As the new year brings new resolutions, many of us have put home renovations high on our list. Maybe you're pledging to fix up your home in preparation for selling it in 2021. Or perhaps you're looking to enliven the place in which you've spent many, many hours of the day while sheltering in place in 2020. No matter your motivation, updating your flooring may be a good place to start.
"Homeowners are seeking tranquility and peace from all the noise outside, and want floors that help reach that serenity,” says Page Nazarian, founder of Fame Hardwood in Los Angeles. “The trend has gone toward a simpler, cleaner-looking floor with little to no texture.”
Getting the right kind of flooring for your home can breathe new life into a space. And heading into the next year, everyone needs a bit of that. If you want to make sure your design is on point, check out these up-and-coming flooring trends.
2020 was a turbulent year, and now is the time to focus on bringing the tranquility of nature indoors.
Loretta Willis, interior designer and principal/owner of Loretta’s Interior Design LLC in Atlanta, says bringing in hardwood floors in natural colors and finishes "helps us embrace our need for the home to be a place of peace and a retreat from our chaotic world."
Nazarian says a majority of their sales are oak floors, "especially in the pale tones," but walnut floors have also grown in popularity over the year.
“The popularity of the light-brown tones in hardwood flooring comes from homeowners wanting to balance colors in homes," says Bryan Sebring, president and founder of Sebring Design Build in Illinois. "Light-brown tones are especially popular with black or dark cabinetry."
And with all-white kitchens on the way out, there's never been a better time to try a color on your cabinets with more mellowed-out hardwood floors.
In terms of wood stains, the trend is going toward colors that can be achieved using organic products.
“Our research team is currently looking at acidic products like black tea and pomegranate juice to see how they can stain an oak floor using the tannins," says Nazarian. "It’s amazing the depth that can be achieved this way versus traditional oil-based stains.”
Did you know that hardwood flooring exists on a grading system? The grading refers to the look of the wood boards and how much color variation and knotting exists. Some floors have a uniform appearance, while others are more rough-hewn.
In the new year, Nazarian thinks busy flooring—with knots, color variation, and cerusing (a finish that emphasizes the texture of the wood grain)—is going out of style. Instead, select-grade hardwood floors are going to be hot.
“That means floors with fewer grain patterns, one or no coats of stain, and knots that are filled with similar-colored wood putty to the species. It’s just a cleaner, more minimal look."
In the world of hardwood floors, rift-cut floors are chosen for their clean, uniform look. The floor planks are milled perpendicular to the log's growth rings, which creates a linear, straight grain with no flecking. Essentially, it's a cutting technique that shows off the lines of the wood in a uniform yet organic way.
“Our rare rift-cut walnut flooring has become very popular lately because of the uniqueness of the linear grains,” says Nazarian.
Sebring agrees. He says the rift-cut look "has become more popular with flooring because it highlights the grain and the natural beauty in the wood.”
Photo by Robert Thomas Homes
Craving the consistent look of clean lines and a continuous grain pattern? Opt for longer boards when choosing hardwood floors for your home.
"Longer boards are trendy because they give the optical illusion of a bigger space,” says Sebring. “This can really make a smaller kitchen or family room look larger.”
Nazarian says longer lengths are popular because clients are tired of what she calls the "Morse code" of flooring: a blend of short, medium, and long planks.
“It causes too many breaks in the sequence and a staccato feel,” says Nazarian. “Longer planks give a sense of harmony and rhythm.”
This content was originally published here.