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Trends in Engineered Hardwood Flooring

You have decided you are definitely going to install new floors, and you have even decided that you are going with engineered flooring. Now what finish and stain are you going with? What kind of wood are you going to select? As you review the variety of stains and finishes it is still important to consider how your floors will appear to a potential buyer of your home. You may not be thinking about selling right now, or maybe you know that you will be living in your home for a very long time so that really isn’t a big deal for you. Either way selecting a finish that is something you like as well as something that is trendy and current so the compliments on your home are endless.

Floors: Distressed

About 10 years ago, hand scraped, contoured floors, or the distressed look, were incredibly popular but they have actually started to take a back seat in popularity to the softer wire brushed look. This wire brushed look actually does not show aging or wear as quickly so it is a little more appealing to those who have young children or pets running around.

What is it made of?

You know the look of the floor you want, but do you know the kind of wood material you are going to select for your floors? Any kind of oak, red or white, has remained a strong contender amongst engineered hardwood flooring. If you do decide to go for the distressed or rustic look, hickory is a great choice to accomplish this. Maple and birch used to be very popular in only their natural finished look but they are still used in homes, or rooms, to achieve an open and fresh look although they are now more popular with an added finish.

Factory or Onsite Finish?

There is a divide as to whether it is better to get factory finished flooring, or better to have onsite finishing? There are benefits to both, but it ultimately depends on what you want. The prefinished variety has been the undisputed choice in the past, and 2016 is not looking any different. Onsite finishing can be a little more costly but it can also give you a truly custom floor because the professionals can finish it to exactly your preference.

Plank length and width

It has become increasingly popular to have longer planks in your flooring. With a longer plank, it opens up your room, but it also makes it so much easier to install the flooring throughout an entire level of your home. If you decide to install the same flooring in multiple rooms, longer planks makes it feel as though your home is much more brought together and modern.

Further, wider planks have taken a dramatic rise in popularity. Plank width can be ordered up to 12” wide, and the great thing about this is that wide planks do not have to be installed in a big space to look right. In fact, wide plank installation makes your space look bigger and more open.

Pro Tip: if you are sold on the look of a wide plank it is probably better to order a longer plank because if you use short, wide planks you may get what is known as the checkerboard look and less like a modern, fresh finished floor.

Finish

Matte finishes are definitely on the rise, and appear to be taking over in popularity while satin finishes are still holding steady and are quite common. However, glossy finishes are not popular and are no longer popular with new installs.

The trend for looks this year are darker finishes, or incredibly light finishes. This seems like two ends of the spectrum and you are not wrong in noticing that, but it depends on what look you are going for. Darker, greyer finishes give a much more modern and trendy look, while really light finishes give a fresh and airy feel to the room. If you have rooms with a lot of light, having dark floors can help to balance the look, while if your home does not have a lot of natural light choosing a light finish floor may help to open up your home.

Location

Hardwoods are being installed in various areas of the home in 2016. A long time ago, it was only thought for these floors to be in living rooms or family areas. Now, however, it is incredibly common to install these floors in foyers, entranceways, kitchens, bathrooms, offices, basements, living rooms and dining rooms. The one room that is not common to have this floor is a bedroom. Overall the preference for bedrooms is still carpet.

Pro Tip: if you are doing other renovations in your home such as painting or a installing a new kitchen you should wait until all other work is done before installing your new floors. In every day life your floors take the brunt of your lifestyle, so imagine the damage that could be done to them during renovations.

Pro Tip: if you are doing other renovations in your home such as painting or a installing a new kitchen you should wait until all other work is done before installing your new floors. In every day life your floors take the brunt of your lifestyle, so imagine the damage that could be done to them during renovations.

Overall the trends for 2016 are not so different from 2015. Wider, longer planks help to tie rooms together if you are planning to install the flooring throughout your home. You can use a dark finish to balance out a room with lots of natural light, or use a light finish to open up rooms lacking natural light such as a basement or office. The trend overall appears to be selecting a finish on one end of the spectrum or the other; mid-level finishes with redder and warmer undertones are not quite as popular. These trends and tips will help you to select not only a floor you will enjoy, but one that will help to boost your home’s value should you decide to sell it.

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