Gray Hardwood Floors are Here to Stay

A well-designed room begins with the right flooring, and gray hardwood remains the perfect starting point for many home decors. We’ve received countless requests for this elegant option in recent years, and interest doesn’t seem to be slowing down. So, why are gray hardwood floors the foundation of choice for so many homeowners?

Gray: A Soothing Color Choice

For most, the home is a sanctuary. It’s where we go to relieve stress from the outside world and connect with the ones we love. Maybe that’s why so many of us crave the soothing look and feel of gray hardwood flooring. Its soft color works beautifully with mint green or sage, super-soft pink, pale yellow and other pastels for the ultimate in relaxing decor. Baseboards in cream create a natural, non-jarring transition from light-gray walls to slightly darker gray floors.

Lighten Up Your Home’s Interior

Gray wood flooring helps lighten any room. It can open up space visually, especially when paired with walls and furniture in shades of gray that are lighter than the flooring. The light color works wonders at creating an open feel in smaller living areas. And just as it makes a cramped room appear spacious and inviting, soft gray enhances the roomy feel of larger spaces.

The Influence of Scandinavian Design

Anyone who’s leafed through home decor magazines or browsed decorating websites has likely noticed a Scandinavian influence on interior design these days. Besides last year’s obsession with Hagge, a Danish concept roughly translated to coziness and an appreciation of life’s simple comforts, Scandinavian minimalism is still huge in American home design. The timeless appeal of Danish modern design helps explain why the streamlined, scaled-back look of mid-century interiors remains in-demand.

Gray Hardwood Flooring: a Versatile Choice

You don’t need a minimalist sensibility to fall in love with gray hardwood floors, though; their versatility is part of their charm. A gray hardwood floor looks just as much at home in a farmhouse-chic decor as it does in a contemporary or mid-century modern setting. Its color is reminiscent of metals, making it a good fit for industrial-style interiors. It also provides the perfect arena for playing with color in your accents and furniture. We’ve seen designs recently incorporating coral, orange, red and other bold color choices against a soft, airy backdrop of gray floors and walls.

The Natural Beauty of Gray Hardwood Flooring

Gray hardwood fits nicely into the architecture of older homes, but it also adds character to newer houses. Wide planks are a smart choice for this type of wood flooring. This style highlights the burls and other markings for a somewhat rustic appeal that brings warmth to any setting. These characteristics also make light scratches less noticeable — a boon to families with active households. Consider white oak in a gray-washed stain formulated for hardwoods, especially if your home has a vintage, rustic or shabby-chic aesthetic.

It’s easy to see why gray hardwood floors show no signs of waning in popularity. This type of flooring adapts to nearly any decorating style, from rustic and cozy to minimalist or industrial. It creates a sense of calm — something we seem to crave more than ever. As the new neutral of choice, it also gives you the freedom to express yourself through color and have fun with your decor. And its burls and markings bring the beauty of nature inside, adding character to cookie-cutter spaces or complementing a home’s existing charm. If you’re considering upgrading your home with this popular flooring choice, get expert guidance throughout the process from a company experienced in installing and maintaining these and other types of quality flooring.

2018 Home Design Trends

Your home is so much more than where you drop your keys at the end of the day. It is a sanctuary of peace from outside-world distractions, it is the inspiration for family gatherings and when properly outfitted it reflects your own fashion-forward style. At Classic Home Design, we took a glimpse at what will be coming down the interior design catwalk in 2018 to offer you insight into the freshest home design trends for the soon-approaching new year. Here are our top six picks.

#1 Use of Natural Elements

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If your home is like ours, its chock-full of the latest tech gadgets that promise to make our lives easier. While these tools allow us to speed up our days, natural home design features can help to bring us down to earth a bit. The incorporation of organic materials such as wood, stone, and linen into our homes can serve to soothe and relax us and our house guests. In 2018, these materials will show up in designer interiors as striking stone accent walls, sustainable seagrass rugs or simple yet attractive hewn wood pots and planters. It’s all about capturing the hues and textures of nature and bringing them indoors to complement your home’s unique vibe.

#2 Neutrals Paired With Intense Colors

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We found that the upcoming year will bring greater dimension to neutrals. Go-to shades in beige, taupe and gray have traditionally served as backdrops for special architectural trim, pieces of art or other furnishings. In 2018, they are paired with intense colors that give interiors elements of surprise, contrast, and cheer. Top designers say that the saturated hues will show up on ceilings, furniture, and accessories. They recommend accents in vibrant jewel tones such as green, lapis blue and warm shades of red, gold and orange. The intense colors will primarily be found on accent pieces and ceilings that can be easily replaced or repainted if you ever grow weary of the color combinations.

#3 Modern Minimalism

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We have a sneaking suspicion that the trend toward modern minimalism was inspired in part by the sluggish economy of the last decade. However, its popularity has even spilled over into luxury markets. Designers are challenged to optimize interior spaces at posh addresses with furnishings that are beautiful, functional and in some instances multi-purpose. Modern architectural design is known for its simple, elegant angles and curves, and top designers in 2018 will play up these features by giving the spaces that they create a pleasing sense of frugal sophistication. Incorporating storage space into decorative pillars and archways is just one example of how designers implement the concept of modern minimalism.

#4 Painting Interior Doors Dark

Black Interior Door

White walls and ceilings can give rooms a sense of purity, which is like a blank canvas that is ready for something inspiring. We believe that the inspiration can be found in something as simple as a painted interior door. An all-white space looks crisp, but sometimes the human eye needs to see boundaries in contrasting colors to show the space’s scale and depth. That is why many designers rush to add a vivid ceiling color or a splash of checkerboard flooring to an otherwise all-white room. An interior door that is painted in black, charcoal or another dark hue can offer a contrast that equates to instant sophistication as it enhances other contrasting accents in a room such as elegant black and white photographs.

#5 Maple, Pine and Hickory Flooring a Hit in 2018

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A quality hardwood floor is a classic that seems to never go out of style. While homeowners love the durability, low-maintenance and hygienic nature of hardwood floors, designers are typically taken in by the material’s beauty and versatility. This is especially the case with growing trends toward maple, pine and hickory flooring. Maple hardwood flooring shows even grains, and most varieties are lighter in color than traditional oak flooring. The lighter shade of flooring often gives rooms an open, airy look that can enhance both contemporary and traditional decor. For homes that are inspired by the interiors of yesteryear, pine and hickory are excellent hardwood floor choices. These wood species offer enough grain variations, imperfections and knots to simulate the unrefined look of wood flooring in historic homes. Popular yet somewhat pricey finishes include wire-brushed and hand-scraped pine and hickory flooring.

#6 Use of Reclaimed Wood for Kitchen Island Kick-Plate


We know that the kitchen island is one of the busiest spots in many kitchens. It’s where spouses perch to communicate the highlights of their day and where little ones congregate to get help with homework while helping themselves to afternoon snacks. The material that covers the lower portion of the island must be durable enough to withstand countless kicks and scuffs. A top 2018 home interior trend is to use reclaimed wood to serve as a kitchen island kick plate. A wooden island kick plate can give your kitchen added warmth and character. Reclaimed wood that has a special story associated with it is not only an eco-friendly choice for your island, but it can also be an interesting conversation piece for guests.

Top 10 Myths About Hardwood Floors

When looking to make improvements to their home, many people consider the addition of a hardwood floor. Hardwood floors are both durable and beautiful, but there are many common myths that still exist about this particular flooring option. The following information is designed to set the record straight on ten common flooring myths regarding hardwood floors.

Top 10 Myths About Hard Wood Flooring

Even though wood floors have gained in popularity over recent years due to their natural beauty and appeal, many people are still put off of considering them as a viable option due to many myths that abound about them. If you’ve been wondering whether some of the things you’ve heard about floors of this type are true or not, please consider the following list of the top ten myths associated with wood flooring.

*They are Expensive

While it’s true that there is usually more upfront costs associated with wood floors, they actually prove to be a low-cost flooring option. Because wood lasts for decades or longer when properly maintained, these types of floors can last a lifetime. This makes them rather cost-effective in the end. They also require less maintenance and fewer cleaning products and tools, reducing the lifetime cost associated with this type of flooring even more.

They Show Dust Easily

It is true that dust is a bit more visible on a sleek wood surface. However, this brings additional benefits with it. Dust and debris can be difficult to detect on carpeting and other popular floors. This means that it sticks around and poses an allergy risk to sensitive people. Dust on wood surfaces is usually more visible, but this allows for it to be noticed and properly removed promptly. This makes your home cleaner and your air quality better.

They Lack Warmth

Contrary to popular belief, a hardwood floor does not make a room appear cold. In fact, the opposite is true. The natural glow of a wood surface adds an element of warmth to the room in an aesthetic sense. However, it goes much deeper than appearances. Wood is also a natural insulator, making it easier to maintain warmer temperatures in your home during the winter.

They are Hard to Maintain

Wood is actually quite easy to care for, and flooring is no exception to this rule. A simple dust mop is often all that is needed to provide routine cleaning and removal of dust particles. If the floor has lost its shine, a high-quality cleaning product designed for wood surfaces can easily restore its luster.

They Deplete the Forests

Many flooring manufacturers use sustainable techniques that are designed to harvest wood in a manner that has the least environmental impact long-term. Since the floors last so long, they do not need to be replaced and end up costing less in terms of environmental impact than other flooring choices.

They are Not Durable

Some types of wood are definitely more durable than others. If you have young children or active pets, you can choose a harder wood that has more durability over time.

They are Not Real Wood

Engineered wood is still real wood. It is simply manufactured in a way that allows for multiple layers to be placed on top of one another. The end result is called a wood composite, but it is still genuine wood, not a man-made substitute.

They Aren’t a Good Option if You Plan to Move

On the contrary, wood flooring will add value to your home that others will appreciate. In many cases, the beautiful addition of this type of flooring will appeal to home buyers or even bring more money from the sale of your home.

They Scratch Easily

Wood is essentially the only material that can be repaired to like-new status if it becomes scratched. Man-made flooring does not provide this convenient option. While it’s true that softer types of wood may develop scratches on the surface of the wood more easily, these are quite easy to buff out and repair.

Polyurethane Floors are More Durable

Polyurethane floors are cheaper to purchase and install initially. However, they can become dented and damaged easily. Unlike wood counterparts, this damage is not easy to repair. In fact, parts of the flooring may need to be replaced entirely. This actually leads to a greater expense in the end. Additionally, polyurethane can be much more expensive to care for in the long run as well, adding to the overall cost associated with this type of flooring.

While they may involve more of an upfront expense than some other flooring options, hard wood floors can add a touch of practical elegance to your home. Hardwood floors provide a durable and gorgeous flooring option that you can proud to show off to family and friends. With careful planning and a skilled team of professional installers, hardwood floors can become one of the most beloved features of your home.

Should you refinish the hardwood floors hiding under your carpet?

Should you refinish the hardwood floors hiding under your carpet?

If you watch home-improvement shows, you’ve no doubt noticed that the first thing renovators look at is flooring. Most of them start tearing up the carpet to see if there’s wood underneath. Carpet isn’t necessarily inferior to hardwood floors. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. If you’re facing this dilemma, our experts at Classic Floor Designs can help. Keep reading to learn more about your options before you decide between carpet or hardwoods.

Lifestyle

Any remodel decision should start with your family’s living habits. Do you remove your shoes when you come in? Do you have a houseful of rambunctious kids? Are your pets house-trained? Do you eat dinner in your living area while watching TV?

If your family tends to track in dirt and frequently spill food or drinks, you’re probably better off with hardwood flooring. Spills wipe right up, so it’s almost impossible to stain.

One advantage to carpet, though, is the cushioning it provides. Parents of infants sometimes stick with carpet or buy plenty of rugs until their children are walking.  Carpet muffles sound, so think about that if your upstairs bedrooms are occupied. Other noises, such as a dog’s bark or loud music, tend to reverberate from a wood floor. Too, carpet is warmer underfoot. That can be an advantage in cold climates.

Again, accessorizing wood with rugs resolves most of its drawbacks.

Aesthetics

Many would argue that there’s nothing more beautiful than well-kept, gleaming hardwood floors.  Wood does seem to be ever popular. Rarely has it gone in and out of vogue as some flooring materials have. For a classic look, it’s hard to beat. Carpet, on the other hand, comes in lovely colors, textures, and patterns. The right choice of carpet can anchor an entire room and lend an inviting warmth.

Versatility

If your carpet has a plain pattern and is neutral in color, it won’t be difficult to redecorate rooms around it. A rich color or complex pattern, however, can pose problems when you want to buy new furniture or give the walls a fresh look. Carpet is somewhat limiting.

With hardwoods, depending on the finish, you typically have more freedom to change your color scheme or incorporate different patterns and textures into your decor. If you’re the type that quickly gets bored with the furniture arrangement, consider the ease with which felt-padded, heavy objects slide over hardwoods.

Durability

Quality carpets are made with better materials and last a lot longer than they used to, but the superior durability of wood cannot be denied. When properly maintained, hardwoods can take abuse for decades or even generations. Sanding down the surface erases any defects. Reapplying a stain or finish completely restores the wood to its original luster. This process can be periodically repeated for as long as you own your home.

Carpet, depending on the traffic at your house, must be replaced every five to seven years on average. The pile eventually wears down and stains inevitably mount up.

Maintenance

Some homeowners prefer carpet because it hides dirt. Others don’t like it for the very same reason.

Whether you go with carpet or wood, floors must be carefully maintained to preserve their appearance and prevent health hazards. Dust balls and pet hair are readily apparent on wood floors, so they require sweeping or dust-mopping at least every other day. Spills aren’t a problem, and even paint is easy to remove once it dries. Carpet should be vacuumed at least once a week to remove dirt and potentially harmful microorganisms. Spills should be promptly attended to, and professional cleaning is recommended at least once a year.

Environmental Considerations

Carpet fibers, carpet padding, adhesives, wood sealants and wood finishes have all been made safer for families and pets in recent years. If you’re concerned about your family’s health, research flooring manufacturers to make sure that they comply with indoor air-quality requirements. Some carpets do contain allergens. Unlike carpet, which is made largely of petroleum, wood is a natural, sustainable, renewable material.

Cost

Carpet is undeniably less expensive than real wood. However, given the cost of replacing it every few years, wood might be a better long-term investment. Refinishing wood doesn’t cost as much as replacing carpet.

Do hardwoods add resale value to your home? Figures are hard to confirm, but many surveys of real estate agents indicate that they do. Also, in a poll conducted by USA Today, more than half of the potential home buyers surveyed expressed willingness to pay more for a house with hardwoods.

With any remodel, decisions about flooring are often the toughest. We hope that we’ve given you plenty to go on and we are happy to help.

 

Home Improvement Suggestions for the Biggest Payoff

If you’re planning on putting your home on the market soon and want to increase its value, the key is to pick home improvement, remodeling projects that give you the best return on investment. As a rule, aim for projects that earn back at least 90 percent of your investment but preferably 100 percent or more. These are some of the top recommendations for the best ROI.

Kitchen Remodeling

Along with bathrooms, kitchens are the most expensive rooms from a structural perspective. When inspectors come to assess your home’s value, they can tell when money is invested and when cheap fixes are used. For the fairest ROI, don’t spend more than 10 percent of your home’s value on a kitchen remodeling project.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is investing in high-end designer wood cabinets. Tearing out and hanging new cabinets is a costly home improvement project. If your cabinets aren’t severely warped or damaged, you can refinish them and install new hardware. Granite countertops add value to a home. Appliances are also important. Ask a real estate agent about which appliances are better for your area. Some brands may raise a value more than others in a certain area. Some less expensive additions that add value are under-cabinet lights and pull-out pantries. Installing recessed lighting is also a good inexpensive way to add value.

Bathroom Remodeling

When you live in a popular area, like Washington, D.C., a smartly planned bathroom renovation can earn back more than 100 percent of your investment. In today’s fast-paced world, fewer people have time to take baths. Install a glass walk-in shower instead of a prefabricated standard combination unit. Low-flush toilets are also a smart purchase.

Adding a second bathroom may be wise in some cases. If your home has more than two bedrooms and only one bathroom, opt to add an efficient second bathroom instead of renovating the current one. In some cases, it can increase the home’s overall value by five percent or more, which is a better average value than creating an additional bedroom.

Add A Bedroom

In a hot housing market, you may be able to top your investment by adding a bedroom. There are several ways to do this. You can make an attic bedroom or loft. Or, you can put a bedroom in your basement. If your basement and attic need a considerable amount of expensive work such as HVAC and wiring, an addition may only be a cost burden. However, you can turn a finished den or office into a bedroom. The presence of a closet is what distinguishes a regular room from a bedroom. Explore cost-saving options for adding a closet. Bedrooms add more resale value than all-purpose rooms without closets.

Install New Flooring

Although floors collect dirt and germs, they shouldn’t look dingy. If you have old carpeting, cracked tiles, or discolored and warped laminate flooring, upgrading your floor is an excellent investment when it’s time to sell. Hardwood flooring offers the biggest payoff. Check to see if there is existing hardwood flooring exposed or hiding under old carpeting, and consider having the wood refinished and adding a dustless finish to entice more buyers. Stone floors also add value to your home and are a coveted feature among many buyers. If you have a large budget, some exotic flooring options add a considerable amount of value as well.
When you have other areas of the home that need attention and you can’t afford a high-end stone or hardwood floor, consider ceramic tile or engineered hardwood. Both home improvement options are more affordable and add value.

Prioritize Home Improvement

While adding a bathroom or converting a den to a bedroom may be the best investments for some people, others would be better off avoiding such projects to address more serious issues. For buyers and inspectors, updated plumbing, roofing, heating, cooling and wiring are more important than an extra bedroom or a bathroom with a glass shower. If the roof needs to be replaced, make that a priority. Fix any serious problems or structural issues that are lowering your home’s value before you start thinking about remodeling the interior.

The best way to approach a pre-sale renovation is to inspect your home or have it professionally inspected. Make a list of what must be done, such as treating a termite problem or patching a newer but damaged roof. Next, make a list of prioritized home improvement tasks, and decide which ones fit your budget and offers the biggest payout.

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Laundry Room Ideas Recommended by Houzz

Laundry rooms have been coming into their own in recent years, with more thought and design savvy being put into this workhorse space than ever. From farmhouse style to patterned tile, here are the top 10 trending features of the year so far, as measured by the number of people saving photos of them to their Houzz ideabooks. Are any of these in your own collection?

[houzz=https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/65636773/list/top-10-trending-laundry-room-ideas-on-houzz w=620]

 

Tell us: What’s on your dream laundry room wish list?

Refinishing Hardwood Floors: What’s Involved?

Refinishing hardwood floors can seem like a daunting task that just is not worth the effort. However, if you have enough time and patience, you can achieve the beautiful floor of your dreams at a fraction of the cost.

This post will cover the time commitment it takes as well as the various steps that are involved in overhauling your hardwood flooring.

Before you go any further, keep in mind that remodeling your floors is the very last thing you want to do when you’re working on your house. It’s too easy to ruin all of your hard work with paint drips or accidental bumps and scratches from other projects.

What to Expect

First, it’s important to have a detailed plan to follow before you start on anything.

Step One: Refinishing Method

Step one should be deciding which refinishing route you want to take. If your floors are very worn, deeply scratched or damaged in any way, you should do a complete refinish. This requires more time and effort because you must sand all the way down to the bare wood, but the end result is worth the extra work.

If your floors have scratches, worn finish or dullness that is only cosmetic, you should be able to opt for the simpler process of screening. Screening only strips off the topmost layer of polyurethane coating, which should remove any unsightly wear and tear.

Step Two: Choosing a Polyurethane

Regardless of which option you take, you will need to decide whether you want an oil-based or water-based polyurethane.

Oil-based polyurethane does take longer, but it also lasts longer. Generally speaking, it will take about three to five days plus drying time to refinish a hardwood floor with this method. Expect to do one coat per day, because an oil-based product will need at least a full 24 hours to dry.

For water-based polyurethane, the entire process usually takes about two days. These products take far less time to dry, and in most cases, you can move furniture back into the room closer to the 48-hour mark.

These timelines are general estimates, though, so you will want to take into account things like square footage, how dark you want the initial stain to be and even the weather. Because wood is porous, things like dampness and humidity can affect absorption and dry time.

Step Three: Plan-Ahead Prep Tips

Many experts recommend that you remove your baseboards prior to staining and sanding your floors because they will inevitably get dinged and stained no matter how careful you are. If this isn’t possible, just keep in mind that you will need to go back through and touch up the baseboards once your flooring project is done.

It’s extremely important to seal off the room as much as you can to keep dust contained. It’s also easiest on you to plan this project during a time where the weather will be nice so you can open the windows to ventilate and speed the drying process.

Overall Time Commitment and Final Thoughts

While it depends on how dark you plan to stain your floors, which polyurethane you choose and other factors like the weather, you can still make at least a general estimate of how long the process will take from beginning to end.

For a beautiful finish that will last for many years to come, plan for the project to take five to seven days from beginning to end.

Keep in mind that, even though the floors are dry, you still need to take precautions. Furniture should have felt pads installed, pets should have their nails trimmed and no area rugs should be laid down for three to four weeks to allow the wood to “breathe” and cure properly.

Refinishing hardwood floors is a process that’s not overly complicated, but it is time-consuming. However, the end result will last for many years with proper care, so it is a wise investment of your time.

Ready to refinish your hardwood floors?  Contact Us!

Flooring: How to make small spaces seem bigger.

If you are renovating your home or business, deciding how to remodel small rooms can be frustrating. Decorating small spaces can be very challenging, and if you choose the wrong colors, furniture, and flooring, you may be left with rooms that feel stifling and claustrophobic. Fortunately, there are ways that you can make small rooms feel and look more expansive, starting with the flooring that you choose.

Wide-plank hardwood floors

If you are wanting to install hardwood floors in your small spaces, consider choosing planks instead of strips. Planks are wider than 3 inches, and wide-plank floors have planks of 5 inches or more. With wide planks, there are fewer seams, making the room look larger. Another trick is to install your planks adjacent to the longest wall in the room so the room itself will appear longer than it is.

Light vs. dark flooring in small spaces

Designers differ on whether or not people should stick with light-colored floors or if they can instead choose dark materials. Either can be used effectively as long as they are paired with the right color choices in walls and molding. If you choose walnut for your floors, you’ll want to choose to paint your walls in a cool color. Cooler colors tend to recede, which makes the room appear to visually expand. If you also add crown molding at the top of the walls, it can draw visitors’ eyes up, giving an added feeling of roominess.

Light-colored floors also work well to help rooms appear larger. Whether you choose a light-colored wood or a natural stone like travertine, the lightness of your material can reflect light to make your room appear larger. If you do choose to install natural stone tiles, selecting large tiles and avoiding using grout in between them may help to visually expand the floor and the room.

Use the same floor materials in adjacent rooms

You can increase the feel of roominess throughout your office or home by using the same floor materials throughout it. Spaces that are adjacent to your small room that have the same type of material used on their floors will give the impression that the rooms expand into one another, making all of them feel like they are larger.

Install floor materials on a diagonal

Another trick to make your small room appear larger is to install your flooring materials on a diagonal. This helps by giving a different perspective in order to expand the space. A diagonal pattern also creates added visual interest, drawing people’s eyes across the room’s expanse.

Avoid clutter and use the walls

Once you’ve chosen your floors, don’t clutter your small room. Use the minimum amount of furniture that you need in the space. If you are left without enough room to store your belongings, don’t forget about your walls. You can install shelves on the walls for the most effective use of the available space in your small room.

While small spaces can be challenging to decorate, you can use these tips to help your room look airier and larger than it is. Classic Floor Designs is available to help answer any questions you might have or to offer additional suggestions for choosing the floor materials that may work the best for your small rooms.

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Hardwood Flooring Trends in 2017

Hardwood Flooring Trends in 2017

What’s on trend for hardwood flooring in 2017? Our experts at Classic Floor Designs have suggestions for this year’s top trends: darker colors and wider dimensions. This is directly related to a desire to bring a natural look inside. Everyone has personal likes and a budget to follow. When you are contemplating a renovation that includes new hardwood floor ideas, here are a few that will be popular in the coming year.

Wide and Long Planks

Traditional hardwood flooring has long been available in narrow planks. Today’s flooring trends are seeing more size choices, and many people are opting for wider designs. Using wide and long planks will make a small space appear larger. The elongated lengths will provide a smoother look with fewer seams. Depending on desired results, these pieces can be installed vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.

Darker Stains

To make a bold statement, it may be wise to choose hardwood with a dark stain. If you want some contemporary flair, consider an ebony color. For added sophistication, you may wish to select a rich red wood. Selecting dark walnut is a smart way to bring traditional elegance to your space as well.

Gray is Good

Gray is the hot hardwood flooring trend in 2017. It is a smart alternative to tan and other brown shades. It has seen great popularity on the West Coast, and it is spreading fast across the country. If your space is feeling old, gray hardwood is the ideal update. Since gray is available in a variety of tones, you can select one that works with your existing decor and that adds a modern feel.

Reclaimed Wood

The public is becoming more and more aware of environmental concerns, which has led consumers to search for eco-friendly flooring options. When you want a hardwood floor that is “greener” and beautiful, consider reclaimed wood. Reclaimed products are either reused or remanufactured and include material that has been sourced from old beams, barns, barrels, or similar items. Thanks to the various knots and grains, each piece offers unique beauty.

Vintage Style

Authentic wood appearance is important for 2017 flooring. This means that the rustic look of maple and pine will be two of the most popular choices. If you want to create an antique vibe, distressed flooring will work well. Many hardwood pieces are being hand scraped by manufacturers to provide an aged and vintage look.

Updated White-Wash

To brighten a space, 2017 is seeing flooring that goes beyond white-washing. Lime-washing is a whitening technique that began in Europe and involved the application of a water and lime mixture to bare wood. The end results are a soft and rustic appearance that brings a touch of brightness to your space. The modern way to achieve this look is with liming wax, which fades and ages the look of dark wood.

Less Gloss

Traditional hardwood often has a high shine. However, trends are leaning toward a low-gloss appearance. The look brings a number of benefits. For instance, scratches are easier to hide, and dirt buildup is less noticeable. This is especially important in high traffic areas. Another reason that this type of finish is becoming popular is the authentic appearance that spotlights the wood’s natural color and texture.

Hardwood is a classic choice for both homes and corporate settings. At Classic Floor Designs, we are ready to share the top 2017 flooring trends with you. We are proud to offer some of the finest products that are made from high quality craftsmanship. No matter your needs, we will discuss some of the most popular items and will recommend something that will help your company get noticed from the ground up.

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Keep Your Hardwood Floors Looking Their Best with These 15 Hacks

When it comes to flooring, you’d be hard-pressed to find something that is as timeless or attractive as hardwood. Although it’s among the most durable flooring options around, a hardwood floor of even the utmost quality requires regular maintenance to stay in tip-top shape. At Classic Floor Designs, we have lots of tricks for keeping hardwood floors looking like new. Check out 15 especially useful tips below.

1. Routine Cleaning

One of the best ways to keep a hardwood floor looking terrific is by simply keeping it as clear of dust and other debris as possible. Once or twice a week, thoroughly sweep the floor with a regular broom and then go over it again with a microfiber duster.

2. Take Care with Water

Water and wood don’t mix. When mopping your floor, use a lightly damp mop—not a soaking wet one. Never allow water to sit on your floor for extended periods of time.

3. Ward Off Dings and Scratches

Even the toughest hardwood floor can get pitted and scratched over time. Minimize this by having a shoes-off policy in your home. If you have pets, keep their nails trimmed. Keep felt pads under furniture legs. Whenever possible, lift and carry furniture instead of pushing or dragging it.

4. Act Quickly

When spills and other mishaps occur, act quickly. Sop up excess liquid right away, and then apply a floor cleaner that is specially formulated for the surface with a soft cloth. Have these supplies ready to go at a moment’s notice.

5. Eliminate Dents

Despite your best efforts, your hardwood floors may develop dents from time to time. Repair them by wetting the spot and then laying a dampened cloth over it. Rub a clothes iron on the high setting over the cloth in circular motions until the dent is gone.

6. Wipe Away Marker Stains

If permanent marker ends up on your floor, don’t despair. Both toothpaste and cologne work wonders for eliminating even the toughest marker stains. Gently apply either to the spot with a soft, dry cloth, and then wipe it clean with a damp cloth.

7. Clean Up Scuffs with Melamine Foam

Melamine foam, which is popularly known as Magic Eraser, works incredibly well at wiping away scuffs and other marks. Generic melamine foam is very affordable, so stock up to ensure that you can clean up stubborn marks when necessary.

8. Say Goodbye to Urine Stains

In addition to being unsightly, urine stains give hardwood floors unpleasant odors. Eliminate even old urine stains by pouring hydrogen peroxide directly onto the spot. Cover it with a hydrogen peroxide soaked cloth, and then cover that with plastic. Let it sit overnight, and then wipe it clean with a damp cloth.

9. Use Kitchen Items to Clean Big Marks

If you think that you need heavy-duty cleaner to eliminate that big, stubborn mark, think again. Mix equal parts canola oil and white vinegar, rub it on and then wipe it away with a damp cloth.

10. Restore a Fading Floor

If your hardwood flooring is less bright and vibrant than it used to be, a little lemon oil should do the trick. Rub down the entire floor with it and allow it to dry. You’ll be amazed by how much better it looks!

11. Bid Adieu to Scratches

Are your hardwood floors riddled with scratches? It’s nothing a little steel wool and sandpaper can’t help. For light scratches, use fine steel wool to gently work them away. Use lightweight sandpaper on deeper scratches. In both cases, finish up by rubbing mineral spirits in to smooth the surface.

12. Take Care of Cracks

During the winter, it’s not unusual for cracks to appear in hardwood. Wood expands when it’s warm and humid and shrinks when it’s cold and dry. The cracks should go away when warm, moist weather returns, but you can always run a humidifier to resolve it any time of year.

13. Clean Up Tape Residue

Sticky residue from tape, stickers and the like can be easily and gently cleaned away. Combine two tablespoons baking soda with 1/4 to 1/2 of a teaspoon of water. Spread the paste onto the residue, allow it to dry and then rub it away with a damp cloth.

14. Make a Natural Floor Cleaner

Clean your floors naturally and restore their sheen with black tea. Brew some up, dampen a clean cloth with it and wipe down your floors. The polyphenolic compounds in the tea inhibit microbial growth, so your floors will stay clean longer. The tannins in the tea add a lovely sheen.

15. De-Squeak Your Floor

Finally, if your floors look fine but sound terrible, there’s an easy way to eliminate squeaks. Use a paintbrush to work baby powder in between the floor joints. You can also use powdered graphite, which comes in a tube, to accomplish the same thing.

There you have it! By keeping these tips in mind, your hardwood flooring will continue to look as good as new for years to come. Check back with Classic Floor Designs for more helpful tips in the future!

Photo Credit: C. VanHook (vanhookc) Flickr via Compfight cc