Hardwood Flooring Trends: Aesthetics vs. Practicality

Sutton Quantum

Hardwood Flooring Trends: Aesthetics vs. Practicality


In a time when there are more flooring options available than ever to homeowners, most people seem to want the same thing -- real hardwood floors. And for good reason! In addition to being warm, comfortable, and certain to stand the test of time, hardwood floors can be guaranteed to improve the value of your home.

So where does this leave you in your search? The options are endless, but when you consider durability, price, and the colour and style that will work with your home, you’ll be able to choose something that you love (and will anticipate loving for the long haul).

Solid Hardwoods

There are two options when it comes to hardwood: solid wood, which is thick planks that typically comes to mind when you think of hardwood, and engineered wood, which is made up of layers of solid wood upon multiple layers of plywood. Although engineered hardwoods like bamboo can be a great choice for an environment where there’s moisture (such as a basement), most homeowners today are turning towards solid woods, which are generally more expensive in the short term, but which prove to be more long-lasting and add significant resale value to your home compared to the alternative.

Hardwood can range from $4 to $10 per square foot, but if you include installation fees the estimate goes up to approximately $10 to $15 per square foot. Before you decide, bring home a sample with your chosen stain and finish so you can test it against your home’s lighting and decor.

Cool, Dark Shades

The gorgeous dark hardwood shades you’ve been seeing everywhere for the past few years? They’re not going anywhere - in fact, they’re poised to become an even bigger trend throughout 2018 and beyond.

Dark floors require more maintenance and attention than lighter floors, which makes them ideal for households without pets or small children. This doesn’t mean that if you have young ones or furry family members that a rich, dark floor is beyond reach - a matte finish or wire-brushed look will hide dents and scratches better than a high-sheen or clear grain wood.

Floor trends are shifting away from warmer tones, that is, woods that have red or yellow undertones, with a strong preference towards woods that are cooler and more pure, particularly those with grey undertones (more on that later).

Grey and Ash

Grey hardwood was one of the strongest flooring trends over the past year, and it’s continuing full-speed in that direction with no plans on slowing down. Grey and ash-toned hardwood creates a modern, sophisticated vibe that will still look good ten years from now.

Many homeowners are electing to refinish their existing hardwood floors for a greyer shade, but if you’re starting fresh look for ashier shades in Red Oak, White Oak or Hard Maple.

Environmentally-Friendly Choices

Modern homeowners’ environmentally conscious attitudes are reflected even in the hardwood flooring options available to them. The good news is that hardwood flooring isnatural, long lasting, recyclable and biodegradable, and many homeowners are are choosing hardwoods that have been sustainably sourced and high-grade water based polyurethane finishes as opposed to oil-based polyurethane finishes.

Look for hardwood that is certified by theForest Stewardship Council (FSC), which promotes the responsible management of forests throughout the world. If you’re looking for something with history and character, consider using reclaimed hardwood.