5 More Trends In Hardwood Flooring For 2013
Hardwood flooring is typically manufactured from American hardwoods like Maple, Cherry, Red Oak, White Oak, White Ash, Hickory, or Pecan trees. There are also newer, more exotic hardwoods like Brazilian Cherry, Tigerwood, Ipe, or African Teakwood. Modern hardwood flooring types include: Solid Hardwood, Engineered Wood, or Longstrip Hardwood. Some of the most well-known hardwood brands include: Armstrong, Mannington, Mohawk, Shaw and Tarkett.
Here are 5 hardwood flooring trends for 2013 from the World Floor Covering Association:
1. Hard, Durable Finishes
What good is a beautiful hardwood floor if its intricate grain and shine does not last? Modern clear urethane / aluminum oxide finishes have been specially formulated for toughness. These finishes are sprayed on the wood in the factory and baked by UV lights into a finish that is 10 times’ harder than traditional site-finished floors. Prefinished floors give the added benefit of avoiding the addition of toxic fumes in the home. These floors can also be installed much quicker.
2. Engineered Hardwood
Solid hardwood consists of a single piece of tongue-and-groove wood nailed down to sub-flooring. This type of wood can be refinished many times over the decades to preserve its character and glowing finish. While it is very beautiful, it is sensitive to heat and moisture changes, which may cause the wood to shrink, leaving unsightly gaps between the wood planks.
Engineered hardwood (like Armstrong’s Performance Hardwood) has become extremely popular over the years. Three or more thin sheets of wood are laminated on top of one another to create a more dense plank that is more stable and impervious to changes in moisture or temperature. They can be nailed, stapled, glued or floated over virtually any other type of flooring.
Longstrip hardwood consist of multiple layers of wood floated, glued or stapled over existing floors. The center plank is typically a tongue-and-groove soft wood, while the top layer is comprised of smaller pieces individually laid on top of a wider plank in a pre-assembled section. The benefit is not only greater durability, but also easier replacement should a section of floor be damaged.
3. Cork Floors
Homeowners who are particularly concerned about the environment are starting to choose cork, which is made from tree bark that regenerates. There is no need to cut down or farm trees to get an exotic-looking floor. Also, cork can be recycled and re-purposed many times over.
4. Colored Hardwood
There are many more options than bland blond or brunette when it comes to hardwood flooring these days. Some homeowners buy unfinished flooring and stain it with any color of the rainbow. In modern homes, white hardwood floors are becoming a popular trend.
Homeowners are thinking more about value than upfront cost these days. They want to know how long a product is designed to last and what kind of warranty comes with it. They want to know how much the ongoing maintenance and stains will cost. As a result, manufacturers are committed to improving product performance.