hardwood flooring

Four ways to get the ?wow? factor with hardwood floors

What with those gorgeous undertones, a hardwood floor can light up a room in any setting, from the most traditional house to a light, airy coastal style one-- and even an urban chic loft-style.

Undertones are secondary colors, for instance, a mahogany floor might have touches of red, orange or brown.

Gray floors, a hot trend this year, can shine with hints of slate blue while oak floors can have a little yellow, beige or even pink. Coordinate them with wall colors, upholstery, accessories and, especially, views and you have one room with a big ?wow? factor.

Sweaters aren?t the only thing that can be layered! Sometimes a floor won?t have any undertones. When that happens, they can still stand out, but this time consider the floor a neutral. Then go wild with the color palette and layer furniture and accessories.

Sometimes if you have dark floors, but you want a youthful, contemporary feeling, especially if your home is a loft-style. That?s easy! Just let the natural light in by balancing it with colors that reflect, not absorb: white walls, light-colored case goods or even light-colored print rugs.

3 more ways to make your room stand out with hardwood
Carpet Mart is an expert on hardwood flooring, and these are some of their suggestions.
?Mix, match--and coordinate. Please stop thinking that everything has to match exactly; as long as it?s not a messy jumble, it can work. Right now, the rustic, organic look is popular, so gray hardwood floors, wonderful for that ?farmhouse? look, can work well with other woods--even that tree in the middle of the kitchen. (Yes, you read that correctly. Some people do that.)
?Use wide planks. Transitions are always important, but especially so with today?s open layouts. A wide plank will let the floor?s grains and knots shine through, but they?ll also minimize seams, so the floor can actually continue the flowing focus of an open layout.
?Hide the damage with color. Maybe your floors aren?t as vibrant as you?d like. You?ve had them a while so there may be some scratches and dullness (which, by the way, is usually corrected with refinishing). If you can?t refinish, just distract the eye with color, such as accent walls, unique backsplashes, colorful stools that will pull the eye upward.

Need more inspiration? Feel free to come into the Carpet Mart showroom in Benton Harbor, MI.