Be it Ever so Humble, a Wooden Floor Can Add Profound Beauty to a Room
Having just designed a tabletop inspired by wood flooring with brass inlays, I thought I would share some of these ideas with you – in particular how the innovators and designers of this noble material have stretched their imagination.
This classic material we take so for granted is anything but boring. Even if wood flooring is an archetypal choice, there has been an enormous influx of good alternatives such as laminates, vinyl and even wood-looking porcelain tile. These have become effective alternatives, especially for those high traffic areas in one’s home.
In the past, however, wood has set the trend, and other flooring manufacturers have followed suit. Nonetheless, some designers are pushing the envelope by integrating materials such as a metal inlay or a resin that looks like mother of pearl. Or imagine a mélange of wood and stone and even the use of bright Alodine (metallic) stains for those more glamorous interiors.
A More Traditional Approach
If some of these innovative ideas are not quite your cup of tea, there’s no reason to feel left out. Many companies offer a more conservative wood plank that comes in varying widths and colors. Fumed or “smoked” oak, for example, turns the color of the wood to a warm taupe. In addition, you can finish the wood with a lovely whitewash, like icing on a cake, which enhances the grain. This type of finish can create the impression of driftwood and works wonderfully with a French country look; it can dress your interior up or down, depending on your goal. It also makes a fabulous backdrop for contemporary furnishings. A traditional Versailles pattern creates a similar backdrop, which if enlarged, can give the impression of a much bigger space.
You may also ask, should I use a solid plank versus an engineered one? Well, without getting too complicated, you can’t go wrong either way. It all depends on the capacity of the company installing it. Should you select an engineered floor, just make sure it has a nice thick top layer, what they call the “lamella.” This will allow you to refinish the surface should you decide to change the décor when the trends start to change again.