Something’s underfoot in new homes, and that is that hardwood flooring, a classic staple for elegant interiors, is more popular and exciting than ever before.
Longer and wider planking, and even herringbone patterning is the latest look. In fact, more than ever, carpet is disappearing from bedrooms and play spaces in favor of hard surfaces—a top strategy for improving the air quality in homes, as well. With sustainability as the word of the day, wood flooring can be organic and eco-friendly, especially when reforesting practices are in play.
We talked with flooring expert Tim Hosea of AZ Hardwood to get the scoop from the ground level.
We’re also seeing trends toward wider widths and longer lengths in the home as well, like nine-inch-wide product with a six-millimeter veneer.
ICONIC LIFE: What trends are you’re seeing with your clients?
Tim Hosea: Most of the trends have been short-term visions dovetailing with our long-term trends, which are natural tones and elements of brown. Selecting gray for wood floors peaked about five years ago or so. And we’ve been seeing it trend back towards natural. While there is a little bit of coolness in it; we’re seeing a little bit warmer tones. That’s natural European Oak that has a little bit of smoke to it that darkens the floor and gives it a touch of amber.
We’re also seeing trends toward wider widths and longer lengths in the home as well, like nine-inch-wide product with a six-millimeter veneer. That is something that you can sand five times, which is well more than enough. It’s really gorgeous product.
ICONIC LIFE: Are you seeing that clients are installing wood in more areas of the home?
Tim Hosea: It’s been a long-term trend going back 15 years, doing whole homes with wood or a wood-tile combination using tile that looks like wood. I’m seeing a decrease in carpeting, especially from an allergy perspective, which makes a lot of sense. From a resale perspective, wood flooring adds value.
It makes sense to not have to replace your children’s carpet every five years, as wood is more resilient. We have cautioned against using wood in an often-used bathroom, which is generally the master in the home. Other than that, you have people putting it everywhere. Seeing wood through the entire home is not new, but how wood is being used is a fresh approach.
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ICONIC LIFE: What colors and tones are you seeing?
Tim Hosea: Light to medium tones have been in for a long time, and that’s probably going back to the Great Recession. I don’t see that changing, outside of making a home airier creating more space. It’s just more practical than darker floors, which are like black cars that show a lot more dust. With lighter floors, you’re not going to see debris or dust.
When you look at the species, European White Oak has been very popular. We used a 9-Inch Colonial Jamestown Oak Plank Flooring in ICONIC HAUS. The floor has some grain to it. It has knots. It has color variation. It is wire-brush distressing that hides scratches and hides dust and dirt, because the floor is not a hundred-percent smooth. Add all that together, and these floors don’t look dirty very often.
ICONIC LIFE: Are there wood floors that you need to caution against?
Tim Hosea: There are wood floors you should stay away from if you’ve got animals in the house. It is true that some wood floors can be soft and can get scratched up, especially with large active dogs. Higher-sheen products that are darker show nicks, dust and dirt. Large active pets can indent the finish of products. Brushed finishes go a long way to hiding all that kind of activity with kids, with dogs and active families. It’s just about educating the customer up front and letting them know about what to expect.
ICONIC LIFE: What wears the best?
Tim Hosea: For the most part, almost everything that’s trending right now offers both a great look and great wear, which wasn’t always been the case 15 years ago, with darker floors and higher sheen. A lighter European Oak floor doesn’t really show anything.
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ICONIC LIFE: Are you seeing innovation in installation? At ICONIC HAUS, Temac Development installed it in a Chevron pattern, which we loved.
Tim Hosea: Patterns have been popular for the last three or four years. If there’s a library or a dining room, I see a lot of designers make those areas stand out with that level of detail to highlight a particular area. Clients like European Oak floors, because they’re all mostly long-length material, which makes it easier to make patterned floors.
My best advice to clients is to use wood. It’s natural, it’s lasting, it’s beautiful, and it makes a statement that translates into real value for the long run.
AZ Hardwood was a sponsor of ICONIC HAUS 2020, where we showcased AZ Hardwood flooring throughout the house. Our DESIGN LAB series highlights the brands and products that made ICONIC HAUS the best of the best.