2014 Trends for Hardwood floors – Westchester County, NY – What’s hot and stylish in flooring

As we approach 2014, I thought it would be helpful to outline the trends I’m seeing in hardwood floors for Westchester NY. Let me caveat this by saying that different people have different tastes. When choosing a hardwood floor (or color), it’s most important that you choose what you like and what goes with your house/decor. Don’t just choose something because it’s popular – choose what works for you. If, on the other hand, you are about to sell your house, choose what appeals to the majority and works with the style of your home.


For a more current version of hardwood flooring trends see my article 2017 Hardwood flooring trends.


1. Dark hardwood floors

Hardwood flooring trends 2014 westchester ebonyYes, dark is in baby! The top picks are ebony and jacobean stain colors. These dark colors give a rich and contemporary look. Ebony is a bit darker and cooler; Jacobean is a bit lighter, browner and warmer. Ebony is a tad more modern and jacobean a tad more traditional, but they are both chic, upscale and stylish. Darker floors are definitely a bit more challenging to maintain as they show dirt and scratches a bit more. For site finished floors, I generally recommend oil based poly (as it looks better/lasts longer/gives a darker look) and an extra coat of poly on the 1st/main floors as this area is has higher traffic. Also, it’s ideal to take your shoes off and wear socks (rather than go barefoot). The oils from your feet tend to show up more on dark floors. You can read more about this trend here: dark hardwood flooring.


Dark hardwood floors ebony - 2014 hardwood flooring trendsFor those looking to go as dark as possible, if you are adding in new oak floors, choose white oak flooring over red oak as white oak is slightly darker (and browner and less red) and will therefore give you a darker look.



2. Shift towards browns and golds (and away from reds and oranges).

2014 hardwood floor refinishing westchester countyRegardless of whether light floors, dark floors or mid tones are right for you and your home, there definitely is a preference and a shift towards browns/golds and away from reds and oranges. The browns and golds are more neutral and easier to decorate with – easier to match paint colors, area rugs, pillows, other pieces of wood furniture, bedding and window treatments.


Brown colors will give you flexibility both for now, as well as from a few years from now if you want to make some decorating changes. Red tones will often clash with other reds, burgundy’s, magentas, oranges as well as some beiges.



3. Gray hardwood floors/gray stains

2014 hardwood trends - gray floors westchester countyAs they say, “gray is the new black” and this color has been so hot these last few years – for floors and walls. They’ve been showing it in tile and carpet for years, and then prefinished hardwood – you will often see the grays in maples and birches as these woods absorb the darker brown and ebony stain differently. And, now, over the last year or two, we’ve been getting lots of requests to sand and refinish existing oak floors gray.



gray hardwood oak 2014 flooring trendsGray stained hardwood floors can be achieved by mixing a combo of white wash and ebony stain (and testing mixtures and ratios) so that you can go from light to dark gray pending your preference and pending your wall colors. This is definitely more expensive than your typical cost of refinishing hardwood floors both due to the process and passes of color, as well as the fact that you need to use a water based polyurethane – otherwise, the floors will start to turn yellow over time as the poly amberizes. And, because water based poly doesn’t last as long as oil based poly, you will usually want to do an extra coat of poly and perhaps upgrade to a higher grade of polyurethane such as Bona Traffic HD. All of these cause the prices to rise, and we typically do gray floors in very upscale homes in Westchester County.


While gray is very stylish now, it probably won’t last forever, and another super stylish look is to do gray walls and ebony floors (as mentioned above) along with gray area rugs/pillows/accents.



4. Site finished floors rather than prefinished floors

2014 hardwood flooring trendsThe bevel is out! Most homeowners in Westchester County prefer hardwood floors that are sanded and refinished on site for smooth edges and a better flow. These floors just look more “real” vs. pre-finished hardwoods that have microbevel edges. The smoothness looks better and it’s easier to clean (vs. the bevels can collect dirt and crumbs). These floors are better sealed too, and this is even more important for kitchens (vs. on prefinished floors, often the edges have areas where there is no stain or poly so both less protection and you can see the lighter color of the wood underneath. Also, many homes in our area already have some hardwood floors, so if you’re looking to add hardwood to rooms and have a consistent color and look, finishing the wood on site is the way to go. It also gives customers the option to test and customize the stain to their liking before committing to it.


Below are 2 images to show bevel edges. These are much easier to see in person vs. viewing them online. But compare the bevel edges vs. the smooth floors in the above picture.

pegged hardwood with bevel edge canyon crest bevel edges









5. Satin finishes

2014 hardwood flooring trends satin finishGlossy and semi gloss are out! Yes, a satin finish is by far the most stylish and popular choice here in Westchester County. I’d say that about 90% of my customers prefer this finish and most do not like a glossy finish which tends to look a bit dated. Also, glossier finishes are less practical as they show the dents and scratches more as more light reflects off of them. Ask any designer…and they will agree, it’s a satin finish all the way, no questions asked.

Valenza ruby red


To the left is a glossy finish (these are a bit more challenging to capture properly on camera, but you can see it’s much more shiny than the above satin finish. Glossy shows every foot print, crumb and scratch. It’s just a lot more maintenance and often these floors need to be sanded and refinished sooner since you notice their imperfections sooner.






6. Hardwood in kitchens

2014 hardwood trends kitchens with dark hardwood floorsYes, hardwood now seems to be the most popular type of flooring, even above tile. Check out all the fashionable home and decor magazines, as well as websites. You’ll see they are all featuring hardwood floors. In a nutshell, the preference for hardwood is due to 1) makes your space look larger and more continuous (even more important with the shift towards open floor plans), 2) it’s softer and warmer of your feet vs. tile, 3) it’s easier to clean and 4) it’s usually less expensive. You can read more about it here – Which is better for kitchens – hardwood or tile?.



hardwood in westchester kitchen 2014By the way, we are also seeing more white cabinets in kitchens as they tend to go better with hardwood floors.


Likewise, we are seeing more hardwood in entryways and powder rooms – all one continuous flow of hardwood for a larger and more cohesive space.




7. Wider planks floors for a more contemporary style

2014 trends wider hardwood planksWider planks make the space look larger and they make the space look more contemporary. The traditional 2 1/4″ oak strip is less popular, and most opt for wider planks of 3 1/4″, 4″ and even 5″. Often, when we are adding new wood, customers in Westchester prefer to go wider. If there is existing hardwood, some prefer to match it while many will opt for a wider plank, especially if it will be in the kitchen, the master bedroom, a new floor or a new section of the house. The important thing is to maintain the same color. Sometimes, in the new areas, we will change the direction of the hardwood (e.g. go on a diagonal) for extra impact.


Please note that for solid hardwood that is 5 inch or wider, you should both nail and glue it as these boards tends to expand and contract more.


8. Vintage style hardwood

2014 hardwood flooring trends - vintage woodThis trend is very taste specific, and it tends to be preferred by a small niche of the population, often those with more sophisticated tastes and larger budgets. It is not a style for everyone, and it works well in certain types of homes – homes that are older and more rustic or vintage in style (e.g. those built in the 1700’s and 1800’s and even early 1900’s. And, it can also work in some more contemporary homes that mix old and new world styles. It’s vintage hardwood, and there are many facets or nuances for this look.




  • handscraped hardwood 2014 vintage wood trendsDistressed and hand-scraped hardwood – the hand-scraped woods are literally scraped by hand with scraping instruments to give an old world and authentic look. The stain then pools in these areas for a vintage style. Distressed hardwood is often done by machines meant to mimic the handscrape process. Needless to say, no two hand-scraped pieces are the same, and they cost more as they are both more unique and take longer to make.
  • Reclaimed wood – often pine, but sometimes oak or maple – as the name implies, these woods are reclaimed and reused. They typically come in wider and longer planks which also makes them more expensive.


  • Knotty woods and woods with lots of character (e.g. knotty pine, rustic maple, hickory). These woods just have lots of character – many knots and lots of color variation for an old world look.


  • Random or multiple width boards – often 3″/5″/7″ – This is how some of the wood in older homes were made, especially in barns and farmhouses. Some of the woods come presorted in multiple widths; others can be ordered in the right ratios to achieve this look.


  • 2014 hardwood trends - oiled hardwood navarreOiled hardwood floors – this can be achieved via prefinished oiled floors or via refinishing with rubio monocoat. These types of floors are more expensive to achieve and often require more maintenance, but some people love love love them not only for their look but also because they can easily patch small areas that get scratched without having to sand and refinish the whole floor.

rustic vintage hardwoodrustic royal navarre


hickory character grade hardwood

rustic maple








As you can see from above pictures, there are many variations on the vintage theme. Most vintage hardwoods are rustic or distressed in some way, and generally come in wider planks, and often more matte or satin finishes. It’s basically an antique look for your floor.

2014 hardwood flooring trend summary

So that’s what I’m seeing for hardwood flooring trends in 2014. Not every style or color works for every taste or home, but hopefully this will provide some great style tips for your hardwood flooring projects.


For a more current version of hardwood flooring trends see my article 2015 Hardwood flooring trends.


Check out my ebook:


What to look out for when buying a new home with hardwood floors ebookI wrote this e-book to help new home buyers make smart decisions when looking for homes with hardwood floors…or looking to buy a home and then add hardwood. I’ve packaged all of my best tips into this book and hope it will help you make smarter choices in your flooring choices and in buying a home that can support high quality floors.


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Hardwood Flooring Trends for 2014 | Westchester County NY






26 Response Comments

  • Beth Witt  December 30, 2013 at 1:25 am

    I love the look of the gray stained floors! What a unique and trendy look; however I’m always hesitant to implement such designs because of that fact, they are trendy. I also love the wider planks. I’d be more inclined to do this as it seems a bit more timeless to me. Thanks for the update on the 2014 flooring trends!

    • TheFlooringGirl  December 30, 2013 at 7:14 am

      Beth – Yes, I hear you on the trendy aspect of gray hardwood. However, just to play devil’s advocate, by the time it goes out of fashion, it will be time to refinish it anyway. This is one of the many amazing things about hardwood. It lasts so long and you can change the color to suit your taste and style, even if they shift over time.

  • elizabeth wilson  January 15, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Hi Debbie – Thanks so much for this post. I am in the process of writing a blog post on the same subject and if you don’t mind, I’d like to list this page in my additional information. Always interesting to see what is trending in different areas of the country.

    • TheFlooringGirl  January 18, 2014 at 9:46 pm

      Elizabeth – Thank you so much. Oh, and yes, you can definitely link to this article. That would be great. Thank you.

  • STILE TILING  January 21, 2014 at 5:36 am

    I really like the look of the greyish tarnished floors! What a exclusive and stylish look; however I’m always reluctant to apply such styles because of that reality, they are stylish. I also really like the broader panels. I’d be more prepared to do this as it seems a bit more amazing to me. Thanks for the upgrade on the 2014 flooring surfaces trends!

    • TheFlooringGirl  January 21, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      Yes, I agree that is is stylish and trendy…and therefore may not last for long. But, one of the great things about solid hardwood floors is that you can easily change the colors when the styles do change.

  • Linda  July 18, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    I have a question I have 3″ prefinished Bruce light oak hardwood floors in my home.. We are now putting the second floor which will have master suite and extra bedroom .. Do you think at that point it would be okay to put 5″ and different color upstairs and not prefinished?
    Also adding a Inlaw suite totally different living space can I do the same not prefinished different color floor

    • TheFlooringGirl  July 19, 2014 at 5:03 am

      Linda – I think it’s okay to switch by floor. To me, the most important thing is that the color is the same. Personally, I prefer unfinished floors to prefinished and most homeowners in the New York area seem to feel the same way. They are smoother, easier to clean and look more real.

  • Sharon W. Davis  August 27, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Thanks so much for your professional help with my hardwood floor finish and stain. It really important to get the right color and finish. You really knew how to get the look I wanted. Thanks!

    • TheFlooringGirl  August 29, 2014 at 2:24 pm

      Sharon – It was my pleasure. I’m so glad I was able to help.

  • Norm  October 9, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Hi Debbie! I read your article with interest, but I am curious about something. It seems you are promoting onsite finished flooring. 3 reps in 3 stores and one flooring contractor told me that factory finished is better because the factory gets a better stain and seal than even good floorers can get in the home, they generally have more layers of finish, and it is harder/less prone to scratches. Sure, you have a little bevel that most people won’t notice, but the statements seem contrary to what you posted in the article. Oh…and finishing in the home adds a significant cost factor because of the labor, so if you are on a budget you have to buy a cheaper floor to stay in budget…i.e., by going with a factory finish you get a better finish and can buy a better ‘step up’ in quality floor because the cost of labor per sq’ is less. I would like your take on this. I also noticed more traditional 3″ and 4″ flooring coming back. A flooring pro told me folks with 5″, 7″ and 9″ will be sorry in just a few years.

    • TheFlooringGirl  October 12, 2014 at 4:51 am

      Norm – All good questions. I’m not sure what area of the country you live in, but here in Westchester there is a STRONG preference for site-finished floors. Very strong. Most people here do not like the the look of site finished as they often do look fake, especially those with a stain. With the stain, you can see the bevels more and there are lines wo/ a stain.

      The bevels do collect a lot of dust and debris and these can especially be a big deal in the kitchen. and, the edges often do not have polyurethane on them, so not good if water gets on them.

      The reps in the store may often push prefinished as they will make more money on that. In terms of # of coats, that is irrelevant as factor finished have many thin coats, so you are not comparing apples to apples w/ site finished. However, the benefit on hardness for prefinished is the aluminum oxide. All that aside, in my experience the prefinished floors often show the scratches more.

      Regarding the cost, that may vary somewhat, but in our area, there often is not a big difference in price between the two options when you add the combo of labor and materials together – if you are comparing apples to apples. But, in some stores, they will push lower grade prefinished woods w/ more knots, etc. and then you may find that prefinished is a bit less expensive. This of course is a generalization.

      In terms of width, yes, most prefer wider, but not too wide. I’d say 3 1/4″ and 4″ are often the most popular (for new installations) and most people prefer consistent width and yes, I would agree w/ the pro that said 5/7/9 will give you a dated look in a few years.

      BTW, we do both prefinished and site finished wood. For some of my customers, prefinished makes more sense due to the convenience.

  • Toni Williams  December 1, 2014 at 8:50 am

    Hi Debbie, I certainly live outside your area but do like your article post. Can you tell me what kind of wood is shown in photo 2, width and stain color. I love that one.)

    • TheFlooringGirl  December 1, 2014 at 12:25 pm

      Thanks so much, Toni. I really appreciate it. That is an ebony stain. I believe the wood is 3 1/4″ wide; if not, it is 4″.

  • lynn  August 19, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    Hi Debbie,
    We are building a house on a golf course with high ceilings and lots of windows..medium color brown cabinets. I want med/dark brown oak site finished (grade 1), my husband wants natural. I am afraid it will look dated. What do you think? Also, what do you think about poly vs water based?

    • TheFlooringGirl  August 20, 2015 at 11:16 am

      Lynn – It’s sometimes hard for spouses to agree. But, I’d say either very dark or very light, esp given mid brown cabinets. If you are going dark, definitely do an oil based poly – it will look better and last longer. If you go natural, you could consider water based if you use Bona Traffic (which is more expensive). It will prob. make them look a bit more contemporary.

      Not sure if there is an option to change the cabinet colors to white or cream. If so, it may make it easier w/ your husband to go dark on floors. Glad you have high ceilings and lots of windows.

      And, remember, you can always change the color of the floor the next time you sand (e.g. 7-10 yrs).

  • MB  February 13, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    I have medium brown maple cabinets, and the closet doors in hallway, bedrooms are a dark brown….I would say a mix of ebony/Jacobean. I am having my red oak floors redone. Right now I would say thy look like they just have a bona clear coat/traffic on them. Wondering if should go darker on the floors or keep them natural. I am just concerned about how they will look with the kitchen cabinets.

    • TheFlooringGirl  February 14, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      MB – I think you should test it out. You want to have a contrast and either do very dark (e.g. ebony/jacobean) or very light (natural). It really depends on which you prefer. Mid toned cabinets are always the most challenging to work with. I would test the stains next to your cabinets and/or look online to see if you can find some similar cabinets and see what you like next to them.

  • Wendy  June 23, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    I’ve seen a ton of pictures and info on using 4×8 sheets of plywood cut down into 6″ planks. They are beautiful! Have you seen any plywood flooring projects first hand?

    • TheFlooringGirl  June 26, 2016 at 6:36 am

      No I have not seen that! I have heard of it and see pictures. I can’t imagine that looking very good in person since plywood is rather unattractive. Also, it would not have tongue and groove, so to me, that’s a poor way to install. And, further you would not be able to sand and refinish in the future. This is a cheap option and not a good one, in my opinion. Pennywise, pound foolish indeed.


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