Wood Flooring For Its Timeless Appeal
Wood flooring still ranks high on home buyers' wish lists. This popularity has remained because of its long-term durability, inherent natural character and warmth, low risk of allergens and range of aesthetic choices that suit almost any decor. Wood is also a draw for buyers seeking low-maintenance options. When thinking of renovating flooring, it is a good idea to look at flooring design trends and product improvements. Below are some choices to consider.
Width - In recent years, manufacturers have made wider boards, up to 24 inches, which can add to cost. Narrower widths look more traditional while wider planks give a more modern look. Wider yields fewer seams and looks good in larger spaces.
Length - Longer planks have become popular, sometimes 10 feet in length, which are good for larger spaces. Shorter planks can look choppy, especially if the grain isn't consistent.
Species - Oak, and particularly white oak, remains the most popular because it's a hard material that can be re-sanded multiple times and takes finishes and colors well. It also will stand up to scratches, dents and dings and pet paws. It can be cut in different ways, which reveals the wood's different types of grain. Walnut follows as a second favorite, with softer woods such as hickory, beech, and pine being less popular. Ash and maple tend to give a contemporary vibe, but aren't as stable.
Color - Most extreme colors are going to the wayside, like darkest ebony which tends to reveal every scratch and piece of dog hair. The lightest Scandinavian-style white and palest gray, which have been popular as of late, are becoming less popular as well. For a safe, timeless look that will appeal to the largest group, consider a warm honey hue or a custom color developed by a professional..
Decorative features - If you want to personalize wood flooring, you might lay boards in a chevron or hexagonal pattern. Texture can also be introduced through hand scraping or wire brushing. You can also coordinate wood in other places, such as on walls, bedroom headboards, or in furniture designs. Downside of any personalization is that it can narrow the buyer pool.
Beyond the living room - Homeowners are installing wood flooring in all rooms of the home. Many like the look of continuous wood throughout an interior.
Manufactured technique - Engineered flooring consists of multiple layers of hardwood veneers glued and pressed together to improve stability, so it doesn't expand and contract as much as solid wood, especially in humid weather. The thickness of the top layer will determine how often it can be sanded and the board's quality. It can also be glued to a concrete slab.
Finish - More buyers favor a matte or low-sheen rather than high-gloss look, which reveals fewer imperfections and dirt. This can be achieved with either a water-based or natural-oil finish. If strong sunlight is a factor, buyers should be sure the product offers protection against ultraviolet light, so it won't fade.
~Courtesy of Realtor Magazine