Sustainability and Detailing Enhance Wood Options

Wood has been used as a flooring material for millennia, although it came into everyday use during the Middle Ages. Nearly every home uses wood, at least in subflooring, but many homeowners choose to showcase wood as a decorative design feature. Wood floors are an excellent choice in a design environment that values natural materials across decor categories. Below, we review some of the options available to homeowners today.

Rustic Wood

Although the modern country or farmhouse style may have passed its peak of popularity, the rustic wood flooring trend that supports it is still very much in fashion. These floors feature wider planks that appear handcrafted, with slight imperfections that give them character and an authentic ambiance. They look like they were installed decades ago and have acquired an aged patina through years of family living. Well-defined grain, knots, and color variations in the materials are desirable for a broad range of casual decorating schemes. If using reclaimed wood for a rustic floor is an option, the burnished look reflects an actual history. Reusing materials with more to give after a previous incarnation is a beautiful way to practice sustainability.

Hardwood Patterns

Herringbone and parquet are two classic wood floor patterns that are timeless and on-trend. Herringbone is characterized by diagonal lines, creating an eye-catching effect. Parquet is a more intricate pattern created using multiple small pieces of wood to create a geometric design. The choice between the patterns depends on the desired look and feel of the finished floor. Herringbone is a good choice for those who want a visually open and spacious floor, while parquet works for a more traditional and elegant look.

Finished to Perfection

Hardwood is easily stained, allowing for more unique and multi-toned configurations. Walnut and oak in darker tones add depth and richness to the other décor in the room. Designers play off this deeply-hued palette by coordinating the dark planks with earthy-influenced fabrics and accessories. The effect reflects naturally occurring combinations, emphasized by tactile materials and textures.

Cork Floors — Not Just for Commercial Buildings

A final flooring choice that you may have yet to consider is cork. This natural bark product in shades of rusty tan to beige or brown comes from a specific type of oak tree. When skilled artisans carefully remove the cork layer, the culling does not damage the tree, allowing for future harvests. A cork floor has superior soundproofing capabilities and insulates the surfaces. Cork is recyclable and bio-degrades at the end of its useful life.

Hardwood and cork flooring are both excellent choices for renovations and initial construction. Today’s focus on naturally derived materials that complement furnishings and household goods in darker earth tones elevates wood floors to the top of the list.