Decorating trends change over the years, even moving from one look to the next over a few seasons. The latest tends in wood floors echo back to the past, bringing a fresh new look to our homes by harkening the styles of yesterday. Some focus on sustainability, others aim for a rustic look and still others combine distinct looks for a striking appearance.

Above all, the hottest trends in hardwood will create a warm atmosphere in any room of your home. Check them out and see which suits your personal style.

Wide Planks

Hardwood flooring planks with a greater width anchor rooms of any size. Whether installed in your family room, kitchen or front entrance, wide planks have a certain strength and give the appearance of stability.

This style works in traditional décor, such as a country home or farmhouse, and also complements modern homes. Most often found in light colored stains, a wide profile may also be available with darker finishes. Planks wider than 6" widths are only found in engineered flooring structures due to the improved stability of engineered floors which is more important with wide planks. Your hardwood flooring retailer offers a range of plank widths in almost every species of wood, including popular domestics and exotic hardwood.

Handscraped Finish

Often paired with a wide plank, the handscraped and distressed finishes lend an even greater look of rustic charm. Sleek and smooth was a passing trend; today’s homeowners want a textured look that helps reduce slip and gives the floor more character. Be aware that these finishes cost more than traditional coatings, depending on the type of hardwood you choose.

Handscraped finishes generally run along the grain and give your floor an aged look. Are you restoring a century home or trying to capture the charm of history in your home? This type of finish offers the same lifespan and durability of smooth styles while creating a distinct look. Take a few samples home to make sure this trendy hardwood works in your space.

Environmentally Friendly Materials

This trend has been around for a few years, and includes perennial favorites like cork and bamboo. Although other types of hardwood are made from natural products, these two trees/plants grow very quickly and are considered a renewable resource.

Sustainable products help to reduce waste and work well in modern home designs. Both cork and bamboo are durable and present an attractive, natural look. Find out about the maintenance requirements and be sure to hire a reputable installer.

Using reclaimed building materials provides another option for eco-friendly flooring. You’ll need to have the wood planed and cut to fit into your space, but reclaimed barn board and flooring planks create an incredibly unique look. Talk to a contractor that specializes in restoration of historical buildings and be aware that a specific type of subfloor or underlayment may be required.

Hardwood Patterns

Try combining both light and dark stains in an attractive pattern, accenting a certain space or creating a visual line in a larger space. Use curved pieces to echo marquetry patterns or go with a simple border around the room or along the wall.

Ask your decorator or contractor to draw up a pattern. Try to minimize the busyness and keep in mind the scope of your rooms. Patterns should complement and accentuate, as opposed to overpowering the area.

These four hardwood flooring trends capture the best of recent design favorites and add a modern edge to your space. Choose the style that looks best and suits your taste, as you’ll need to live with this flooring investment for quite some time. And, as always, choose a quality product from a reputable retailer to ensure your home improvement investment goes further.