Wood Flooring Colors

Popularity of Reclaimed Products Has Consumers Willing to Consider Wide Color Variation

A few months back I was in the middle of developing some new engineered wood flooring products that were made from new materials that were detailed in a way to mimic reclaimed wood floors.  We had added circle sawn marks to some engineered hickory wood floors, dialed in the edge bevel detail to look like like the planks were old and then stained and finished it.  We had made three different colors to preview.  As we stood there taking in the aesthetic of each sample panel, one colleague noted, if we really want it to look reclaimed we need to mix all three colors in the same sample.  We re-worked the panel to include a even mix of each stain color (light brown, dark brown and a reddish brown).  Then we stood back and took it in.  It was the right look.  The product looked good as a single color but it looked fantastic mixed.

I’m noticing more and more wood flooring producers coming up with products that show a wide range of color variation.  And this is different than just the natural variation you find in lower grade walnut or hickory.  This amount of variation is the result of actually purposefully staining woods such as hickory three separate colors and then mixing them.  I noticed this week Mannington’s product Heirloom Hickory.  It comes in two different color palates which each look to be a mix of 2-3 different colors.

Wood Floor Colors

Heirloom Hickory Aged Bronze from Mannington is a varied color product with wide ranging tones that mimic a reclaimed wood floor.

Choosing Wood Floor Color

Mannington’s Heirloom Hickory in Antique Natural.

My guess is this trend is emerging as a result of the popularity of reclaimed wood floors which oftentimes show a very wide range of color.  Although not everyone can afford a true reclaimed wood they are nevertheless enamored by the look of a multi colored wood floor.

Reclaimed Wood Floors

Above: The wide variation in color that results from producing wood flooring from aged woods. This true reclaimed oak floorfrom Aged Woods provides a great aesthetic for this interior.

Reclaimed Chestnut Wood Floor

This amazing reclaimed Chestnut floor from Old Wood Workshop in Connecticut shows stark color variation.

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Wood Floors, Wood Walls

A trend that I continue to see burgeoning is wood flooring making its way onto walls.  I was in Beijing last week at the Penta Hotel, a chain owned by SwissAir, Lufthansa and British Airways.  The hotel had great looking 5″ white oak floors that were black-washed and wire-brushed.

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I would have thought having a similar texture on the walls might be a bit much but instead of a black-wash, for the walls they switched to a white-wash and wire-brushed 5″ white oak and it turned out great.  Wood floors on walls is a design element starting to pop up in a lot of commercial settings.

Wood Flooring on Walls

These walls were covering vertically oriented wood flooring planks. The effect was natural, clean and had the effect of making the ceilings feel taller.

The Penta Hotel exudes a modern/contemporary setting but also had that natural feel that only wood can bring to a interior.  For commercial settings that are concerned about the wear and tear that traffic can have on a wood floor, adding wood flooring to walls is a great way to have a natural visual element without the worry of wear and tear.

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Wood Flooring Design in Holland

The Source of Hardwood Flooring Trends

WFT recently sat down with our good friend Johan Delissen from Royal Dutch Floor in Schijndel, Holland to discuss current hardwood floor trends.

Hardwood Flooring Trends

Royal Dutch Floor is a leading producer of hardwood flooring in Holland.

WFT – Johan thanks for taking the time to visit with us about current trends in wood flooring.

Johan – Thanks for having me.

WFT – It’s a common understanding that the wood flooring trends and designs we see in the US market have found their genesis in Europe.  Talk to us a little bit about how wood flooring trends flow in Europe.

Johan – In Europe, the Dutch are commonly referred to as the trendsetters for what becomes popular in the wood flooring market in the rest of Europe.  In general, what you see in Holland today is what will eventually make its way to the rest of Europe.

WFT – What specific trends are you seeing in the wood flooring market currently?

Johan – White oak flooring, in wide widths, long lengths and natural grades that show the full complement of character markings and natural imperfections are still the most popular platform.

WFT – In the US, wood flooring grades have moved towards more natural grades as well.  Clients used to want all the natural defects cut out and only the most uniform boards both in color and graining in their floors.  Is that similar to what you’ve seen?

Johan – Yes.  In all aspects of the product from the grade, to the colors to the finish clients want all that is natural about wood to be visible and tactile.

UV cured oil versus polyurethane

The bottom wood flooring sample was finished with 9 coats of polyurethane. Although the wood is walnut, the reflective light causes all color to be washed out. The 9 layers of finish also hide all graining and natural imperfections in the wood thus robbing it of its natural-ness. The sample on top was finished with 4 coats of UV cured oil. The finish remains closer to the face of the wood allowing the grain and texture as well as the color to shine through even against a bright backdrop.

WFT – Speaking about color trends, what are clients asking for in terms of the color palette?

Johan – Natural floors without color embellishment are very popular and any color that reflects some sense of natural tones.  Even the grey tones that result from the use of reactive staining techniques are hints of nature in the sense that they make the wood look like it has naturally weathered.

Hardwood Flooring Trends

Wide plank white oak wood floors provide a prominent natural feature in Royal Dutch’s trade show booth at a recent expo.

WFT – Describe for us what a reactive stain is and how that effects wood flooring.

Johan – Reactive stains work by “reacting” with natural components in the wood.  Tannins, which are present in most wood but are highly concentrated in white oak react with the stains to naturally weather or age the wood’s appearance.

WFT – What affect do these types of wood floor stains have color selection?

Johan – With reactive stains you can achieve a much brighter, almost 3D appearance in the graining, that is very difficult if not impossible to achieve with traditional stains.

Hardwood Floor Trends

Scandinavian theme grounded with white-washed euro white oak wood floors in this recent residential job completed by Royal Dutch Floors.

WFT – Are there other trends in wood flooring design that you are noticing?

Johan – We are also still doing a lot of burning or charring to achieve color contrast as well as bleaching and lye treatments to achieve these naturally aged or rustic looks.

Herringbone wood floors

These large format herringbone wood floors set the table for this interior.

WFT – What’s on the horizon for Royal Dutch Floor?

Johan – We continue to develop new product lines which you can see in the pictures I provided from our showroom and we are currently working on a more robust web page to further our online presence.

WFT – Johan thanks for taking a few minutes to get us up to date on what hardwood flooring trends you are seeing in Holland.  Good luck with the new product lines and we look forward to seeing your website.

Johan – Thanks again for the opportunity to take part in the conversation, Met vriendelijke groet –  Kind regards.

Hardwood Flooring Trends

Reactive stain allows Royal Dutch to achieve some incredible two-tone color appearances.

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Do Hardwood Floors Scratch?

Only if you live on them. The great thing is they still look and feel fantastic.

This 3″ Heart Pine wood floor is 80 years old and has only been refinished once. A few battle scars here and there but still full of life.

Old Wood Flooring

These floors have taken a beating over 80 years but are still going strong. Wood floors have the distinct ability to be both durable and naturally beautiful.













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Wood Floors from The Great Gatsby

Parquet Wood Flooring from The Great Gatsby Set

Due to the hype surrounding the release of the summer blockbuster re-make, the gilded age will be all the rage from now until next February when we’ll learn if the effort proved Oscar worthy.

Parquet Wood Floors

Large ornate parquet wood floor patterns adorn the hall in the set from the recently released film adaption of the great American novel.

According to the fantastic book The Elements of Style, the setting would have fallen into the American Beaux Arts period.  A time when “private fortunes were being made, and hundreds of wealthy citizens were building lavish town houses and country estates in which specific motifs were borrowed from historic European styles.  The splendid new mansions were reminiscent of French chateaux, Italian palazzi and Elizabethan manor houses, and their owners may have perceived themselves as modern equivalents of Renaissance princes”.

Wood flooring in this era was defined by large parquet patterns built with intricate designs and the use of multiple species as correctly portrayed in the film set above.

For a gallery of other parquet wood floors visit our Parquet Wood Flooring Gallery on Pinterest.

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