If you follow trends, you might be considering trading your hardwood flooring for something funkier, like a Moroccan tile or concrete. But Andrew Denny of Textures Nashville reassures us that when it comes to the kitchen, wood flooring never goes out of style. “People are continuing to use hardwood flooring in the kitchen to create open-concept living,” he explains. “The kitchen design can influence the overall design of the home, and homeowners and designers appreciate the continuation of one flooring throughout the main level.”
For many years, there was a rise in the popularity of ceramic and stone flooring in the kitchen, but homeowners’ attention has shifted to hardwoods. “This past year, of the 650 installs we did, I would say almost all of them had hardwood in the kitchen,” Andrew explains, adding that hardwood flooring is a timeless investment and can provide a versatile look. “We are not seeing a lot of hand-painted tiles outside of the laundry and powder rooms because, from a design perspective, it locks you into one design. In the kitchen, you want a beautiful backdrop for high-end millwork, countertops and appliances.”
But not all wood flooring is created equal.
Andrew works closely with celebrated Atlanta-based kitchen and bath designers, Design Galleria and Principal Designer Matthew Quinn. “When we meet with designers like Matthew and their clients, we talk about the project and vision,” Andrew explains. At this time, he raises the questions of how the flooring will influence the rest of the home and how cabinetry and finishes will interact with the flooring. “We use that as a starting point for species and color finish, but people typically come in knowing what surface they want.”
“The flooring is always the very first selection in my design process, and about 80% of my kitchen projects and 30% of my master bath projects use wood flooring,” Matthew tells us of his perspective from the design side. “Most often the size, texture and coloration of the wood flooring not only impact decisions in the kitchen and/or bathrooms but the entire home. Wood flooring is more timeless than most stones or tile, provides warmth, can be refinished and is easier on your body. Wood flooring does make the selection of stained cabinetry a little more difficult, so good editing needs to be done to prevent the end result from looking like a log cabin full of wood grain.”
Today, Andrew and Design Galleria Principal Designer Matthew Quinn explore trends in the kitchen and hardwood flooring as a backdrop in modern, traditional, transitional and farmhouse-style spaces.
For folks looking for a modern aesthetic in the kitchen, Andrew is quick to recommend a rift and quartered white oak flooring. “It is a very clean look and has a linear grain pattern, which is non-traditional,” he explains. A satin finish mutes the natural tones of the wood, giving it a grey cast, and we agree with Andrew that the result is an elevated, high-end look. Matthew recommends installing a slab backsplash. “Modern interiors are more about architecture and large planes or swaths of materials than individual pieces,” he explains.
In traditional spaces, Andrew shifts his focus to color and species. One of the most popular looks he loves is live sawn white oak in a warm brown. “White oak has character, so I suggest a wide seven-inch plank in our Tennessee brown, which leans more towards a warm brown than a cool brown.”
To stay within a traditional design, keep the flooring simple and introduce pattern into the space via the backsplash. “Depending on the countertops, I might keep it classic with a handmade subway tile in an interesting shape or pattern, or go bold and add some color or metal inlays,” Matthew suggests.
“The use of stained walnut floor seems to be really popular,” Andrew says of the wood, which has color variants ranging from gold to blacks. “The graining is so beautiful, and it has an elegant look that is enhanced with long, wide planks in a dark stain to mute the color variation.”
“Another popular option for transitional spaces is chevron and herringbone wood flooring. Andrew sees this as an emerging trend with a modern angle. “We can play with the scale of the patterns to complement the design,” he explains. “This flooring is a bridge for modern and traditional design.” Selecting a backsplash that does not compete with the flooring is imperative. Matthew is on board with this rising trend and suggests “a large scale rectangular tile in a color that plays off of the countertop.”
Modern Farmhouse Kitchens
Character is at the core of this style of design, and Andrew turns to reclaimed materials for the flooring in a modern farmhouse kitchen. “We have beautiful reclaimed materials that date back 200 years and are all from the Appalachians and the South,” he shares. Hardwood flooring is also milled by hand, with the help of an original 48-inch Amish mill saw.
“The flooring has so much personality and color variation, so adding more variation in the backsplash could be distracting,” Matthew says, recommending a painted brick tile backsplash for texture or a raku glazed tile for luster and an industrial feel.
When you’re ready to bring some style to your kitchen by way of quality flooring, Textures is prepared to help. Learn more at texturesflooring.com.
This article is sponsored by Textures Flooring. All photography provided by Textures Flooring.