tiles

Carpet has come a long way in 50 years from broadloom in the ’70s to carpet tiles now.

Carpet tiles have been around for 20-30 years but in the beginning, it was limited due to the cost of the products. Manufacturers have been able to produce it faster and cheaper, bringing the cost down and making it more desirable for the end-user.

There is a lot of advantage to using carpet tiles due to the durability and wear because carpet tiles can be applied to a stronger backing system than standard broadloom carpet. Backing on carpet tiles can be packaged flat and not rolled, which allows the manufacturer to make the backing much thicker and stronger. This increases the performance over the standard roll style carpet. The individual tiles can also be pulled up and replaced much easier than making a patch repair on a broadloom carpet.

End-user and maintenance personnel like this because damaged or stained tiles can be replaced in a matter of minutes by about anyone without paying a service call from a flooring installer. Carpet tiles also allow designers to add colors and patterns without the addition of a lot of additional work or seaming.

Blog:  Flooring Trends Porcelain Tile


Ceramic and Porcelain Tile

Ceramic and porcelain tile has seen its changes over the years as well. The old standard square tile has become something of the past. 8×8 and 12×12 tiles have been replaced with 12×24, 18×18 and 24×24 with even larger sizes being developed. One of the hottest trends is the introduction of hardwood looking ceramic tile. This introduction allows the look of ceramic tile without the concerns of scratching and moisture-related issues.

Along with the larger profile tiles and wood looking ceramic tiles specialized thin sets, grout and leveling systems have made the quality of installation much more superior than what your grandparent’s generation had to offer.


With the everyday changes and developments of longer-lasting products, our prediction is that carpet will continue to decrease, being replaced by more hard surface type products with more DIY types of installation.

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