By: Chantel Kuczmarski
Customers often ask what the latest trends are when it comes to wood products and finishes. We don’t have a crystal ball to predict the future, but we do look to industry professionals to help us gauge what will be high in demand for the New Year. Here’s what we believe will be trendy in 2020.
Hickory and White Oak Flooring
When it comes to consumers’ most popular choice for hardwood flooring, hickory and white oak reign supreme. Oak is popular, but specifically white oak is the favorite, compared to red oak. Red oak will eventually have its turn, but right now, consumers are preferring the smoother graining and more contemporary look of white oak.
The linear mineral streaks add to this more modern look compared to the strong graining of traditional red oak. White oak allows a broader range of stain colors including whitewash and light grays, which we expect to be a popular look for 2020. White oak is also more water resistant than red oak due to its molecular structure.
Dark and Light Colored Hardwood Flooring
Dark colored flooring has been popular for a number of years, and is expected to continue to grow. It looks beautiful, but like driving a black vehicle, it requires more cleaning and upkeep. You will be able to see all the dirt and dust that collects on dark flooring. For that reason, there has been a shift to lighter colored, natural-looking hardwoods. Cool tones are preferred, including lighter browns and grays without a reddish hue. Reds, red/brown blends or yellow undertones are expected to be less popular.
Wider & Longer Length Planks
Wider and longer length wood planks make your space look larger and the natural characteristics of wood are visible. They make modern homes look more contemporary and older homes look more rustic and authentic. Recently, 5-inch wide boards have become the new “wide” standard. If you want an authentic rustic look, or an upscale modern feel, even wider planks will elevate the overall value and aesthetic of your room. The wider you go, the fewer seams you have in the floor.
If you go wide, you’ll also want to make sure you request long lengths in your floor boards, too. This will help visually enhance the appearance of your wide planks, and make them an impressive feature in your living area.
Textured Planks & Nano Beveled Edges
Adding textures bring an added dimension of depth. We predict that wire-brushed textures and lightly scraped time-worn edges will be a poplar look this year.
Wire brushed floors are etched with a subtle texture to enhance the graining of the wood. They are a more modern version of distressed wood. They have a real vintage look as the wire brushing enhances (rather than conceals) the graining of the wood.
Wire brushing pulls the soft grain from the growth ring leaving the heart wood exposed to the surface. Floors can also be hand scraped to replicate the hand-scraping techniques of the 1800s. Adding textures are stylish and helps mask everyday wear and tear, as well as dirt and dust.
Additionally, nano-beveled edges create a fine seam around the planks, allowing you to fully see the unique details of each board. Fine, nano-beveled edges offer the look of a minimalistic, modern floor. We believe this will be a trend this year, especially when selecting wider and longer length planks.
Natural-Looking Finishes (Matte & Flatter Sheens)
Matte and flat finishes are the most popular sheens. Low luster is in. Semi gloss and glossy finishes are very dated, and very difficult to maintain, as they show every speck of dust, scratch and dent. Over the last few years, flatter finishes have become popular as more homeowners and contractors are going for a more natural look.
Rubio Monocoat oil is another great option for a natural wood look. The sheen of Rubio Monocoat oil is very matte – in other words there is no gloss at all. Personally we like the look. It looks very natural and really enhances the beauty of your timber’s natural grain.
Creative Use of Wood Products in Your Kitchen
Wood flooring has been a popular trend in kitchens, and we expect that trend to continue. With more consumers selecting cabinetry painted white or gray, wood details on ranges can bring warmth and texture into the sightline that pop.
Most of these trends have been building for years. Who knows, maybe a completely different trend will surface in 2020. Only time will tell.