Home remodeling projects saw a 50 percent jump in popularity in 2020–as noted by leading home living website Houzz. And given how many people were stuck inside the same four walls day-in-day-out due to COVID-19 lockdowns, it’s hardly a surprise.

When it comes to significant homeowner investments, few beat the price of installing new wood flooring. If you’re hoping to make your purchase worth the decades a quality floor lasts, you need to make sure your choice is as much on-trend as it is on-budget.

Read on for an at-a-glance guide to the up-and-coming flooring trends for 2021 and beyond.

1. Broader Boards

Due to the ever-popular trend toward open-plan living, homeowners are now blending kitchen, dining, and living rooms into one enormous space. Interior designers are choosing wider floorboards to accommodate these now-oversized rooms.

A hardwood plank like this walnut flooring can run up to five-and-a-quarter inches wide, whereas some boards can even go as high as twelve inches.

Light or dark wood looks equally as grand in a wider style. Use these hardwood floor trends to show off a grainer, knotted wood–channeling that rustic vibe. Some homes also feature a large-format herringbone-patterned floor, merging two 2021 trending techniques into one.

2. Save With Engineered Planks

If you want all the good looks of hardwood without the cost, this one one of those wood flooring trends you’ll want to follow.

Engineered hardwood features a layer of natural wood on top of various artificial materials–like plywood, fiberwood, and MDF or HDF–and a cushioning underlayment. Once installed, it so closely resembles solid hardwood flooring that it would be difficult for even a real estate agent to tell the difference between them.

Cost-wise, engineered hardwood comes in a little cheaper per square foot than traditional hardwood flooring. And if you purchase click-lock boards, you can even skip those installation labor fees and DIY your new floor.

3. Whitewashed Wood

From the Millennial generation’s love of house plants to the boom in macrame wall hangings, hippy chic is firmly back on-trend.

It might be all about browns and beiges and tans for decor, but that doesn’t look great on your floor. When it comes to wood floor colors for 2021, whitewashed wood is where it’s at.

Whether you go for a sleek and pure white or choose a slightly distressed look, a whitewashed floor is sure to show the character of each plank while still complimenting your furniture and home accessories.

If you can’t afford solid wood, look to engineered wood or laminate in the bright white color you deserve.

4. Good for the Earth

One of the flooring trends that won’t be going away anytime soon is the move toward more sustainable options. With consumers demanding ethical choices for everything from running shoes to chocolate bars, floorboard manufactures are expanding their eco-friendly ranges.

When shopping to eco-friendly floors, look for:

  • Wood from FSC-certified plantations
  • Reclaimed or salvaged wood
  • Recycled laminate or wood-look vinyl
  • Natural rather than polyurethane sealants
  • Renewable materials like cork, bamboo, or palm

A properly installed wood floor can even help you reduce your household energy consumption by providing greater insulation against heat loss.

Wood Flooring: A Choice for Now and Later

Whether you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint or catch the latest color trends, wood flooring has something for you in 2021. Flooring styles might come and go–think the orange-hued vinyl-floored kitchens of the 1970s–but a beautiful hardwood floor is likely to last a century.

Are you excited to dive into more tips for smarter home remodeling? Browse the other articles on our blog.