Not Your Grandparents’ Hardwood Floors

What’s trending in Hardwood Floor Finishes?

                                                   Andy Ross All Hardwood Floors LLC


My earliest memory of hardwood floors was in my grandparents’ 1910 colonial in Norwalk, Connecticut. The wood had a beautiful luster, and as a boy the living room floor looked to me like a glistening lake. The idea of wooden floors was also new and exotic to me. That’s because in my parent’s house we had wall-to-wall carpet, which was the big, innovative trend back in those days.


Fast forward to 2018, and hardwood floors are in high demand, thanks to their natural beauty, long-lasting endurance, and easy maintenance. Carpets like the wall-to-wall in my childhood home are now known to be a magnet for unhealthy dust and allergens. Carpets are harder to clean because they trap dirt in their fibers. Their colors can easily fade or be accidentally stained or ripped. But hardwood floors that have a professional finish on them can last decades, with minimal maintenance required.


The finish coat on hardwood floors is usually done with an oil-based or a water-based urethane. That protects the wood and also gives it that attractive glow. You can use a matt finish, which doesn’t reflect light; a stain finish that provides a low-level luster; a semi-gloss with a medium shine; or high gloss…which shines like the floor of a basketball court.


At my Connecticut company, All Hardwood Floors, we install and finish about 20,000 square feet of high-quality hardwood flooring each month. The popularity of high-gloss finishes like my grandparents used has diminished, while most modern homes and offices prefer a more subtle finish. Nearly 85 percent of our customers choose a low-level sheen that is just enough to showcase the natural richness and glow of their hardwoods. I have also noticed that at home near the shore, a water-based matt finish is often preferred. A matt finish is less formal and lends itself to the relaxed and casual ambience of many summer homes and guest houses.


Ultimately, it depends on your own personal style, taste, and preference. With hardwood flooring you can create whatever mood suits you. You can use one particular finish throughout your home, or pick different finishes and woods for different rooms.


All Hardwood Floors Connecticut and New York