blog post Chicago Hardwood flooring trends in 2023

  1. Eco-Friendly Hardwood: As the awareness and concern for the environment grows, the demand for sustainable and eco-friendly flooring options would likely increase. This could involve using reclaimed wood, bamboo (which grows much more rapidly than hardwood), or wood from sustainably managed forests. The push towards sustainability has driven innovations in the flooring industry. Reclaimed wood is one of these innovations, where old wood from barns, factories, and other buildings is repurposed into flooring. Not only is this eco-friendly, but it also provides a unique, antique aesthetic that new wood can’t replicate. Bamboo is another eco-friendly option, due to its rapid growth rate compared to hardwood trees. It’s also quite durable and comes in a variety of styles. Finally, wood from sustainably managed forests (marked by certifications like FSC) ensures that new trees are planted to replace those that are cut down, minimizing deforestation.
  2. Wide Plank Flooring: Wide plank hardwood flooring was a rising trend in the past years, providing a contemporary, spacious look. It also allows the natural grain of the wood to be more visible, contributing to a rustic aesthetic that might remain popular. Wide planks, generally defined as planks that are more than 3 inches wide, can help rooms feel more spacious and modern. This is especially true in open-concept spaces, where wide plank flooring can create a seamless flow between rooms. Furthermore, the wider planks allow the unique grain and character of the wood to shine through, adding to the aesthetic value of the floor.
  3. Natural, Lighter Woods: Trends might move away from the very dark stains and towards lighter woods or more natural finishes, reflecting a broader design trend towards lighter, airier spaces. Woods like ash or oak could become more popular. Over the last decade, there’s been a shift towards lighter, more natural-looking woods. Dark stains are being replaced by light woods like white oak and ash, or by medium-tone woods like classic oak. This trend reflects a broader move towards more natural and organic materials in interior design. These lighter woods can also make a space feel brighter and more open, which can be particularly beneficial in smaller homes or apartments.
  4. Textures and Distressed Looks: Hand-scraped, wire-brushed, or distressed hardwood floors could also be trending. These floors have a vintage or rustic aesthetic, and they can also be more forgiving of minor damage or wear, making them practical as well as stylish. Hand-scraped, wire-brushed, or distressed hardwood floors add texture and interest to a room. Hand-scraped floors are individually crafted to create a rustic, time-worn look, making each plank unique. Wire-brushed floors, where the soft portion of the wood is brushed away to reveal the grain, are subtly textured and hide dirt and scratches well. Distressed floors go even further, with knots, scrapes, and burns to mimic the look of old, reclaimed wood.
  5. Color Variations: Instead of a uniform color, there might be a trend towards varied color within a floor, providing a more unique and interesting visual appeal. Rather than a uniform color across a floor, homeowners may opt for varied colors within the same floor. This can be achieved through techniques like reactive staining, which reacts differently with the tannins in each plank to create a unique color. Or, different species of wood with naturally varying colors could be used together. This color variation can add depth and character to a room.
  6. Patterns and Layouts: Herringbone and chevron patterns were gaining popularity in hardwood flooring and this trend could continue. These patterns can provide a strong visual statement and add a touch of luxury to any space. While straight, parallel planks have been the standard for hardwood floors, patterns like herringbone and chevron are becoming increasingly popular. These patterns add a touch of elegance and visual interest to a room. They can be particularly effective in larger rooms, where the pattern can be fully appreciated. And while these patterns can be more difficult and costly to install, the result can be quite stunning and add considerable value to a home.