We are all too familiar with the century old classic strip oak flooring. Nowadays, there are so many varieties of wood floor options and trends that it becomes difficult to make a decision. Where do you start? From wide plank hardwood to wide plank softwood and especially reclaimed wood, there is a customizable look for every space and design style.
Unfinished vs Pre-Finished
In the past, smooth sanded, unfinished wood planks were the only available option. Today you can choose pre-finished flooring which simplifies the installation process, the stain application and the sealing process. One of the many benefits of prefinished wood flooring is that once your installation process is complete, you can walk on it right away instead of waiting days for the finish to cure. Also, you do not have to worry about the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that reside in the polyurethane resins and solvents. Best of all, depending on square footage, your prefinished flooring can be installed in one day.
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Wood Floor Texture
Wood texture is another consideration when choosing the type of flooring that is right for you. With a variety of species to choose from, you can help narrow down your choices by deciding on the texture you want depending on your style. Smooth texture is an excellent option for modern design styles.
If you are seeking a more natural, rustic design style, then reclaimed wood should be at the top of your list. Antique wood such as reclaimed oak or heart pine is full of texture and character, which is difficult to replicate. Natural texture is always in style and will never lose its popularity.
Wood Floor Stain
After considering your choice in wood texture, the color tone of your wood will be affected by your choice in stain. Hardwood floor stain is the perfect way to bring out the natural grain in the wood. Traditional stains come in a wide variety of colors and will make a floor more consistent in color tone. In the last 10 years, reactive stains have hit the market and become a popular wood floor trend. They work with the natural properties of the wood to produce a natural variation in color tone. Reactive stains create fun looks and are a fresh way to personalize your wood flooring.
It’s always possible to darken up a light wood with stain, but not as easy to lighten up dark wood with stain. For example, American Walnut is a naturally dark wood that can only be lightened with a white wash stain, but the dark grain will always shine through any type of white wash stain.
Extreme stains have become popular in recent years to create a dramatic ‘look and feel’ of the space. Lighter toned stains reflect more light which gives your space a warm, welcoming feel.
Dark stains tend to give the space a more sophisticated, elegant look.
Choosing your Wood Floor Finish
Once you have chosen your wood species, texture and stain, now comes your finish. Hardwood flooring finishes come in a variety of sheen levels from matte to gloss. UV oil has been the standard for decades because of its high sheen and low maintenance.
Then hard wax oils became popular in Europe because it requires less maintenance than wood with a UV oil finish. Urethane finishes have been popular for decades. But in the last 10 years, hard wax oil finishes have become very popular wood floor trend in America due to the ability to refinish and refresh the wood floor without sanding. It is applied by hand and air dried into the wood, protecting from within as well as covering the surface for a matte finish.
Wood Flooring Decisions
Prefinished wood flooring provides overwhelming choices, wood types and species, colors, and styles. It also gives you the consistency and durability with no down time after installation. If you want a good quality wood floor with none of the drawbacks of an unfinished floor, check out our wide selection of prefinished wide plank hardwood flooring products at Elmwood Reclaimed Timber. Make an informed decision for your next design project.