Regardless of the whims of fashion and trends, wood floors remain a timeless option for homeowners, according to Lauren Devens of Reclaimed Design Works. “Options over the past decade have expanded significantly, giving homeowners a broader source to choose from species and finishes,” she says
Hardwood is still the most popular choice in residential applications, according to Donna Dean of Foyers and Beyond Custom Flooring and Design. “Over the years, it’s less expensive than carpet if properly maintained. The new wider planks give homeowners endless options of color and texture,” she says. But hardwood isn’t the only choice for hard surface flooring, she adds, pointing to the impact of hardwood-look tile, laminate, and luxury vinyl surfaces
Devens says, “Hard flooring surfaces anchor a space, serving as a versatile backdrop to rugs and furnishings. Wood flooring is attractive to homeowners because of its undeniable warmth and character and the ability to stain and finish the wood to your specifications for a truly custom look. Wood can last hundreds of years with proper care and periodic refinishing, so it adds a lasting value to a home that carpet can’t.”
The changing preference for wider planks means that Dean’s company is frequently called in to remove builder grade hardwood flooring to replace it with the newer looks—wider planks, hand scraped planks, etc.
“Flooring is one of the biggest design and financial decisions a homeowner will make, so there are several factors one should consider when making a decision,” says Devens. “A homeowner needs to look at their lifestyle and how they live in their space. Are there any health concerns that could be agitated by certain materials and finishes, etc. such as asthma and allergies? Hardwoods help alleviate these health issues because it does not hold on to allergens that can sink into the fibers of carpet. It’s also easier to spot spills, crumbs and debris, as well as pet hair and messes.”
Kristin Fitzgerald of Southern Oaks Flooring says, “Tile is still the most popular choice in kitchens and bathrooms, with homeowners preferring natural stone and porcelain tiles over ceramic tiles.” She adds, “Hardwood, however, reigns supreme. It can be installed anywhere in the home, even in basements. While red oak has traditionally been the most common hardwood flooring, it has recently fallen out of favor. White oak has taken its place, as it offers the same overall style and degree of hardness, without the overtones in red oak that can sometimes look orange.
“Wide plank floors have maintained their popularity in the last few years, especially in the form of reclaimed wood. If reclaimed wood is not available, there are many hardwood floors manufactured to give the same effect. For site-finished floors, water-based polyurethane and especially hard wax oil finishes have been gaining in popularity as homeowners move away from oil based polyurethanes.”
Devens says, “Matte finishes, such as hard-wax oils, are gaining popularity for a more natural look and ease of maintenance. Unlike poly finishes, they have the benefit of being more difficult to noticeably scratch.”
Tile, concrete, and laminate have also seen an increase in popularity in the last few years, according to Fitzgerald. “Tile remains the number one choice for kitchens and bathrooms, because of its resistance to the water damage.”
There are a number of sources for flooring including:
Carlisle Wood Plank Flooring
Change Magic Interior Consulting
Foyers and Beyond Custom Flooring
Reclaimed Design Works
Southern Oak Flooring
Superior Custom Homes & Remodeling