February 2, 2020
Hardwood Flooring was always thought to be the more traditional choice in new home installations or existing home renovations, but in recent years it has seen a tremendous rise in popularity. With an ever-changing industry, it is important to stay knowledgeable about the options that are available, as well as learn about what other homeowners are choosing for their new floor installations. These trends all stayed popular throughout 2019 and have continued to gain traction through the beginning of this year.
Wide Plank Flooring
Most of the wood flooring that you will see installed in older homes and buildings is narrow, traditional plank wood, and is very clean and free from imperfections. Recently though, wide plank flooring has surfaced as the preferred choice in the industry. It creates the appearance that your room is larger; and that the floors are sturdy and high quality and can be a great way to make a statement that your floor is the premium feature of your home. Wide plank flooring can be purchased in many different material types, and can have many different finishing treatments. The most important thing to remember when choosing wide plank flooring is that the possibilities are endless, but choosing an expert installation team is essential.
Mixed Species of Wood
Another popular trend that lends to the rustic charm of a floor is to utilize either mixed species of wood, or mixed finishing treatments of wood. For people who would like solid Oak floors, but want to add a little contrast in color and texture, a mix of milled and distressed grade reclaimed oak can be used to create a unique and beautiful floor that flows naturally throughout the home. Another common trend is to mix the size of the planks, which achieves a similar unique design through the contrast, but will still flow naturally together and create a seamless finished floor. For even more contrast, a mix of size, grade and species can be used, and this will bring a rustic charm to any space.
Environmentally Friendly Finishes
Many people are hesitant to consider hardwood flooring because of the common misconceptions surrounding the finishing treatments that are used in hardwood refinishing or installation projects; however, recently there have been many great improvements to the types of finishes that are commonly available to reduce the environmental impact.
For the new year, expect to see an increase in the usage of higher quality polyurethane oils that are VOC compliant and therefore will not off-gas as much as previous products. VOC’s, or volatile organic compounds, have a high vapor pressure at room temperature and causes them to enter the surrounding air within an environment. There are a variety of higher grade finishes on the market that are both VOC compliant, but do not compromise on the durability or protective qualities of the finish.
In addition to the polyurethane oils that are VOC compliant, the use of natural oils such as tung and linseed oils, have increased in popularity. One of the advantages of using natural oil is that they are biodegradable and can be easily reapplied when needed. They also have the benefit of creating a richer and more organic patina as they permeate into the natural wood. The downside to using these natural oils is that they require more regular maintenance, and they can easily absorb water, so they are not suitable for every home.