WALKING THE PLANKS: The Beauty and the Ageless Appeal of Wood Flooring

Do you remember when shag was all the rage? Flooring trends have certainly evolved since then. It’s hard to believe there was a time when wall-to-wall flooring meant covering your hardwood with carpet! While carpet still creates a cozy feel in many homes, these days it’s all about a natural feel. Whether dark or light, highly polished or roughly hewn, wood flooring has never been more on trend. It’s classic, hypoallergenic, and easy to clean and there are so many options which make wood a go-to for many homeowners.

Whether you’re pulling up old carpet to discover what lies beneath, or having new floors installed, choosing the right wood for your home is a lot more complicated than simply picking one you like and slapping it down. Most homeowners only want to redo their floors once, so choosing a material that’s both beautiful and enduring is important.

“Whenever you are investigating new flooring, you want to do your research,” says Justin Jendruch, co-owner and manager of Project Hardwood Flooring in Aurora. “Besides colour and wood type, you want to be sure of the build quality—especially when it comes to engineered hardwood.”

Engineered hardwood flooring has become a popular choice for kitchens, entryways, dining rooms, and in more traditional areas such as living rooms and studies. Engineered wood uses a thick strip of solid wood that is bonded to a structured substrate to create a floorboard that is hardwearing and can be resurfaced like solid wood.

Engineered wood flooring has a lot to offer, including stability, quality, longevity and range. But when it comes to the overall durability, Jendruch says the most important thing to consider is the type of wood used and the environmental conditions in your home.

“Different companies use different materials in their engineered wood, so it reacts differently to humid and dry conditions,” he explains. “Whether you decide on engineered wood or solid wood, the conditions in your home will play a big role in what product is best for you.”

When it comes to style, the majority of homeowners are moving away from the narrow, busy planks of the last decade in favour of wider planks that bring a more modern look to a home. Wide planks not only suit modern, minimalist styles, they also evoke a farmhouse feeling that can be enhanced by choosing natural, textured woods.

Jendruch says that nowadays most manufacturers favour light, natural finishes for their products, instead of dark woods. “Medium brown is pretty much the darkest anyone goes now,” he says. “People that are buying hardwood for the second or third time often mention that they regret picking a dark colour because it shows every inch of dust and every little scratch.”

Grey continues to be a go-to neutral, easily blending with other colours and serving in a wide range of design styles from mid-century modern to rustic farmhouse. Sea salt off-whites, similar to mist, provide hints of colour from surf and sand.

Hard woods like Hickory and Hard Maple are great options for those looking for a more durable solid wood flooring option (especially if you have young kids or dogs running around); however, Red and White Oak continue to be the most popular option. Exotic species such as Brazilian Cherry, Teak, Iroko, and Wenge are also something to consider.

“At the end of the day, most hardwood is going to wear and scratch over time. But you can always opt for a more textured finish if you want to hide the wear and tear,” Jendruch suggests. If your tastes change, you can simply refinish when the time comes.


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