For a long time, gray has been the most stylish color. It started with painting, then quickly moved to tile, followed by carpet and then to hardwood 3 or 4 years ago. Gray continues to grow, and more and more people have been trying to refinish their existing hardwood floors to make them gray.
Now that gray hardwood has become more popular, it’s boosted the popularity of gray tile even further, especially among porcelain planks that look like hardwood. And, gray has been rapidly growing in the wood-look-alike segments such as luxury vinyl and laminate. It’s actually easier to get a more pure gray look in the synthetic materials vs. wood as they can start with a white substrate (vs. a natural product with yellow or pink undertones). Gray has also been rapidly growing in kitchen cabinetry and of course in area rugs.
I predict that gray is here to stay. I would contrast that prediction with white wash (more on that below) which I believe is more of a quick fad. Gray goes really well with dark hardwood floors (dark is currently the most popular color – more about that below) and goes well with white baseboards. Gray is neutral and it also hides dirt more (as it’s often gray colored). Dark floors are still more popular than gray, but gray will continue to grow. Grays are versatile and while many will not choose gray for the hardwood floors, they will continue to incorporate gray into their decor (such as walls, window treatments and pillows) and other flooring elements such as tile, carpet and area rugs.
Dark hardwood flooring is the most popular color segment, and it continues to grow. In fact, many are now going darker and darker. To meet this need, Duraseal recently introduced a new color to their line up called True Black.
True black is darker than ebony and it’s rather opaque, so it hides most of the graining. Another option to get your floors darker is to do a water pop (which opens up the grains) so the wood absorbs more of the stain for a darker and more uniform look. We hope to write more about that soon.
White washes and white have been growing, too. For Tile, whites and lights have always been popular, especially for kitchens. Now, believe it or not, white wash has been making a comeback in hardwood flooring.
Light is nice for kitchens and it certainly makes your space light and airy, as well as larger. But white washes on wood are more challenging to get (and more expensive) and they tend to show dirt more. White for hardwood is rather niche, and gray is the new white. It’s a bit more stylish and certainly more practical for maintenance. I expect this trend to be short-lived and for gray to win out.
Light hardwood floors are the 2nd most popular segment for hardwood floors. Now, with the growing demand for water borne polyurethane (especially Bona Traffic HD), people are able to go a bit lighter and more natural looking floors. This high grade polyurethane dries faster, smells less, has lower VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) and importantly is lighter and less yellow. Yellows/golds are a bit dated and with an oil based poly, the floors amberize over time.
Cooler toned floors are more in style vs warmer tones. When it comes to hardwood floors, that means darks, grays, natural (with water borne poly) and avoidance of reds, golds and reddish/goldish undertones. These colors tend to be more neutral and they complement more paint colors and other accents.
In carpets, this is translated to grays and even taupes. Beiges are becoming less popular, and people are preferring “griege” which is a mixture of beige and gray. Even colors such as blues and greens will have more gray undertones and are more muted in their appearance. (Note: the neutrals are always more popular and versatile vs color colors.
For tile, this is translating to dark porcelain planks, grays, concrete looks, whites and a move away from bieges and warm yellow undertones.