With wood flooring options ranging from traditional to exotic species in every shade imaginable, the material is showing up in all forms and styles across the country. According to Mickey Moore, technical director for the Wood Flooring Manufacturers Association (NOFMA), 21/4-inch-strip oak still is the most popular choice for flooring. However, industry experts point out that domestic maple, hickory, ash, and walnut are gaining ground, along with species from abroad. Moore notes that imports such as teak, bamboo, and Brazilian walnut have crept in during the past five years. And some exotic species, like Brazilian cherry, are coming down to a price point closer to oak, making an exotic-wood floor more affordable.
In regard to style, anything that's "different from a standard mom-and-pop oak floor" is making an impact, says Dave Polisky, vice president of technical services for Tarkett.
The antique appearance of worn floorboards also seems to be making a comeback. Whether constructed of genuine reclaimed lumber or sporting a distressed factory finish, floors with an antique flavor are a hot commodity.
"One of the biggest trends right now is hand-sculptured hardwood flooring, where surface texture is sculpted into each board by hand to create a random, lived-in appearance," says Steve Bunch, director of business development for Columbia Flooring, whose firm manufactures a hand-sculpted line in eight SKUs.
Though painstakingly reclaimed lumber is an authentic means of creating an old-fashioned floor, using newly manufactured planks measuring 5, 6, and even 10 inches wide is a more common way to do this.--Portions of this article originally appeared in BUILDING PRODUCTS, a sister publication of REMODELING.
BHK of America. The side of each plank in the Moderna Vision V-Joint Laminate Flooring System is beveled to create a V-groove. Several wood-grain patterns are available, including hemlock, York beech, Colonial oak, Estate oak, and natural maple. (800) 663-4176. www.bhkofamerica.com.
Columbia Flooring. The Colonial Clic glueless laminate plank features a beveled edge on all four sides and an embossed hardwood-grain pattern. The planks are available in a variety of finishes. (800) 654-8796. www.columbiaflooring.com.
Mannington. Available in hickory and walnut, American Legacy collection hardwood floors are scraped by hand to bring out the grain, knots, and pinholes of each board. Hickory comes in four colors; walnut comes in a natural finish. (800) 356-6787. www.mannington.com.
Quick-Step. Exhibiting a natural wood-grain texture and appearance, the Authentic surface treatment is available on the company's laminate Perspective 4 planks to re-create the surface of a natural wood plank complete with knots, grain lines, and color variations. The treatment is available Natural Oak and Dark Oak. (866) 220-5933. www.quick-step.com.
Forbo. Manufactured from FSC-certified lumber, the Engineered Hardwood flooring line is machined to ensure tight tolerances. The line is available in 27 natural grains and finishes ranging from light and medium oak to deep walnut. (866) 627-6653. www.themarmoleumstore.com.
Formica. The Mythix Collection of laminate flooring features 16-inch-square tiles embossed to look like natural stone and antique tile. The Tuscan Series features the look of hand-cleft and chiseled, multi-colored stone; the Mediterranean Series features hand-stamped motifs. (800) 367-6422. www.formica.com.
Oregon Lumber Company. Available in 23 species, Bellagio wide-plank engineered hardwood flooring comes in large 86-inch-long, 5-inch-wide panels. Each panel is milled for exact tolerances and features squared edges and ends for accurate tongue and groove fit. The panels are prefinished. (800) 824-5671. www.oregonlumber.com.
Congoleum. Providing the aesthetics of ceramic tile, stone, and marble, Dura- Ceramic flooring offers two installation options: grouted and ungrouted edge-to-edge. Each limestone composite tile comes in a 155/8-inch-square size with an eased edge and an extra-thick construction that provides impact resistance and absorbs sound. (800) 274-3266. www.congoleum.com.
Weyerhaeuser. Designed with a patented tongue and groove system that provides a tight connection without glue, SureFoot laminate flooring is available in three grades and 15 patterns. A clear resin overlay and special water-resistant core help the flooring resist scratches, stains, cigarettes, and cleaning products. Matching trim products are available. (800) 525-5440. www.weyerhaeuser.com.
Wilsonart. Featuring 16 designs in a variety of wood-grained plank and stone tile textures, Estate Plus laminate flooring features a high-performance wear layer, an acoustic attentuation layer, an enhanced inner core that resists moisture, and an impact-resistant bottom layer. (800) 710-8846. www.wilsonart.com.
For more product information, visit ebuild, Hanley Wood's interactive product catalog.