We are all familiar with classic(and somewhat boring) strip oak flooring. Thankfully today there are so many attractive and exciting options available, the real question becomes where do I start. From hardwoods to softwoods and even reclaimed woods, there is a wood floor and a look for every design style and space.
After considering the wood type, you will want to consider stains and the overall color tone of the floor. 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 have become more popular, they work with the natural properties of the wood and produce a natural variation in color tone. Reactive stains create fun looks and are a fresh way to personalize wood flooring.
A great way to differentiate a wood floor is to incorporate surface texture. In the past smooth sanded flooring was all that was available, and it is still the most common and a great choice. Today the options have broadened and there are many attractive and natural options that really enhance the looks and performance of the floor. When adding texture it's important to be subtle and not get too carried away(remember hand scraped floors from the 1990's). Natural feeling texture is timeless and won't be dated when it's time to remodel the space again.
Wood flooring finish comes in a wide variety of types and sheen levels. In the not too distant past, high gloss finishes were the norm, today most people are looking for a more matte and natural look. Natural oils have been used for centuries and penetrate the wood, creating a very flat and natural feel. Hard wax oil finishes became popular in Europe, and add a topcoat of wax for more protection, and require slightly less maintenance than an all oil finish. Urethane finishes have been popular in the United States for a long time, but that is changing. In the last 10 to 20 years oil and hard wax oil finishes have become increasingly popular in the U.S. due to their great looks, as well as their ability to be refinished and refreshed easily and without sanding.
Rustic Reclaimed Wood Flooring
Crafted using the original surface of reclaimed planks, rustic grades contain nail holes, cracks, knots and traces of the saw teeth that originally milled the boards. Dark colors and deep patina give this rustic material a classic look and feel that is authentic and rugged.
Used in spaces from classic rustic cabins to traditional and modern homes as well as many types of commercial spaces, rustic wood floors have a story to tell and history that will live on for years to come. most people love material that has history, reclaimed rustic woods show that history and are great conversation starters.
Clean Reclaimed Wood Flooring
Not all reclaimed wood is rustic, in fact, some species and grades can be very clean and refined. With a more refined look, reclaimed wood floors that have a cleaner appearance are made using the inner cuts of wood and have more subtle character, including less nail holes(although some will be present), knots and natural checks.
Traditional and modern spaces are perfect candidates for reclaimed wood flooring that is a little more refined and clean. With all of the environmental benefits of any reclaimed wooden floor, choosing a product that is more refined is really just a design choice, and it is important to remember that there will still be characteristics that can only be found in reclaimed woods.
Hardwood floors are a standard in the flooring industry. A timeless material that has been used as flooring for centuries, and is not only beautiful, but durable and practical as well. With many different species and grades available creating the perfect hardwood floor is more accessible than ever. In addition to species and grade there are quite a few other options and customizations that can be made.
Texture can be added to create a surface that is either brushed to raise the grain or rustic to replicate reclaimed rustic planks. Stains and color treatments are a great way to enhance the look of the wood and get just the right tone. Hardwood floors are an extremely flexible material and work well with almost any design style, and when properly maintained will last for generations.
European White Oak Floors
Floors crafted from European white oak are just different than their American counterparts. The grain pattern is more varied and contains all of the characteristics of the whole tree. Wide widths and long lengths are a hallmark of floors from Europe due to the way the logs are cut and dried, making for some very attractive flooring.
With a wide variety of colors and tonal variations available, as well as the woods ability to be brushed and look great, European white oak flooring is a very versatile wood that lends itself to working extremely well in many different design styles. From authentic antique, alpine, traditional and elegant looks to clean and modern Scandinavian style the possibilities are wide open.
Wood flooring is certainly a classic surface, and with many choices it can be a little overwhelming understanding all the various options involved. Considering the overall look and feel of the space and using the floor as a base for the design can be a great place to start. It is important to remember that wood floors are an investment, and will outlast most of the other design elements that get incorporated into the initial design, so keep it clean, simple and timeless.