Hardwood Flooring: Trends For 2021

NOTE: Our 2022 hardwood flooring trends are in! Check out the full article to learn about the most up to date trends.

Floor design materials are more advanced than ever. Though you can find a product and style to match any project or budget, hardwood flooring remains a leading choice. After all, with more wood species and finishes to choose from going into 2021, the options from rustic to refined can add value and style to any room in the home. DIY enthusiasts and designers alike are excited about the new trends in hardwood.

Colour Choices

Gone are the days when slight variations of neutral brown were the only choice for all wood flooring. Contemporary hardwood floors can offer character and bold colour options to play up the design of each room. As the choices expand, people are selecting more dramatic wood species and stain finishes that are surprisingly vivid. Deep grey or black floors aren’t uncommon, especially paired with monochromatic white walls and details.

Deep greens and blues are another elegantly whimsical and adventurous choice which can be played up or down depending on the rest of your décor. Popular trends include white wash, espresso, grey, and mixing colours with various planks within one floor.

Rich browns are up and coming in hardwood flooring with deep chocolate walnut tones. Walnut isn’t as hard as some options but always fashionable and elegant in residential or commercial spaces.

Blackened charcoal look

A fun, new twist on the market is the blackened charcoal look of dark grey wood floors. Shades as deep as jet black are typically presented in a matte finish. A sophistication which is surprisingly luxurious and welcoming is complemented by bold furniture and décor pieces, or pale walls and plenty of light.

Rich browns are up and coming in hardwood flooring with deep chocolate walnut tones. Walnut isn’t as hard as some options but always fashionable and elegant in residential or commercial spaces.

HydroGen 5 Collection

Are things warming up, or cooling down?

The consensus with design trendsetters is that whether dark or light, there’s a strong push away from warm tones (reddish or yellow undertones) and a move toward browns and greys that are neutral and cool.

Is grey the new brown?

Grey hardwood flooring is Toronto’s go-to for bringing a breath of fresh, modern air into your home’s décor. It’s a decorator’s dream and fun to design with; however, the classic tones of light to dark woods are popular as ever and suit a variety of styles.When you visit Chestnut flooring, our experts will walk you through beautiful samples with dazzling, elegant wood finishes to choose from. We’ll help you reimagine your space and determine if the new neutral is your flooring of choice.

Should your wood match?

To keep up with the major shift in décor vibe, you may want to update the other appliances or furniture in your room as well. Grey hardwood pairs exceptionally well with sleek whites and stainless steel. Updating your cabinets to a non-wood surface, or your bathroom with a glass sink, are steps you can take to pull a room together. While you’re considering the floor style, keep in mind that warm wood shades in the rest of the room and various grains may look disordered rather than styled. While there is no rule against blending more than one wood finish, do so with caution and an eye to clashing effects.

Whitewashed floors

Whitewashed hardwood floors are back in style and often paired with bold, deep wall tones. One of the selling features of hardwood is that it can be refinished and stained according to style preferences that evolve with new seasons. Today’s whitewash tones are matte finished and work best on wood with heavy graining for a complex, artistic effect. It’s best to start with planks that are on the light side to begin with, and use the wash to knock out yellow tones and lend some contrast to your room.

Finishes are Limitless

An aesthetic choice, but also a practical one, the finish on your boards matters. You can purchase hardwood flooring in Toronto pre-finished or have it sealed and protected once installed in your home. Factors like sheen, light reflection, protection from nicks and scratches, and the appearance of weathering and wear can all be elected in a protective finish. It’s become more popular to use reclaimed hardwood planks from old salvaged buildings and barns. Those one-of-a-kind planks have a historical patina about them which is hard to duplicate and lends rich character to a space. If you don’t have access to real reclaimed boards, there’s now trendy wire brush and distressed finishing which can help create that look. One benefit of ultra-textured and rough finishes is that they hide scuffs and damage well. Previously common high-gloss floor varnishes aren’t as common today. Generally, satin or matte finishes have taken over and they’re more forgiving in terms of maintenance and hiding flaws. You can choose oil, or a factory sealed protective coating depending on your needs. Those who prefer the lowest maintenance possible, typically go for the sturdy, resilient pre-finished options.

European White Oak - Engineered Hardwood - Lightly Wire Brushed - CF1031925

Engineered Hardwoods are More Popular Too

The closest thing to a solid hardwood floor is engineered. These planks are made from wood components with layers of plywood or wood chips compressed with resin. The core is a strong plastic or plywood piece and the very top layer consists of a thin slice of real solid wood. The design and fabrication of engineered wood planks has become so impressive that they are often chosen not just for the cost savings, but because they are a robust, durable product that looks as good as wood. Engineered boards are known to be strong. They are pressure and heat-treated so they hold up to abuse. They’ll be less prone to warping with heat or moisture as well. They don’t last as long as real, solid hardwood and over many decades of use, they can’t be refinished multiple times the way that hardwood flooring in Toronto can. If you’re considering an exciting new look for your home, nothing transforms a room quite like the warmth and style of wood floors. 


Continuing on the theme of trends that are beautiful and functional, we’ve seen a continued shift toward low lustre finishes, with matte and satin as the most popular sheens. High gloss finishes show every iota of dust and highlight even the tiniest scratches or dents. Those with hardwood flooring in Toronto have noticed that low sheen finishes are best at bringing out the natural beauty of the material without highlighting scuffs when they happen. Combined with texture, this take on hardwood floors is perfect for high-traffic areas.

Plank size

Open-concept layouts are expected to remain popular in 2021, and for large, open rooms, these planks that are long and wide create a stable visual foundation. Larger floorboards make any area of the home look more expansive, and fewer pieces of flooring are needed to cover a space. Combining expansive walls with floors that have less visible joints gives a peaceful sense of oasis even in broad, open areas, while the natural element of hardwood provides warmth and security.

Use of reclaimed wood

You can use recycled home building materials which are often sold by specialized companies, charities or even your showroom. Sourced from a variety of places, old beams and planks are taken from ageing barns and carry a wonderful ‘farm-chic’ distressed look. These options are affordable compared with premium solid hardwood,and their aesthetic happens to be in style.

European Oak - Engineered Hardwood - Wire Brushed - CF1021721

Custom designs

Hardwood flooring in Toronto homes can be personalized with family crests or other symbols using carefully crafted patterns of wood planks and pieces. Though personalized design work can be pricey, the value of an artistic showpiece on your foyer or great room floor may hold sentimental value or be a stunning focal point of your house.

Have fun with flooring textures

Textured and dramatic wood grain is in. You can choose between wirebrushed, distressed and hand-scraped finishes to reveal depth of detail in your wood’s grain and ad a rustic look to your boards. Old-fashioned and weathered boards can also be created with a natural oil finishing treatment. The rich patina formed makes for a luminous but low shine effect.

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