Gray wood flooring is a new and growing trend, especially for more modern-style homes. If this bleached, gray look sounds like something you want in your home, here's quick FAQ to help you decide.
What is Gray Wood Flooring, Really?
In this case, the name is indeed accurate: This is hardwood flooring that comes in various shades of gray. The gray is typically achieved in production via the right stains and finishes. It is not, as some people think, because the wood is "driftwood" or from special gray trees. In fact, if you already have hardwood then an expert refinishing job can often turn it gray (although this is tricky to pull off). While many different grays are possible, most projects focus on more neutral gray colors that do indeed remind buyers of naturally bleached wood.
Why Should I Consider It?
Gray wood flooring has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially in urban areas where minimalistic homes and apartments are so common. Because gray is such a purely neutral colors, it can be used around stark whites and very dark shades very effectively, calling attention to the walls and ceilings while still feeling fresh and unprocessed on its own. While gray hardwood flooring isn't for everyone, it can be very effective with the right color schemes – ask a professional designer for more advice about your unique home features and how gray flooring would look in your house. Also, since gray flooring tends to be more of a high-end style choice, switching to gray may even increase the value – or at least apparent value – of your house.
How Does It Compare to Regular Hardwood Flooring?
The two are very similar, but gray flooring does come with some requirements. Not all types of wood are suitable for achieving the right gray appearance, so using whatever kind of wood you want may land you in trouble: In fact, the best results often come from traditional oak and pine boards.
Also, it can be difficult to achieve the exact type of gray flooring that you want. Because the gray is created from a delicate balance of staining techniques, it certainly isn't a DIY project. Make sure that you choose a flooring expert that has experience in installed or refinished gray floors in the past – then take a look at their previous work, if possible. Keep in mind that this difficulty in picking or creating shades often makes gray wood flooring more expensive than a traditional wood product.
It's worth noting as well that gray flooring will never look quite as "warm" as wood in more natural colors. Sometimes people choose gray flooring only to find that it makes their home too austere or cold. Make sure that you have warmer, more natural colors around if you fear this might be a problem. It's also a good idea to spend time with product samples before making a choice.
Anything Else I Should Know About Gray Flooring?
It's important that you protect your gray flooring properly and choose the highest-quality work and materials. Over time and exposure, cheaper gray floors can start to yellow, which rarely does the floor any favors.