The 7 Hottest Trends in Wood Flooring 2016
18th May 2016
Like all covetable items in life – whether in fashion, interiors or general lifestyle – wood flooring too has its current winners and losers. In this article we’re going to look at what’s making it big this year here in both the UK and the States and what we suspect you’re going to be seeing a lot of next year as well – whether in homes, hotels, public offices, retail outlets and commercial premises in general. Hint: look out for wider boards, grey patinas and rougher surfaces.
Our findings are based on what we ourselves are seeing in the general construction trade, from talking to interior designers and from what our customers are telling us.
1. Wider boards
Around eight inches in width is now the go-to size for boards. This trend fits in well with reclaimed wood (which tends to have wider planks because the trees are older than those used for newer boards).
Wider boards give off more of a rustic appeal so are perfect for shabby chic, country cottage and even an industrial style design. They’re also much more stable than thinner boards since they’ll reduce the number of bevels in a room by roughly a quarter.
Another benefit of fitting wider planks is that they can appear to ‘open up’ a room more (just as bigger tiles do with bathroom walls).
2. Grey tone
An ageing process on newer boards called fuming is increasingly being used. This involves exposing the wooden planks to fumes from ammonium hydroxide, which in turn reacts to tannins in the wood, causing them to develop a natural grey patina. The longer the wood is exposed to the fumes, the darker it becomes.
In fact, grey toned planks have been popular for a couple of years now. It’s not difficult to understand why – it’s a neutral colour and unlike the redder woods, easy to match with other décor colours.
3. Textured surfaces
Home-owners and other customers are now demanding a weathered, aged look on their new boards (the type of look that is achieved using reclaimed wood). This often involves scratching the wood by hand using a rotating wire brush (cheaper versions involved machine scratching which can produce an unnatural look since every plank looks identical). The beauty of this type of flooring is that additional dents and scratches just become ‘part of the mix’
4. Oiled floors
In their quest to achieve a modern yet natural shabby chic look many householders are opting to have wooden floors oiled. This is where the natural oils penetrate the wood in order to enhance the natural grain. It results in more of a reclaimed wood effect but it’s expensive and can prove high maintenance too.
5. Darker floors
A big trend in recent years is to have floors darker and darker – to the extent that Duraseal has now introduced its darkest stain ever. True Black is a step or two more pronounced that Ebony. Darker flooring looks terrific when contrasted with white walls and mouldings. The boldness it brings a room gives a more up-to-date look overall.
6. Oversized herringbone/geometric patterns
Like the mid-century parquet flooring, herring bone wooden floors are returning – but this time the planks are wider and longer. They’re often constructed too without a border, for a more contemporary feel. Patterns are a bit more adventurous, such as a dice shape or the planks are staggered.
7. Home uniformity
For a while there it was fashionable to have different styles of hardwood flooring in different rooms in the house. But no more. Now many householders like a uniformity where the same wood and stain is used in every room in the home. This gives more of a free-flowing, co-ordinated look and a sense of size. It’s also much more suited to the modern open-plan living aesthetic where the kitchen, dining room and sitting are just one large open space: