Latest Products and Interior Design Trends

March 07, 2019

Posted by D. A. Burns

Latest Products and Interior Design Trends

“Surfaces” is the largest annual event in the carpet, tile and stone industry, showing everything new that could cover any “surface” in your home or office. Designers discuss upcoming trends, manufacturers show their latest stone, tile, carpet, rug, wood and vinyl products, and innovations in methods of installing and caring for these products are presented. 

As an industry leader, D. A. Burns always wants to be aware of the latest “surface” trends and get straight talk, direct from the manufacturers, of their new products … so we went to listen and learn.

Interesting New Stuff

Wood looks

Even though the trendiest designers say wood-look planks are out of style, tiles made of ceramic and porcelain made to look like wood were everywhere in the trade show area. Even vinyl planks are being made with “weathered” looks, in both traditional wood colors, and for the rebellious – red, white and light blue.

Augmented Reality

Retailers of flooring, tile and countertops were shown software that will allow a customer to take a picture of their room and then easily replace the floorcovering in the photo with a new style of carpet, wood or other hard surface. Changing the look of a bath or kitchen can be done fairly easily as well. One display featured a 3-D headset that allowed you to walk through your new kitchen or bath design.

Shiny carpet

One of our goals at this event was to be consumer advocates; letting manufacturers know about the problems inherent in rugs made with Viscose/Rayon fiber (water staining and texture change). We were pleasantly surprised to find that rug makers are aware of the issue, and most are actively moving to other fibers with a similar shiny, silk look. Stanton showed stylish carpet using both shiny polyester and very durable nylon fibers. Both can reflect light just as well as rayon and are much more user friendly.


The un-carpet

Mohawk has a new fuzzy product they call Air.o and have dubbed it a Unified Soft Floorcovering. Still carpet, but carpet made with an attached synthetic cushion that doesn’t have to be stretched in by a professional carpet installer. Installation is done using double-sided tape instead of traditional power stretching. Since both carpet pile and cushioned backing are the same fiber, and no adhesives are used, it’s 100% recyclable. Air.o is very new, so we’ll have to see how well it holds up to use.            

The un-tile

“Un-tile” is still tile, but a tough, porcelain tile with a layer of cork on the back. It is intended to be installed without any adhesive to make installation faster and interim changes easier. It can even be used without grouting the seams. DryTile has been used in auto showrooms and other commercial areas, so un-tile would likely hold up to residential use just fine.


Flexible stone

Thinly sliced stone that can be bent around curves has been around for a few years, and now the folks at Richter are pushing farther into “thin”. They showed a normally opaque stone sliced thin enough, that when bonded with glass, could make a backdrop that light will show through. Another extremely thin stone has been bonded to fabric and has been used to bind books. (Photo on right - Flexible Slate)

From the Designers

Trends on the way “in”

  • Color:  Navy Blue
  • Cabinets:  Painted, in any color except white
  • Patterned:  Carpet
  • Accent Walls:  Wallpapered
  • Wood floors:  Lighter Tones
  • Countertops:  Quartz

If you never gave up on your leather furniture, you'll be happy to know its back in. 

Trends on the way “out”

  • Color:  Cool gray (warm gray is still OK)
  • Finishes:  Oil rubbed bronze and brushed nickel fixtures
  • Wood look tile (The volume of this product displayed in the exhibit area says it isn’t over yet.)
  • High gloss granite countertops
  • Shiplap
  • Dark hardwood floors
  • Shiny accessories

Once everyone agrees on a look, it’s “out”?


One design group’s display took odds with the predicted trends by showing different color and texture palettes that they feel should appeal to different types of people. They’ve nicknamed these types:

Travelers: Adventurous and might not go along with trends. Their design choices are often eclectic, mixing traditional with modern and antiques.

Bio-techs: Like minimalist design and light colors. Scandinavian and mid-century modern.

Peacemakers: Like to stick with accepted colors and finishes. Rarely re-design their spaces once they’re comfortable.

Radicals: Like to take chances with décor and are quick to change when a new trend appeals to them.                                             

The target market for the red-orange wood-look vinyl plank flooring?



Designers love shelfies. There was a lot of chatter about this subject and comparing of Instagram posts.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Arrange things on a set of shelves (No shiny objects, unless you’re a “radical”.)
  2. Take a picture of said shelves
  3. Post on Instagram or Pinterest
  4. Label photo with something like: “The look is primitive and balanced with links to our ancestral past.
  5. Enjoy the acclaim!

Tile that makes you go Hmmm

Most people think of glazed tile being made out of clay, coated with a color, and then heated in a kiln to bake both clay and glaze into a hard ceramic generally known as glazed tile. Well, there are also “glazed” tiles that are made with a plastic coating in place of the ceramic. The plastic coating can be damaged by cleaning products and abrasion, so the areas where these are used should be chosen with that in mind.

Black granite

The darkest granite available is actually dark gray, so a lot of the products sold as black granite are actually something else. Absolute black granite is dyed, and that dye can fade or be removed with routine care. Returning it to black requires re-dying the stone. There are other types of stone that will show as black, with basalt and slate being commonly used. Both can be a little more sensitive to scratches and etching, so make sure to ask your stone retailer if they will be right for your use.

Low-sheen granite

Granite is a great stone to use for countertops, since it’s hard to scratch, isn’t damaged by food products and is easy to maintain. Adventurous types are now specifying granite with a matte-look, honed finish rather than high-sheen polished finish. If you like the new look, be aware that matte granite finishes require a bit more effort to keep looking good.

Overall, we were impressed that the exhibitors and designers showed a great deal of concern that the products they specified and sold were practical for use. We learned a few things that will make our work easier, which in turn will help keep costs and prices down, and even though we averaged close to ten miles of walking each day (yes, the event was that big!) it was well worth the time.

To inquire about our cleaning and custom carpet services, or request a complimentary quote, contact us today.


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