Hardwood flooring experts say hardwoods have gained in popularity over tile and carpet, including in kitchens. “Today’s clients want the timeless feel of older floors with wider and longer planks,” says Josh Hitson of Hitson & Co.
“Using reclaimed wood flooring is something a lot of our customers who are building or remodeling are asking about,” says Leigh Skillington of Karmal Skillington. “It is so superior to new flooring in look and feels that I’m surprised people would consider new flooring in their new high-end projects,” she says.
“For years people have been choosing wood floors over tile and other materials, even in kitchens. The next progression has to be reclaimed wood instead of ‘artificially’ aged wood.”
Saying that random width flooring is very popular, Hitson also reports that colors have gone from dark to light, moving from dark brown and ebony to grays and natural colors. In addition, he adds, hand-scrapped flooring has lost some popularity while more lightly distressed flooring is “in.”
Calvin Harrison of Calvin & Suttle Inc. says the movement in the past few years has been toward wider planks, the use of more Barnwood, and rustic looks. “We’re also seeing darker, richer browns, deeper greys, and worn looks with distressing,” he says.
Reporting that in the past 2-3 years her clients have been selecting multi-width planks, especially in open floor plans, is Traci McCormick of Carpet Den Interiors. “Homeowners are also going with wider hardwood planks—5-inch and 8-inch planks, etc. She adds that exotic and reclaimed woods are also popular with darker finishes and gray hardwood flooring,” she says, adding that generally, her clients are putting hardwoods in the entire downstairs of the home, including the main staircase and upstairs hallway.
Hardwood floors have become the gold standard for flooring in the past decade, according to Kate Gray Fudim of Beth Haley Design. “Renovations usually include refinishing existing hardwoods or installing new hardwood floors throughout the project area,” says Fudim. “In the past 2-3 years we’ve noticed planks getting wider and an emphasis on darker stains. Now emerging is the use of hardwoods with a grey undertone. We love this trend! At the same time, we’ve noticed a resurgence in the use of reclaimed wood and timber. We love the natural, raw, and industrial look.”
Rachel Turman of R & S Flooring says that one reason for the popularity of hardwoods is that they add value to a home in a way no other flooring material can. She says wide plank designs are growing in favor as are matte finches. “And while dark stains are still popular, we are seeing some movement toward the lighter finishes,” she adds.
In agreement is Lawrence Verchota of Verchota Floors, Inc. “In addition to the wider planks and darker colors, we’ve seen a movement toward ‘green’ finishes.” He points to the advantages of hardwoods as being repair and replacement options. “Even solid pre-finished and 1/2-inch engineered flooring can generally be refinished,” he adds. Carefully finishing the initial floor can solve many problems, Verchota says, and suggests waterborne and oil-based finishes are the most popular and durable.
“Hardwood adds a ton of warmth and beauty to a home, whereas tile, stone, and concrete bring a much colder feeling,” says Hitson. “If you purchase quality wood flooring it can be refinished. Tile can break and need replacing, carpet wears out. Wood is hypoallergenic and can last a lifetime.”
The beauty of reclaimed wood, Skillington says, is that it generally was harvested from old growth trees which were older when harvested and had tighter grain. “The tight grain and patina of an old board are unmatched,” she says.
Fudim says that hardwoods compliment just about any design style and additionally “bring the outdoors inside,” giving the home an earthy, organic feel.
Another trend is the addition of wood, frequently recently harvested lumber, to an accent wall or two within a home. Wood could be shiplap, shingles, or planks and might be of varying thicknesses.
Hardwood flooring trends include:
Hypernatural: Wood styles that flaunt the natural imperfections and grain character of the raw material can be termed hyper-natural. Consumers are expected to increasingly surround themselves with products that bring them closer to nature and that look and feel authentic. The desire for a natural, rustic appearance not only applies to solid wood flooring. It also applies to laminates, inkjet-printed porcelain, and amazingly realistic LVT can also satisfy this desire.
Gray: Gray is expected to be more than a fad fashion color, but to become a new classic color with an appeal that will continue for many years. Wood and wood-look flooring in gray tones can be used to provide the foundation for on-trend industrial or urban styles and a myriad of modern styles from Scandinavian to the new minimalism.
Of course, concrete also fits into the gray color family, and just as with the hyper-natural trend, it does not necessarily need to be the “real thing.”High-definition, inkjet-printed porcelain tiles give the desired look with the performance and durability of porcelain tile.
Reclaimed: Much of the appeal of reclaimed products that they have a story to tell. Previously used, the fact that these materials are repurposed or vintage resonates with people; thus the appeal of flooring in which this equals a distressed appearance with signs of wear and aging. The reclaimed aesthetic relies on a weathered look and also begs for the mixing of varied woods and/or wood tones across a floor.
Mixed-width formats: Taking its cue from the popularity of reclaimed lumber, reclaimed flooring styles carry with them an interest in incorporating a mix of plank widths across a floor. It’s a move away from uniformity that is an important trend.
Dark and blonde wood: Both dark and blonde wood tones are currently trending and will continue to do so for several more years. Striking espresso tones of walnut give a glamorous heritage look, while blonde tones of oak, maple, and ash appeal to those who favor more modern styles.
Parquet: The classic herringbone and chevron layouts will be a favorite, but I predict puzzle-like geometrics will also begin to gain the interest of interior designers.
There are a number of hardwood sources in the Nashville area including:
Beth Haley Design Nashville 615/ 228-3664
Calvin & Settle Inc. Goodlettsville 615/ 448=6414
Carpet Den Interiors Franklin 615/ 771-0128
Floorz Brentwood 615/ 771-7669
Hitson & Co. Nashville 615/ 680-9663
Karmal Skillington Nashville 615/ 460-7197
R & S Flooring Brentwood 615/ 771-0084
Verchota Floors Nashville 615/ 868-0202