Lighter colors and larger wood planks are the biggest trend changes in hardwood floors today. It does not matter whether you plan on using an engineered product or real wood. You will find the lion’s share of wood flooring product selections answering the demand.
Lighter and Brighter
Walnut, red oak and white oak never seem to fall out of favor with the public, but the trend in finish is on the lighter and brighter side. It seems to be tied to the state of the economy. When times are hard the darker finishes seem to be all the rage. Now that the economy is improving it seems to be following the trends of 25 years previous. “There is a growing popularity in what are referred to as ‘domestic exotics,’ like hickory and ash,” states Michael Martin, the chief executive of the National Wood Flooring Association. It is as popular in Atlanta as it is in New York and Los Angeles.
Bigger and Bolder
Open concept home design and redesign began as a trend in the late 1990’s and has virtually evolved into a movement. Finding ways to make rooms look bigger and more spacious are on the minds of builders and designers alike. Standard plank sizes for wood flooring are roughly 2 ½ to 3 inches wide, but are increasingly requested at 6 inches. The overall length of the planks is increasing as well. Martin adds “as wood gets wider and longer, engineered products tend to move less and are more stable, depending on the humidity levels of the home.”
The Benefits of Re-purposing
Another noticeable trend in Atlanta is the use of re-purposed wood. Wood that has been reclaimed from barns and historic buildings is now being used to create wood floors that enhance an interior with a natural aged appearance. The rustic look and feel offer design touches that are both unexpected and stately in appearance.
Distressed as Beauty Marks
The initial wood floor craze involved the use of woods that were uniform in size and condition. It was essential to have a smooth and perfect-appearing surface. The trend now is to purchase wood planks that are distressed and wire-scraped. It ensures that every floor will have an original look and feel to it.
The Splendor of Natural Wood
Increasingly finishes are gravitating towards natural oils and UV blocking products, which tend to leave the real beauty of the wood intact. Lighter is better in both color and coating. Rustic and the real look of the wood are desired, rather than slathering the surface with products that are not good for the wood or the environment in general.
Understanding how to care and maintain your new wood floor will always be the constant. “From a care and maintenance perspective, it’s important for homeowners to understand what type of finish they’ve installed as there are different techniques for upkeep,” Martin states.