Fragment of ancient parquet of natural oak wood with geometric pattern. Horizontal orientation. View from above. Selective focus.

The flooring industry sees the rise and fall of many materials and trends, and hardwood is no different in this aspect. While there are periods of less frequent usage, it is believed to be on the rise again. This material has always been the standard that other types of floors and products get compared to, so it never entirely leaves the conversation on attractive construction trends. Considering that hardwood is rated to last 50 years or more, there are distinct advantages to considering this option when remodeling or renovating. 

Is Hardwood Out of Date? 

In some circles, this answer will always be yes. You should never discredit the ability of hardwood flooring to make a rocket back to the top with a new look or application. Specific flooring trends can leave you appreciating why hardwood is still a reliable option to consider in any home or business. 

Wood flooring is currently facing steep competition with bamboo and vinyl plank/tile. These have been revolutionary for flooring, as it offers a premium finished look to the living space with an installation that DIY enthusiasts can manage. As a result, even modern hardwood outfits and products are working to find an audience against overwhelming trends for finished concrete, tilework, laminates, vinyl planks, and marble. 

The answer for hardwood is new colors, textures, patterns, exotic ‘treatments,’ finishes, and more. These new products can help to keep wood plank flooring the standard moving forward. There are three growing trends slated to make an impact on this industry in the next few years. 

  1. Brighter Flooring Options in 2021

The past few years have seen several properties install flooring options with stark contrasts ranging from extreme light to true blacks. Shades of gray also became a prevalent offering of the hardwood industry. In the years to come, you can expect products to abandon these darker hues altogether, favoring weathered or white-washed appearances. 

Gray Is Here to Stay

Gray hues have played a role in hardwood flooring over the past decade and show no signs of slowing down moving forward. The look is chic in contemporary, and being a neutral color, Grays can accommodate many different decor styles. When you combine these color schemes with hand scraping techniques, you have a classic and timeless look.

Blonde is Beautiful 

Because so many modern homes have adopted an open-air feel with fewer restricting walls between living areas, a lighter flooring material accommodates this style. Blondes and whites provide an illusion of more space, without compromising their classic look that appeals to both a country or suburban setting. 

Lighter colors do not show stains as well as darker woods, so it is recommended to begin with an option that is already the hues you desire. Blonde and light hardwood flooring can come in various species, including bamboo, red oak, maple, ash, and white oak. 

Sun Bleached and Spectacular

White-washed flooring is increasing in popularity and mimics the look of a beach bungalow on the west coast. The planks look worn with a darker wood showing through a color treatment. This flooring can provide a controlled-age look that is ideal in many applications ranging from an open-air living room to a farmhouse kitchen. 

Retro stylized picture of wooden boards and lake, background with space for text.

Similar to using blonde woods and lighter shades, white-washing also makes rooms appear more spacious and homey. Depending on the rest of the decor, white-washed or sun-bleached flooring can complement bold colors for furniture and fixtures. 

  • High Variation Hardwood Plank Flooring 

There is a notable trend forming with natural wood planks ranging in size, condition, and appearances. A wide variation between these different planks showcases the original wood’s character. Manufacturers cut it to size to sell its proposed square footage, but do little else to modify the material’s appearance. 

You should not have the material stray considerably from one to the next, as these get grouped in color families. Browns and grays are common groupings for this flooring type. These materials can sometimes include the rare bright color to make the flooring random and eclectic. 

Buyer Beware: With high variation flooring, the small sample of the floor you can see may not give you the accurate depiction of the final result. If you are not that good with surprises, you might want to do your homework on the style and brand you have selected to see how some fully installed floors have turned out. 

  • Textures Make You Feel the Difference

Is Hand Scraping Going to Stick Around? 

Long scrapes in planks, with each plank slated to have its own ‘scraped’ pattern, are still prevalent in modern homes. This is designed to create a visible variation between each of the installed planks, not to mention that it feels excellent underneath bare feet. Attention to detail with installed planks make hand-scraped options seem more expensive than it is. 

Hand scraping can be replicated using cheaper production methods, though the planks’ individuality gets lost somewhat in this process as natural patterns begin to form inevitably. If you are adamant about having a unique flooring option, you might inquire about how scraping gets done and the likelihood of duplicate patterns. 

Distressed is another variation of scraping where planks get installed looking as though they have seen years of continuous use. This too often features scraping and scratches to create the used appearance, but might also show knots, scars, burns, and other irregularities to form a history. 

22 thoughts on “Is Hardwood Flooring a Popular Choice in 2021?”
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