If you’re looking for inspiration for your next project involving new floors, you might be wondering whether you should add some color to your floors, or what kind of finish to use. Here are some suggestions based on what’s currently popular. Some trends have fizzled out since we first wrote this article in 2016, so we’ve updated those. Interestingly, other trends have remained the same!
Whitewashed floors – Still in. Whitewashed hardwood floors create a muted look that is perfect for a beach house. A good idea if you’d like an extra beachy look is to apply this with a wire brush method, which opens the grain of the wood and provides an authentically weathered appearance. Bona NordicSeal is an especially popular finish that contractors use to achieve this look. This is a very chic, European style.
Graywashed floors – Still in. Gray has gained popularity in the interior design industry recently as the industry’s preferred neutral tone for carpeting, tile, and décor items. So it makes sense that hardwood floors would begin to follow that trend as well. Adding a graywashed stain to a hardwood floor can help accentuate that floor’s natural beauty while perfectly complementing nearly any style. Choose from light gray, dark gray, and virtually everything in between in order to amplify the modern appeal of your floors, making them look weathered and interesting. Click here for a video guide to making DIY gray-aged stain for a white oak floor.
Dark and ebony stains – Still in. Dark flooring stains like brown or ebony have gained popularity in recent years. An ebony stain added to a white oak floor can add an air of elegance and modern appeal to almost any space. If you’re going for a more traditional look, you can choose a more muted dark stain like brown walnut, chestnut, espresso, or Jacobean. A dark floor pairs well with interior design elements that feature light colors.
Site-finished rather than prefinished floors – New for 2019. This upward trend in site-finished floors is most likely due to the fact that they are more customizable, allowing you to select the exact finish, color, and treatment that you want for the floor. You can mix colors to achieve your exact desired end result, which you can’t really do with prefinished floors – what you see is what you get. Also because they have a smoother overall appearance. The beveled edges found in prefinished floors break up the continuity of the flooring and tend to collect dirt.
Natural or “blonde” finish – Still in. For certain species with knots and natural color variation like hickory or southern yellow pine, it’s sometimes best to let the natural beauty of the wood speak for itself. In these cases, you’d want to coat the floor in a clear, natural finish that preserves the integrity of the wood while refraining from adding any color to it. Water-based finish is a popular option for those hoping to achieve a natural look in their floors because water-based finish goes on clear, as opposed to the slight yellowing that is common with most oil-based polyurethane finishes. Matte finish also fits into this category. Matte finishes are steadily continuing to gain popularity because they truly accentuate the natural look of the wood rather than covering it up with gloss.
Wirebrushed floors and other textures – New for 2019. This trend is not necessarily new, but we are still seeing an upward trend in this direction. Wirebrushed as well as hand scraped floors impart a rustic quality to the space by giving the floors a rough texture. They are also a very practical choice because the texture of the floors doesn’t show as much dust and dirt as a smooth floor would.
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