Hardwood flooring has been around since the days of colonial America, and even though this versatile flooring material is a timeless classic, it has still been the subject of various design and decor trends throughout the years. So what are designers and industry experts predicting for hardwood flooring in this New Year? Below are five of the most notable hardwood flooring trends to watch in 2017.

1. Blonde or White-Washed Wood

Fans of a lighter, more airy aesthetic will appreciate the emerging trend of blonde or white-washed wood flooring. It lends a crisper, cleaner feel to a living space, and its contemporary look can mesh well with a wide variety of decor styles. Whether you choose natural wood or an oil-based poly, the general consensus is that matte and satin finishes tend to bring out the best in this flooring choice.

2. Dark Wood

On the opposite end of the spectrum, ultra-dark hardwood has continued to attract plenty of attention from designers and homeowners. Typical dark wood styles include 50/50 blends of ebony and espresso, or ebony and walnut. Dark wood flooring can really make a space “pop” when set against lighter colors, and it’s a great way to anchor a room with a touch of elegance and sophistication.

3. Wider Planks

The popularity of wider planks has been on the rise, as homeowners are trading out conventional widths (e.g., from 2 1/4 to 3 1/4 inches) for more expansive planks between 4 to 7 inches wide. This wider size can make a dramatic difference in terms of making a space appear larger, and for many homeowners, wider planks represent a return to a more rustic or vintage look. It should be noted that wide planks comprised of engineered wood are typically less expensive than those made of solid hardwood, as the solid wood planks tend to expand and contract more noticeably.

4. Distressed, Weathered or Farmhouse Planks

In the spirit of the French Country aesthetic, distressed, weathered or farmhouse planks are a mega-trend that continues to gain momentum, especially in light of recent cultural shifts that emphasize returning to simpler times and more sustainable living. One of the most interesting aspects of choosing these types of flooring styles (often collectively referred to as “shabby chic”) is that it essentially forces you to check perfection at the door in favor of achieving a more natural, rustic look. Homeowners and designers alike often comment that the weathered or distressed look adds more character to a space, and they’re a great choice in terms of camouflaging scrapes, scratches and stains as well.

5. Gray Wood

The popularity of this ubiquitous neutral color has been snowballing over the past few years, and the trend only looks to continue for the foreseeable future. Gray has a calming effect on the viewer, and it’s a great way to anchor a room that features splashes of vivid color by way of cabinetry, furnishings and/or other decor. Demand for gray flooring has continued to remain particularly strong in coastal areas and/or areas with warmer climates (e.g., California, Florida and Arizona), and while lighter grays are a perennial favorite, another burgeoning “trend within a trend” is the emergence of gray/brown blends.

If you’ve been thinking about installing hardwood flooring in your home, McSwain Carpets and Floors is your go-to resource for all of your flooring needs. Our highly experienced team of professionals has the knowledge and expertise to help you weigh out your options, so that you can be comfortable with your flooring choice. So whether you’re installing hardwood flooring in Cincinnati, Dayton or Northern Kentucky, contact us today to see how we can help you choose the hardwood floor that will be perfectly suited to your preferences and budget.