Over the years flooring trends have changed and will continue to do so. Looking back through the decades there have been some subtle changes and some dramatic ones. Before getting into the current trends, let’s look back at some of the flooring over the years.

THE 1940'S

In the 1940’s linoleum was all the rage - not just linoleum, bright coloured and patterned linoleum. It was considered modern and sophisticated to have this type of flooring. In previous years, floors were mainly hardwood. Then, when the 40’s rolled around, hardwood was considered dated - hence the dramatic change to linoleum.


As we moved into the 1950’s linoleum was still the primary choice for flooring, especially in kitchens and bathrooms. Bright colours were at the top for design, however, linoleum tiles were gaining popularity and being laid in a checkered pattern with black and white or red and black being the most common. It was in the mid to late 50’s that wall to wall carpeting was introduced.


In the early 1960’s linoleum was still holding strong as the top choice for homes until the switch from linoleum to vinyl came. The transition from linoleum to vinyl reduced the amount of waxing on the flooring surface to keep it clean and shiny along with the advancement of having a cushion like backing to help with sound absorption and impact on our steps.

Although the 60’s was known for its wall to wall carpeting, it didn’t make its way to most homes until the mid to late 60’s as up until that point, it was a high priced item and only the upper class could afford it. As technology advanced, more affordable products were available and carpet manufacturers started experimenting with different lengths - leading to the production of shag. Not to mention, bright colours such as avocado green and orange quickly grew in popularity.


By the 1970’s carpet was the number one choice - it was in every room, even bathrooms and kitchens. Now in the 21st century, we can’t begin to fathom having carpet adorn our bathrooms and kitchens, but in past generations, it was considered the best and most luxurious.


The 80’s is probably one of the most iconic eras for fashion and music, and flooring stays on par with these trends. Wall to wall shag carpet was still a hit (no music pun intended), although less bright tones started to be introduced and along came the floral explosion on the walls, furniture and other home decor. Vinyl was making a comeback- the kitchens and bathrooms that (in the previous decade) were covered with carpet, were now being switched out for vinyl (again). Being in the decade we are in, it’s painful to know that underneath the carpet and vinyl there was beautiful natural hardwood just waiting to make its reveal later on.


Along with frilly decor, floral stamped walls, chandeliers and hunter green, the 90’s still carried wall to wall carpet that started in the late 50’s - only this time sticking to the light tones, creating monochromatic looks. Going back to basics began, as light woods, such as pine were introduced.


Keeping with hard surfaces entering into the new millennium, designers were moving from the light woods to dark ones. We also started to see the movement into the (still) popular distressed woods. It was also in the early 2000’s that we started to see the removal of carpet. To this day, carpet is still the most popular choice for flooring. However, now in the second decade of this millennium, hard surfaces are continuing to climb to the top for first pick on flooring.


Tile has been around for years, but only in the last decade have we really been presented with it fully. For its elevated look and resistance to water it’s earned its spot as one of the best options for bathrooms.

To have the look of wood, it’s no longer required to pay the price for real hardwood. Although having “real” hardwood does add a certain value to a home, there are ways to achieve that same look using more durable and affordable products - such as engineered hardwood and luxury vinyl which is designed to replicate natural wood and stone.

With millennials having a massive influence on trends, picking flooring goes beyond just the texture, colour and look. Four things that this generation considers when purchasing flooring are:

  • Does it have a wood look?
  • Is it waterproof? Usually turning to laminate or vinyl
  • Does it have some sort of texture?
  • As expected, whether or not it is an environmentally responsible choice.

Keeping with current decor choices like mid century modern, bohemian and Scandinavian - light woods and ashy white seem to be top choices for colour. If you are considering updating your floors or are building a new home, be sure to look at how trends have changed and which ones have come full circle. For more information, visit your local End Of The Roll and when you’re there, ask your flooring advisor about the Get A Room Contest.