If you want a flooring material that remains on trend and oozing classic style then you need to start thinking seriously about hardwood flooring. Wooden floors are the perfect way to make a statement about your home. They are easy to maintain and, should they start showing their age at all, are easy to rejuvenate back to their original glory. Many owners love the way that they age, mellowing over time to create a relaxed lived-in feeling.
This year the trend is to open up your space with light, airy floor coverings which bring a modern feel to your space. There are many kinds of wood available from almost white Maples to the richer, honeyed tones of beech for you to choose from, and here we outline some of the best.
Maple is a beautiful wood with a very straight grain which makes it ideal for small, minimalist spaces. Many types of maple are light cream in color but it can be a dark wood so it is essential that you get samples from your supplier to ensure that your idea of maple matches what they’re offering!
Often chosen as a flooring in kitchen areas as it is very shock resistant – about 10% more than traditional oak flooring. It is a good choice if you want to pay lip service to the trend for grey floors as it can be obtained in naturally occurring greys as well as responding well to staining if you want to make a bold statement floor.
What wood is more closely associated with hardwood flooring than good old traditional oak? We’re used to thinking of it as a dark wood as it darkens with age, but new oak can be light and breezy only darkening as it ages and shows it’s true beauty. Oak is often used in flooring as it is a hard hardwood and can cope with significant traffic without damage.
Another naturally pale wood birch is one of the softer woods and therefore better suited to low traffic areas or where you intend to cover it with a rug. Although softer than oak it is shock-resistant which makes it an ideal flooring material. Birch trees are fairly small with many branches which makes the wood naturally knotty. This can be used to advantage providing texture and interest in the flooring. It is often used where a rustic look is desired but is equally at home in modern flats with modern furniture.
A native British variety of wood beech trees are a common sight in woodland across the country. The wood is of a similar hardness to oak and, being light in color, it takes stain well allowing you to create the ideal floor for your room. Over time it will age to a rich honey gold, often gaining pinkish or orangey tones as it does so, which adds further interest to the floor.
Not a word that springs to mind when thinking either of hardwood floors or of light colored woods, as we are more used to seeing cherry furniture created using the heartwood and darkened with age and careful polishing. The sapwood – the young layers on the outside of the trunk – is creamy white in color. Cherry will darken with age – it can darken quite rapidly in direct sunlight – but this adds to its charm and elegance. Its tendency to darken needs to be considered when using it with rugs and, as a more delicate wood, it is best kept for low traffic areas. It is ideal for bedrooms, studies or even conservatories if the rapid darkening is not an issue for you.
Whichever wood you’re searching for, you’re sure to find it a good solid investment for your home, this year, the next and for much more to come.