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Local designers give their take on Surfaces Expo

The International Surface Event showcased floor coverings (Surfaces), stone (StoneExpo) and tile (TileExpo) at the convention center at Mandalay Bay from Jan. 23 to 26.

The Surface Event provides resources for sourcing and purchasing the newest industry products, learning new trends and training and networking. The Surfaces Expo includes hardwood, carpeting, rugs and underlayment.

The StoneExpo features stone flooring, while the TileExpo highlights tile, porcelain and quartz flooring.

Las Vegas-based designers Brian G. Thornton, creative director and owner of Brian G. Thornton Designs, LLC, and Marteen Moore, ASID, owner of Marteen Moore Interior Planning, spoke about the trends in flooring in 2024.

Luxury residential trends incorporate woven wool and man-made textiles, broadloom, ties and tile planks. This includes a return to retro (classic), an emphasis on sustainability and inclusion of pet-friendly materials in terms of wear and cleanliness. The aesthetics of natural and warmer colors are added to all types of carpeting (tile, planks and rugs), patterned wood (including Farmhouse), mixed-toned wood, natural stone tiles, and porcelain stoneware.

“Some of my clients are requesting carpeting in bedrooms that are softer on the feet in the bedrooms, but many clients are also asking for area rugs,” Moore said.

“I am not surprised by the return of carpeting, and I am looking at its many uses in all aspects of design,” Thornton said. “Several clients who have loved products in their offices over time want a more tailored look with Axmisnter rugs and broadloom for the home.”

“I am seeing a lot of luxury vinyl planks,” Moore said. “No grout is needed, and they offer durability and practicality with zero upkeep: Just mop and go. The material is less expensive than other materials and easier to install.”

Another return in retro would be laminate flooring, which has been part of flooring for about 20 years.

“The lifespan of laminate flooring is longer today, and what I am enjoying is that now they are poured products, and the image is now beneath the surface. If the laminate gets scratched or damaged, the image remains,” Thornton said.

Signage at many exhibitors’ booths proclaimed sustainability as part of its business model and products.

InHaus, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of sustainable laminate flooring, showcased facts about using materials from sustainably managed European forests that are PEFC (Program for Endorsement of Forest Certification) or FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified. Its Ceramin-based products are 100 percent recyclable and feature a product composition comprising 25 percent post-consumer material.

The International Surface Event offered seminars and tours, including the Healthy Products Tour, guiding attendees to certified flooring made from natural products in the exhibit hall. A health expert guided guests to healthy, sustainable or natural products environment in flooring.

The expo’s exhibitors emphasized pet-friendly options, whether it was the obvious laminate flooring or carpeting with special order-resistant padding and tighter naps and loops to avoid snagging on sharp nails.

Most owners concern themselves with pet stain cleanup and prevention, including proper backing and padding. Many manufacturers are building backing and padding directly on the carpeting for residential properties to make replacement options more manageable and efficient.

As for colors, “Gray is slowly leaving, but there is now a beige gray to blend with existing gray. There are natural colors, including browns and beiges, and even some oak colors are coming back, with warmer colors now the big trend,” Moore said.

“Calming colors have become increasingly important. In uncertain climates, we seek calm in the home and focus on our well-being,” Thornton said.

According to Moore, very few of her clients are requesting flooring made of natural stone flooring due to the upkeep. People want something other than a labor-intensive flooring material with the options available in 2024.

The Winter Market show, held at the Las Vegas Market Jan. 27-31, focuses on all design aspects and featured flooring. Furniture of America, one of its exhibitors, highlighted its Corwen collection of thick olefin rugs. Design Imports, another exhibitor, also showcased its line of rugs.

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