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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Wood Floor of the Week

Pine Wood Floor in a Palatial Setting

These incredible pine planks were installed in Amalienborg Castle in Copenhagen during a 5 year restoration project.  Dinesen, a fouth generation wood flooring company founded in the small Danish town of Jels in 1898, crafted the planks seen here.

Pine Wood Floor

Single room length planks fashioned from pine grace the Amalienborg Castle in Copenhagen.

See the full story on this project here.

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Wire Brushed Wood Floors

I’m seeing a continuing shift where clients are still wanting wood floors some texture but not necessarily the hand scraped looks.  Wire-brushed floors which seemed to have a false start 5 years ago are now widely accepted.

european white oak flooring

Grainy wood species like white oak are given texture by passing under a wire bristle brush. The brush “sweeps” out the softer spring wood giving the surface relief that makes the grain more pronounced.

New wire-brushing techniques have evolved which have a nicer effect on less grainy woods such as hickory and maple but the predominant product being used is European white oak in wide widths.

Wire-brushed wood floor

Close up of a wire-brushed white oak wood floor from Real Wood Floors.

This product could be found at every booth at the Shanghai Domotex show in March.  Every vendor has jumped on this bandwagon so expect the product to be pushed into every retail outlet in the US.




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Social Media and Wood Flooring

After a busy season of traveling, where I get behind on my posts it’s always so difficult to get started again.  I keep hearing the words of social media expert Paul Guillin in my head telling me “you just have to keep at the blogging thing for a year before you’ll really see the results”.  In theory I think he’s right, but at the same time not having seen the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow it gets difficult at times to keep moving along.  However, I have passed some milestones in the social media arena this year.  I thought I’d highlight them here for you.  Maybe it will serve to motivate your efforts and reinvigorate my own.


1) I sold a wood floor on twitter.  I’d have to be honest and say this was not intentional but it did happen.  I was searching around the twittersphere to see who was talking about wood floors.  It seems if you do this search you get predominantly 5 things.  First you get people who are saying varying versions of “I love sliding on hardwood floors in my socks!”, secondly you find people saying “I hate sleeping on my hardwood floor”, then third you get some marketing bots offering Bona floor cleaner, imagine that Bona selling in yet another arena?, fourthly you’ll find wood flooring manufacturers and contractors touting their latest product or install and lastly you’ll get homeowners who are considering having wood floors or those who have new floors asking questions.

I happened to engage one homeowner who had asked a question about tearing out carpet and replacing with wood flooring.  That tweet turned into a email conversation, then to a phone conversation and then to directing him to a local distributor of our products who sold him a floor.  Bizarre.

2)  I sold a specific floor that was highlighted on a blog post.  This was a random set of circumstances where I had posted a picture of a newly installed floor.  I got a phone call from a homeowner asking about that particular type of flooring the very next day.  Turns out he had seen that picture and it was exactly what he was looking for.  I was able to connect him with a local distributor of our products as well and he bought the floor the following week.  Doesn’t happen every week but it was interesting to see the sales cycle and its potential.


3)  I successfully used one of my boards on Pinterest to convince a customer that we had the product they were looking for.  The Pinterest showroom closed the deal.

4)  I was recognized at a trade show as a result of my blogging.  Fame!  Finally.  I was counting down the 15 seconds in my head.


I was approached by a number of people at the latest NWFA trade show in Orlando asking me a lot of questions about my social media efforts and whether or not they were paying off.  I have to say its a labor of love and the results are both difficult to measure and at this point fairly insignificant.  However I do believe the idea has merit for one reason.

When people go looking for a solution to a problem today, they rarely pick up a magazine or newspaper, they don’t turn on the radio and start scanning through stations looking for answers nor do they turn on the TV and start surfing trying to find a program or commercial that will have a product or program to solve their problem.  They do however open up a browser and type their query into a search engine.  If I can provide content that is focused on answering the questions that people are asking that pertain to wood floors then I am going to show up on the radar from time to time.  If my content answers their question then they are probably going to ask me another question and see if I can ultimately offer them a product that will solve their problem.

I’m interested to hear what others in our industry are up to in the social media world.  Chime in with thoughts and/or questions and let’s start a discussion.

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Hardwood Floor of the Week – 17

Elmira College was founded in 1855 in Elmira, New York. Elmira College is noted most famously for being the home of Mark Twain’s study from which he wrote Life on the Mississippi, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  

More recently, Elmira had a interior facelift that included new hardwood floors.  For the project 44,000sqft of engineered unfinished 2 1/4″ S&B R&Q white oak was produced, including a small portion that was fumed dark to provide a contrasting color for the inlay work of purpleheart feature strip.

quartersawn white oak flooring

This project featured 2 1/4" unfinished engineered R&Q White Oak floors from Real Wood Floors in both natural and fumed tones.

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