The most common method for installing a hardwood floor is to choose a type of hardwood that will cover your entire floor. If you want to have hardwood in your kitchen and your living room, you would likely choose the same type for both rooms. They would be stained and sealed the same as well. However, new trends have emerged of mixing hardwood floors for different rooms. For example, you might have a white oak in the kitchen and red oak in the living room. That trend grew for a while and has naturally evolved into mixing different hardwoods in the same room.
How Did It Start?
The trend of mixing different hardwoods in the same room began the way many trends begin; it began with people attempting to save money while staying stylish. Since wood is cut, shipped, and processed in batches, there will always be little bits of wood left over after each order. For example, if a white oak tree produces 500 square feet of wood planks and a customer orders 450 square feet of white oak, there will be 50 square feet left over. That’s not enough to cover more rooms. So, a supplier might sell that 50 square feet at a steep discount.
Customers would then buy that small amount of hardwood and mix it with odds and ends from other batches of hardwood.The result is an eclectic look of different woods in one room. The style also evokes the look of many older homes and cabins. Early American homeowners didn’t have the money to be picky about their choice of hardwood. So, these early homes often had floors that were patchworks of different hardwoods.
How Does It Work?
There are a couple of basic ways to employ this trend. You could create blocks of different wood on the floor. So, you would have a block of white oak, a block of hickory, a block of ebony, and so on. That is the patchwork look. It can be employed to great effect, especially if you have similar amounts of each kind of wood. The look is similar to a checkerboard.
Alternately, you can install the different types of wood in haphazard ways. Installing the wood on two different planks and attempting to keep two planks of the same wood from touching will create a more rustic look. It looks less intentional and more rustic, which is a trend in and of itself.