Many factors influence hardwood flooring trends: among them, the trends in furniture and paint colors that bring about changes in what homeowners prefer today in terms of wood floor colors. There is also a change in the decorating styles that best capture the interest of homeowners at the moment, which is reflected in the selection of specific stain colors. As a wood floor restoration company that constantly has the finger on the pulse of the hardwood floor market, we put together a few of the emerging or continuing trends that, we think, will take center stage in 2016.
Gray Hardwood Floors
In the last few years, there was a massive trend towards gray as a main component in interior design. Gray walls, gray furniture and gray upholstery create a neutral background that is easy to accessorize. Such elements come together into a relaxing, subtle look, much preferred by today’s homeowners. So it is no wonder that gray starts to make demands in the world of hardwood flooring.
More and more homeowners ask their wood floor refinishing contractors to restain their floors using gray. The look is neutral and versatile, but its main appeal lies in the fact that it is different. When old floors are refinished with a mixture of white and dark stain, the result is unique. It is important to consider the wood species when refinishing your floors. Oak wood, for example, absorbs stain well. However, while white oak takes the gray very well, red oak may need a darker stain to compensate for the darker tinges of red. Species with lower porosity, such as maple, make staining more difficult, while some, such as birch, take stain differently, turning brown stain into gray.
Finally, gray hardwood floors require water-based polyurethane. This is because the yellow or amber tint that oil-based polyurethanes tend to develop over time does not complement gray floors. Your best bet is to work with a professional hardwood floor refinishing contractor, since the outcome of your refinishing job depends on many factors. Of course, you will not have to face any of these problems if you choose prefinished gray-stained planks.
Light / Whitewashed Hardwood Floors
No further than last year, dark wood floors were all the rage. While they still preserve their appeal in the eyes of many homeowners, light-colored hardwood floors are starting to gain interest. The trend has something to do with the heightened interest for coastal interiors, where light, airy elements create a relaxing, beachy type of setting. If you plan on a hardwood floor restoration or on installing wood floors in a dark room, light-colored planks provide you with the light and shine you need to brighten up your space. Light hardwood floors hide dust and pet hair well and are ideal for high-traffic areas.
If you want light hardwood floors, you can allow the natural tone of light-colored wood to shine through or apply a whitewash mixture to your planks. Harwood types such as light hickory, ash, birch or bamboo give you the look if left untreated. However, without any special treatment, you cannot go lighter than the natural tone of the wood. If you are looking for a cottage feel or a shabby chic vibe, you can whitewash your floors, a process that is called “pickling” and the only way (aside from bleaching) that can take your planks from dark to light. This is a good project for a DIY-er, even though hiring experienced refinishing wood floor contractors will save you time and headaches. The whitewash solution is a mixture of slaked lime, water and other secondary ingredients. When whitewashing your floors, using water-based polyurethane is necessary to avoid yellowing of the planks.
Dark Hardwood Floors
Still dominating a large part of the hardwood flooring market, dark hardwood floors are imposing and dramatic. They give a space unequaled elegance and class, which is the reason why, as a hardwood flooring company, we will still have many dark hardwood floor demands in 2016.
Dark hardwood floors have their disadvantages. They show dust and debris and require a careful maintenance routine, which makes them problematic in high-traffic areas. However, they hide unsightly stains well, so they are a good option when trying to camouflage old pet stains or water damage. Hardwood species such as oak, hickory or walnut are great contenders for dark stains. A company that offers wood floor installation or hardwood floor refinishing services can guide you through the many options you have in terms of staining your existing floors in a darker color or installing dark prefinished planks.