Over the past 2-3 years we have seen many new wood flooring products come into the Midwest market and especially here in Cincinnati, Ohio. Wider width hardwood flooring is gaining popularity and growing fast along with the standard 3/4″ solid nail down wood floors. I have found after searching our hardwood flooring sales over the last 36 months that consumers want wood floors that are really wood. Feel, touch the grain, use different stains and urethane finishes. Let go get the tree cut it down, plane it and install it in one big swipe. I’m kidding of course, but you know its whatever floats your boat. What works for the consumer who lives on the a golf course might be totally different than the same type home (construction) in the inner city. One thing is perfectly clear! Consumers want what looks best for them and reflects their personality and lifestyle. Whether its a 5″ wide hand scraped walnut going in a rustic home over 75 years old in Batavia to tearing out pine hardwood and installing Somerset Character Hickory saddle, its all about consumers wanting wood floors that look real and authentic. Hand scraped hardwoods are wood floors that show a very distressed look. Manufactures go to great lengths to reconstruct wood floors that look like flooring that has been re-claimed. The beauty marks in the wood represent a look from the past. The old siding you see in barns is a good example of flooring that’s popular today. We recently installed a engineered floating 5″ hand scraped walnut in a home where the floors were very uneven. We shimmed them up and recreated a rustic look in a home that was back in a meadow and was surrounded by 5-7 acres. It was just beautiful and the consumer was very happy with the choice of flooring. Traditional 3/4″ thick solid wood flooring is still very popular in the Greater Cincinnati area. From Mullicans Nature Collection red oak natural in 3″ 1/4″ to Somerset Color Collection in 2″ 1/4 gunstock the look of solid nail down is a wide appealing wood floor. We just finished a installation in a home in Amelia (12 yrs. old) where we installed 12 new oak stair treads (replaced pine)and matched the downstairs family room that was pre-finished in butterscotch. Then on the hall way upstairs we installed a new Somerset Value Collection 2″ 1/4″ nail down in a color to match the treads. We topped it off with new Bliss by Beaulieu wall to wall carpet in a 40 ounce weight textured plush in three bedrooms in a neutral beige. Exotics are somewhat on the rise but not like handscraped and solid products. Exotics come from all over the world and you need to know about some of the characters of these type styles. Change in original color over time, etc. Bamboo is another product we are seeing but we hear about it more than we actually see it sold and installed. Hardwood flooring doesn’t have to be a pallet of the old standby browns either. Widely available finish colors include an amazing array of whites, browns, blacks, greys, and reds. You can even purchase unfinished flooring and stain it with a big array of colors. We just recently installed wall to wall carpeting in a basement family room and upstairs was a beautiful black stained 3/4″ oak strip floor. It was simply stunning. Especially with the stainless steel appliances. Buying a unfinished wood floor has its advantages. No seams, sand and stain it anyway you want it! Color choices permit floors to better serve interior styling. Why should colors be just limited to the paint on the walls. Colorful flooring allows for rooms that authentically express the desires, style and the personality of the homeowner. Urethane finishes come in water and oil base . Color, style and value. Those three qualities add up to a beautiful new hardwood floor that you can create in your home and even on a concrete floor or wood subfloor. There is even unfinished engineered wood floors that can be used in basements when traditional wood floors (3/4″ solid) can’t be used. Getting the biggest value and quality in hardwood flooring is what it’s all about.