Hardwood Design Textures

Natural hardwood provides a beautiful canvas for our talented designers who seek inspiration from furniture, cabinetry, art, nature and pretty much anything that is beautiful and interesting.  Fifteen years ago, hardwood options were limited to about five colors, two widths, and zero textures. With advancements in staining technique, the popularity of “modern farmhouse” design and reclaimed wood, the possibilities are now endless. Below we have outlined some of the hottest trends in hardwood flooring coming in strong for 2019.

The Difference Between Texture and Grain

Before we dive further into the different trends, let’s take a closer look at what we mean by “textures.” The term texture is related to grain but they are not interchangeable. The grain is a representation and orientation of the wood-cell fibers which vary across the different hardwood. More specifically, it’s drawing attention to the way these distinct cells vary across different species of trees. Depending on the tree, you can have anything from a straight grain to a pattern. Texture is 3D and added after to accentuate the natural grain of the wood. Often, the word “texture” is used in place of “grain” when discussing interior design because it lends itself texturally to the overall look.

Hardwood Flooring Trends and Textures

High Variation

High variation features a dynamic color range that is achieved by layering stains or by altering the wood itself through chemical or thermal modification. Highlights and lowlights create beautiful areas of depth and dimension in the hardwood floor while still accentuating the gorgeous and authentic grain of the wood surface. Typically done in white oak, this treatment provides an almost charred look to the planks reminiscent of reclaimed barn wood. It achieves a look that has been weathered through years of exposure to natural elements. You can see the the achievable depth in our Dynamic Earth Collection. Another advantage is they serve as excellent camouflage for high traffic areas. The high variation hides the natural wear and tear exceptionally well.

Larger Formats

Historically, hardwood has been most commonly milled in 2 1/4” or 3” wide strips.  Now that engineered wood floors are more common than solid hardwood, and veneers are layered in a way that creates exceptional dimensional stability in the wood, allowing for wider widths without causing too much expansion during seasonal changes.  Today’s “wide” widths start at 5” and go all the way to 9”, but it seems that the 7” range is the happy medium. Additionally, the longer the length, the fewer seams you see, and the cleaner the lines of the design. Longer and broader planks look high end and work beautifully in open floor plans as they match the scale of modern room sizes.

Wire Brushed Textures

One of the most trending textures in wood is the Wire Brush. It’s more subtle than the hand sculpted techniques that have dominated hardwood design for the last ten years. Lighter color palettes and Scandinavian design influence have impacted the popularity of white oak used in this technique. These woods are an exceptional choice when you want something more neutral. Wire brushing the grain creates a slight texture that signals the authenticity of the material without looking too rustic. When incorporating hardwood into your home, it is essential to have some texture in the wood especially if you have an active environment. The texture and grain will help hide the scratches from pets, foot traffic or the zooming of toy cars across the floor.

Warmed Up Greys

The icy greys may look cool, but they are starting to warm up with some taupe and tan undertones.  Across wood products industries (cabinets, furniture, and flooring) the grey is layered on top of a warmer, more traditional color which creates a sophisticated neutral. The term “complex neutral” is another way of saying the hue is both warm and cool.

Because hardwood flooring is a long-term product, selecting versatile colors like these warmer greys will ensure the floor doesn’t become unattractive before it reaches the end of its lifespan. Additionally, if you are choosing your hardwood flooring with the mindset of selling your home in the future, this application provides the perfect balance of creating interest while being attractive. Our favorite representation of a warmed up grey hardwood floor is Inertia from our Controlled Chaos Collection.

All-American Hardwood Flooring

Hearthwood is dedicated to bringing families beautifully crafted and responsibly sourced all-American hardwood flooring. The leaders at Hearthwood are committed to “Made in America.” Bringing domestic manufacturing to the U.S. at a time when hardwood flooring is predominantly imported is challenging, but our team believes it helps deliver a superior product. The result is a timeless product rooted in warmth and beauty perfect for the family home.

Visit our website for our complete list of engineered hardwood flooring made in America