Wood Floors--What's Hot, What's Not

What's Hot in Wood

Wood flooring is truly timeless. Many of us grew up in homes with hardwood floors, and these floors are still in fashion today. In fact, the most popular mid-century stain colors are also some of todays best selling colors: natural (that darkened and yellowed with time), walnut, and golden oak. Over the years the most common widths in wood have been narrow, between 2" and 3" wide. So if you have 2 ¼" wide medium-colored oak wood floors, don't worry, you are still in style, and always will be.

But just like with computers and cell phones, there is always something newer and greater on the horizon. Trends to watch for include:

~hand scraped hardwoods. Look for softer scrapes in species like hickory, maple, and birch. Hand scraping mimics an old floor that has been gently worn by time and footsteps. These floors have a contoured surface that looks comfortably "lived in". Individual planks bear the subtle grooves, scallops and scrapes - even beveled edges - of an artisan's chisel.
~stains that are more brown and less red. Today's popular stain colors include saddle, mocha, coffee, provincial, special walnut, English chestnut, and early American.
~Barnwood and reclaimed visuals. This is simply old, antique wood that has been salvaged from buildings such as aging barns, factories, warehouses - all types of old buildings that are being deconstructed. Reclaimed antique wood has a beautiful and unique patina that only time can give it. (These floors are also among the more expensive flooring options.)

~gray stains; white washed wood
~wire brushed, aged looks. This technique consists of running a wire brush over wood flooring, creating a rough, hard surface. The wire brush gets rid of the soft wood on the surface, making the floor more durable, less slippery, and easier to maintain. Some have polyurethane finishes, others are oil rubbed.Wire brushed floors can withstand wear and tear, making them a great option for households with kids or pets. These floors are meant to have a rough, earthy feel.
~wider planks and matte (no shine) finishes-this is considered the European look
~white oak and American/domestic exotics like hickory, walnut, birch, and cherry

~acacia---a tree that grows in Africa and Australia. Acacia is filled with knots,
graining, swirls and age circles, is available in various tones of brown, and lends itself well to hand-scraping
~dual stain/color washing---layers of different stains that replicate a finish found in many of today's higher end cabinetry and furniture
~French bleed----a blackened bevel. This dark color usually draws a contrast between the color of the planks and the bevel serving to outline each board.

Essentially, a French bleed is intended to give the
look of a very old wood floor that has collected dust and dirt between the boards that no amount of sweeping will remove.
~character grade woods---wood with lots of knots, mineral streaks, worm holes and other natural and rustic characteristics
~strand woven bamboo
~longer length boards


Out, or On The Way Out

One of my least favorite things to write about is what is "out" in flooring, because it can make you feel bad if you have something in your home that is no longer popular. In fact, it seems that I usually have at least one of the items from the "out" list in my home and I love it! So let it be said that it is your house and if you love it,
it's always in style.

Your home is a reflection of you and your taste. But.....if you are currently shopping for new wood floors, or will be refinishing your existing wood and changing the color, keep these trends in mind:
~parquet---makes your home feel dated
~traditional bamboo (vertical or horizontal)
~exotic woods like Brazilian cherry, Santos mahogany, merbau, tigerwood
~red stain colors like cherry and cinnamon, natural red oak
~dark stains like black, espresso, ebony
~lots of short boards----they just don't feel in correct proportion in large rooms and today's open floor plans

Made In The USA and Proud Of It!

One of the nicest things about our showroom is that the majority of our products are made in the USA. This was an interesting survey we came across:

The Boston Consulting Group reported that more than 60% of Chinese consumers would pay more for U.S. made products and nearly 50% of Chinese consumers prefer a U.S.-made product to a China-made product of similar price and quality.

Boston Consulting also said its survey showed that both U.S. and Chinese consumers overwhelmingly believe that American products are higher quality, with 85% of U.S. consumers and 82% of Chinese consumers saying they "agree" or "strongly agree" that they feel better about Made in USA quality.