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From Wide to Narrow, These Are Trendy Wood Formats

Although trends may come and go, hardwood’s longevity has made it a classic choice for consumers no matter the species, color or format. Today, the end user is looking to wood for a floor that’s more unique from the everyday plank. In response, suppliers are making sure retailers are armed with options. Narrow, wide, long or short, hardwood planks can be cut into all shapes and sizes, and even mixed together.

Hardwood trends may come & go, but patterns prove to be a timeless format 

Hardwood patterns are anything but new — some of the world’s most famous decorative floors are wood, such as the custom parquets found in France’s Palace of Versailles or the St. Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. In fact, the herringbone pattern dates all the way back to the Roman empire.

“As they say, ‘everything old is new again,’” offered Dan Natkin, vice president, laminate and hardwood business, Mannington Mills. “These designs have been around as long as wood has been installed.”

He added that modern-day technology has made these luxurious looks a bit more accessible. Mannington products, for example, allow for an easier installation thanks to  “double-end grooving,” said Natkin, who noted the company’s Park City product line offers a multi-functional plank that can achieve a range of looks, including herringbone, double herringbone, basketweave and ladder layouts.

Plus, patterned floors are a great way to create visual interest in the home ­— on the floor or wall — and in an accent room without committing to the full floor plan. Entryways, office spaces or even bedrooms work well for patterned floors.

Long and wide wood is still trending, but suppliers reveal a return to traditional narrow planks

In addition to pattern variation, many manufacturers continue to invest in capabilities to offer wider and longer wood planks. For example, Mohawk has seen enough interest in widths 9- to 10-plus inches to focus on this particular offering for future demand, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed many Americans from urban to suburban areas, where larger formats do well.

In fact, Hallmark Floors is set to soon release a new collection, Avenue, which will feature its widest and longest plank option yet at 9.5 inches by 7.2 inches. “While there are many manufacturers that produce a 9.5-inch-wide plank, Hallmark Floors is the only one to offer a series with these specifications in multiple species,” shared Bianca Rudy, graphic design and marketing, listing European oaks, American hickories and maples in a 4mm sawn construction.

“We have seen a steady progression in longer and wider widths in our hard surface lines. What used to be considered wide is now considered standard, and we expect that trend to continue. Seven inches wide is a great format for a number of medium to higher end styles, and is complemented by longer lengths of 60 inches, 72 inches or even longer,” said Alex Moody, hard surface product designer, Shaw Floors. Moody added that larger formats are a great way to show off a real wood floor’s natural beauty, which is harder to imitate.

Nonetheless, some manufacturers have reported a move back to traditional strip planks. The new sweet spot seems to be 7.5 inches. But as nostalgia continues to trend in popularity, they are fielding more requests for the narrow widths of 3.25 and 2.25 inches.

Argued John Crews, director, premium brands hard surface product design and development, Shaw, it’s all about helping the end user select the right proportions for their space. He stressed it’s critical to deliver a range of length, widths, patterns and colors to give consumers endless design possibilities.

Excerpts from FloorCoveringWeekly.com

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