Typically, when you buy hardwood flooring, you buy enough of one kind of wood to cover your entire space. That means you’ll buy, for example, cherry oak planks that are all the same size. They’re all from the same batch, they’re finished the same, and stained the same. That creates one solid floor in your preferred design. That’s how floors are typically sold. However, many people are moving towards floors that are more patchwork. They’re doing this for design reasons as well as practical reasons.
That means that many homeowners are choosing to redesign their floors with a mixture of planks of different lengths, different widths, different stains, and/or different woods.
First and foremost, a hardwood floor has to be practical. It needs to be well-constructed and designed so that you can live on it day to day. A patchwork hardwood floor has some practical benefits. One big benefit is the availability of wood. You can obviously only get so many hardwood planks from a single tree. Each tree is unique; that means it takes some work to create enough matching planks to cover an entire floor. The amount of work required will often decrease the likelihood of finding a sufficient amount of hardwood planks. That means you might not be able to get an entire floor of planks you want, or they might be prohibitively expensive.
Furthermore, companies will often sell small amounts of hardwood planks at a discount. Since most people want enough wood to cover an entire floor, only having a few square feet is typically not very useful. However, if you’re matching a patchwork of different planks all over your floor, then having only a few square feet is not a problem. You can buy these odds and ends at a greatly discounted rate. Once you’ve found enough planks for your entire floor, you might find that you’ve saved a significant amount of money.
In addition to the practicality, patchwork hardwood floors are reminiscent of farmhouses and working-class homes from the past century. Rustic interior design has become very popular in many circles; the design mimics a lot of 18th and 19th century homes. In those days, many homeowners would create planks from whichever wood was nearby. That meant mismatched wood. They also repaired damaged planks instead of ripping up the entire floor. So, it’s not uncommon to see antique homes with oak floors but a few hickory boards here and there.
If executed well, it can be a very good look.