Hardwood floors have been in use for centuries for a good reason. They are popular among the middle class and wealthy homeowners alike. And why not? They boost the look of a home and can be used in various rooms including the kitchen, dining, basement, bedrooms, and the living room.
Like fashion, their styles have evolved. Some come and go, while others are just timeless. They are never not “around” if you may. This year, for instance, homeowners and designers seem inclined to a few hardwood flooring trends. If you are a contractor, you might want to know what these trends are because you may come across a client who requires one.
The rustic look
Gone were the days when uncorrectable mistakes were considered a contractor’s worst nightmare. These mistakes make for ideal floors, hence the increment in popularity of hand scraped and distressed hardwood floors. Rustic floors are part of the reason why people are buying old homes and for those moving into homes built recently, there’s definitely a plan to replicate the old with a worn-down look on their floors.
There are several distressing techniques that could help achieve this look for your clients. These include sanding, denting and scooping. Rather than purchase these floors directly from reclaimed wood companies, it’s best that you try DIY for your client to save a few bucks. Additional inexpensive techniques that can help include using a hammer to create dents, brown bag treatment, simple glaze treatments and faux barn-wood finish. Scraping hardwood floors on site gives clients a chance to decide how much “damage” they want.
When it comes to rustic hardwood floors, the term hand-scraped and distressed are often used to imply two different things. Distressed is used to refer to floors whose marks are created by a machine to create a rustic effect. On the other hand, hand-scraped is used where marks are created using the hands, just as the term suggests. The increased popularity of rustic floors is due to three main reasons. They are affordable, appealing and practical. In a home where the floors could sustain extensive damage, it only makes sense to have a rustic wood floor.
Wide plank flooring
This is not a trend that will be spotted in residential buildings alone. It’s also popular among commercial clients too. Up to a decade ago, 2 ¼ inch floors were preferred by clients. This is no longer the case anymore because people are opting for wider plank flooring, with some going for up to 4 inch flooring. The surge in their popularity is mainly attributed to a decrease in their price for those years.
In addition, they have a better visual appeal compared to those with less width. They give the impression of added depth and are therefore great for small spaces to make them feel bigger. Even better, they wide plank flooring has a rustic ring to it. In fact, way before commercial mills came to be, these floors were used for the rustic design.
Stains and species
A significant percentage of American homeowners still prefer traditional white oak floors that are site-sanded. The reason for holding back from staining their floors is the need to retain a good resale value in case they decide to move out. To do this, they have to customize their homes, keeping in mind they have to match them to those in the neighborhood.
As a result of the above, people tend to opt for solid, quarter-sewn white oak as it is popular in most neighborhoods. The increased preference for these floors is also due to taste. Some people are just in love with the overall traditional look that these floors provide.
Exotics may have taken a dive a few years back, but they are staging a comeback. The use of bamboo is, however dropping. Along with the already discussed species, hickory is also seeing an increase in popularity.
As for stains, the preferences among different clients will vary. Darker stains are becoming more popular in some markets while in others, people are going for the traditional oak.
Prefinished or Unfinished? It all depends!
Prefinished floors will be used in areas like condos and apartments where the tenants are facing site-sanding restrictions. Others will prefer these floors to avoid compromising indoor air quality. They are also preferred because their installations take shorter periods of time and thus can be used as soon as need be. Unfinished floors, sometimes referred to as site-finished floors, are preferred by homeowners as they are more customizable.
Different clients will have different tastes and such will request different hardwood floor styles. Put simply, the popularity of certain hardwood floors will vary from one entity to another, one neighborhood to another. It helps to study what your current clients prefer and see if there are changes in the trends in different markets. For more about hardwood flooring in Mississauga, feel free to contact us.