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Design options broaden with painted hardwood floors

April 16, 2014

Hardwood FlooringHardwood floors are a perennial favorite among home decorators and are sought after by prospective homeowners when they're making the rounds of open houses. In addition to the rich tones in different woods, one of the trends in recent years has been painted wood floors like Anderson's Vintage Coastal Art collection.

Like hardwoods with natural finishes, the planks used are often painted, sanded and sometimes distressed to recreate the look of flooring from previous eras. The Coastal Art red oak floors in a sand dollar finish complement contemporary room design as well as traditional decor, while the dappled look of the pickle barrel finish evokes country and cottage styles.

The unique look of painted floors open up a new realm of decorating ideas, and the floors don't have to be restricted in terms of where they're used in a home. According to the National Wood Flooring Association, tough floor finishes on wood stand up to heavy traffic in rooms like kitchens and have been developed to resist wear and stains without the need for buffing and waxing.

When NWFA did a nationwide survey of real estate agents, the association found that homes with wood floors sold faster at higher prices than comparable residences with non-wood flooring. Hardwood are also easy to maintain with either a soft-bristle broom or attachment on a vacuum cleaner.

New colors with painted floors
Painted floors with subdued tones are a great complement to neutral wall colors that have become prominent in recent years. Various derivatives of gray and taupe in both light and deeper shades have replaced off-white as the base colors in many home designs.

Interior designers also add these colors to soften brighter hues. In this way, homeowners can have a neutral for walls that will have an underlying touch of color. Design writer Cindy Bergersen describes the process as "browning" or "graying" a hue that may be a homeowner's favorite. The lightened version of the color then becomes a neutral shade for walls, ceilings or architectural trim.

Using this method, home decorators can have their favorite colors into their home decor without feeling overpowered by them. The new hues give a room more depth in the color scheme and allow homeowners to create combinations with brighter accents and finishes.

By adding painted floors to the mix, homeowners may experiment with color ideas for their homes that they may never have considered with natural wood tones.