Custom Flooring Options
Artisan Signature Homes custom luxury home designer Jason Black has a model home you can view (and even buy) at 9204 Norton Commons Boulevard. Touring a model spec house is one of the best methods of checking out what’s trending in luxury custom homes these days. Though darker floors are still trending, “lighter, distressed white oak you may find at a beach house” is Jason Black’s latest love.
Before you get into what’s trending, one of the first questions you may have is whether to go with prefinished or traditional hardwood. “There’s two major differences in hardwood flooring these days,” states Black. One is prefinished hardwood straight from the factory.
“Hickory flooring – it kind of has a dull finish or satin finish to it,” he describes of the room he’s sitting in. This particular flooring was made in a controlled factory environment for a very consistent finish and arrives at the job site ready for install. People like how quickly these floors are installed and also the limitless options for planking, shades and wood styles. Most people go with a prefinished product, although the drawback is that you can’t re-finish it again later.
The other option is sanding raw oak, hickory or maple and coating the wood with polyurethane for a very traditional or old school look. You can change the darkness of the flooring on site and put a couple samples down in the light and adjust the finished look as needed. “After a few years if you get tired of the color or you have a couple dogs that scratched it up, you can come back in and take the top layer off and re-finish the floor again.” The downside is that you’ll need to stay out of the house for a week or two.
Traditional hardwood also expands and contracts with variations in temperature, which you virtually never see in the prefinished wood floors. “You have far less movement than you would on a sand and finish floor,” Black explains. Even if you put a humidifier in during the winter, the floor will constrict and shrink to create gaps in the flooring. “A lot of people understand that’s the true character of the floor and they’re okay with it. Come summer, usually those gaps will disappear in the summer.
More and more, hardwood is being used throughout the house. Buyers don’t want carpets that cling onto allergens, pet dander and dust, says Black. In standard spec homes, he’ll put hardwoods throughout the first floor and second floor hallways and lofts, but still do carpet in the bedrooms. Most of the bathroom floors are marble tile in the master baths and ceramic or porcelain in the other bathrooms. In basements, people are going with luxury vinyl tile that looks like hardwood but can absorb moisture and “really take a beating.” It’s virtually indestructible and goes right over a moisture barrier pad on the concrete. Stairways are usually an oak product, stained to match the existing floor as best as possible.