Back in Black
Black floors: Some people love them, while others are staunchly opposed. There's no denying, however, that wood floors stained black can make a striking design statement, whether you're going for a resolutely contemporary look or a traditional interior laced with strong modern accents.
Bamboo has long been touted as an eco-friendly flooring material, and this is one of the reasons for its enormous popularity. A further incentive for homeowners is its cost: Bamboo can often be found for less than traditional hardwood, even though quality bamboo wears just as well and lasts just as long as, say, oak or maple.
Shades of Gray
More than any other color, gray has been dominating the world of home design in recent years, popping up in paint, sofa upholstery, and yes, even in flooring. If you want to introduce a steely, sophisticated look underfoot on the quick, seek out floorboards prefinished in a stain that suits your preferences.
More and more homeowners are choosing cork flooring, not only for how it looks, but also for how it feels. Walking on cork is quite comfortable, which makes it a natural choice for rooms like the kitchen, where the typical homeowner spends a fair amount of time standing. Additionally, cork boasts the virtues of being eco-friendly, low maintenance, and competitive in price—no wonder it's having its moment.
Exotic hardwoods, such as the Tobacco Road Acacia pictured here (available from Lumber Liquidators), feature vibrant colors and unique, stand-out wood grains that combine to eye-catching effect. In home design that emphasizes the beauty of natural materials, exotic hardwoods are a perennial favorite, and engineered variations bring these otherwise cost-prohibitive species within reach of most project budgets.
Vinyl flooring has come a long way. It remains a budget choice, but it's no longer a style liability. What has changed? Homeowners can now pick from a wide range of creative patterns, with the result that they can pay less for flooring that genuinely looks like a bigger-budget material. A case in point is this vinyl plank floor, which convincingly mimics hickory. Could your guests tell the difference? Could you?
Get the help you need for the home you want—sign up for the Bob Vila newsletter today!