Flooring planks aren’t only setting the foundation for comfort and design under foot. These days, manufacturers are producing flooring that can also be used to add texture and unique design to walls and even ceilings. Designers are taking these planks up, creating standout interiors from floor to ceiling. In this issue of Floor Trends, hear how retailers and designers are responding to the trend and take a look at a few floor-to-wall covering products (and some that are inspired by the trend) that are leading the way vertically.

The New Accent Wall

“I think a big driver of this trend is homeowners wanting to add texture and layers back into their homes with more than just their soft finishes,” said Nikki James, studio manager for home builder Ashton Woods’ Dallas division. “They want to build character, and with so many options in tile and wood floors, the opportunities to personalize are endless.”

Dubbed the new accent wall, James says gone are the days of just painting one wall a different color than the rest. The customer of today wants a statement wall. “Homeowners are using floor tile and engineered wood to create spaces that are uniquely them. From contemporary to modern farmhouse styles alike, homeowners are using flooring as wall treatments to express their style. We are seeing polished natural stone on an entry wall to create a sleek lasting first impression, engineered hardwood floors in a master bedroom on the headboard wall creating that modern farmhouse feel.”

Though the design possibilities for this trend are seemingly endless, those we spoke to emphasize the importance of choosing the right product for the right environment and application.

“It is all personal style,” said James. “Just make sure that if you are using wood it is in an area that it will not continuously be getting wet.” 

Retailers Respond

As with most interior design trends, outlets like HGTV, Pinterest and Houzz are inspiring end users to explore new and exciting home décor, design and decorating ideas, and in the case of floor-to-wall coverings, end users are being led directly to their preferred flooring retailer’s showroom.

“Design shows and stuff on Houzz are still driving customers,” said Julie Kerkochian of United Carpet One Floor & Home.

Whether customers are looking to extend their floor to the wall, or to create a standalone accent wall, retailers are responding with the latest industry products and design techniques.

Working with best in class McCaffrey Homes and CDC Designs, United Carpet One is expertly showcasing the floor-to-wall design trend for customers in-store. “When you work with good designers, when you go in these model homes, it’s HGTV come to life, which helps tremendously” said Kerkochian.

Similarly, Kissimmee, Fla.,-based Modern Floorz & Shutters showcases LVT on the wall in its showroom to inspire customers who are looking to try something new. “People really like to see and feel it and ask questions, so seeing it on my showroom wall helps with selling” said Rita Irvin.

Similar to trends being enjoyed on floors, wider planks on walls are in. “Customers are gearing toward wider boards because they don’t want as many lines,” said Kerkochian.

Wider planks and larger tiles are also adding a fresh twist and perspective to older patterns and designs. Taking 15” x 30” tiles, Irvin demonstrates for customers the design possibilities of changing the tile’s direction in various ways to create familiar, yet refreshed patterns. “These patterns were popular maybe 15, 20 years ago, but with the big tiles, it gives a completely different look.”

Click here to check out a spotlight of the latest floor-to-wall products!