10 Hardwood Trends for Every Budget

Hardwood floors are warm and classic. This material was originally the only sensible choice for homeowners, then everyone switched to carpeting, and now wood is back and more desirable than ever. Unfortunately, that also means hardwood can seem out of reach financially for many people, especially the latest styles. Before you give up your dream of wall-to-wall planks, check out the ideas below to save cash on beautiful true hardwood that’s perfectly on trend.

1. Mix and Match Color

Once upon a time, everyone wanted hardwood that matched. All the planks, neat ducks in a row, had to be essentially identical. Not so anymore, which should leave both budget buyers and the fashion forward equally delighted. The mix-and-match trend of utilizing different (but still related) shades of wood opens up many options for homeowners who want to scoop up low-stock hardwood and create a more organic-looking result. This technique looks best with lighter colors, particularly gray tones, and rustic designs.

Wood Flooring with gray tones

2. Reclaimed Wood

Recycling has surpassed empty boxes, bags, and containers. Now you can recycle building materials, saving money, protecting the Earth, and creating a lovely farmhouse-style floor. If you are not the fortunate owner of a under-used barn that can be repurposed for your needs, speak with your local flooring experts to see if they can provide thin slat pine or oak flooring that can be weathered to appear reclaimed. These woods are often more affordable, and you may be able to achieve a similar effect without schlepping to a ranch.

Reclaimed wood floors

3. Mock Hardwood Tile

Durable, low maintenance, and available in every color, shape, and style imaginable, tile is an amazing flooring material that is finally getting its due. Switching to tile can save money, but this exchange does not require giving up your hardwood goals, insofar as appearances are concerns.


Textured tile slats that mimic hardwood flooring are hard to tell from the real thing, which is why more and more homeowners are laying tile flooring, particularly in bathrooms, to create a seamless floor in every room while keeping function in mind. There’s no reason to stop at the bathroom–these gorgeous materials can and do belong anywhere.

4. Cork

Cork flooring has many benefits. Soft, durable, eco-friendly, and attractive, cork brings a lot of style and comfort to any home, although the price point may be high for some homeowners. Cork flooring is more affordable than solid hardwood, but the cost range sits in the same area as engineered hardwood planks. However, families that want a quiet, warm, and green option that is less run-of-the-mill than hardwood will find cork to be ideal.

Wood look cork flooring

5. Bamboo

Bamboo delivers on the tall order of modern, chic, and on budget. This versatile flooring material, technically a type of fast-growing grass, offers a sustainable alternative to hardwood that looks just as beautiful but is easier to care for. Whether you choose to place it in high or low traffic areas, bamboo comes in virtually every popular color and tone, and it can be stained to suit your personal preferences as well.

Bamboo flooring options

6. Inlaid Designs

You decorate your walls with framed pieces of artwork; now you can do the same with your hardwood floors. Admittedly a bit of a splurge, small inlaid designs can take your flooring to the next level without the cost of choosing a herringbone or chevron pattern for the entire space. Many homeowners opt to create a special image–a family crest, Celtic knot, compass, or another symbol, into their foyer, living room, or dining room for a personal touch that never fails to impress.

Herringbone and chevron pattern

7. Gray or Whitewashed

Older hardwood floors often showcase thin planks and not so of-the-moment shades, but you don’t have to start from scratch. Refinishing wood and re-staining it a more modern color or whitewashing the top can rejuvenate a space, making it feel brighter, fresher, and more contemporary at a lower cost than you may realize. If you’re placing hardwood for the first time, economical wood can be usually be stained (and always painted) to create a youthful look that keeps your savings safe.

Gray designed wood planks

8. High Variation Textures

Smooth is out and textured is in. Choose between handscraped, wirebrushed, and distressed to create a rustic, rugged, one-of-a-kind look for your favorite room. These rough and ready styles are part of the blossoming reclaimed and reused trend, making the old-fashioned look accessible to a broader selection of people. That said, texturing often comes at a higher cost, so be prepared to splurge for this option.

Old fashioned wood floors

9. Mix and Match Width

Color is one option way in which you can mix-and-match for a bold and fun look, and the width of each slat or plank is another. You’ll want to shy away from significant sizing differences, so the effect is clean rather than chaotic. But you also want enough difference in width that it’s noticeable. And in this case, it’s best to keep hardwood all in the same tone. Applying one innovative choice is inspired; using too many trends in the same spot feels like overkill.

10. Fancy Finishes

Did you know hardwood floors also have come in a variety of finishes? Smooth satin finishes are sleek, modern, and upscale while matte finishes give a more rural rustic appearance that invites in the neighbors. But there’s another you may have overlooked. Oil-finished wood has a bit of shine, for that updated appeal, but the coating also brings out the wood grain, creating a warm, old fashioned look that’s very popular right now. So, if you can’t decide between satin and matte, oiled may be the perfect compromise.

Oil finished wood floor

With so many options, and so many popular styles, homeowners can become overwhelmed with what to do in their home. If you’re struggling to decide between a few approaches (or are uncertain about which option is right for your budget), our team of flooring professionals can help. We will bring oversize samples to your home and provide a same-day estimate. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

10 Hardwood Trends for Every Budget was last modified: October 16th, 2018 by Express Flooring