2019 Commercial Flooring Trends: Innovation and Design

Commercial flooring trends in 2019 will continue to see design technology innovations in addition to a continuing demand for more informal office spaces.

According to market research, new materials that offer ease of installation in commercial and industrial flooring applications are also driving this market.  

2019 Commercial Flooring Trends: New Designs, Colours, Accents and Textures

In the past most commercial  projects were straightforward functional builds. There wasn’t much in the way of design and many projects were similar.  Today the commercial flooring market has seen a strong emergence of colour/texture palettes, which was rare in the past. More resources are now being spent on accents and textures in the design of a space. There are more colours, borders and features inlayed within walls/floors in commercial projects, including non-public spaces. 

Commercial Flooring examples
Photo credit Centura: Accents and textures in porcelain tile

These types of features have been made possible by the introduction of plank carpet tiles and specialty cut LVT & porcelain tiles (see our previous blog posts) with new product design technology. Floor and wall finishes are now available in all shapes (hexagon, triangle, plank and tile) and sizes.

Although these materials are currently trending they are long lasting and will provide return on investment as they are quite durable and require low maintenance.

Darwin Fisher Imax installation
Darwin Fisher LVT installation

2019 Commercial Flooring Trends: Luxury Vinyl Tile

LVT is extremely versatile from a design perspective. It can replicate the appearance of natural stone or wood but will not wear like natural materials. LVT offers superior thermal and acoustic properties in comparison to hard surface flooring. It won’t chip or discolour and will not expand and contract as wood does in humid or dry seasons. It can also replicate real wood or stone at a fraction of the price. Products made from 100% vinyl are classified as green solutions and eligible for LEED points.

Equipped with a protective wear layer the floor generally needs very little attention to maintain its appearance. It’s water resistant and makes it easy to wipe away surface spills. It’s a good commercial flooring application  alternative as it does not require a high amount of maintenance over its lifespan. A simple sweep or damp mop is all that is required.

2019 Commercial Flooring Trends: Carpet Tile

Carpet tile technology has progressed significantly. Carpet tile systems provide greater flexibility for installation and refitting for a variety of applications across many industries including healthcare, hospitality, retail, education and the entertainment industry.  It is extremely durable and spot areas can be easily changed without requiring additional installation expertise.

Commercial Flooring Examples Toronto 2019
Darwin Fisher carpet tile installation

New pattern matching technology ensures that design and patterns are maintained, and the appearance of the finished product resembles broadloom carpet when installed. Fixing broadloom is a larger and more complicated process in terms of seam and pattern matching. It also makes it difficult to fix if there is no broadloom attic stock available.

According to the Milliken Flooring Blog carpet absorbs 3x more noise than hard flooring and can increase productivity by offering extra cushioning for employees who spend a lot of time standing.

2019 Commercial Flooring Trends: Digitally Printed Porcelain Tile

Thanks to manufacturing advancements and innovations in digital printing processes, today’s porcelain finishes mimic a variety of materials that are often difficult to easily discern with the naked eye. The new technology affords detail so precise that these products can mirror the look and feel of a traditional hardwood floor.

Commercial Design Darwin Fisher
Photo credit Centura: Porcelain tile that looks like stone

“More designers are open to this because they mimic the look of real wood but provide you with ease of maintenance,” says Elizabeth Livingston, Architectural & Design Consultant for Toronto-based, Centura Tile. “This technology has resulted in incredible detail and vividness of surface designs applied to porcelain, resulting in tile virtually indistinguishable from actual marble, stone and wood, as well as the ability to create an endless number of unique designs and colours.”

Darwin Fisher Commercial Flooring examples
Photo credit Centura: Porcelain tile that mimics wood

“When you have wood, the available finishes are limited,” says Livingston. “When you have a wood porcelain plank the finishes are generally anatural finish, but some lines are available in a polished finish as well as atextured finish for wet areas. The digital possibilities are endless.”

No longer limited to traditional sizes, tile can now be manufactured in what are called planks, or tiles that are rectangular in shape. Manufacturers now offer tiles in an assortment of thicknesses from 3.5mm to 20mm thick pavers. Options as thin as a 3.5 mm thick profile can be used for walls, or ventilated façade systems, or on the underside of soffits for large structures such as universities or office buildings.

GrandView Research, Inc., reports the global commercial flooring market size for was valued at USD 27.06 billion in 2016. Product innovation and hassle-free installation technologies in the floor covering sector are expected to expand the industry size over the next eight years.

“Rising demand in construction industry coupled with changing consumer lifestyles and growing demand for insulation are expected to remain the key market drivers. The increasing availability of innovative building solutions that are durable and require low maintenance is projected to impact the industry.”

2019 Commercial Flooring Trends by Vertical

The new technologies are not only impacting the flooring industry as a whole but have also become solid, sustainable options in many verticals. 

Health care

Low maintenance sheet and tile products make the most sense for this sector —including rubber, linoleum, sheet vinyl, and vinyl as this vertical requires a multitude of elements including sanitization for pathogen control and containment. Ease of cleaning, sterilization and maintenance are critical. Floor surfaces also need to be slip resistant and offer smooth transitions from one area to another.


Driven by ever diminishing budgets flooring has to be low maintenance and offer long term durability to protect investments. Often used in these environments are polished concrete, VCT, carpet tiles, and broadloom for main areas with wood and rubber used in recreational areas.


A wide variety of options areavailable that are generally driven by the specific brand. For example DarwinFisher recently installed new flooring in one of Winner’s newly renovatedstores. We partnered with Pro-Con for a Winner’s Merchants International  installation. The department store chain required a new fit at Lindsay Square Mall in Lindsay, ON.  This location represents the first store in Canada to apply Winner’s new, modern and more upscale design. Changes included a wood grain luxury vinyl tile floor finish and accent areas, in addition to vinyl tile, providing a more sophisticated look see more here.

There are different finishes seen in the retail sector. A mixture of wood, polished concrete, LVT, and digitally printed porcelain tile can be found amongst others.

Digitally printed porcelain finishes are especially well suited to commercial use such as restaurants, hotels, spas, entertainment and retail spaces, making it a perfect fit for any high-traffic area that requires durability and long wear. This type of porcelain can also be offered in slip resistant finishes where required.

2019 Commercial Flooring Trends: Corporate Offices Becoming More Informal

“We are definitely seeing a trend towards creating a more comfortable home-like experience in the office,”says Susan Quinn, Account Executive of Toronto-based, Mohawk Group. “In order to retain and ensure employees are happy at work there is an influx of residential finishes and concepts being brought into the corporate environment…Clients are wanting softer, more tactile surfaces with lots of big pattern and texture.”


Mohawk Group and Darwin Fisher Commercial Flooring
Photo credit Mohawk Group: Patterns and textures

“We’ve seen some major changes in the development of new materials and applications that are technologically superior and aesthetically pleasing,” says Doug McDonald, President of Darwin Fisher Commercial Flooring, Inc.

“As there are a wide range of choices available, specifying product can be challenging,” says McDonald.  “As a result, we offer all of our customers our expertise and assistance in evaluating products performance/cost ratios to ensure a budget meets all the targets of a project”.

For a free consultation on your next flooring installation please contact info@darwinfisher.com. For other articles on commercial flooring and industry related news, please click here.