Of all the surfaces in a house, floors are subject to the most wear and tear. Sure, walls get drawn on or have toys hurled against them by bored children. Kitchen counters get all manner of goop spilled across their patient surfaces. Writing desks get pounded on when you can’t think of a good introduction to an article about floors. But more than anything else, the purpose of a floor is to be abused. Everything in your house rests on them. It’s strange, then, that we care so much about how they look—but it’s undeniable that we do, and, because of that, they are a great place to spend your hard money residential rehab loan in order to appeal to potential buyers.

Floors have gone through a lot of trends, from bare dirt composition to marble to hardwood to shag carpet (proof that evolution doesn’t always trend upwards) to tile and now back to hardwood. But it isn’t that simple. Even in the broad hardwood trend of today, there are little sub-currents that a contractor should be aware of when trying to rehab a house so it can get back to the market, and off the market as quickly as possible. Knowing these flooring trends and how to apply them to your property is a huge part of getting the most bang for your buck.   

5 Hardwood Flooring Trends To Make Your Residential Rehab Shine

Dark Hardwood

For years, in houses and multi-family dwelling units (MDUs), lighter hardwood—or at most a darker cherry—was the way to go. It looked more natural, and matched the classic Americana look that was “in” at the time. While people still love light hardwood, all trends must mutate, and right now darker hardwood is a growing fashion. Dark brown or black with ebony, jacobean, or espresso stain is both a hot style and a cooing color. It gives a room an immediate feeling of elegance, and works extremely well when contrasted with white furniture or decorations. It can help make a room pop, and potential buyers with a bit of creativity and imagination will notice and be entranced by this when they walk in.

Neutral Gray

Gray is often described as bland, or a middling zone, but when it comes to floors it is anything but. Its very neutrality gives a room an unexpected look, which is the heart of drama, and allows for any number of interior design possibilities. It’s casual, but not sloppy. This can be a charcoal stain, or you can go for something even more subtle, that of aged oak.

Wide Planks

In many homes, wood floors have very narrow planks, only a few inches in width. While this is a fine look, many people find it dull, and, in a way, inauthentic. There is less strict geometry in wider planks, and they don’t give a feeling of being prefabricated, which is important to many modern homebuyers who crave individuality and idiosyncrasy in every aspect of their house.

Wider planks, even as much as a foot in width, look like they have a craftsman’s touch, especially if they are of unequal widths.


Of all the trends, this one might be the hottest. In the quest for something unique, many homeowners are looking for flooring that comes from vintage buildings, teardowns, and architectural salvage. It’s exciting to know that the floors in your home were once in a theater or a skyscraper. This is more expensive, but it can also up the asking price. Distressed flooring gives that same look as authentic vintage materials, but at a generally lower price. And don’t think everything has to be sanded to a uniform smoothness. As long as it is safe, pockmarks, old termites burrows, and other “flaws” can give a floor great character, and make even the most computer-bound of us feel like mighty lumberjacks.

Floors on the Wall

This isn’t so much a hardwood flooring trend as a trend involving hardwood floors. A new style that is emerging involves putting hardwood on the walls, and even the ceiling, to match what is on the floor. Not only is this a surprising look, but it also creates the feeling of a log-cabin or other hardscrabble domicile. It’s more attractive than a plain white wall, and, while it doesn’t allow for painting or other modifications, it opens up great design options. This probably shouldn’t be done throughout the whole house—that might be alienating for buyers—but in a rec room or library it could be perfect.

Hardwood flooring has gone from a new trend to a seemingly permanent part of what we are looking for in homes. It looks great, is nice to walk on, and makes a house feel less like a prefabricated collection of materials and more like a home. Getting the right hardwood flooring in with your  hard money loan from Socotra can help bring your residential rehab to market and get it sold. It is one of the most dramatic things you can do to a house, and one that will open the most eyes. They may be staring down, but their imaginations are looking straight ahead.