Today's Trends in Wood Flooring and Hardwood Floor Refinishing

Every homeowner should stay on top of trends in wood flooring and hardwood floor refinishing, as your home's floors make up a large part of its appearance. Flooring also needs to be durable as well as easy to maintain, and of course, many homeowners are concerned with how their home décor and other such choices affect the environment.

Today's trends in hardwood floor refinishing include strong colors and tones, as well as muted colors that create a transitional look. Homeowners are also choosing more reclaimed wood, cork, and other eco-friendly options for their home flooring.

While your home's flooring is often a costly investment, you want to ensure that you opt for new flooring materials and style that you'll love for many years to come. If your home already has wood floors, it's also good to carefully consider all your refinishing options and how to refinish hardwood floors, so you can potentially make changes to the floor's appearance as desired. Check out some of today's hottest trends when it comes to residential wood flooring and its refinishing.

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Hot Trends in Residential Hardwood Refinishing

While hardwood floors need consistent refinishing to remove surface defects and prepare the timber for a fresh coat of sealant, refinishing your floors also allows you to change their appearance. Hardwoods can typically be painted or stained a wide variety of colors and tones, creating the look of brand new flooring in your home without the cost of a new floor! Check out some of the hottest trends in residential hardwood refinishing, so you know the choices you might discuss with your floor refinishing professional.

  • While walnut has been a favorite color for creating a rich, dark flooring, another dark color choice for hardwood floors is near-black! True Black, which is a soft and shiny black tone, is an excellent choice for older hardwoods or those with lots of imperfections and inconsistencies, as this dark shade will cover those imperfections easily. True Black is also good for rooms that get lots of light that would otherwise wash out the color of your floors.
  • Gray and blends of gray are also a hot trend for wood flooring. An exact gray tone is excellent for homes with modern décor, as this shade easily coordinates with metal and glass features. A lighter gray wash is perfect for creating a casual, airy atmosphere in any room, and especially those spaces that don't get much light.
  • Lighter tones and colors without a yellow undertone are also quite popular today. Removing the yellow undertone from lighter floors colors will create a beige and gray blend that offers a slightly traditional feel with a more modern touch, for a transitional style that perfectly fits many of today's interiors.
  • Whitewashed floors are also very popular today! A whitewash is a soft, muted shade of white that creates a breezy yet modern feel, without being overpowering or stark. A whitewash is an excellent choice for homes in tropical areas, or that often feel hot and stuffy during summer months, as the lighter floor color will keep the home cooler.
  • Exposing the natural grain of the wood and covering it with plain shellac is very popular, for a casual and earthy feeling in the home. A wire brush finish, which can replicate the look of natural grain and give wood floors texture, is a costly yet popular option for many homeowners today.
  • Many of today's hardwood floors also boast a matte finish rather than a satin or gloss sheen. Matte finishes are less likely to show dust, dirt, and other marks and imperfections. A matte finish also offers a more natural, rustic look than a glossy sheen.

Today's Trends in Wood Flooring

If you don't yet have wood floors in your home, you might consider some popular trends for materials and styles, as today's popular choices for residential wood are anything but traditional! Materials are also more eco-friendly than before, and homeowners are also expressing their style with unique flooring options, while also choosing flooring that is convenient to install and maintain. Consider some of today's hot trends in residential timber flooring materials and cuts:

  • Exotic hardwoods are appreciated for their density and durability, and tigerwood especially offers lots of color variations and graining along its surfaces. This added graining creates visual interest on the floor, keeping it from looking too consistent and downright dull.
  • Rustic oak or Douglas fir with lots of knots and graining are also quite popular today, creating a casual and almost country feeling in the home.
  • Cork has a soft feeling underfoot and provides better sound insulation than many other types of wood flooring. Consider cork for upstairs rooms or any other area that requires more sound insulation and added comfort.
  • Reclaimed pine is often easy to find, as pine is used in a variety of building projects. Opting for reclaimed pine brings a historic look and feel to your home's floors, while also keeping that pine out of landfills and reducing the amount of virgin wood that needs harvesting!
  • Brazilian cherry is a hot trend in wood floors today, as this wood boasts a wide range of color tones and grain patterns. Brazilian cherry floors offer lots of visual appeal because of these inconsistencies.
  • Wide planks are quickly becoming a favorite, as these add volume to a room and easily fill larger spaces without looking crowded and cluttered. Wider planks also create a more rustic and casual look and feel than narrow planks, for a more inviting feeling in the home.
  • Parquet, chevron patterns, checkerboard, and the like are falling out of favor with many homeowners, who prefer a more subdued and consistent look on the floor. Consider how busy these patterns might appear before deciding on anything other than simple, consistent planks.
residential hardwood flooring

Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing or Refinishing Hardwood Floors

To ensure you end up with hardwood floors that you'll love for many years to come, consider some common mistakes made by many homeowners when choosing new hardwood or when scheduling needed refinishing for their floors, and keep these in mind when searching for “hardwood floor refinishing near me” online:

  • If you're not sure the color tone or shade you prefer, opt for something very light rather than hardwoods with a reddish or deep brown hue. It's easier to paint over light floor colors than it is to cover up a dark color, so if you're not quite sure the color you want on your home's floors, opt for a natural oak or pine that can then be painted or stained.
  • Remember to consider the amount of light in any space when choosing a color tone for your hardwood. In a room without much natural light, even a soft cherry color might look muddy and dull! At the same time, lots of natural light might make a whitewashed floor look too stark and bland.
  • Distressed finishes create visual interest on a home's flooring, but don't overlook the size of a room when considering such specialty touches. A distressed finish on a huge floor can soon look busy, cluttered, and distracting.
  • When changing the look of your hardwood floors, be sure to consider the tone and color of cabinets, wood furniture, trim, window frames, and other such pieces. Too many wood color tones and varieties in one space can easily clash and look very distracting.
  • Consider the color of your furniture or area rugs before changing the color of wood floors. Very light furniture against a whitewashed floor can look stark and dull, whereas dark furniture against a new True Black floor can virtually disappear! Ensure there is some contrast between the floor and your furniture when choosing a new finish option.
choosing hardwood flooring

Why Hardwood Floor Refinishing Is Not a DIY Job

A homeowner should never assume that they can rent a floor sander and refinish the hardwood floors in their home. No matter the cost to refinish hardwood floors, refinishing timber flooring is more difficult and cumbersome than many homeowners realize, and requires some unique know-how and skills. Note a few reasons why any residential floor refinishing is not a DIY job and remember these important considerations if you’re worried about how much it costs to refinish hardwood floors:

  • Floor sanders are very heavy and difficult to control; improper use of a sander can result in swirl marks or lines of uneven sanding.
  • It's quite easy for an amateur to remove too much surface material from hardwood floors, making the timber thin and weak. Also, the more material removed from hardwood slats, the less often they can be refinished!
  • Dustless refinishing by a professional will reduce or eliminate the dust that settles around your home during the sanding process.
  • A floor refinishing professional will note dents, dings, indentations, scratches, and other blemishes along the surface of floors that need extra care for removal.
  • Different hardwoods might require various types of sandpaper; denser woods are often harder to sand and might need a coarse grit, whereas a heavy grit might damage softwoods. A flooring refinishing professional will know the right sandpaper to use for any hardwood.

Related Questions

Can you paint over a wood floor without sanding or refinishing it?

As with any wood surface, sanding is often required before the application of paint, to remove current coatings and to ensure the paint adheres properly. Painting wood floors without necessary prep can then result in peeling paint, uneven color, and the like.

Is waxing the same as refinishing?

Hardwood floor refinishing involves the application of some sealant or coating, to protect wood from damage, stains, the like. Wax is not a popular coating option, as it's difficult to maintain and may even show stains rather than repel them!

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