There’s no doubt that grey and white wood floors are proving to be a massive hit at present. A wooden floor has become the norm – it’s beautiful, sustainable, hygienic and classic. But before grey and white wood flooring became so popular, the real flooring innovation happened below the level of colour, at the point where engineered wood became a technological fix for many kinds of house where solid wood wouldn’t work.
Solid v Engineered Wood
While each form of wood flooring has its advantages, there isn’t any way to say that one or the other is superior – they each have their appropriate applications. Solid wood floors are widely available, often come in a greater range of qualities, and offer depth of flooring (they can be sanded etc to a greater depth than most engineered wood and offer structural support).
But that depth can be the problem in some settings such as concrete floors where the plywood sub-flooring required for solid wood would interfere with existing doors or in other ways alter the space in costly and demanding ways. In these settings engineered wood is ideal because it can adhere directly to concrete or be laid over a thin sound-proofing mat without raising the floor level disproportionately. Engineered wood flooring also the only wood flooring choice to fit well over under floor heating.
Grey flooring or white flooring – the contemporary flooring choice
The White Choice:
What makes white flooring such a success is its space-creating magic. No matter how small the room, it will look bigger with a white floor. Whilst any board width will increase the sense of light and space, a narrower board width adds an extra illusion because the eye naturally tends to assume that the board is standard width thus tricking the brain into thinking the room is wider.
White wood flooring comes in a range of finishes that offer subtly different results – lacquer gives the impression of gleaming newness and is particularly valued where the purpose of the flooring is to draw the eye to one or two key features in the room, particularly where those features are abstract or contemporary so this is often the chosen floor for a room with modern art as a central focus as well as being ideal for island kitchens where it adds drama to an already dramatic setting.
Brushed and oiled white wood floors offer a warmer, almost distressed look, which is more natural and is often seen as ideal where the room is designed to be comfortable and serene. It works particularly well with two classic looks – the shabby chic room and beach house decor, but it’s also the perfect foil for tartan soft furnishings, serving as the perfect foil for the complex but cosy tartan effect.
The Grey Choice:
Grey flooring is equally popular and offers a more neutral palette that can be used to offset intense furnishings, working especially to enhance Berber or Asian textiles or the detailed wood carvings of Thai and Indonesian furniture. It’s no accident that many auction houses exhibit prized items on matte grey display stands because this colour offers the maximum potential to make detail stand out.
Grey flooring also works particularly well in houses where a monochrome decor is preferred because it is less radical than either black or white, and therefore becomes a backdrop to a minimalist decorative style, rather than overwhelming it.
Finally grey flooring has a special place in urban settings such as loft and warehouse conversions where, in its ‘Battleship Grey’ form it evokes the gritty history of urban areas whilst providing a sophisticated aura of modern life.
Thanks for reading.
Written by Mr. Jonathan Sapir who is the managing director of UK based Wood and Beyond. Jonathan has over 20 year experience in the hardwood industry, working with commercial and private clients. View Wood and Beyond latest projects at houzz.