Wood flooring remains very popular with homeowners for a number of reasons including the durability, style and value for money it provides.
Timber adds additional warmth and character to a space that tiles or polished concrete cannot match. Many homeowners also prefer to use wood because it is a renewable resource that is very environmentally friendly.
Although wood flooring will never go out of style, there are various short-term and long-term trends that consumers tend to follow when making purchasing decisions. Here are some of the hottest trends for wood flooring in 2015!
Solid Wood Flooring Vs Engineered Wood Flooring
One long-term trend that has remained strong in the last two decades is using engineered wood flooring. Both solid wood flooring and engineered wood flooring are made from 100% timber but they are crafted differently.
A solid hardwood floor uses individual boards, each crafted from a single piece of timber. Engineered wood flooring uses boards that have been created from multiple plies of wood with a solid wood top layer.
Engineered wood floors are less likely to buckle or warp from exposure to moisture when compared to solid wood floors. That is because of the way the multiple plies are bonded together.
Engineered boards were actually designed for use in locations where solid wood flooring would not do well because of moisture — in basements, on top of radiant heat sources and over concrete.
Jonathan Sapir, MD of WoodandBeyond.com and one of the UK’s foremost experts on wood flooring says
It is important to understand that not all engineered wood floors are the same! The number of plies used in engineered boards can vary greatly, starting from 3 plies and going all the way through to 9. In general terms the more plies of timber used, the greater the durability and resilience of each board.
There is no discernible difference between the look of solid wood flooring and a high-quality engineered wood floor. Other reasons that engineered wood floors remain a persistent trend:
- Engineered floors are generally cheaper than solid wood floors (although usually more expensive than tiles or carpet)
- Engineered wood floors are often more environmentally friendly because the inner plies are not made from slow-growing hardwood and the manufacturing process has less wastage
- Easier installation
Hot Colour Trends In Wood Flooring
Wood floors come in a spectacular variety of colours, patterns and textures. In 2015 the top trend for colours are very diverse, with many people using extremely dark or light timbers.
Dark/Black Hardwood Floors
Dark hardwood floors remain very popular, providing a classic look that contrasts well with white or creme walls. Many homeowners are choosing to stain their timber floors very dark brown or using timbers that have been thermo-baked.
The process of thermo-baking involves placing timbers in industrial kilns at very high temperatures. The absence of oxygen in the heated kilns brings about chemical changes in the structure of the timbers used and increases the durability of the timber.
Dark wood floors can make a home seem very sophisticated, with many stained or thermo-baked timbers having a deep lustre. Dark wood can add a great deal of contrast and drama to a room but it needs to be carefully paired with the right wall colours and furniture.
White Hardwood Floors
A recent trend in wood flooring is to use very light timbers (white oak is a popular choice) or white washed floors. The process of white washing wooden floors involves using a lime based mixture to change its colour. Alternatively, some people use a stain, paint or wood oil to achieve a lighter look on their wooden floors.
Homeowners who choose lighter timbers often use more colours on their walls to create contrast. The lighter floor also helps bounce more light around a room — perfect for a house where you want to emphasise the outside light.
A white floor will make rooms seem larger and add a sense of calmness to a space. White floors are also very easy to keep clean and can be useful if you are seeking a natural or rustic feel for a room.
Grey Hardwood Floors
Using grey as a wall or floor colour has been a trend for a couple of years. Popular timbers for a grey floor are maple or birch, which can be treated to get the right colour very easily. Floors can also be stained grey, but achieving the right colour can be difficult depending on the wood.
Grey floors look very sleek and modern, perfect for a home with trendy furniture and a modern style. Grey usually works well with lighter furniture and walls, but a very light grey floor may need additional flourishes of colour to avoid being dull. Some grey finishes hint at other colours which can be emphasised by changing the colour of the walls and furniture.
Wide Vs Narrow
There is an emerging trend for using wider floorboards, to give a more rustic and interesting look to a room. Traditionally floorboards are between 2 ¾ to 3 ¾ inches (7 to 12 centimetres), with wider boards around 6 inches (15 centimetres).
The trend is becoming so popular that people are using boards as wide as 10 inches (25 centimetres) to create a very unique look for their home.
Wider boards can open up small spaces and give the illusion of a seamless floor. They can also make a space appear very modern and industrial. Designers suggest that the wider the plank is, the longer it should be as well.
Narrow boards are more suited to larger spaces but are also very useful for creating patterns or textures in a room. Many designers are choosing to lay very narrow floorboards diagonally to give a room a more interesting look.
Short Vs Long
Longer floorboards can create a very clean look that is useful for small, long or narrow rooms. Because there are less visible joints, they create a very seamless and smooth look.
Shorter planks can be used to create interesting patterns and textures. Some people opt for extremely short boards to give a room a colourful and multi-faceted floor. The different coloured grains in the timber can create a mosaic effect.
Short boards can work well in rooms of all sizes. Just be aware that they can make spaces look very busy, so it is not recommended to use short planks throughout the entire home.
In 2015 the trend is to use wide and long board, but shorter planks are still popular for individual rooms.
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