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2020 Flooring Trends and What They Mean for Real Estate

Thanks to the internet and HGTV, there is a lot of information about trending colors, styles, and products out there for homeowners to see. For the most part, these are aimed at people who aren’t selling. Sellers following these trends might end up in a tough spot since many of these will appeal to only a small percentage of buyers.

Today, we’re going to go through several of these trends and look at them through the lens of a real estate transaction. As the real estate flooring experts, our goal is to help your listings sell as quickly as possible by recommending new flooring that appeals to the largest number of potential buyers.

Luxury Vinyl Plank - SAFE

  • While LVP remains one of the most affordable flooring options, expect to see the price rise slightly this year as popularity increases and manufacturers continue to create more realistic visuals and better-quality options.

  • Thanks to its waterproof core and overall durability, LVP is an excellent product choice for wet areas and buyers prefer it instead of tile, thanks to it being more stylish

  • Wide planks became popular last year and will continue to be in demand this year

Carpet - SAFE

  • Carpet remains the most affordable, quickest, and most dramatic flooring update sellers can make.

  • The most effective flooring combination for a quick sale is carpet and a hard surface.

  • Manufacturers continue to develop softer yarn systems, plus their germ and pet protection systems are getting better.

Neutral colors – SAFE

  • Grays, taupes/greiges, and medium beiges remain a safe bet for appealing to the most buyers.


  • SAFE: Cut piles offer the largest number of choices and are a traditional and safe choice. Choosing a more on-trend color, such as gray, can elevate cut pile from “Grandma’s carpet” to stylish.

  • SAFE: Medium-pile friezes can be very family-friendly and modern looking.


  • SAFE: Small scale geometric and abstract patterns

  • AVOID: Florals, picture-patterns, large graphic prints/patterns


  • SAFE: Eco-friendly Today’s buyers are more interested than ever in installing responsibly sourced or recycled content flooring. Carpet is a good choice for using GREEN products, but vinyl planking is not. Vinyl has a “memory,” so when using a recycled materials, it tries to go back to the original shape. That’s why manufacturers use “virgin” vinyl when making vinyl planking.


SAFE: Engineered wood

  • Engineered wood is the preferred product over solid wood due to its lower price point and excellent durability

  • Oak, mahogany, and ash are the most on-trend finishes because they’re hard and less photosensitive than other woods, meaning they’ll last longer.


  • SAFE: Smooth finishes Smooth finishes remain classic and will appeal to a broad group of buyers

  • SAFE: Textured finishes, such as hand scraped, wire brushed, and reclaimed. These finishes gained popularity several years ago and will stay popular

  • AVOID: Glossy finishes Satin and matte finishes are the most appealing looks to buyers


  • USE CAUTION: Lighter colors (including grays and whites) Industrial, contemporary, and farmhouse styles are popular this year, which is why lighter colors are trending. Avoid whites and whitewashed colors. Gray is OK, but stay away from extremely light grays. One of the safest bets for appealing to buyers are honey tones.

  • AVOID: Dark colors Dark brown tones are on the outs this year.

  • AVOID: Extreme color variations Extreme color variations are somewhat polarizing, so sellers should stay away from them.

Plank Width

  • SAFE: Wide planks Wide planks became popular last year and will continue to be in demand this year

  • USE CAUTION: Narrow planks Narrow planks are a classic, but somewhat dated look.

  • AVOID: Mixed/random width This is another one of those subjective choices that could flop with buyers.

  • AVOID: Custom lays A 2020 trend is laying vinyl or wood flooring on the diagonal. Avoid this trend since it could cause some buyers to rule out the listing.


  • SAFE: Wood-look tile has been around for a number of years and is making a comeback this year

  • SAFE: Large format tile: Large format tiles create a very modern and stylish look. They can even be installed in small areas, helping them seem larger thanks to fewer grout lines.


  • AVOID: Chevron, herringbone – Another polarizing trend. Since this one could turn off plenty of buyers, it’s best to avoid these custom lays and stick with straight.

  • USE CAUTION: Checkerboard black and white tile – works best in bathrooms.

  • SAFE: Diagonal lays – depending on the room, this can be very attractive

  • SAFE: Textured/non slip tiles

  • USE CAUTION: Using different tiles in areas that butt against each other. Example, wood look tile in common areas and regular tile in a powder room connected to the common areas.

Laminates – USE CAUTION

  • While laminates are still around, their popularity has been greatly reduced by LVP.

  • Because most laminate isn’t waterproof, buyers will be looking for LVP over laminate.

Stained concrete – USE CAUTION

Stained concrete can be a great look if done correctly and no hairline cracks or gouges are in the concrete. (Buyers often think there are foundation issues with cracks.) Gouges are usually from not filling in the perimeter where the tack strips were.

Flooring is such an important part of staging a home to sell, and CSC Floors is ready to help you and your clients wade through the sea of trends and choose products that will sell the listing quickly. We would love to work with you to reduce your listings’ days on market and bring in more buyers. Please call us if you have a questions regarding flooring. We’re here to help you sell! Hank and Judy -- Hank and Judy Goldstein, owners CSC Floors

The Real Estate Flooring Experts

P.S. – If you have a blog or a newsletter that you would like to use this article in, please do! All we ask is that you list CSC Floors as the author.


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