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Sometimes, the original really is the best. We always seem to pine for what has gone before us, taking these traditional values rooted in the past and trying to recreate them all over again, to establish some kind of order and sense. Flooring in general has embraced a historical look in 2014, with customers eager to get back to basics amid an increasingly fragmented and unsure reality.

distressed oak floor rustic decor

Hickory “Antique” engineered hardwood on BuildDirect’s Vanier label

Equilibrium and calm

This year, the emphasis in the oldest type of flooring, wood, has been placed firmly on authenticity. Flooring is what grounds us, and taking an old-style approach to it is something that fosters equilibrium and calm. This gives us a real appreciation of both nature and where we’ve come from.

hickory sierra handscraped engineered hardwood

Hickory “Sierra” handscraped wood flooring

So, how has wood flooring embraced the past? For one thing, handscraped hardwood flooring is back in vogue. Hand-scraped floors date back to the 1800s, when finished surfaces were worked by hand with drawknives, which inevitably led to scrapes along the wood. Far from representing damage or even decay, these scrapes tell their own unique story, and are a portal of sorts to a bygone era.

An ode to a leisurely life

The hand-scraped trend has been complemented by wide-width planks, mirroring a time when felled trees were more mature, and planks used for floors were accordingly thicker. This trend represents a tip of the hat to a time that was less hurried; an ode to a slow-paced, leisurely life. Following on from the hand-scraped theme, wood flooring has gone one step further by embracing a distressed style – nail holes, gouges, slices and saw marks can be added easily without going overboard, which gives the impression of a solid floor marked by decades of constant use. By adopting this trend, it is clear that homeowners are eschewing technology in favor of old-style skill and dedication.

handscraped maple wood flooring

Maple “Tundra” solid hardwood flooring.

Making sense

It may not seem like much, but these trends make a real difference in today’s world. When relaxation is tough to find, solace is found in all sorts of strange and surprising places. In our increasingly frantic, fast-paced world dominated by smartphones and a continual stream of information from various technological sources, these trends make sense. After all, it is in history that we find true comfort, and where we feel most grounded.









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Julian Fleming

Julian is originally from Dublin, Ireland, now settled in Vancouver BC. His background is in journalism, and is a part of the BuildDirect’s communications team."