Wood flooring isn’t something that changes as often as other trends, probably because new drapes and wall paper are a lot easier logistically than packing up the house to refinish or install new flooring. That makes the decision on your new look a lot more important as most folks want to do this only once or-twice if they move-in a lifetime. It used to be about wood specie and has evolved to using bleaches, dyes and different grades of lumber from rustic to almost perfect graining.
So where to start? Personally, I am a Frank Lloyd Wright believer that the materials which are locally available (Oak, Maple and Walnut in the flooring category) have the best opportunity for design longevity. By inviting the flooring contractor into the discussion with the designer we ensure the desired look meets the desired maintenance; and a professional flooring professional will provide samples on your floor. Take some time to know what is important to you. Below are some of our projects to help get you started with inspiration.
Rustic Hand-Hewn White Oak
We installed this wood in our showroom to show how an all-white, tailored kitchen can feel grounded when the wood is natural with knotted imperfections and a subtle, hand-hewn marks are picked up by the walnut stain. We think the painted blue island adds yet another dimension to the look. Keep in mind these are a little more work to keep clean with the knots, but we think it is worth it.
This very dark look we had refinished over the 1929 floor in one of our showroom offices. To achieve this level of saturation, a dye, not a stain, is used so the pigment can reach the density desired. While dark floors are still on the desirable design list, we think it may be a waning trend because more color is being used on the walls and dark floors show dirt and pet hair a bit more than light floors.
Natural (almost) Walnut
One of our favorite Dover homes has one of Ray’s favorite wood species…. Walnut. Dark walnut delivers a very neutral color tone making it easy to change colors from warm to cool without a worry (probably why walnut stain is very popular on oak floors). Walnut is a more expensive wood, but it is very hard and delivers a beautiful natural look. This finish is natural with a light enough stain to blend the lighter (sap wood) grains without detracting from the natural beauty.
Sometimes our clients just know best about what they love and want to achieve and this was the perfect example. After meeting with our designer and flooring pro, the client received samples of custom mixed stains to use. In the end, we ended up with this one-off that so delicately muted the oak to neutralized the yellows and reds, and makes this sun filled home feel like a vacation property year-round. The color? That is top secret and we call it ROS5729!
We are working on a project near completion on a lower level of a beautiful home tucked into natural surroundings. Because this project is the re-invention of an entire floor that has a concrete slab below it, we installed this beautiful high-quality engineered flooring to maintain the stability in case of moisture. With a substantially thick unfinished wood veneer we were able to add multiple finishes to arrive at the desired variegated look. We love the blend of colors! In the end there are endless possibilities if you know what your options are.