Turning On The Light: The Latest Trends In Hardwood Flooring

ProSource | 3/20/2016 | Expert Advice

Hardwood flooring is a perennial favorite choice for designers and homeowners. However, the colors they choose for their floors do change, as design trends come and go. Today, homeowners are seeing the light – literally – in the hardwood tones they’re choosing for their floors.

Why Light Is Now Right

During the last decade, dark hardwood floors were the popular choice for homeowners looking for a foundation rich in color. Now light hardwood flooring has once again claimed the spotlight. “It has a modern, minimalistic feel and Scandinavian style. Simplicity meets functionality,” says interior design expert Jeffrey Welder of Vänt Wall Panels.

The move toward lighter flooring mirrors trends in other aspects of interior design. “Colors are getting lighter,” says Jeanette McCuaig, principal designer for Armstrong. “For example, the Benjamin Moore color of the year (for 2016) is ‘Simply White,’ so think whitewashed walls and rustic beams. And ‘Alabaster’ is the Sherwin Williams color of the year so think less is more and neutrals to coincide with more restful colors.”

Homeowners and designers are also recognizing the practical advantages of lighter hardwood surfaces. “Now, many people have seen the downside to having dark floors,” says William J. Hirsch Jr., architect and bestselling author of Designing Your Perfect House. “They have found that dark floors easily show dust and pet fur. Scratches show up more easily.”

Where Light Hardwoods Are At Home

Since one of the superpowers of light hardwoods is their ability to camouflage dirt and scratches, they’re a perfect choice for households with kids and pets.

Homeowners whose tastes lean toward transitional or more contemporary décor also find light hardwood floors a harmonious choice. Lighter hardwoods such as Archer Natural Maple and Harding Almond Equestrian Engineered Elm provide a clean, expansive stage for a contemporary setting. In addition, they blend well with today’s lifestyles. Dallas-based luxury design expert Charmaine Wynter affirms that in her experience, “dark woods are much more formal looking than the new casual luxe style most clients crave.”

This doesn’t mean that lighter hardwood floors are only for contemporary décor. “In traditional style houses, I have had a lot of clients ask for a French grey, whitewash finish,” Hirsch says. For this type of décor, flooring choices such as Harding Crane Kyler Engineered Oak beautifully combine more rustic texture with a soft grey tone.

If You’re Ready To Go Light…

When choosing a light hardwood floor for your remodeling project, Welder advises selecting a satin finish, which helps hide scratches, dents and imperfections better than one with a glossy shine.

If you’re working with smaller spaces, or simply want to create a more open feel in your space, he also suggests installing flooring diagonally to create longer visual lines.

Last, but certainly not least, consider adding some bright colors to your overall décor palette. Vibrant furniture and accessories, strategically selected, can introduce color and texture to keep a light, serene space from becoming too “vanilla.”

Hardwood flooring offers a great opportunity to “lighten up” your home. When you’re ready to start your search, you’ll find a multitude of quality hardwood products in on-trend, lighter hues at your local ProSource Wholesale Showroom. Before you visit, make a virtual stop at prosourcewholesale.com, find project photos to inspire you and create an account to get your project started. Then you’ll be ready to reimagine your space in a whole new light.

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