When it comes to hardwood floors, homeowners have a lot to choose from. From distressed to to hit-miss, nothing beats hardwood for transforming a ho-hum space into one with warmth, character and style. Here are some of the latest trends:
The New Neutral
A perfect way to modernize an outdated space
With its clean and understated elegance, gray is a versatile look and works with a myriad furnishings and colors. Gray adds a punch of style for contemporary and rustic spaces, but will not overpower a room. This subtle shade brings out the beauty of the natural wood, highlighting the grains and texture which creates a visual interest in any space. The latest trend is gray hardwood on walls and ceilings.
One-of-a-kind floors with knots and blemishes add character
Think of a church, logs or an old barn.
Reclaimed wood promotes the imperfections in the wood. It has many benefits and continues to grow in popularity because of its aged, imperfect patina and durability. Eco-friendly fans like the fact that it comes from discarded lumber so there is no need to destroy trees. Distinct from new wood that appears distressed, reclaimed is the real thing.
Reclaimed wood originated in old-growth forests, resulting in a straighter, tighter grain. And decades of oxidation give it deeper, richer colors. You’ll see nail holes, stains, and even minor insect damage in the boards. And that only contributes to their beauty.
Note: You should request a sample — a good idea with such a one-of-a-kind product — so you know what to expect before your floor arrives.
“Ding-friendly” but durable
The subtle weathering of distressed wood shows a rich wood grain and a textured look which gives it the appearance of being ‘damaged’. Distressed wood is ideal for homeowners who want to create time-worn charm that’s affordable. Appealing and practical, prefinished handscraped floors are immune from wear and tear so they don’t get damaged by little feet, pets and high heels.
Wire-Brushed (Scraped) Woods
Traffic is Welcome
The wire-brushed look is a minor form of distressing, featuring a subtle texture with a smooth clean appearance. Wire brushed wood is durable because it uses a wire brush to scrape off the soft portion of the hardwood (top layer), leaving only the hardest wood which shows more of its natural grain and less likely to show chips, scratches and scrapes. Scratches from traffic is easily camouflaged since they blend in the natural wire-brushed patterns.
The preference for sawing method is also evolving. Sawing methods determine the grain pattern of each log. Rift and quarter sawn and standard plain sawn are increasing in demand. European sawing methods are taking hold with live sawn wood trending.
Hit or Miss Face
Face Your Floors
Reclaimed wood fans love the hit-miss face. Some areas of the board are smooth while others are left with the original face. The floor is popular for homeowners and designers who want wider boards at an affordable price. To create an authentic look consider a medium dark stain to reveal the rustic saw marks which add character to the wood.
European/French White Oak
Making a French Connection
White oak has taken on a renaissance with character-graded prefinished hardwood. What makes European Oak so desirable is its unique allure. One of the most popular species of wood, it is cut from a log, it has a tighter grain and a wider plank, typically 7-10”. What makes it popular with designers is the way it is cut: taking a square from the center of the log, called a cant, and slicing it straight through resulting in three cuts in one plank. It is referred to as Eurocut, Center Cut, Live Sawn or French Cut Oak. The look from this triple cut design is an authentic natural wood grain.
Hardwood on Top
Hardwood floors on walls and ceilings is an exciting new trend. Homeowners who want to add drama to their space are attracted to its broad range of colors and enjoy the warmth it brings to a space. Depending on the type of room you want, dark and light colors are available.
Random Width Planks
Mix it Up
Random widths can define any space, from open and large to cozy and intimate. Homeowners can use their imaginations and don’t have to purchase one type at a time or figure out which planks they want. Retailers are now selling a blend of the hottest widths in each box. It’s an innovative way to define each room in your home.