With advances in the industry over the past few decades, customizing your wood floor is easier, and more affordable, than ever before.
Ebonized Wood Flooring
Ebonized floors are gorgeous and easy to bring out a mood or elements in a space. This process utilizes a chemical reaction to make the wood turn black rather. This differs from the wood staining process that merely paints on the darker color. When wood is stained the grain is often visible through the stain color. When wood is correctly ebonized there is complete opacity. The wood becomes pitch black, causing the grain to no be visible through the color.
Never thought recycled could be luxurious? Think again! Going Green is the new black 32with this trend of authentic and unique wood floors. A growing segment of the market is interested in reclaimed woods, which have been salvaged from older residential flooring, railroads and even from old barns. Sustainability isn’t this wood’s only advantage; reclaimed wood is denser, more stable, and adds instant history to your home. This is the only source for long-gone species such as heart pine and chestnut. Much of the reclaimed wood was originally harvested from the 1700s through the late 1800s, when the old-growth forests were exhausted.
Bamboo has been used as an alternative for flooring because of its physical similarities to true hardwoods. It is not a tree but really a tall grass. Stranded bamboo is especially durable as well as stylish. It gets a lot of attention and is very popular among interior designers. Bamboo flooring is available in a wide variety of colors. Darkening processes tend to weaken the material; however stains and finishes can be applied to will achieve almost any color you desire. Bamboo floor manufacturers and sellers promote its strength, durability, its eco-friendliness and its natural resistance to insects and moisture. However, buyers should beware of these claims because not all of the flooring and manufacturing lives up to them. The disadvantage of bamboo is that manufacturers often use formaldehyde to laminate the flooring material.
You can create a unique look with simple upgrades such as borders and medallions. Medallions are usually installed in the center of the floor, typically in areas such as foyers. Medallions can incorporate multiple wood species, and other mixed media, such as stone.
Borders create a frame effect to the floor pattern. Factory finished medallions can be routed into existing floors with minimal disruption. You can incorporate multiple wood species, stone, marble, brass, stainless steel, nickel and other metals into the design.
Long Wide Planks
The average flooring on the market is made in 2ft to 4 ft Planks. With this length you will have about 2000 butt joints in a 500 Square foot room, which will make your floor and your space look busy. Longer plank lengths create a clean visual line and shorter planks will result in more patchwork look. Shorter lengths are mass produced because they are easily made by cutting around defects in lower quality wood. Longer boards usually come from older and healthier trees. This means a higher quality floor that is more stable when compared to other wood flooring on the market.
The Smoked wood effect, also known as fuming comes from an accidental discovery in England. This method’s first known usage wasn’t until the end of the nineteenth century. This reaction causes the wood floor to absorb the colour throughout and means it will keep the usual color tones. This effect offers dramatic, rich and alluring visual elements that add design and depth to a room. The natural figuring of the grain is accented by gently flaming the wood, board by board.
Hand-distressing offers a unique look and antiqued appearance that appeal to many homeowners and is on trend. Hand-scraping is labor-intensive, time-consuming, and the most-common distressing technique. This by hand technique ensures the best quality and look because of the greater attention to detail and craftsmanship. Using tools such as chisels, planes, wire brushes, awls, ice picks and grinders, the installer will work with the wood to achieve a worn and distressed look. The end result will be a new floor that looks beautifully antiqued.
Flooring is one particular material that has seen a range of green options in the last 5-10 years. Eucalyptus flooring is typically half the cost of the higher priced traditional wood flooring. Eucalyptus flooring is derived from trees commonly found in areas such as New Zealand and Australia. It grows twice as fast as other types of trees, including oak and pine. Eucalyptus is available in a wide range of colors and patterns that resemble those of other hardwood floor types, such as mahogany, and is very vibrant. Harvested from a 100 percent renewable crop, eucalyptus floors are beautiful, eco-friendly, cost-effective and a long-lasting alternative to traditional hardwood floors.