The style of flooring used in a room is a powerful way to set the atmosphere and while most would prescribe dark wood flooring for a modern interior design, I personally find it overbearing and distracting. There is also the problem of it clashing with walnut furniture and other dark wood fixtures often used to create a modern feel which can all seem to blend into one. However, it is also important to take a step away from the oak and pine, golden brown or beige wood floors with their traditional connotations and as a result I find either white or grey wood floors to be the best solution when it comes to modern decor. Here are our top 5 grey flooring picks from UK Flooring Direct.
1 – Galleria Elite Plantation French Grey Engineered Flooring
With its understated muted grey-brown colour, this is the perfect choice if you don’t want the style of your flooring to dominate your home. For this reason, it’s also ideal for minimalist designs as it allows the real features to shine through. This flooring by the sought after brand Galleria from their Elite collection is described as Plantation French Grey and they’ve really got this taupe like colour spot on. It has been finished with a matt lacquer which is non-reflective and adds to the understated elegance of this grey wood floor’s style.
Galleria Plantation French Grey is an example of engineered flooring which is made entirely of real wood although the bulk of the 18mm thick planks are made up of birch plywood cores with 11 layers. This layered structure gives the floorboards unrivalled dent resistance and stability as it is less prone to warping making it suitable for use with underfloor heating which can distort solid wood. Only the surface layer, measuring 4mm thick, is oak although this can still be re-sanded over time and gives a virtually identical look and feel as you’d get from solid wood.
2 – Series Woods 7mm Grey Oak Laminate Flooring
Although not strictly a wood floor, for all intents and purposes and particularly in regards to styling, this laminate flooring is one of our top 5 grey wood flooring choices. While artificial wood effect flooring such as laminate can at times be tacky with designers portraying unrealistic and exaggerated timber features, the designers over at Series Woods really did a good job with this grey oak. It even displays somewhat undesirable flaws such as pinhole and larger knots while admitting that a completely grey wood floor is impossible to achieve by having more of a faded, white washed brown shade with colour variations throughout.
As laminate flooring goes however, this is one of the cheapest examples and is not of the highest quality. The planks are just 7mm thick and have a grade of AC3 which is suited for home use but probably won’t last more than a few years in a typical household. However it is also really easy to lay with the click system and can also be used with underfloor heating.
3 – Tastes of Life Gingerbread Oak Engineered Flooring
Another example of engineered flooring, which in my opinion is the way to go if you’re after a high quality yet affordable floor, this is probably the ‘greyest’ wood we could find while compiling this top 5 list. It really is quite impressive just how grey it looks when you consider that the surface layer of these planks is real, family grade, European oak. There’s not a wide contrast in colouration in the grain of the wood making this another good choice if you want understated flooring that doesn’t dominate the room.
The Tastes of Life range is manufactured by Barlinek and while they don’t display this Gingerbread oak flooring on their site anymore, UK Flooring Direct still indicate that they can source this flooring for you, albeit with an increased delivery time over their other products. It is worth noting however that despite this being slightly more expensive than the previously mentioned Galleria Plantation French Grey, Tastes of Life Gingerbread oak is actually perceived as a lower quality engineered floor being just 14mm thick as opposed to 18mm from Galleria, with a 2.5mm surface layer compared to 4mm as well as a 3 ply core instead of an 11 layer birch plywood core.
4 – Spectra Grey Oak Vinyl Flooring
I pointed out earlier that ‘wood effect’ flooring such as laminate and vinyl can often have unrealistic patterns and exaggerated features and this may well be the case with this vinyl flooring from Spectra. However it does still work rather superbly and although the exaggerated swirling growth rings may no longer really even resemble wood, there is something quite cool and psychedelic about it. That is apart from the fact that this flooring is completely monochromatic without even a hint of brown which is perhaps the reason that it appears so detached from a real wood floor.
However, I wanted to feature an example of vinyl flooring in this list to show how far the material has come since the days of ultra-tacky rollout floors as this vinyl flooring comes in plank form with V shaped grooves to boot. The key advantage of Spectra vinyl is that it is waterproof and so unlike all the other floors mentioned here can be used in bathrooms and kitchens. Most other floors should stand up to the occasional splashes they’ll receive in the kitchen but its important to dry them quickly to prevent warping and in the case of laminate to stop it becoming soggy!
5 – Galleria Heritage White Fumed Solid Oak Flooring
A bit of a wildcard here as this wood flooring is not entirely grey with more woody tones in it than the other floors in this list. However this solid oak flooring certainly has a very faded appearance with lots of muted tones and has grey areas throughout with varying shades of grey that range between white-grey and charcoal. The characteristic, aged appearance achieved by the white fumed process perhaps gives this flooring a more rustic, traditional feel but it also certainly has the potential to look great in an industrial style modernist interior design scheme.
Its important to bear in mind that tastes change over time and so investing in solid oak flooring is a wise investment when it comes to renovating as it can easily be sanded down and given a different finish if you decide to redecorate. This is also the thickest flooring featured in this list at 20mm which is usually a reliable indicator of quality. Remember you can order free samples of any of these floors if you’d like to see in person before ordering.
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